ALL: Playoff race tightens with three weeks left

There are only three weeks left in the Arena Lacrosse League’s regular season, and every team has an eye on the playoffs. Of course, every one of the seven teams in the league will make the playoffs, but positioning is important. First place, which can be clinched by the St. Catharines ShockWave after one more win, will receive a bye in the first round of single-elimination games. Then it will be 2 vs 7, 3 vs 6 and 4 vs 5. Each team only plays 14 games in the regular season, meaning every win is important.

Here’s what happened last weekend.

 

Peterborough Timbermen vs. Toronto Monarchs. (Photo credit: Anna Taylor

Peterborough Timbermen 18 @ Toronto Monarchs 12

Talk about a comeback! With only 15 runners, the Timbermen looked to be in tough against the team breathing down their necks for second place. Trailing 8-7 at halftime, the Timbermen found another gear and outscored Toronto 11-5 to take the win.

“We definitely came out flat footed in the first quarter and perhaps you can attribute that to a lot of the boys (including myself from Ottawa) who had to travel a good distance to get here,” Fred Hartley said of the Timbermen’s 4-2 deficit following the first quarter. “Whatever the reason, we bounced back in the second quarter and were able to catch our breath during the halftime break, relax and come out hard to take the lead.”

Aaron Woods (5G/6A) and Hartley (4G/8A) put the team on their backs offensively. Transition superstar Colton Armstrong added four goals and a pair of assists. Nick Damude continued his strong play in goal.

Sam Postma led the Monarchs with four goals and four assists, while Tanner Buck had a hat trick and a pair of helpers.

 

Oshawa Outlaws 12 @ Paris River Wolves 13 OT

Toronto’s loss was to the benefit of both Oshawa and Paris. Paris’ OT win vaulted them into second place, just two points behind Peterborough, while the loss for Oshawa tied them for third with Toronto.

The Outlaws felt pretty good about themselves with a 3-0 lead after the first quarter but Paris went on a 7-2 tear in the second to turn the tables by halftime. Oshawa fought back and kept the game close, tying it at eight and 11 before retaking the lead late in the fourth at 12-11 after a four-goal run. Cole Spear managed to tie the game with 13 seconds left. Spencer Pyke iced the game 2:17 into overtime.

Drake Smith led Paris with a goal and seven assists. Pyke’s two goals and three assists and Spear’s hat trick and assist were big contributions. Nolan Clayton got the win in goal.

Captain Mike Triolo led the Outlaws with four goals and two assists. Luke Laszkiewicz (1G/5A) and Geoff McNulty (2G/4A) also factored in.

 

Six Nations Snipers 9 @ St. Catharines ShockWave 10

The sixth-place Snipers could smell an upset victory in this one as they jumped out to a 3-1 lead in the first quarter. Though the ShockWave tied it 3-3 in the second, the Snipers roared back with five in a row to end the half up 8-3. But the shorthanded Snipers were tapped out and only managed one more in the second half while the ShockWave, with plenty left in the tank, scored four-straight in the fourth to take it by a single goal and maintain their first-place standing.

Wayne Van Every (3G/2A), Vern Hill (2G/1A) and Mike McLaughlin (1G/2A) led the Snipers. Bryan Neufeld (3G/2A), Chris Attwood (2G/5A), Caleb Wiles (2G/2A) and Johnny Jimmerson (1G/3A) led the ShockWave. Grant Crawley got the win in goal.

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