SIX NATIONS – The Sr. B Six Nations Rivermen went up two games to none in the best of five playoff series against the Owen Sound North Stars at the Harry Lumley Arena Bayshore Community Centre, Aug 5, 11-10.
The win followed a Game 1 win, which opened the series the night before at the Gaylord Powless Arena (GPA).
Saturday night, the Rivermen were in for a tougher time than they saw in Game 1. The Stars scored first at 6:11 but before the hometown crowd was finished cheering on their team’s goal, Layne Smith scored a shorthander, 30 seconds later from Ashton Jacobs.
Travis Szaboics handed the Stars their second lead at 12:04 and the hometown Owen Sound fans were back into the game.
The Rivermen exploded with the last three of the period scored by Roger Vyse, Danton Miller, and Layne Smith’s second of the night.
Smith is having a break-out season. Officially, he was a Six Nations Jr. B Rebel where he scored 72 goals and assisted on 40 for 112 points in 20 regular season games. So, to say he had a very busy lacrosse season for Smith would be a gross understatement.
He was also called up for duty to the Six Nations Major Series Chiefs for the playoffs, after the Rebels were surprisingly dumped from the post season. To date, he has played three regular season games and two playoff appearances with the Pro-Fit Chiefs.
In a league that is festooned with National Lacrosse League talent, this Jr.B player scored seven regular season goals and five assists in three games he was called up for. In the playoffs he has dressed for two playoff games so far and has contributed in a support role.
Smith has also appeared in a Six Nations Snipers ALL uniform in its inaugural season last winter where he amassed 30 goals and 21 assists for 51 points in 13 regular season games and a goal in the playoffs.
The North Stars cut the Rivermen lead to 4-3 to open the second period, but Smith connected with Roger Vyse for Smith’s third goal as the R-men opened a two-goal edge at 5-3 at 4:47.
Owen Sound notched the next three to take the lead for the third time in the game, at 6-5. Kyle Smith evened the score from Joel Shepley for the 6-6 tie, but seven seconds later, the Stars had tied it again with Riley Thompson beating Six Nations goalie Warren Hill at 12:51.
Wayne Hill and Roger Vyse ended the period with Six Nations goals scored at 19:07 and at 19:55 to end the second period up 7-6.
In a game where the tide reversed several times, it all came down to the last 20 minutes.
Kyle Childerhose tied the score at 8-8 at 1:42 of the final period.
Roger Vyse converted a Gregg Longboat pass to nose the Rivermen past Stars at 5:31.
Owen Sound tied it again, this time at 9-9. Needing a goal Vyse and Danton Miller set up Smith for his fourth goal of the contest. Miller scored from Shepley for the 11-9 goal.
Owen Sound got the last goal of the game from Colin Mawdsley but it would not be enough as time ran out with Six Nations on top 11-10.
The North Stars stayed close to the Rivermen in Game 1 of the series at the GPA, at least for the first period.
Andy Campbell scored the game’s first goal, 49 seconds into the game. That unleashed Alex Kedoh Hill who had an inspiring and powered game with four goals and three assists to lead the Rivermen on to an 11-2 win.
Greg Longboat Jr. also had a big night making it 2-1 for the Rivermen at 6:13. Hill scored his second of the game at 7:31 from Longboat, but the North Stars gathered those goals back to tie the game at 3-3 at 43 seconds of the second period.
That was all Owen Sound had in the tank as the Rivermen piled on with eight unanswered goals including two more by Kedoh Hill, two by Greg Longboat, two more by Layne Smith and the final poke in the eye by Hill for the 11-2 final.
Gathering playoff points for Six Nations were Alex Kedoh Hill (5G,4A), Greg Longboat Jr. (3G,3A), and Smith (3G). Owen Sound got goals from Ken Coulson, Andy Campbell and Colin Mawdsley.
Friday night, at 8:30 p.m., the Rivermen can win the series at home. Should the Stars win Game 3, Game 4 will be at the Lumley Arena, Sunday Aug. 11, at 8:30 pm. A possible Game 5 would come back to the ILA, Aug 18, at 8:30 p.m.