The Brooklin Redmen will advance to the Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) finals after a 13-8 Game 7 victory over the Peterborough Lakers Sunday night.
Brooklin was able to silence the hometown Lakers crowd early off goals from Shawn Williams and Derek Hopcroft. Tracey Kelusky would get the Lakers on the board, however, Williams would add two more goals for a first period hat-trick as the Redmen would head into the second with a 4-1 lead.
Peterborough would gain some ground as John Grant Jr. and Shawn Evans would each contribute a goal and an assist in a four goal period for the Lakers. Despite being badly outshot in the second frame, a 24 save period from goaltender Zack Higgins allowed the Redmen to defend their lead. A powerplay goal from Kiel Matisz and a pair of back to back tallies from Gavin Prout allowed the Redmen maintain their advantage, before rookie Sheldon Burns scored late to extend Brooklin’s lead to 8-5.
The Lakers rallied out of the gate in the third period. Grant would register an unassisted marker just over one minute into the frame, before setting up goals from Shawn Evans and Jordan Macintosh to tie the game at 8-8. Mike Melnychenko would regain the lead for Brooklin, as the Redmen responded to Peterborough’s comeback with five unanswered goals to finish the game. After Derek Hopcroft scored his second of the game, Cam Holding added another goal just seven seconds later to extend the Redmen lead to 11-8. Melnychenko and Holding would each notch their second goals of the game to clinch the win and the series win for Brooklin.
Shawn Williams led the Redmen in the win with seven points (3g, 4a), while Gavin Prout had five points (2g, 3a). Mike Melnychenko (2g, 2a) and Kiel Matisz (1g, 3a) each had four points for Brooklin.
John Grant Jr. carried the Lakers in a losing effort. Grant had six points (2g, 4a) in the victory. Reigning MSL and NLL MVP Shawn Evans had two goals and one assist for three points, extending his playoff point totals to 27 and season totals to 133.
Zack Higgins was outstanding in goal for the Redmen turning away 49 of 57 shots faced. The netminder made 38 saves during the second and third period with Brooklin being outshot by Peterborough 45-25.
The Redmen will take on the Six Nations Chiefs in the MSL finals. Game 1 will take place Tuesday, August 20 at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena on the Six Nations Reserve. Face-off for the game is set for 8 p.m.
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