MSL Players of the Week: Williams Leads Redmen

The Oakville Rock (2-6) were the busiest Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) squad during Week 5, suffering back-to-back losses at the hands of the Brooklin Redmen (7-1) before closing out the week with a loss to the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks (4-4).

Despite a trio of defeats, positive takeaways from the Rock’s struggles include the promising play of Jeremy Noble. The University of Denver alum, who made a late season debut with four assists in a June 16 loss to K-W, was able to add to his point totals with six points (3g, 3a) in two games versus Brooklin.

Oakville can also find solace in the return of Rob Hellyer, after injuries had sidelined the righty for a majority of June. Hellyer had a hat-trick performance while adding one assist against Brooklin, later scoring a pair of goals in the loss to K-W to bring his totals to 12 points (6g, 8a) in four games.

Brooklin’s Shawn Williams superb setup skills were on full display in the Rock versus Redmen home-and-home, dishing out eight assists in two games. Williams also found the back of the net twice after going goalless in his first four games played this season. The lack of goals from the Redmen vet has been no cause for worry, as Williams finds himself fourth in team scoring with 25 points (2g, 23a) in five games and is second in assists league-wide.

Zack Higgins was not only impressive between the pipes in the Redmen’s recent win, allowing just five goals on 57 shots, the netminder also joined the offensive attack with one goal and one assist. After assisting on a shorthanded first period tally from Mike Melnychenko, with time winding down Higgins fired a shot the length of the floor into a vacant Oakville net to further cementthe win for Brooklin.

The Six Nations Chiefs (6-5) and Peterborough Lakers (4-5) also met twiceduring Week 5, each emerging with a win.

Jeff Shattler appears more than comfortable as a leader for Six Nations, as the Calgary Roughnecks superstar finished Week 5 with eleven points (4g, 7a). While Shattler and Cody Jamieson (9g, 18a, 27pts) have highlighted a powerful Chiefs offense, it is Roger Vyse who currently sits tied for second in MSL scoring alongside Shattler. Vyse put up three goals and four assists in a pair of games versus Peterborough bringing his season point totals to 31 (6g, 25a), as he and Shattler (13g, 18a, 31pts) lead the Chiefs offensively. Chiefs rookie Randy Staats had another strong showing in Six Nations’ win over Peterborough with six points (3g, 3a); however, Staats’ would not fare as well the following game making an early departure due to injury.

Peterborough’s Mark Steenhuis continues to lead the MSL in points with 38 (20g, 18a) after registering two goals and five assists during Week 5. Josh Gillam led the Lakers to a win over Six Nations with two goals and two assists. Peterborough also welcomed back Scott Evans to the lineup in the victory, as the righty scored twice in his return from suspension. Peterborough’s third-string goaltender, CLax standout David DiRuscio, backstopped Peterborough to victory earning his first MSL win.

The Brampton Excelsiors (2-4) earned their first “official” win of the season, their previous two points a result of a game won but ultimately forfeited by Peterborough, with a 10-8 victory versus K-W.

Brady Hesseltine (1g, 3a) led the Excelsiors offensively with four points. Brampton benefitted from contributions courtesy of transitional players, including team captain Chris Corbeil (1g, 2a), Sandy Chapman (1g, 1a), and Mark White (1g, 1a).

With Dhane Smith’s mid-season departure leaving a significant hole to fill for K-W on both ends of the floor, Joey Cupido has stepped up in Smith’s absence. Cupido had one goal and two assists in the loss to Brampton, before helping the Kodiaks secure a win over Oakville with two goals including the game-winner.