SIX NATIONS – The first place Six Nations Arrows, led by Austin Staats’ eight goals and four assists for a 12-point night, obliterated the second place Brampton Excelsiors 17-8, Sunday night at the ILA.
It was also a game the featured the home debut of #2, Chris Cloutier, whom the Arrows acquired from the K-W Braves at last weeks trade deadline. The fit was immediate as Cloutier matched his seasons 14-points total with the Braves, in one 14-point weekend with the Arrows.
In Cloutier’s first game in an Arrows uniform, Saturday night in Mimico, he scored one and assisted on four in the Arrows’ 14-6 win. He did his encore in front of a Six Nations crowd Sunday night against the visiting Brampton Excelsiors scoring five and assisting on four.
The addition of Cloot’s, as he is known by his new teammates, has made an already scary offence that much scarier for any opposition defence.
Staats seemed to have a little extra spring in his steps during the pre-game warm-ups, but who could know that he would have one of those career nights, scoring eight while hitting the post on two more and assisting on four.
“There was a good vibe in the locker room,” said Staats following his career high performance. “We sat down and talked about what to achieve with the new guy we picked up at deadline, Chris Cloutier.”
Asked about how he can explain the hot stick Sunday night, he answered, “That’s part of the game, ya know. You shoot and you score and sometimes you don’t.”
On this night, however, the mojo was so heavy on Staats’ stick that at times it seemed he was just unloading the ball towards the net after finding no one to pass to and they were going in.
Anaheim Ducks’ NHL hockey property, Brendan Bomberry, scored first for the Arrows at 1:22 of the first period. He would go in to put up five assists for his six-point game.
That breached the dam as the goals began to flood in. The Arrows took a 6-3 first period lead, which they expanded to 14-5 after 40 minutes of play.
If there was anything coach Patrick Merrill might have found the remotest discomfort in, it may have been letting off the accelerator too soon, allowing Brampton to score two shorthanded goals in the last two-and-a-half minutes of the game.
In Mimico, Saturday night, Staats, Cloutier, Bomberry, Zack Miller, and Larson Sundown all had five-point nights, while Tehoka Nanticoke scored three and assisted on one.
Nolan Apers, another deadline trade newbie with the Arrows scored one and assisted on three.
With a 15 game record of 13-2-0, the Arrows have scored 175 times, best in the league, and have been scored upon only 93 times, the lowest goals against in the league.
The Arrows welcome the Toronto Beaches to the ILA this Thursday night, June 23, with an 8 p.m. start. Friday they go to Brampton to take another swat at the Excelsiors, before returning home Sunday evening at 7 p.m., to face the Barrie Lakeshores.