SIX NATIONS — The Can/Am Six Nations Slash hosted this year’s 2017 Presidents Cup Championships at the ILA and Gaylord Powless Arena this past weekend. After three days of back-to-back Sr. B lacrosse action, it was the visiting Albert Minors from Alberta who loaded up the cup for the long trip home.
The Six Nations Rivermen were determined to keep the prize that they lost last year after winning the 2015 National Trophy. For the Minors it was a repeat win after the Six Nations Rivermen and the Minors played for the gold Sunday before a large crowd at the ILA.
After the preliminary games, St. Albert led with an 8-1-0 record followed by the Can/Am Champion Native Sons and the Six Nations Rivermen with identical 7-2-0 records. The Kahnawake Mohawks were next (5-4-0, St. Regis (5-4-0), the Ladner BC Pioneers (4-5-0) Saskatoon Braves (2-6-0 Six Nations Slash (1-7-0) and the Nova Scotia Privateers (0-8-0).
Along the way, the Rivermen recorded a 20-4 win over Nova Scotia, 11-9 over the Native Sons, 12-4 over Ladner. In their first meeting of the tournament against the Minors, the Rivermen won 12-9 over the Minors. Then came a 10-6 decision over the St. Regis Braves. Kahnawake handed the Rivermen its only defeat of the preliminaries, 15-7, Friday, Sept 1.
The prelims were wound up with the Rivermen against the Saskatchewan Brewers.
On Saturday morning, the Rivermen and the host Slash went nose to nose with the Rivermen taking the sweet end of a 19-3 win. Later that same day, they defeated the Brewers 12-3.
In the medal round, the Native Sons doubled up on the St. Regis Braves, 10-5 to secure the Bronze.
The 4 p.m. Gold/Silver game was exciting from the opening faceoff as last years President Cup winners, the St. Albert Minors and the 2015 winners, the Six Nations Rivermen fought for Str. B lacrosse supremacy.
Alex Kedoh Hill opened and closed the fist period for the Rivermen with four Keegan Bal goals scored for the Minors in between, three of them on powerplays.
Both goalies, Warren hill for Six Nations and Ryan Avery for St. Albert played extremely well in the second period but Richard Lachian scored unassisted for Alberta ay 17:07.
With the score, 5-2 after 40 minutes, the Rivermen had to put everything they had on the floor and they did, opening the third with goals by Layne Smith at 1:34, Roger Vyse at 1:52 and Danton Miller at 2:44. To even the score at 5-5 and put a lot of life back into the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena.
Tyler Melnyk scored at 14:43 and Keegan Bal scored his fifth of the game at 18:23 for a two goal edge with time running out on the Rivermen.
Layne Smith brought the Rivermen to within striking distance at 18:45, but Alberta controlled the ball the rest of the way to secure the 2017 Presidents Cup.
Alex Kedoh Hill led the Rivermen attack with two goals and three assists. With Layne Smith contributing two goals and an assist.