Rebels Nation, Rebels Dynasty

SIX NATIONS – Is it safe to call the Six Nations Rebels a Jr. B lacrosse dynasty? Other teams in the loop have had successful seasons, but the Rebels franchise is getting ridiculous. The total domination of the division and the league continued Friday night at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena with a 22-2 pummeling of the Hamilton Bengals. Sunday they defeated Far East divisional leaders, the Akwesasne Indians14-7.

To put in perspective just how good this franchise is, since the 2010 regular lacrosse season, they have lost only three games. In 2010 they finished with a 20-0 record, 2011 it was 19-1, 2012 was a “tough” year on them and they had to settle for an 18-2 regular season record. Last season they recorded another perfect 20-0 season and so far this year they are 13-0. Giving them an amazing 90 wins and 3 losses to date since 2010.

Along the way they also picked up the last three Founders Cups as the best Jr B franchise in Canada, and have held the coveted chalice five times since 1997, four since 2007.

The magic began in 1996 as the Six Nations’ Red Rebels when they successfully won a bid to add a Jr. B team to the community to follow in the steps of the Jr. A Arrows, now the Arrows Express. The Red Rebels completed their inaugural season with a humble 7th-place finish in the Western Conference with a record of 5 wins, 17 losses.

But the next year, they took everyone by surprise by winning their first J.A. MacDonald Cup as the OLA Jr. B Champions. The rest is history, and that is a fact.

This year’s Rebels continue what has become a tradition as they set their sites on becoming the first OLA Jr. B Franchise to win the national Founders Cup four times in a row. If they do, they will break the record they set last season winning it three times in succession.

There are many reasons for the Rebel’s amazing success, not the least of those being the involvement of former general manager Wray Maracle who took a great franchise and made it even better when he joined the Rebels organization in 2007. Maracle stepped down from that position this year due to health reasons. He is one of the team’s most ardent fans and rarely misses a game.

Friday’s score is impressive enough, but the Rebels actually took it easy on the visitors in the third period or it would have been even more lopsided.

Midget call up, Briley Miller, blocked 20 of 22 shots in the Six Nations goal. Miller is being groomed by goaltending coach and former NLL goalie Derek General for a very long career in lacrosse and a spot on the Rebels when he comes of age. He is a more than able backup to Chase Martin and Doug Jamieson this year as the team’s third stopper on the pecking order.

Miller is 14-years-old, 6’ tall and 220lb with good lateral movement and more than capable with his stick for those breakout, transitional passes down floor and gains more confidence with every start he is given.

Also in the lineup from the Six Nations Minor Lacrosse system was Travis Longboat who scored two and added an assist, Lyle Hahes Hill who scored once and assisted on two more, and Rickey Smith who contributed two assists.

This is the level of talent coming up through the SNMLA feeder system, which bodes well for the dynasty to continue for years to come.

Friday night the ILA turned into a shooting gallery in the first period as the Rebels easily built up a 10-0 lead, scoring the first 5 goals on 7 shots. In the end the shots on goal were 62-22 against the hapless Bengals. Keaton Dale and Matthew Crocker shared the goaltending duties for Hamilton.

The Rebs added 9 more in the second and coasted through the third scoring their last three goals.

Leading the scoring parade was Tanner Baldin (3G, 3A), Alex Henry (4G, 1A), Dallas John and Lyne Smith (2G, 3A). But in the end, pretty well everyone on the Rebels bench except trainer Lauren Davie put numbers up.

Coach Murray Porter has a problem any coach would love to have too much talent and not enough room on the bench.

The 13-0 Rebels met the 11-0 Akwesasne Indians, who lead the Far East Division, Sunday afternoon in Akwesasne and handed them their first loss of the season, 14-7.

Six Nations took a 5-1 first period lead on goals scored by Zed Williams, Dallas John Layne Smith, Kessler Doolittle, and Mitch Green. Blaze Riorden scored for the Indians.

The Rebels pushed that to an 8-1 lead in the first half of the second, with Tehoka Nanticoke-Hill, Layne Snith and Zach Williams contributing, but the Indians came alive in the second half with three goals scored by Grayson Phillipsa, Oakley Thomas, and Seth Oakes.

It was 8-4 heading into the third period and Adam Bomberry kept the Akwesasne string going early in the period with his goal at 54 seconds. Zed Williams immediately took that one back at 1:11. But Bomberry responded with his second of the period 45 seconds later.

It was the Rebels’ turn to go on a scoring run. Dallas John Zach Williams, Daniel Bo Henhawk, and Nanticoke-Hill put the game out of reach at 13-6.

Ky Tarbell scored what would be Akwesasne’s last goal of the game at 10:05 and Travis Longboat rounded out the score at 14:13.

Zed Williams garnered 5 points on 2 goals and 3 assists for the Rebels to keep their 14-0 record unblemished while breaking the undefeated bubble over the Indians who are now 11-1.

This week’s Rebels action includes two home games. Friday night the Rebels are at the ILA at 8 pm against the 10-2 second place Niagara Thunderhawks, and Sunday afternoon at 2 pm, the 1-11 Point Edward Pacers are in town, visiting from the Far West Division.

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