Rivermen are Presidents Cup bound

The Rivermen pose for their team shot following their Game #4 win over the Ennismore James Gang Sunday night. Ennismore finished the regular season in first place while the Rivermen finished in third place. They now play for the Presidents Cup in Coquitlam B.C. beginning August 25th. Photo by Jim Windle

The Six Nations Rivermen made it three national title appearances for Six Nations lacrosse teams this summer as they punched their ticket to the President’s Cup on Sunday night at the Gaylord Powless Arena with a convincing 11-5 Game 4 win over the Ennismore James Gang. The night before, they had taken out the James Gang in Game #3 of the best-of-five finals by a score of 11-4 in Ennismore.

“Getting a shot at the Presidents Cup? This is awesome,” said Rivermen captain Cory Bomberry following the game. “With the Arrows at the Minto and the Rebels at the Founders Cup, that’s three tickets to show for our community.”

Although the Rivermen have chosen to play their games on the hard floor of the venerable Gaylord Powless Arena, Bomberry points to the building of the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena by Curt Styres and Delby Powless Sr. providing a year-round, world class, indoor lacrosse facility as a key to the success of Six Nations being a hub for lacrosse champions at every level of the game.

“Some of these guys have been playing there, like Jacob Bomberry, since he’s been a young player, and it’s all year round,” he says. “It shows in our minor system along with everything else we are doing with the Senior and Junior teams and the caliber of lacrosse we are playing with National Championships.”

Although the Rivermen were not in any kind of trouble throughout the game, a rash of penalties in the third period made the final score flattering for the James Gang who were not in it right from the start.

In a pivotal game where goaltending was key, the James Gang starter Cole Murray was not on his game at all giving up six goals in the first period before being replaced by Ryan Masters. By that point the Rivermen could smell the victory and were not about to miss the opportunity to finish off the Gang at home.

On top of that, Warren Hill was right in the pocket and playing playoff-caliber lacrosse at the Six Nations end of the floor.

Ennismore’s Justin Kulla scored first at 1:50 but the celebration didn’t last long. The Rivermen shook that off and notched the next seven goals, six on starter Cole Murray.

Dean Hill started the parade followed by Torry Gardener, Wayne VanEvery, Jacob Crans, Jacob Bomberry, called up from the Jr. B Rebels, and two by Holden Vyse.

Jacob Bomberry then opened the second period with his second of the night, and Chancy Johnson made it 9-1 before the Gang scored their second goal at 13:20. Cory Bomberry drilled one past Ryan Masters who took over for Murray in the Emmismore net. Gavin Barrie put the Gang’s third goal in with three seconds left after receiving a perfect floor-length pass, standing on the edge of the crease with no Rivermen back.

Heading into the third, leading 10-3, the Rivermen ran into penalty issues, which broke the flow, but they had built up such a lead, that it would have been a miracle if the James Gang were able to come back. They did score two more in the final frame, before Jacob Crans put the game away with 1:45 remaining.

“We wanted to slowly start reaching the pinnacle, we didn’t want to peak at the wrong moment,” said head-coach Stew Monture. “We started to gain momentum just before the St. Catharines series and we wanted to keep that going and follow us through to this series.

The Rivermen lost Game #1 of the series with a short bench because some of their main guys could not get away from work and other commitments to make the trip on such short notice.

“Once we get to the dressing room, the first thing I want to tell the guys is how proud we are of them,” said Monture while his team celebrated the win on the floor. “Penalties have always been an issue with us, but if we stay out of the penalty box we win. We did for the first two periods, but in the third we kinda lost our edge in the game with penalties.”

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