|Derek Suddons (left) and Brendan Thenhaus take the ceremonial faceoff |
before their Brooklin and Oakville teams open their MSL seasons.
Zack Higgins made 36 saves on 40 shots to earn the win as Brooklin held period leads of 3-2 and 7-4 then shut out the Rock 2-0 in the final 20 minutes.
Redmen righty Mike Triolo said with a bunch of new players in the lineup, including rookies and call ups, communication was the key issue. "Everyone just keep talking. Even when we come back to the bench, the coaches are saying not enough talking out there," Triolo said. "Guys like Dan Ball out there who's talking to everyone, making sure they know where they're at, it's huge for us."
Triolo spent lots of time on the floor between taking faceoffs, playing in the defensive zone, transitioning the ball up the floor and staying on for numerous offensive sets. He didn't mind at all, he said. "If they put me out there I'll do whatever they want me to. I'm having fun out there."
He added that having veterans like Derek Suddons and Shawn Williams leading the way was helpful for the young players and all the kids stepped up and did a good job.
Down the hallway outside the other dressing room, Oakville Head Coach Phil Sanderson said having lots of new faces in the lineup until several other players return from the NLL is a challenge, but "Everybody's in the same boat. We just couldn't capitalize on our offensive checks and we let a couple of D assignments get away from us."
Sanderson said he still likes his room and sees a promising season ahead. The Rock just missed the playoffs in2014 with some late-season one-goal losses to the eventual Mann Cup champion Six Nations Chiefs. This year, they're determined to make the post-season and compete with the top teams in the league. Last night, though, they weren't able to stay with defending regular-season champion Brooklin.