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Rivermen limp into playoffs

Rivermen limp into playoffs
Six Nations coaches Stu Monture and Cory Bomberry will try and get their 2017 Sr. B, Silver Medalists to start believing in themselves again after dropping the final two games of the regular season, but by identical 13-9 scores. Photo by Jim Windle.

OAKVILLE — You couldn’t script the climax of the Sr. B lacrosse season any better than a first place showdown between the Oakville Titans and the Six Nations Rivermen in the last game of the regular schedule to determine who will face whom in the playoffs. But it’s more than just a pride thing —

OAKVILLE — You couldn’t script the climax of the Sr. B lacrosse season any better than a first place showdown between the Oakville Titans and the Six Nations Rivermen in the last game of the regular schedule to determine who will face whom in the playoffs.

But it’s more than just a pride thing — it’s a matter of carrying momentum heading into the playoffs as everyone eyes-up the Presidents Cup.

Saturday night, the Six Nations Rivermen had a chance to take over sole possession of first place on the road with a win over the third place Brooklin Merchants, but fell short, 13-9 setting up the all important final showdown of the regular season on Sunday against the Titans.

The Merchants were much more ready to play than the Rivermen who fell behind 4-0 before Wayne Hill broke the bubble from Wayne VanEvery and Greg Longboat at 15:18. Joe Maracle cut deeper into the Merchants’ lead exactly one minute later and it was 4-2 for the home team.

Dylan Goddard scored his third goal of the first period for Brooklin to take a 5-2 lead into the dressing room.

But Goddard wasn’t finished. He opened the second period at 30 seconds for a 6-2 Brooklin lead. Danton Miller broke the Brooklin string but only temporarily as they closed the second period with the last three of the session, for a 9-3 Merchants lead after 40 minutes.

Greg Longboat scored first in the final period and it was 9-4. Then 10-4 with Austin Murphy’s goal. VanEvery scored at the five minute mark, but the Merchants responded twice for a 12-5 lead with five minutes remaining.

Rodd Squire and Longboat scored two quick goals to make it 12-8, but Brooklin interrupted Six Nations comeback attempt and it was 13-8. Canton Miller records the last Rivermen goal for the 13-9 final.

The tension was evident going into Sunday’s final showdown of the regular season at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville to determine sole ownership of the league regular season title.

It didn’t take long before the Rivermen served notice with Brendan Muise scoring first at the 52 second mark of the first period.The Titans did not respond until 5:17 when Josh Jubenville evened the score at 1-1.

Kyle Isaacs and Greg Longboat put the Rivermen up 4-2, but Oakville clawed one of those back late in the frame to close the Six Nations lead to 4-3.

Oakville evened the score again at 2:50 before Wayne VanEvery restored the slim one goal lead at 5-4. Brandon Slade tied it again but Brendan Muise would not stand for that and took back the lead 35 seconds later.

Kyle Isaccs and VanEvery added late period goals to take a 8-5 lead into the third period. Oakville still had a lot of gas in the tank and it would appear the Rivermen didn’t as Oakville controlled the last 20 minutes of the game.

Seven uncontested Oakville goals opened the third period, reversing an 8-6 Six Nations lead into a 12-8 Oakville Titans lead. Danton Miller scored the Rivermen’s last goal of the game and Brandon Slade ended the contest with a 13-9, Oakville win.

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