The Canadian Lacrosse League quarter finals are set to begin with two games this weekend. The first game is on Friday night when the Durham TurfDogs face the Brampton Inferno while the second game goes Sunday and sees the Ohsweken Demons take on their biggest rivals, the Iroquois Ironmen, in a rematch of last year’s Creator’s Cup final.
Ohsweken’s regular season was book ended with two wins over Iroquois but they also suffered a loss against them mid-season. The Demons have had an up and down season and have probably been the most inconsistent team in the CLax. At times this season the Demons looked unbeatable but then the next game they’d be terrible; their regular season seemed to be a cycle of win two in a row, lose two in a row. They will need some consistency in the post season if they want to raise the Creator’s Cup in two weeks.
Wayne VanEvery has led the way for the Demons this season in the battle against their arena sharing rivals. VanEvery has 13 goals versus the Ironmen this year including two 6 goal sock tricks; he’s also accumulating 8 assists. For Iroquois to come out on top they’ll need to limit his scoring chances and keep him from getting too many quality shots on Sunday.
Iroquois has had a very tough regular season and two weeks ago it looked as though they wouldn’t even make the playoffs. The Ironmen entered the month of March winless on the year but capped off their season with two wins in a row to secure their spot in the quarter final. The Ironmen lost in the final game last year but with the way they’ve been playing lately has many people pegging them to win it all this time around. Over the weekend, the Canadian Lacrosse League even tweeted that Iroquois is “the hottest team in CLax heading into the playoffs”.
Although Ohsweken is technically the home team, they’ll have no real advantage on Sunday as both teams play their games out of the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena (ILA). The winner of this quarter final matchup will advance to the CLax final four which is set to take place at the ILA on April 20th. The winner will face either the Niagara Lock Monsters or the Toronto Shooting Stars; each of whom received byes directly to that final four for finishing first and second place respectively. Sunday’s game will be a hard fought battle and should be one of the best games we’ve seen all year; expect a very rough game combined with skill and finesse.