Another game, another flight, another delay and another missed connection. I love flying from Ottawa (sarcasm). Usually I deal with these issues on my own as I never fly with anyone from the team. This time I’m lucky enough to have my brother Ian who’s coming in for the game to fly with. That means he get’s to take all my pissing and moaning, complaining and terrible attitude.
We get to turn what was suppose to be a 45 minute layover in New Jersey into a 4 hr layover in New Jersey. The worst part of this was that if I just ran off our first plane to the gate we would have made it. Unfortunately I really had to pee so the first stop was the bathroom. In the 3 minutes it took me to run to the bathroom, use the facilities and run to the gate they decided it was too long of a wait and closed the door to the plane. I guess i need to take partial blame but they were informed that I would be there in a minute (insert all kinds of complaints and I’ll spare you the time to read them).
Finally we arrive in Minnesota, quickly grab our bags and head over to the super shuttle counter. We stroll into the hotel a good 2.5 hours late for our team meeting. I head up to the room and find suitor’s face buried into his school work with our Cornell Grad Jason Noble helping him out (never hurts to get the Ivy league grads as tutors, I just wish they were around when I was finishing up my education). I like to call Andrew Suitor, ResponsiSuits this year as he is really focused and determined to finish this last semester of school.
We have our morning shoot around at the X where myself and Jordan MacIntosh have to do a little media shoot teaching the basics of lacrosse to a couple of local news anchors. Its always fun introducing lacrosse to people for their first time and watching them attempt to use the stick.
Shoot around goes great as always and then Im off to a radio show at 1500ESPN with Phil and Judd. Its always a blast talking sports with these guys so I was looking forward to todays show. We got to talk about the great Tom Brady securing the G.O.A.T spot in football history winning another super bowl, as well as some lacrosse trivia.
Once we wrap up the show, we head off quickly for lunch then back to the hotel for pre game nap.
Right from the opening draw this was a hard fought battle. Neither team was willing to give an inch either way. Both defences were making the opposing offences really pay the price to get any quality looks. We were able to pick up a nice lead heading into half time 5-1 but we knew the 3 time defending champs would not roll over and will be coming out in the 3rd on fire.
That is exactly what happened. Their defense and goaltending shut us out in the third quarter and a good portion of the 4th. Their offence caught fire in the third and took the lead 6-5 late in the game. Our offence couldn’t find the back of the net, but our trusty captain #20 took the ball in transition and ripped a heater short side high past vince. (if you watch the video I credit all the shot to the great pick set for him). That was a spark we desperately needed. The game went into overtime, our offence was able to pick up 3 consecutive offensive rebounds and a forced turn over which ended up leading to the winning goal.
A lot of people have been talking about the shot that won the game but the true key to that victory was the stellar play of Zach Higgins in nets. He made some huge saves at crucial points of the game. Our defence really locked their scorers down and our offence really dug deep for rebounds. We were put into a dog fight and did the necessary dirty work needed to win the game.
Rochester are three time defending champs for a reason. They have great ownership who is committed and have put together a great team. They have some of the best players in the world up front with Cody Jamieson, Dan Dawson and the rest of their O. They have a great core group of veterans out the back door with potentially the greatest goalie on the planet in Matt Vinc.
This is a team I have the utmost respect for and is the true benchmark of our league. For our young team to be able to stick together and pull out a victory against that team says a lot about the people in our locker room. I cannot wait for the two gams this weekend as we grow as a team every time we get together.