2 Green Gaels 3 Halton Hills Bulldogs
The expectations for a historic Jr.B playoff rivalry were not met as the brooms were brought out in Clairington at Garnet B. Rickard Arena as the Gaels swept the Bulldogs in three games. Game 1 and 2 were close match ups separated by 3 goals (8-5,9-6) but the Gaels pulled away in game 3 with a 16-6 win.
Luke Laszkiewicz had an outstanding series netting 9 goals and 8 helpers for 17 points. Connor Latimer returned to the line up with a bang after being sidelined with a injury. Latimer found the back of the net 7 times while posting 8 assists for 15 points.
The unbeaten Green Gaels were helped on the back end with great goaltending from 3rd year goaltender Neil Roberts. Roberts held Halton Hills to only 17 goals in 3 games. Roberts currently is posting a league leading 5.56 GAA and an impressive .842 save percentage.
Green Gaels Captain Steve Bourden credited the key to the dominate series victory was focus. â€œWe broke every period into 5 minute intervals and told ourselves we were going to win each 5 minute battleâ€ said Bourden. â€œWe played within ourselves and it worked out in our favorâ€.
The Green Gaels have a lot of time on their hands to find out their next opponent as Akwesasne and Oakville are currently tied at 1 and the series could end as early as Sunday afternoon. In many situations, a long time away from the floor can kill or cure a team in a playoff run. Bourden believes as long as team unity is kept over the break, being away from game action will not be a problem.
â€œThe more time we spend together as a group off the floor, the better we will be on the floorâ€ said the Dowling Golden Lion. â€œWhether its a shoot around or going out for wings with the boys, the more we will keep our goal in mindâ€ said the Gaels leader while sporting a glorious playoff mustache.
The Green Gaels have knocked off Mimico and Halton Hills each in 3 game sweeps. Whether the Gaels find themselves playing Oakville or Akwesasne, they will have to continue to stick to their game plan of focused lacrosse if they want to reach their final goal of 2012 Founders Cup Champions.
1 Akwesasne Indians 4 Oakville Buzz
A series where not many believed it would be very competitive has proven the doubters wrong as Oakville and Akwesasne are knotted at 1 in the Eastern Conference Semi Finals.
In Game 1, Oakville came out guns a’blazing at the Hive with a 5-0 lead in the first period. The Indians woke up in the second frame and eventually closed the gap to 7-3. In the 3rd it was all Akwesasne but veteran goaltender Ian Duffy shut the door numerous times in key situations to keep the Buzz lead. The Oakville offense did not see many scoring chances in the third period but when they were given the opportunity, they put the ball home.
A team great start, Duffyâ€™s fantastic performance between the pipes and clutch offensive scoring were huge factors in the game 1 upset for the Buzz.
Game 2 was a different story as it was a close battle in the first two periods but Akwesasne pulled away in the 3rd period pulling out a 10-4 victory. Duffy and the Oakville D continued their solid play but unfortunately did not get the same scoring support they received in game 1.
Tenacious Oakville D-man Bryan Campbell noted that the ability to put away scoring chances was not present in game 2 but he could not deny the fact that effort was there. â€œItâ€™s just tough to gain momentum when the chances we had werenâ€™t bouncing our wayâ€ said Campbell.
Not much in Oakvilleâ€™s game plan will be changed for this weekend in Akwesasne as they find consistency is the key to a series win. â€œLacrosse takes 60 minutesâ€ stated the Brock Badger, â€œIt has been over used time and time again, but it is the truth.â€
â€œWe need to gain more urgency and be consistent through out the game. Being able to stay positive with each other will also be a huge factor in the way the game goesâ€ said Campbell. â€œ At the end of the day we know what we have to do and are all ready for some good ole classic playoff ball.â€
In Game 1 Akwesasne had their full line up but from game 2 and on they will be missing key players as 6 players are currently in Turku, Finland playing for the Iroquois National team in the U19 World Championship. Missing from the Akwesasne line up this weekend will be Hank Delisle,Ty Tarbell, Korin Sunday, Thomas Oakley, Dalston Day and Chris George.
Although missing two vital pieces of the Akwesasne offense in Delisle and Tarbell, the depth of the offense has not shied away. Ty Thompson has continued his dominant play with 9 points in 2 games.
Tonight(Saturday) action continues as Oakville visits Akwesasne in the Turtledome at 5pm. Tomorrow(Sunday), the Indians take on the Buzz in game 4 at 6pm. If necessary, game 5 will take place on July 16 at 6pm at the Turtledome.
3. OAK@AKW Jul 14, 5:00pm
4. OAK@AKW Jul 15, 6:00pm
*5. OAK@AKW Jul 16, 6:00pm
Players to Watch::
AWK:T.Thompson: 5GP 10G 14A 24PTS
OAK:Todd Nakasuji 5GP 7G 14A 21PTS
AWK:Nick Sanseverino: 5GP 10G 7A 17PTS
OAK:Ian Duffy 8.20 GAA .759 SVG%â€¨
AWK:Shane Francis: 4GP 8G 4A 12PTS
AWK:Mike Beirgard 5GP 7G 7A 14 PTS