Brooklin downs host Brampton Excelsiors

By Sam Laskaris

Five unanswered goals in the third period helped the Brooklin Lacrosse Club register a road victory on Sunday.

And with its 15-9 triumph against the host Brampton Excelsiors, the Brooklin squad guaranteed itself of at least a .500 regular season record. Brooklin, which now has two regular season outings remaining in its 2023 schedule, boosted its
mark to 8-6-0, good for third place in the five-team Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) standings. With the loss, in the match staged at the Brampton Memorial Arena, the Excelsiors finished off their regular season with a disappointing 3-13-0 mark.

The Excelsiors must now wait and see whether the 3-11-0 Cobourg Kodiaks earn any points in their final two matches. The Kodiaks would nab the fourth and final MSL playoff position by picking up a single point. Brooklin held a slim 7-6 slim over Brampton heading into the second intermission on Sunday. But the visitors took control of the match by scoring five straight goals in the final frame and grabbing a 12-6 advantage. The two squads then scored three goals apiece after that. 

Brooklin dressed a rather young lineup including three players, who saw their first MSL action. Lucas Littlejohn, Kobe Handsor and goaltender Caleb Martin had spent the season with the Whitby Warriors Jr. A squad. Littlejohn scored a goal in his MSL debut and Handsor earned an assist. Meanwhile, Martin relieved Brooklin starter Riley Hutchcraft between the pipes with about eight minutes remaining in the game.

A handful of other Warriors from this past season, who had seen some earlier action for Brooklin, also played on Sunday.

“They wanted to impress and they were all running around hard out there,” said Brooklin head coach Jason Crosbie.

Crosbie said he chatted with Warriors’ head coach Mitch Wilde prior to Sunday’s match since he knew Brooklin would be utilizing several call-up players. Various key Brooklin regulars were unavailable for different reasons.

“We went over the guys that he felt could play at this level,” Crosbie said of Wilde. 

Crosbie then relied on some veteran players to provide leadership in the contest. Up front that included Tanner Cook, who netted a hat trick, and Kyle Waters, who scored once and added two assists. Defensively Brooklin was led by Adam Perroni, Carter McKenzie and Jake Stevens. Besides Cook’s three goals, Angus Rawding, Luke Pilcher and Owen Tapper added two goals each for Brooklin. Tapper also had three assists to end up with a game-high five points. Others who provided singles were Stevens, Jacob Saunders, Scott Reed and Max Taylor.

Brooklin’s next game is on Wednesday when it entertains the Peterborough Lakers in its final home regular season match of the season. The opening faceoff is set for 8 p.m. at the Iroquois Park Sports Complex in Whitby. Brooklin will then conclude its regular season on Thursday in Peterborough.

Brooklin and Peterborough will also see plenty of each other in the playoffs. That’s because the Lakers, who will end up in second spot in the league standings, will square off against Brooklin in a best-of-seven semifinal series.

Dates for that series have yet to be announced.