The top two teams in the Canadian Lacrosse League (CLax) will face off tonight as the league leading Niagara Lock Monsters (9-2) will play host to to the second place Toronto Shooting Stars (8-4). The winner of the game will clinch a first round playoff bye.
The game marks the second of two meetings between the Lock Monsters and the Shooting Stars. Niagara captured the previous match up with an 18-15 road victory over Toronto.
Niagara has been on a break since defeating Toronto on March 15th, while Toronto was able to bounce back from the loss last weekend defeating the Iroquois Ironmen in an 11-9 victory.
Leading the Lock Monsters will be the high scoring duo of Andrew Potter and Corey Fowler. The pair are currently tied for the league lead in points with 62. Potter posted a season high 10 points in the victory over the Shooting Stars, while Fowler had 6 points in the win.
Toronto will be led offensively by a pair of former Oshawa Machine members, Mack O’Brien and Brad Levick. O’Brien currently tops Toronto with 38 points on the season. After registering 14 points in seven appearances with the Machine last season, O’Brien’s offensive production has increased significantly since joining Toronto. Levick ranks second on Toronto offensively with 37 points. The Newmarket native registered career high single game totals with a seven point performance in the Shooting Stars recent loss to the Lock Monsters.
The game could see the emergence of Toronto’s new starting goaltender moving forward. After losing starting tender Angus Dingely to the Philadelphia Wings of the NLL, Gary Muzzin and Craig Robertson will have to be depended upon between the pipes come playoff time. Muzzin holds a 1-2 record on the year, his last start being a 35 save performance in a losing effort against the Lock Monsters. Robertson received the starting nod against Iroquois, saving 40 of 49 shots faced in the win.
Niagara goalie Connor Danko will look to continue his incredible rookie season against Toronto. Danko has led the Lock Monsters to victory in all six of his starts during his freshman campaign and currently leads all active CLax goalies in victories.
Face-off for the game is set for 8:05 p.m. at the Seymour-Hannah Sports & Entertainment Centre in St. Catherines.
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