By Sam Laskaris

Members of the Brooklin Lacrosse Club officially find themselves in a rather deep hole that they must try to dig themselves out of.

Brooklin was downed 12-8 by the visiting Peterborough Lakers in a Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) match on Sunday at Whitby’s Iroquois Park Sports Centre.

With that win the Lakers officially grabbed a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven MSL semi-final series. Game 5 is Monday night at 8 p.m. in Peterborough.

The Brooklin squad, however, is hoping to get some rather positive news on Monday afternoon. The team’s brass has appealed the Ontario Lacrosse Association (OLA) decision to award Game 2 of the series to the Lakers.

Brooklin had won that contest, 12-10, last Tuesday in Whitby. Two days later, however, the OLA  announced it was awarding that match to Peterborough since Brooklin assistant coach Gavin Prout was on the bench during Game 2 of the series, when he should have been sidelined with a three-game suspension. Prout had been ejected for his actions during the series-opening game in Peterborough. Brooklin officials will also present their case at Monday’s hearing that the club was not notified by the OLA prior to the start of Game 2 that Prout was indeed suspended.

Despite losing by four goals on Sunday, Brooklin proved, as it has done throughout this series and during the regular season as well, that it can indeed match up well against the Lakers, the three-time defending Mann Cup champions.

“Not counting the empty-net goal that they scored, seven out of the 11 goals they had were just because of mental errors on our part,” said Brooklin head coach Jason Crosbie. The Brooklin bench boss is confident his organization has enough of a case to win Monday’s appeal.

“It’s 2-2 in our minds,” he said of the series. “And we’re just going to have to play a best-of-three now to see who wins.”

Brooklin had a decent start on Sunday and led the Lakers 4-3 after the opening 20 minutes. But Brooklin’s demise came in the second period as Peterborough outscored the hosts 7-2. Brooklin veteran Connor Kearnan, who scored twice and also had a pair of assists on Sunday, is pleased that his squad will be right back in action on Monday. He’s hoping Brooklin’s youthfulness will provide an edge over the older Lakers’ club.

“We have to use our youth and our legs,” Kearnan said.

Kearnan also realizes his team cannot afford to fall behind early on Monday.

“Hopefully we can come out firing on all cylinders,” he said. 

Like Kearnan, Ryan Lanchbury also had a four-point performance on Sunday for Brooklin. And just like Kearnan, he netted two goals and had two helpers. Kearnan’s younger brother Brady also scored for Brooklin. Luke Pilcher and Ryan Barnable added a goal each for Brooklin.

The team’s top point-getter on the evening, however, was rookie Dyson Williams, who scored once and had four assists. During the game it was also announced that Williams captured a pair of league awards for his regular season play.

Williams was chosen as the MSL’s top rookie. And he also won the league’s top scorer award as he racked up 45 points (26 goals and 19 assists) in a dozen matches.

The Brooklin club also nabbed another league award. Crosbie, Prout and assistant coach Derek Suddons were selected as the MSL’s best coaching staff. Suddons was also recognized by the franchise and presented with a framed jersey for his contributions to the organization. Suddons played 387 games during an almost 20-year run with the Brooklin Redmen. This feat puts him in fifth place in career games for the team. Suddons is now providing his guidance to younger players as the defensive coach for the Brooklin Lacrosse Club. Suddons also helped to run lacrosse camps for kids and was involved in fundraising activities for the club. And he was awarded the Merv McKenzie Award for Best Defensive Player in the MSL in 2004.

Should Brooklin win Monday’s appeal and a Game 6 is required in the series, it will be held Wednesday in Whitby at 8 p.m.