|Joey Cupido (18, against Six Nations) and the Kodiaks came up with an 8-2|
third period for an 11-7 win against Brooklin Wednesday night.
The KW Kodiaks took a while to hit their stride, but once they did there was no stopping them. KW trailed the Brooklin Redmen 5-3 after 40 minutes Wednesday night in Whitby then put together an 8-goal third period to pull out an 11-7Major Series Lacrosse win that vaulted them past the Brampton Excelsiors and Oakville Rock into third place in the league's jam-packed standings.
Brooklin overcame Joey Cupido's opening goal for the Kodiaks on junior callup Ryan Keenan's first MSL goal and a pair from Mike Triolo to lead 3-1 after the first period. Twice in the second period the Kodiaks scored but each time the Redmen had an answer and it was 5-3 after two frames.
In second period and the early part of the third, Brooklin round seams in the KW defence to create open looks in tight on goalie Davide DiRuscio but he was masterful, turning aside shot after shot to keep the Kodiaks close. Eventually, KW started to find the back of the net and just like that they led 8-6, although it took a bit of luck for them to run off 4 goals in 1:58.
One of the four goals came after the ball was trapped momentarily between goalie Zack Higgins and the post but escaped to trickle down his back and over the line. Another came when defender Graeme Hossack tried to corral a rebound but wound up having it slip out of his stick and then trace a high, slow arc that Higgins didn't see as it bounced past him. The four goals came between 6:31 and 8:29.
Dan Lintner finished off a perfect pass from Michael Teeter—who did a solid job running the offence in Shawn Williams' absence to earn a goal and 4 assists—to pull the Redmen back within one goal at 11:41.
Corey Fowler got that one back a minute and a half later, then Cupido picked off a pass cleanly and raced down the floor to beat Higgins and make it 10-7 at 17:36, essentially sealing the win for the Kodiaks. Cupido rounded out the scoring with an empty netter.
Cupido said the whole team contributed to overcome a short bench—the Kodiaks dressed only 16 runners—for the win. “That's the thing with us; we really don't have any superstars, so to say,” Cupido said. “A bunch of young guys, very talented players, but guys that a lot of people in the league don't know about yet. Everyone chipped in and it was a great team win tonight.”
He added that the defence may have been trying to do too much to help on the offensive zone, leading to the open looks that Brooklin was able to generate. “We only had three goals at the end of two, so I think we tried to do too much out of the back end, really tried to push the pace and didn't protect Fish [DiRuscio] very well. But he stood on his head all night and we did tighten the ship and were able to get that win.”
Teeter said he was just trying to do what he could to help with Williams away and it was disappointing to lose a game primarily because of one bad stretch. “Willy's out team leader and our go-to guy. He wasn't here tonight, he had to coach, so I kind of had to pick up the leadership role up front,” Teeter said. “We were rolling there for a bit then we came out slack in the third and we couldn't get anything rolling. DiRuscio stoned us on the door step and that lapse killed us.”
Both players emphasized the importance of the game to the playoff race, which now sees KW sitting in third at nine points, Brampton and Oakville at eight and Brooklin last with seven.
“We really treated it like a playoff game. We knew our lives were on the line. We just came out and battled,” said Cupido.
“We've got Peterborough tomorrow. We've got to come out with our best effort,” Teeter said of Brooklin's road game on Thursday. “They've got a real good team so if we come out flat it could be ugly, but if we come out playing our game we can play with them and we need that win tomorrow to take going into playoffs.”