BROOKLIN EARNS MORALE-BOOSTING VICTORY AGAINST VISITING LAKERS
By Sam Laskaris
Members of the Brooklin Lacrosse Club are proving they are indeed the real deal.
The youthful Brooklin squad defeated the three-time defending national Mann Cup champion Peterborough Lakers 13-8 in Major Series Lacrosse action on Wednesday.
The match, which saw Brooklin outshoot the Lakers 53-44, was held at the Iroquois Park Sports Centre in Whitby.
“We have a young group and we came to play,” said Riley Hutchcraft, who picked up the W between the pipes for Brooklin. “It just shows when you work hard for 60 minutes you’ll come away with the win no matter who is on the other side.”
With the victory Brooklin evened its season record at 3-3-1. And with the two points the hosts closed the gap on the Lakers, who are sitting in second place in the MSL standings with a 4-3-0 mark.
Hutchcraft was not surprised to see his club hold its own against the Lakers.
“A lot of people are counting us out every night and I think when you look at our roster from top to bottom we have the most depth in this league,” he said. “And I think we have the most confidence too in our abilities. If we go out and play our way every night, we’re going to surprise a lot of people this summer.”
In its only other meeting against Peterborough thus far this season, Brooklin was downed 12-7 by the host Lakers on June 23.
Brooklin’s roster that night, however, was considerably different than the one it had on Wednesday.
“We’re a good group in there,” Hutchcraft said. “And you can go top to bottom and you can pick out anybody and they can compete against the best of the best.”
For example, Brooklin veteran Curtis Knight played his first MSL match of the season on Wednesday.
Knight missed the first half of the regular season in part as he was recovering from an injury sustained from his National Lacrosse League campaign with the Rochester Knighthawks. Scheduling conflicts also prevented him from suiting up for Brooklin before Wednesday’s outing.
Knight played a key role versus the Lakers as he collected four points, including two goals.
His second goal of the night was a rather significant one as it stopped a Peterborough rally in the third period.
The Lakers, who found themselves trailing 10-4 early in the third period, scored four unanswered goals to cut the deficit to 10-8.
Knight then stopped the Peterborough momentum by scoring with just over four minutes remaining in the contest. Brooklin then secured the victory by adding two more late markers.
“Knighter did come through big there,” Hutchcraft said. “But that’s the game of lacrosse. They’ll go on runs and we said that during the second intermission that they were going to go on their run and it was just how many are they going to get and who was going to end it. Knighter was the big guy tonight and he scored when we needed him.”
Knight was pleased to see his squad stick to its game plan and be rewarded in the end.
“We kept the effort up for the entire game and with a team like that, which has a lot of big names and skill, that’s how you beat them,” he said of the Lakers. “You kind of beat them with effort and persistence. And that’s what we did the entire game.”
Knight also realized the significance of his late third period goal, which gave his side an 11-8 lead and put an end to the Lakers’ rally.
“When a team goes on a run like that it’s huge if you can counter with at least just one goal and slow their momentum a bit,” he said. “It was just a timely goal I guess. And then we scored a couple of more which was huge as well.”
Knight believes the Brooklin squad will be taken a bit more seriously now following the triumph against Peterborough.
“Tonight showed a lot,” he said. “If you can beat a team like that, that says a lot.”
The Brooklin team had been idle since registering a convincing 13-5 triumph over the Cobourg Kodiaks seven days earlier.
Brooklin head coach Jason Crosbie said the victory over the Lakers was indeed a morale boosting one for his charges.
“Cobourg is a good team in their own right,” he said. “But Peterborough is a different animal. You can play them and play them well. They’re probably over there saying they played their best game and we’ll get them next time. And that’s great. That’s how you should be. But yeah it gives our guys just that little thing in the back that we can play with them. And we’ve told them all year we can play with any team.”
Crosbie is confident his club can continue turning heads this season.
“We have the numbers, we have the youth,” he said. “We may not have the experience but we’re getting it day by day, game by game.”
Dyson Williams, Chris Boushy and Luke Pilcher also scored two goals each for Brooklin. Singles were provided by Ryan Barnable, John LaFontaine, Jake Stevens, Ryan Lanchbury and Kyle Waters.
Brooklin returns to action this Saturday, July 16, with a home game against the league-leading Six Nations Chiefs, who are sporting a 6-1-1 record. Saturday also marks the annual Scott McMichael Minor Lacrosse Night to celebrate the memory of # 23 and his love for the sport. All minor players receive free admission and are encouraged to wear their jerseys.
The opening faceoff is set for 8 p.m.