Shooting Stars Come Away with OT Win

The Durham Turfdogs and Toronto Shooting Stars both opened their seasons in week one when professional lacrosse made its return to the building now known as the Mattamy Athletic Centre (formerly the historic Maple Leaf Gardens). The Turfdogs spoiled the party winning 11-10 despite a solid comeback effort from the Stars. On Sunday, to finish week three of CLax, the two teams met again as the Durham Turfdogs opened their building – the General Motors Centre in Oshawa.

The game started with the Shooting Stars coming out firing and picking up an eventual 4-0 lead after the first quarter. Week one transition player of the week, Mack O’Brien would extend that to 5-0 in the first minute of the second, a goal that would end the afternoon for Durham starting goaltender John Cheseborough. Tyler Tanguay would put Durham on the board on the powerplay, and a second goal followed shortly thereafter. Toronto would answer with another two before Durham scored two from close to the restraining line, the second just barely beating the horn, to give Toronto a 7-4 lead at the break.

With Toronto opening the scoring in the third, Shane Scott and Aaron Grayson dropped the gloves after Scott got away with a high stick. During a powerplay for Too Many Players, Scott DeFrancesco would make the score 8-5. He’d get another powerplay marker later in the period after a five minute boarding major to Geoff Griffiths and teammate Shane Scott would also score on the same penalty, this goal with three seconds to go in the frame. After the play Dilan Graham took a run at Scott and was sent off for roughing.

With Graham still in the box in the fourth, Kyle O’Brien scored the tying goal marking a better-than-perfect game for the Turfdogs’ powerplay unit (five goals on four opportunities). Their penalty killers would be put to the test in the final quarter, but would kill both with Zack Higgins making a number of game-saving stops a man down in the final ninety seconds. Regulation time ended with an 8-8 score.

The teams focused on playing lacrosse in the extra four-on-four frame. Both Angus Dineley and Zack Higgins came up huge in overtime before Derek Hopcroft used his powerful shot to bounce one past Higgins for a 9-8 win for Toronto.

Durham’s Shane Scott led all runners with six points (three goals, three assists) while Aaron Grayson led Toronto with five points (one goal, four assists) and Hopcroft’s game winner completed a hat-trick. Despite surrendering only four goals in a few seconds less than three quarters (plus overtime) Zack Higgins picked up the loss, while Angus Dineley stopped sixty-one of sixty-nine shots for the victory.

Week four of the CLax schedule kicks off Friday night when the top two offensive threats in the league, the Ohsweken Demons and Niagara Lock Monsters, lock horns at ILA at 8pm. On Sunday the Turfdogs travel to ILA to face the Iroquois Ironmen, while the Shooting Stars play host to the Barrie Blizzard. Both games begin at 2pm. Finally, the Demons will face the Shooting Stars at Mattamy Monday evening at 8pm.