Thursday, June 9, 2016

A Tale of Two Cities: Rock and Chiefs split back to back games

Dillon Ward bounced back from a tough night Monday to stifle the Oakville
Rock Tuesday as the Chiefs earned a split of the home and home series.
(Photo: Dave Fryer)
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness. For the Oakville Rock, a home and home series with the Six Nations Chiefs this week was positively Dickension in its duality.

When you see that Oakville outscored Six Nations 19-17 as the teams split the series Monday and Tuesday night, you may well think the games were a pair of nail biters. That was far from the case.

The teams were close through two periods Monday in Oakville, with the Rock leading by a single goal, 8-7. Other than a single goal by Cody Jamieson, the third period was all Oakville, though, as the home team ran off a 7-1 frame to make the final score 15-8 in their favour.

One big factor was Chiefs' goalie Dillon Ward stopping just 37 of the 51 shots he faced as Stephan Leblanc (3g, 4a) and Rob Hellyer (2g, 5a) each enjoyed 7-point nights.

Just about 22 hours from the end of the first game, the teams reconvened at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena. One again, the Rock defence held the defending regular season champs under 10 goals. If you're done the math, though, you already know that the Oakville offence had nowhere near the kind of game they had the night before.

In fact, the offence scored just one goal, Bryan Cole's marker at the 12:37 mark of the second period. The Rock added three goals in the third, one from defender Bradley Kri and two in a row from transition player Mitch de Snoo.

Randy Staats' hat trick and Jordan Durston's two goals alone would have been enough to win for the Chiefs, thanks largely to Ward making 40 saves on 44 shots.