Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Excelsiors kick off their season with 9-5 win over Oakville

Jayson Crawford, here after scoring the overtime winner in the Creators Cup,
had a pair of goals to help lead Brampton to a 9-5 win over Oakville in their
MSL season opener. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
The Brampton Excelsiors will have to rely on their young guns if they are going to be successful this summer in Major Series Lacrosse. So far, so good as they won their season opener behind a pair of goals each from Dan Keane and Jayson Crawford Monday night. Tyler Fereira, the first overall pick in the MSL draft this year, added three points on a goal and two assists as Brampton beat the Oakville Rock 9-5.

Tye Belanger was solid in the Brampton net to hand Oakville their second loss in as many games to open the season. Brendan Thenhaus was the only member of the Rock to score multiple goals with a pair. Oakville is still missing about a third of their lineup as players are competing in the National Lacrosse League championship series.

Scoring got underway quickly as Shayne Adams got Oakville on the board just 32 seconds in. Brady Heseltine evened things up 41 seconds later and Mike Mawdsley, obtained in a trade with Oakville during the off-season, put Brampton ahead for the first time at 3:48.

Billy Hostrawser's shorthanded goal at 5:07 tied the game up and marked the end of the scoring burst. Keane put the Excels up by one later in the period and they carried the 3-2 lead into the second.

Thenhaus opened second-period scoring to tie the game at threes but then it was all Brampton as they scored four straight including a pair from the speedy Crawford just 1:24 apart. Crawford, who scored the overtime winner to give the Barrie Blizzard the Creators Cup as CLax champions in April, graduated from the Brampton Jr A program (as well as having played with the Jr B Halton Hills Bulldogs) and was selected by KW in the MSL draft. Brampton repatriated him in a trade just two days after the draft.

The teams each scored a pair of goals in the third period as Brampton held on to earn the victory. Both teams get back in action quickly: Oakville travels to Six Nations Tuesday to meet the Chiefs and Brampton is in Whitby Wednesday to face the Brooklin Redmen.