Craig Point led the way with 4 goals and 4 assists as the Six Nations Chiefs dumped the Oakville Rock 18-10 in the first Major Series Lacrosse Game played at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre. The Chiefs, expected to put on a big push for a Mann Cup berth, were simply too much for the young Rock, although Oakville had some promising stretches. The problem for the Rock was that, even when they did some things right, they often went wrong for them. Point provided two of the best examples.
The righty forward worked his way across the slot with the ball in the second period with Bryan Campbell engaged on defence. Campbell had good position on Point and even shifted slightly to the back shoulder as Point moved to his right, taking him to a position where a behind the back shot was probably his best option. Unfortunately for Campbell and Oakville goalie Tye Belanger, Point ripped a perfect low back-hander just inside the post for a goal. There was very little either could have done to stop it.
In the third period, a pair of Rock defenders knocked Point down while he was carrying the ball in the offensive zone on the penalty kill. He hit the turf, rolled once while holding on to the ball, popped to his feet, swam between the defenders into an open seam down the slot and buried a goal over Belanger's shoulder. That was the first of 3 short-handed goals the Chiefs would score in the third.
Even the usually defensive-minded Rory Smith got into the act. Smith, with the ball firmly set in his wooden stick, cradled the ball along the half-boards until he saw an opening to make a swim move to split two defenders, ran towards the net and cut across the crease while throwing a pass fake then dumped the ball in over Belanger.
Smith wasn't the only defensive zone player contributing for the Chiefs. Rob Marshall scored twice, including the first goal of the game just 8 seconds in, and Rodd Squire added a pair. Tom Montour, Colin Boucher and David Brock each scored once, with Montour adding 3 assists and Boucher 1.
Former Chief Stephan Leblanc directed the Oakville offence in his debut since being traded to the Rock. He scored 3 goals and added 2 assists in a solid performance for his new team. Rookie Nic Grasby also played a big role in running the O and collected a hat trick despite sitting out 14 minutes in penalties after a kerfuffle with Six Nations defender Sid Smith. Oakville's first pick in this year's draft, third overall Jordan Critch, added 4 points with a goal and 3 assists in his MSL debut.
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