This weekend marks the opening of the 2013 Clax Season. One of the featured match ups of this weekend is the Durham TurfDogs facing off against the Toronto Shooting Stars. This game will be the first professional game played in Maple Leaf Gardens now known as the Mattamy Athletic Center in 12 years. With the Gardens being home to some of Toronto’s greatest sports teams the Stars will try to bring back this winning tradition.
In the Stars final preseason match up of the season they had a tough physical match up against the Brampton Inferno and came out on the losing end as they fell to the Inferno 11-9. Aiden Genik was the star in that game for Toronto as he scored two goals and kept his team in the game.
The TurfDogs finished their preseason off with a match up against the Barrie Blizzard. The TurfDogs and Barrie engaged in a good ol’ fashioned shootout but the TurfDogs wound up losing 19-11. Scott DeFrancesco had 4 goals in the loss, while Kyle O’ Brien and Graham Bergsma had 2 goals each.
These two teams met in the preseason and fought to a 12-12 tie. Blake Kenny was the story of their exhibition match up as he had two goals and four assists. While for Durham Scott DeFrancesco led the way with three goals. These two teams match up well against each other so it will be interesting to see how their first regular season meeting goes.
For the Shooting Stars the key to the game has to be to stop Scott DeFrancesco as he has been dominant all preseason with multiple goals in back to back games. If DeFrancesco is given time to work he is able to open up Durham’s offense and begin a scoring barrage. Toronto needs to hold him off the score sheet and force Durham to get scoring from other sources. If Toronto can get their offense going early they will have a good chance in this game as Durham has faded in the later portions of their preseason games.
The Keys to the game for Durham are to get the ball in DeFrancesco’s possession. DeFrancesco is a game breaker and if given the opportunity will torch the Stars defense every chance he gets. Expect him to be heavily defended opening up room for Graham Bergsma and Kyle O’Brien to strike. Durham needs to play the full game unlike their match up against Barrie where they led but fell apart late in the game.
My prediction is that this game will be a shootout as both team’s offenses have proven they can score in bunches in the preseason. In the end though DeFrancesco will be to much for the Stars and will lead the Turfdogs to victory. You can listen to it Sunday at 2pm on The Lacrosse Radio Network.