SIX NATIONS — The pain of last year’s playoff disappointment was doubled this year after the Rebels’ great first place regular season and high hopes were dashed with a minute left in Game 5 as the Rebels lost 9-8, against the Elora Mohawks, Monday night during a home game at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena. The OJBLL
SIX NATIONS — The pain of last year’s playoff disappointment was doubled this year after the Rebels’ great first place regular season and high hopes were dashed with a minute left in Game 5 as the Rebels lost 9-8, against the Elora Mohawks, Monday night during a home game at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena.
The OJBLL (Ontario Junior B Lacrosse League) Western Final was decided Monday night at the ILA as the Six Nations Rebels and the Elora Mohawks went the full distance to decide who would play the Clarington Green Gaels for the league title and a trip to Calgary for the Founders Cup playoffs.
A near full house at the ILA watched what could have been the best Jr. B lacrosse playoff game ever. But for the Six Nations Rebels the end came quick with Tyrus Renanek’s game winner with exactly one minute left in regulation time to break an 8-8 tie and win the division title 9-8 in Game 5. Oh, but what a game. It was a classic Game 5 showdown between two well coached teams and talent laden teams going nose to nose.
Justin Martin converted a Jesse Longboat feed for the first goal of the game at 1:15. After Hyatt Welsh evened the score, Chayton King netted a shorthander from Tanner Baldwin and Riley Miller and scored again at 18:18 from Baldwin and Daniel Hill. Knowing how it would all end, the last goal of the first period may have been the difference when Nathan Bolger picked off a loos ball and scored with four seconds left in the period. The Rebels may have eased up a few seconds too early and it cost them an important goal in a one goal game.
The Rebels were ahead 3-2 when the teams returned the ILA floor for the second go at at it, and Elora’s Zack Cameron drew them even against 8:16. Garret Vyse-Square and Khan General struck with a pair of quick ones at 11:30 and 12:05 to build a two goal Rebels lead which Cole Spear cut in half at 13:14. Riley Miller restored the two goal cushion but not for long.
The Mohawks were handed a bit of a gift when Cecil Montour was called for a marginal holding infraction which Dean Sealey capitalized on at 18:02 to end the second ferocious period with the Rebels still clinging to a one goal lead at 6-5.
Riley Miller scored his second of the game at 5:02 from Justin Martin and Longboat to begin the wild third frame. Tempers flared at 5:40 sending Longboat, Chayton Hill and Mason Hill off for two minutes, but power forward Gates Abrams was assessed a five minute unnecessary roughness penalty. That meant coach General had to start mixing lines with some of his biggest scorers say out.
But Elora lost some good players too in the schlimazel and were down a man on the floor when Kurtis Woodland and Zach Cameron scored short handed goals less than a minute apart which changed the complexion of the game dramatically. It was a new game at 7-7 and a little more than 11 minutes to in regulation time.
Chayton King scored his third of the game at 9:29 to take an 8-7 lead. That too was short lived as Tyrus Rehanek tied it again and became Elora’s hero of the game when he scored the game winner 19:00 even.
The Rebels came close to sending it to overtime in the last minute of play but could not get another one past Landon Kells who played a spectacular game to field off the Rebels last gasp and send a large contingent of the huge ILA crowd home happy and the other half disappointed but appreciative of at least loosing in such a well played series against a very, very good Mohawks team.
After the Rebels won Game 1, 11-6 at the ILA. the Elora Mohawks clawed a 7-6 win out of Game 2 in Elora. It was a very tightly played game that stood 3-3 after the first period and 6-6 after the second. The score remained tied for most of the third period with sensational goaltending and defensive plays at both ends, until Mohawks’ Mason Noble scored the game winner, unassisted, with 27 seconds left in the game.
Friday night at Six Nations, Elora took a 2-1 edge in the series in another nail-biter that ended 10-9 in Elora’s favour. Mohawks’ goalie Landon Kells was one of the differences, robbing Six Nations shooters all game. But the big problem was a non-existant penalty killing squad, allowing five Elora powerplay goals on eight attempts. The Rebels powerplay unit went zero and one.
Sunday, July 29th, at the Elora Communitty Centre, the Rebs and Mohawks clashed again, this time the Rebels came out the 12-9 winner, but it took a wild third period of action to do it.
It was tied 3-3 going into the first intermission, and 6-5 Elora after two completed periods.
Khan General balanced the score at 6-6, 22-seconds into the third. Elora took the narrow 7-6 lead back at 1:53. The Rebels exploded with goals scored by Kobe Whitcomb, Tanner Baldwin and Bo Peltier to turn the game towards Six Nations, 9-7. Cole Spear drew the Mohawks close again and the Rebels responded with goals scored by Waylon Abrams and Khan General. Kurtis Woodland would score Elora’s last goal of the game and Daylen Hill collected an empty netter at 19:45 for the 12-9 final, to tie the series at 2-2 with Monday’s game in the balance.
Last season, the Rebels had a stellar regular season only flatline in the playoffs, and coach Miles General does not want to see that to happen again, but they were up against a determined Elora Mohawk team.
The Rebels held the Founders Cup between 2011 and 2014, an unprecedented feat. They also won it in 2007 and 2008, and as the Six Nations Red Rebels, they won it in 1997. The Elora Mohawks last won it in 2005.