OAKVILLE – With Cody Jamieson and Colin Doyle out of the lineup for most of the season recovering from injuries suffered in the NLL playoffs, Six Nations Chiefs general manager Duane Jacobs knew he has to do something spectacular to fill the huge holes in the lineup for the 2015 season. Doyle has returned but Jamieson is out for the season. One of those acquisitions Jacobs made was Buffalo Bandits’ Dhane Smith.
Smith can do it all. Last NLL year he scored 59 points on 20 goals and 39 points while defensively, scooping 79 loose balls forced 17 turnovers and even took eight faceoffs.
Last Major Series season he played for the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks of the Major Series and had 26 points (12-14) in 6 games before joining the Victoria Shamrocks of the Western Lacrosse Association.
Smith made an immediate impact once he pulled on a Chiefs jersey, but his last minute magic Monday night pulled a victory out of the jaws of defeat at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre to defeat the Oakville Rock 9-8.
With the Chiefs down by one with less than a minute remaining, Smith tied the game at 19:22 and then won it at 19:48, to close the regular season in first place.
Craig Point scored four goals for the Chiefs and Jeff Shattler scored two. Dillan Ward earned the win in the Six Nations goal.
Oakville held a 4-3 first period lead but the Chiefs inched back in the second outscoring the Rock 3-2 to turn it into a 20 minute game, tied at 6-6.
Shattler gave the Chiefs a narrow one-goal lead early in the third, which was taken back by Oakville’s Brett Hickey. Brenden Thenhaus put the Rock ahead again at 6:06. The score would remain 8-7 for Oakville until the last minute when Smith went to work to steal the win and secure home floor advantage through the playoffs.
Last Wednesday, July 22, the Six Nations Chiefs were unable to complete a strong third period comeback try only to lose 8-7 after suffering a horrific second period. The Chiefs and the Redmen stood tied at 3-3 after the first, but Brooklin owned the second period out scoring the Chiefs 5-1.
Six Nations came out for the third period with an 8-4 mountain to climb as they tightened up the defense. Stephan Keogh scored two and Ryan Benesch netted another on Mike Poulin in the Brooklin net. Poulin had a big game stopping 47 of 54 Chiefs shots while Angus Goodleaf saved 32 of 40 Redmen shots.
The Chiefs now await the final standings below them to determine who will be their first stop along the road to what they hope to be their third Mann Cup in a row.