Monday, July 22, 2013

Chiefs edge Kodiaks in preview of semi final matchup

With the Brooklin Redmen beating the Brampton Excelsiors 14-10 Sunday and the Six Nations Chiefs edging the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks 11-10, the semi final series for Major Series Lacrosse are settled. Since KW can only tie Brooklin and the Redmen won the head-to-head season series 3-1, Brooklin has clinched at least third place (they can still catch Peterborough for second to earn home-floor advantage in the semis). That means the Kodiaks and Chiefs will meet in a semi final that, if the regular season games they've played are any indication, should be a barn-burner.

Six Nations won all four games between the two teams, but the last three were by 2, 1 and 1 goals. KW led 7-5 past the midway point of the second period. Then Kasey Beirnes went to work. He scored 3 of his 4 goals in a 4-goal run that gave the Chiefs a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Six Nations led 11-8 when Craig Point scored at 14:06 of the the third period, but the Kodiaks showed their never-say-die spirit by scoring the last 2 goals of the game to make it close.

Beirnes added an assist to his 4 goals and Colin Doyle (1g, 4a) also had a 5-point game for the Chiefs. Jesse Gamble and Wayne Van Every each added 2 goals for Six Nations while Brandon Miller made 30 saves to earn the win.

Dhane Smith, now available to the Kodiaks full-time since his OLA Jr A KW Braves have been eliminated from the playoffs, had a hat trick and an assist for KW. Aaron Wilson matched Doyle's 1 goal, 4 assist performance and Jordan Critch and Brandon Ivey each scored twice for KW, with Critch adding a pair of assists. Dillon Ward stopped 34 of the 45 shots he faced in a losing effort.

The Brooklin and Brampton game was close throughout the first two periods, with the Redmen leading 5-4 after the first and the scored tied 8-8 through 40 minutes. Then the Redmen ran away, ensuring that they'll face the Peterborough Lakers in the semi finals. Derek Hopcroft exploded for the Redmen, scoring 5 goals and 3 assists to lead all scorers. Shawn Williams had 1 goals and 6 assists and Mike Melnychenko added a hat trick and a helper to the Redmen's cause. Zach Higgins earned the win, making 37 saves.

Joe Resetarits and Mike Burke both had big nights for the Excelsiors. Resetarits scored 3 goals and 4 assists while Burke had 2 goals and 4 assists. Ethan O'Connor scored a goal and an assist and won 19 of 28 faceoffs for Brampton. Ryan Masters made 37 saves in a losing effort in net.