SIX NATIONS – Back-to-back wins this past weekend vaulted the Ohsweken Demons into a four-point hold on first place ahead of the Niagara Lock Monsters in Canadian Lacrosse League (CLax) action.
Friday night, the Demons went cage–to-cage with the Niagara Lock Monsters in a hard fought 12-8 win before a large crowd at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Six Nations Territory.
The two top seeded teams traded goals throughout the first quarter to a 4-4 tie, but as time was running out, with 18 seconds left in the quarter, Wayne VanEvery scored to go up 5-4.
The Demons began to inch ahead in the second quarter with goals by Chris Attwood, his second and third of the game, and Joe Maracle, to end the half 8-5 in the Demons favour. It was 8-5 at the half.
Niagara had a solid third quarter, outscoring the Demons 3-1 to draw within one at 9-8, but there would be no more for the Monsters as Jake Henhawk closed the door of the Ohsweken goal and Wayne VanEvery netted two more along with singles by Joe Maracle and Torrey VanEvery for the 12-8 final.
Sunday night, the Demons had trouble with the newly retooled Durham Turfdogs, but came still out with a 13-10 win.
The Demons came with a skeleton crew, missing several key players for a variety of reasons. There were only 13 runners on the bench when the game began and as a result, coach Randy Chrysler had a lot of line juggling to do.
Jake Lazore got the start in the Demons net and came up big, early with several solid saves on Durham shooters.
Chris Attwood sent a shot-pass to Wayne VanEvery at the edge of the crease who one-timed it to open the scoring. Newly inserted in the Demons lineup is Alex Kedoh Hill, who set up Travis Hill, who bounced in the second Ohsweken marker.
Murray Porter capped off a three way passing play around the Durham crease to make it 3-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Fifteen seconds into the second quarter, Attwood scored, but Travis Bland scored to start a Durham rally, which reduced a four goal lead to 4-3 before the Demon got their legs back under them.
Kedoh Hill was put on a line with Roger Vyse, also new to the Demons lineup, and the pairing worked well all night.
Kedoh Hill set up Vyse for the 5-3 goal, but the Dogs earned two powerplay goals on the same penalty to draw even again, at 5-5.
Lazor stopped the Durham charge with three saves in close succession to hold the line.
The Demons 6th goal was almost a comedy show making even the Durham players laugh. Wayne VanEvery found himself with the ball in front of the Turfdog goal with lots of time and only the goalie and one defender on that half of the floor.
VanEvery faked and faked and faked again causing both Coswell and Hopcraft to dance around in the crease like puppets before VanEvery finally buried it to end the half with Ohsweken holding on with a 6-5 lead.
Six seconds into the second half, the Dogs scored to tie it up at 6-6, and then move ahead 7-6 with a Hopcraft power shot from outside, past Lazor.
That was a reality check for the Demons bench who seemed to be energized by the embarrassment of finding themselves behind with the league’s bottom feeders.
Using Kedoh Hill as a decoy, Wayne VanEvery scored the Demons 7th goal on a 2-0 breakaway.
Later on in the period, with the score 9-8 in favour of Ohsweken, Travis and Blu Hill performed a perfect hidden ball play that fooled everyone in the arena. During a player change at the Demons bench, Travis Hill pretended to dish the ball off to Blu Hill who appeared to carry the ball to the far side of the floor. Everyone followed, including Coswell, leaving the entire side of the net empty and a clear shot for VanEvery who shocked the Durham fans and players alike with the 10-8 goal.
But the Dogs were not about to be muzzled just yet, and they stormed back to tie it up yet again, this time at 10-10.
Kedoh Hill, Chris Attwood and Kyle Isaacs put the game on ice, but it was a wakeup call for the rest of the league to watch the “New” Durham Turfdogs, who gave the Demons a good run for their money.
This coming week, the Southwest Cyclops will be at the ILA Friday to face the Niagara Lock Monsters and on Saturday, the Demons take another kick at the Durham Turfdogs. Both games start at 8 pm.