SIX NATIONS – The eight teams registered in this year’s Dreamcatcher Lacrosse Festival played this past weekend at the ILA in Six Nations. The teams included the St. Catharines Saints, the Caughawaga Indians, the Wallaceburg Red Devils, Tuscarora, as well as the Six Nations Greasers, Six Nations Slash, Six Nations Sting, and the Six Nations Rez Dogs, all divided into two pools.
After 12 qualifying games and two semi-finals, it all came down to the St. Catharines Saints and the Six Nations Greasers.
As the wind blew at the west wall of the ILA creating a train like sound, the Saints and the Greasers took the floor to decide who got to keep all the marbles.
The Greasers brought Warren Hill and Don Alton to guard the net while assembling an impressive lineup of players, including Johnny Powless, Josh Johnson, Hank Delisle, Haodais R Maracle, Dhane Smith, Vaughn Harris, Quinn Powless, Randy Staats, Wayne Hill, Danny Vyse, Wenster Green Rodd Squire Jr., Randy Martin, Alex Martin, Stu Martin, Ryan Dilks, Josh Johnson, Mike McNamara, and Mike Miller.
The Saints lineup included a lot of names Six Nations fans will know, including Jake Henhawk, Mike Attwood, Chris Attwood, Jason Henhawk, Bo Henhawk, Blue Hill, Mike McNamara,and Cody Johnson who all suited up for St. Catharines.
After a couple of hours to rest up between the semi-finals and the big game, the Greasers and the Saints took the floor.
The Greasers looked strong off the hop and at 2:06 Randy Martin picked up a loose ball and went in close to score on Jake Henhawk in the Saints net for the opening goal. Austin Staats and Quinn Powless assisted.
90 seconds later it was 2-0 for the Greasers after Johnny Powless released a rocket from a distance into the top glove hand side, assisted by Staats and Dhane Smith.
St. Kitts got one back with an unassisted marker scored by Brad Revero.
The Saints kept coming and tied it at 2-2 with a controversial goal scored after the net was knocked clear of the goal line, but the goal stood.
The Saints took the 3-2 lead at 4:48 with Danton Miller’s goal assisted by Cody Johnson and Chris Attwood.
Dhane Smith responded at 10:05 from Johnny Powless and Staats, and Haodais Maracle added another after Smith took a long Warren Hill pass from his crease down the floor to create a two on one play.
Ryan Dilks had a perfect opportunity to push the lead further when he stole a pass and sped in all alone only to be turned away by Henhawk.
In the third, the Greasers seemed to take the momentum and 18 seconds in, Maracle scored again, this time from Vaughn Harris and Smith before Randy Staats scored from Smith and Austin Staats.
Jason Henhawk scored the last goal of the game for the Saints assisted by Dylan Llord and Jake McCready but it was too little too late to make a difference in the outcome.
Friday night, the festival got going with all four Six Nations entrees going head to head. The Greasers easily took down the Slash in Game one in the opening game 19-5.
That was followed by the Rez Dogs taking on the Sting in a much tighter matchup in which the Sting slipped by the Rez Dogs 7-6.
The last game of Friday night saw the St. Catharines dispose of the Wallaceburg Red Devils 10-2.
Saturday morning the day broke with The Rez Dogs facing the Caughawaga Indians in the 9:30 a.m. game.The Dogs got the better of the Indians in a close 8-7 game.
At 11 am, the Sting got their second win of the tournament over Tuscarora by the score of 7-3. The Greasers looked strong against Wallaceburg in the 12:30 game defeating the Devils 11-5.
That set up the 2 p.m. game between the Slash and St. Catharines: Despite an impressive roster, the Slash were smashed by the Saints
It was 9-0 after two periods and St. Catharines were full marks for the lead with Jason Henhawk stoning the Slash in the St. Catharines goal.
It looked like the out hustled Slash got their first goal of the game at it was called back.
Finally, a break away goal got the Slash on the scoresheet at 4:45 of the third.
It appeared that the frustrated Slash figured, if you can’t beat em on the floor, beat ‘em in an alley. A feature fight took place late in the game which Six Nations won easily, but there were no points awarded in the tournament and the Slash lost 11-2.
During the mid afternoon break, there was a skills competition for both players and fans.
When the action picked up again, the 1-1 Rez Dogs took on Tuscarora who were also 1-1 to that point.
Tuscarora defeated the Dogs 8-6 in the 4 pm Game Saturday.
The Caughnwaga Indians and the Six Nations Sting played to a 7-7 tie in their game, which was followed at 8:30pm with the last game of the regular schedule where St. Catharines lost to the Greasers, 9-4.
Event coordinator for Dreamcatchers, Josh Powless was very pleased with the participation, the fans and the level of competition again this year.
That set up Sunday’s Semifinals which began at 12:00pm with the Greasers and Tuscarora playing for the right to appear in the Dreamcatcher Festival Cup at 5pm.
The Greasers sent Tuscarora home with a 14-5 walloping.
It was 5-1 after the first period,10-5 after the second and the Greasers added four more in the third.
With one of the finalists decided, it took the 1:30 game between the Sting and St. Catharines to determine the other. The Saints came marchin’ in right from the opening face off and before the end of the first period, St. Catharines had a 4-0 lead and looked every bit of that lead and more.
From the beginning of the tournament the St. Catharines Saints were the best prepared team, but the last game of the preliminary round had these same two teams going head to head and the Greasers emerged with a 9-4 win over the favorites.