The Canadian Lacrosse League’s post season kicked off last night as the fifth ranked Durham TurfDogs travelled to Brampton to take on the fourth ranked Inferno in quarter final action. Both teams stepped up their game and the fans were treated four quarters of back and forth lacrosse in which the TurfDogs came out on top 11-9. Durham will now advance to the CLax Final Four which will be held next Saturday (April 20) at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena (ILA).
Brampton opened the scoring with three unanswered goals from Pat Saunders, Ryan Campbell and Brock Boyle before Durham finally responded late in the first quarter when Kyle O’Brien found the back of the net. That opened the flood gates momentarily as Russ Poulton, Eric Bissell, Shane Scott and Blake Kenney would all score for Durham as they led 5-3 late in the first half. The lead was short live however as Brampton responded with two more before halftime on goals from Ben McCullough and Jordan Coffey and it was tied 5-5 at the break.
In the second half we saw more of the same intense back and forth action that we were treated to in the first. Ryan Campbell opened the third quarter scoring just 41 seconds in and he followed that up quickly with his third goal of the game just 28 seconds later. The TurfDogs took over after that though as they scored four unanswered goals to regain the lead once again. Shane Scott scored twice in that four goal span while Nic Grasby and Tyler Tanguay added singles. At that point it looked like Durham was going to run away with it but Brampton would come back as Brock Boyton and Pat Saunders would score their second goals of the game and it was 9-9 at the halfway point of the final frame. Not long after that though Blake Kenney would pop his second goal followed by Scott’s fourth of the game to give Durham an 11-9 victory and a berth in the CLax Final Four.
The TurfDogs were led by Scott who had a game high 7 points (4 goals 3 assists) and Kevin Croswell who made 49 stops and had the save of the year on Jordan Coffey at the last second of the first half. Croswell was down and out after a Coffey fake but was able to reach up and make an incredible glove save on what looked like a sure goal. Croswell was a little shaky in the first quarter but was able to shake out the cob webs and play an amazing three quarters after that. He hasn’t played much lacrosse this year so it wasn’t surprising that it took him a quarter to find his groove. Croswell was picked up by the TurfDogs on March 21st after being released by the National Lacrosse League’s Philadelphia Wings at the trade deadline and has been a valuable asset to his team. Sitting at 3-0 he has yet to suffer a defeat in a Durham uniform.
Scott not only led the way in points but he was also the best player on the floor Friday. He never stood still and was constantly moving around the floor which created plenty of holes for his teammates to get to the net. Just watching him the warm-ups you got the sense that he was going to have a solid game. He looked confident and relaxed during that shoot around and was even trying some circus one hand behind the back shots which was incredible to watch. Scott has one of the hardest shots in the league and he proved it once again last night with three of his four goals being lasers from the outside.
The TurfDogs will now advance to the Final Four but they won’t know who their opponent is until the second quarter final match wraps up late Sunday afternoon. That game starts at 1pm and will feature the sixth ranked Iroquois Ironmen versus the third ranked Ohsweken Demons at ILA.
NOTES: The Niagara Lock Monsters and the Toronto Shooting Stars earned automatic byes to the Final Four by finishing the regular in first and second place respectively.
If Iroquois wins on Sunday they will play Niagara in the next round and Durham will face Toronto. If Ohsweken wins that game they will meet Toronto and Durham will take on Niagara.
Although we don’t know the matchups yet we do know that Niagara will play their undetermined opponent on April 20th at 1pm while Toronto will play in the 4pm game on the same day.
Durham’s Shane Scott will be Monday’s guest on Over and Back which will air live at 6pm EDT on The Lacrosse Radio Network; you can find the radio link at the top of the In Lacrosse We Trust homepage.