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T. Michael Hennessy, Law Office
Caruso Club
Sunday, Sep. 24, 2017
Houseleague lacrosse loop closes its books with playoff weekend
2017-06-27
by Randy Pascal

For some, it was the end of the line in terms of their summer of lacrosse. For others, time to focus now on the push to provincials.

Such is the dichotomy that exists on playoff weekend within the Greater Sudbury Lacrosse Association.

The varying timelines are a given, a consequence of a league that requires a healthy mix of rep players, interspersed within the ranks of those who compete on a houseleague level only.

The bantam final that would put a bow on the weekend came down to a key momentum shift following a pair of goals scored late in the first period, shortly after the assessment of a double minor penalty.

Thankfully for the bantam Stealth, both of those goals were short-handed tallies, as Max McCue and Ashton Eadie teamed up to temporarily take control of the contest. After McCue opened the scoring ten minutes in, whipping a low shot through a screen, he would complete his natural hat-trick with his team playing one man down, tallying twice on feeds from Eadie.

When the same tandem were back at it early in period two, only in reverse order, as Eadie added a goal to his resume, all seemed lost for the Rush, trailing 4-0. Slowly, however, they chipped away at the deficit.

Brek Morrow would get the Rush on the board, converting on the power play, but three hit goal posts in the final ten minutes of the middle stanza left the score sitting at 4-1 with just one period remaining.

Markers from Zak Thompson and Morrow, with his second, in rapid succession, suddenly made things interesting, with lots of time still on the clock. A long rebound would create the insurance the Stealth would need, as McCue corralled the loose ball and made no mistake on the breakaway with just over four minutes to play.

Late goals from Easton Hinschberger (Stealth) and Thompson (Rush) closed out the books, as underage netminder Kiaus Lalonde helped backstop the champions to a 6-4 win. “They send people behind me all of the time, not anybody else does that,” noted Lalonde of the challenges he encountered when facing the Rush.

“They’re the smartest team I’ve played against. They can get a quick pass that way and score, shooting right at my back.” Suiting up with the Peewee Rockhounds on the competitive side of things, Lalonde has now been involved in lacrosse for some five years or so. “It’s fun being a goalie,” he suggested. “You have to learn how to cover your angles and then everything is simple.”

The penultimate championship affair at Cambrian Arena was not quite as close, as the Stealth peewees maintained the dominance they have enjoyed over their divisional rivals through much of the past three months, defeating the Roughnecks 8-3.

Brandon Roney powered the Stealth attack with a three goal effort, Charlie Lisk chipped in with a pair, and goals from Andrew Whitehouse, Cody Wahl and Alex Hachez capped off the offensive output for the winners. Bradford Scarpellini countered with a pair of tallies in a losing cause, with Alek Duguay netting the other.

Like so many of the youngsters out on the floor on Sunday, Lisk transitioned directly from the end of his hockey season over to lacrosse. “It’s not all that different, except that you’re carrying the ball instead of handling it, but the roughness is the same as hockey,” he said.

Now in his fourth year with the GSLA, Lisk has resisted the temptation to take the plunge over to the competitive side, in spite of the fact that he clearly enjoys the lacrosse environment. “A lot of my friends had talked about it, so I decided to join in,” he said. “They sort of sold me on the hits.”

“Defence is harder to learn. They come at us really fast, and we can’t always handle the heat.” Overall, another positive experience for the houseleague loop that runs from early April until the end of June. “We all got to know each other and make new friends,” said Lisk. “It was fun. The coaches always gave us good advice.”

Out in Coniston, it was the younger age brackets that were holding court, as the novices and tykes were in fine form. The former provided easily the most drama of any division, as the Stealth novices needed an impressive shutout performance from goaltender Cheyden Leblanc to squeeze past the Roughnecks 2-0 in the morning semi-final, booking their berth in the final.

The gold medal encounter was every bit as closely contested, as the Rush and Stealth entered the third period tied at 1-1 before a pair of goals from Cyrus Pardens and a solo marker from Lincoln Boulanger lifted the Stealth to a 4-3 win.

Matti Jouppi added the remaining goal for the winners, with Nolan Schiewek, Dominic Michaud and Ryker Young answering in a losing cause for the Rush. Dax Lamoureux proved to be a one man wrecking crew in the novice consolation affair, scoring six goals as the Mammoth upended the Roughnecks 8-2.

In tyke play, Max Jouppi drilled home the first five goals for his team, as the Stealth outlasted the Rush 9-6. Hunter Currie pitched in with three goals in the win, while Alex Campbell closed things off for the Stealth. Connor Paris, with four, Ben Hardwick and Brady Holden replied for the Rush.

A final sportsmanship shout-out goes out to the coaching staff of the tyke Rush crew. Trailing 4-1 in their morning semi-final affair, the Roughnecks drilled a shot that entered and exited the net with such speed, that it was missed outright by game officials.

Before the next whistle had sounded, the Rush scampered the distance of the floor to score, giving the team what appeared to be a 5-1 lead. But as the referees gathered to report the Rush goal, questioned politely by Roughnecks staff on the apparent missed call, it would be the Rush head coach setting the record straight, adjusting the score to 4-2 by confirming the goal that his opponents had scored moments earlier.

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