Sunday, June 29, 2014

Peterborough Lakers down Six Nations Chiefs 9-7 in playoff-style affair

Davide DiRuscio, here starring for the Niagara Lock Monster in CLax,
helped lead the Peterborough Lakers to a 9-7 win over Six Nations.
(Photo: Tim Prothero)
The Peterborough Lakers won the fights and they won the game Saturday night, downing the Six Nations Chiefs 9-7 in a rematch of Six Nations' 10-8 win in Peterborough Thursday. The Lakers led 4-2 after the first period in both games, but the situation was different. Thursday they had scored the first four goals then surrendered the next five as Six Nations grabbed the momentum and pulled away to the win. Saturday night the Chiefs got off to the fast start with a pair of goals but Peterborough scored four times in just over five minutes to take the momentum and kept it by getting the first two goals of the second, including one by Brad Self just 13 seconds into the frame.

Six Nations did replay, though, finally getting some balls behind Lakers goalie Davide DiRuscio, who was excellent in his first Major Series Lacrosse start. When Craig Point scored 51 seconds into the third period, the game was tied 6-6. A fight between Peterborough's Andrew Suitor and David Brock of Six Nations broke out before the ensuing faceoff. Both players landed some punches before a right from Suitor knocked Brock out and down. Brock was assisted from the floor but was reported after the game as being alright. That was the second fight of the game, as Peterborough's Nick Weiss pounded Wayne Van Every after a goal-mouth fracas in the second period.

The Suitor fight seemed to swing momentum back towards the Lakers and they capitalized on a beautiful transition goal by Brock Sorensen. The big defender picked off a pass, raced up the floor and did a swim move to try to get clear of Kasey Beirnes running back to defend. Beirnes adjusted and kept good position, so Sorensen went one-handed behind the back and between the legs for as pretty a goal as you'll see.

That lead didn't last long, though, as Cody Jamieson scored 13 seconds later. Josh Gillam and John Grant Jr. were able to restore the Lakers lead, though, and they hung on to earn the win. Gillam, who was named the game's first star after scoring twice and adding 2 assists, said the Lakers learned their lesson from the game Thursday. “”We have a group of professionals in the locker room and you learn from your mistakes, especially when it's two nights before,” he said. “That's just the way good teams bounce back. We think of ourselves as a great team and we pride ourselves on being able to fix mistakes.”

Peterborough Head Coach Joe Sullivan agreed that it was important to take a lesson from what had happened a couple of nights previously. “Live and learn,” he said. “That's the kind of adversity we're going to face a lot. I talked to the guys about how when things are going well you've got to recognize what it is and you can't sit back and start slipping into bad habits and they didn't tonight. Six Nations is a great team and they came back and made a great game of it but we were able to fend them off.”

Jeff Shattler, the game's second star with 2 goals and 2 assists for Six Nations, gave credit to DiRuscio (named the game's third star) and the Lakers but was confident his team will get better. “They played well. I thought we were snake-bitten ourselves,” he said. “We hit six or seven posts, missed a bunch of breakaways...their goalie played well. We could have played a lot better. When playoff time comes around we'll be a better team.”

Six Nations was playing their third game of the week. They've had a busy schedule in order to minimize the number of games they play while a large contingent of their players are in Denver for the FIL World Lacrosse Championships July 10-19. They play next Thursday and Saturday then have only one game in the following 18 days. Peterborough is back at it Monday night when they travel to Oakville to take on the Rock. You can watch that 8pm game via live JVI webcast. Just click on the link in the right-hand column of this web site.