SIX NATIONS – “It wasn’t pretty, but it was a win,“ said Ohsweken Demons veteran Tom Montour after Saturday night’s home opener for both the Demons and the Southwest Cyclones of the Canadian Lacrosse League.
It took a second half rally to do it, but the C-Lax defending champions, the Ohsweken Demons, opened the new 2014 season with an exciting 21-19 come-from-behind win over their Iroquois Lacrosse Arena roommates, the Southwest Cyclops, Saturday night at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena. Both CLax franchises will be playing out of the ILA this season.
The off-floor officials, score keeper, and penalty time keeper, were all fill-ins for the night and did their very best to keep up, but the wide open scoring and several penalties along the way seemed to overwhelm them at times causing several long delays while the situation got sorted out with the help of referees. Even the PA announcer came down with laryngitis and could not attend, which led to the Two Row Times’ own Jeff Ross to fill in where he could.
“With all the delays and that, it was hard to get any kind of momentum going,” said Montour. “But it was a good character win for us. Now we know that next week (when these same two teams meet again), what to bring to the table. We can’t come out flat footed and keep working our butts off, so we don’t end up with a score like this.”
Jake Lazore started in goal for the Demons, but after a shaky start, he was replaced by Brenner Jacobs, who recorded the win.
Ryan Campbell delivered the first two goals of the game, the first assisted by Kim Squire.
The Demons trailed 8-6 after the first quarter and 13-10 at the half. But despite the technical glitches caused by coaches and players on both sides, when it came to the game itself, the Demons slowly started turning it into a very exciting come-from-behind, second half win.
On goals scored by Tom Montour, Elijah Printup, and three back-to-back goals by Wayne VanEvery, the Demons evened the game at 15-15 by the end of the third quarter, setting up for a wild final 15 minutes.
Southwest, Mike Burk took the lead back for the Cyclops from Cam Murphy to open the forth quarter. Blue Hill answered with a pair of Demons goals to hand Ohsweken the first lead of the game at 17-16.
Cyclops’ Bradley Kri tied it up again from Dan Ransom, only to see Chris Attwood erase the lead 15 seconds later. Matt Spangler tied it at 18-18 before Chris Attwood wrestled the slim lead back for Ohsweken with nine minutes remaining.
Blue Hill added a cushion goal, but Cyclops’ Jimmy Purves brought Southwest to within one of the Demons with just under a minute and a half remaining. The Cyclops pulled their goalie for an extra man, but Tommy Montour made ‘em pay with an empty netter, with 58 seconds remaining, which the Demons ran down for the win.
Demons coach Randy Chrysler was generally pleased with the character win.
“Ugly, one goal or 10 goals, it’s still a win,” he said after the game.
Before the game Chrysler warned his team that the Cyclops would come at them right off the hop and that they had better be ready for that.
“All the credit goes to the guys in that dressing room,” he said. “All we do as coaches is take notes and write down names. But still, from management on down, the end result is how we finish on the floor.”
He was especially proud of how his veterans stepped up to the plate, didn’t get frazzled and methodically took the lead away from Southwest for the win.
Leading the Demons offensively were: Chris Attwood (4G, 4A), Wayne VanEvery (7G), Tom Montour (5G, 2A), and Blue Hill (4G, 3A).
For the Cyclops, it was Ryan Campbell (3G, 1A), Pat McCrory (3G), Jim Purves (3G), and Kim Squire (1G, 2A).
This Friday night, Feb 14th, Valentines Day, the Cyclops will be the official home team against the “visiting” Ohsweken Demons at the ILA for an 8 o’clock start. Judging by the intensity of Game #1, for both of these teams, it should be a barn-burner.
Saturday Feb. 15th, Southwest will be in Durham to face the Turfdogs. Then on Monday, Feb. 17th, the Demons travel to Niagara to face the red hot Lockmonsters.