Brooklin earns Sunday night victory over host Kodiaks

By Sam Laskaris

It has certainly been a memorable season thus far for Ryan Degerdon.

Earlier this year Degerdon was hired to serve as the defensive coach for the Ontario Series Lacrosse’s Brooklin Merchants. When Merchants’ head coach Clancy Almas was unavailable to attend a pair of games, Degerdon stepped up assuming the club’s head coaching duties. The squad ended up winning both of those matches.

A few weeks ago Degerdon also joined the Merchants’ Major Series Lacrosse affiliate, the Brooklin Lacrosse Club, as a defensive coach since Derek Suddons, who was holding down that position, was unable to continue in the role due to personal reasons.

As fate would have it, Degerdon was thrust into the spotlight, taking on Brooklin’s head coaching role on Sunday as the squad’s head coach Jason Crosbie and offensive coach Gavin Prout were not available to travel to Cobourg.  The Brooklin squad responded, downing the host Kodiaks 14-12 to give Degerdon his first W as an MSL head coach. Degerdon, a former Merchants’ captain and MSL player, was joined on the Brooklin bench by another former team alumnus, Joel Johnson.  Prior to this season Degerdon’s only previous coaching experience was helping out on the bench three years ago for the Clarington Shamrox Junior C club.

“It’s been great,” Degerdon said of his coaching roles this year. “And it’s been a bit surreal. I was hesitant at first (about coaching). I thought maybe I wanted to keep playing. But I’m glad I made the decision to coach.”

Degerdon said he found out about two weeks ago that both Crosbie and Prout would not be able to show up for Sunday’s match, which was held at the Cobourg Community Centre. And it was just a few days ago he learned Johnson would be joining him on the bench. Looking ahead, Degerdon does not anticipate having to serve as Brooklin’s head coach in any other MSL matches this season.

“This was the only game that both Cros and Gavin were not able to come to,” he said. 

A handful of Brooklin players were able to pad their stats in the victory over Cobourg.  Connor Kearnan had an eight-point night as he scored twice and racked up six assists. Sean Westley ended up with seven points (two goals and five assists). Kearnan’s younger brother Brady scored twice and earned three helpers. And Luke Pilcher also had a pair of goals and three assists. Liam Osborne also chipped in offensively, scoring twice and also adding an assist. Also scoring for Brooklin were Tyler Goodchild, Adam Perroni, Caleb Creasor and Quinn Hyland. For both Creasor and Hyland their goals marked their first MSL ones in a Brooklin jersey. 

With the victory Brooklin’s record improved to 6-4-0, good for third place in the standings of the five-team MSL. The Kodiaks saw their mark fall to 2-8-0. It’s expected the Cobourg will battle with the 2-11-0 Brampton Excelsiors for the league’s fourth and final playoff spot.

Brooklin’s next game is Thursday, on the road against the four-time defending national Mann Cup champion Peterborough Lakers.

This match, which has an opening faceoff scheduled for 8 p.m., will be held at the Peterborough Memorial Centre.