Brooklin Lacrosse Club Registers Fifth Consecutive Tournament Victory

by Sam Laskaris

No official champion will be declared. But it’s starting to look very likely that the Brooklin Lacrosse Club will end up finishing atop the standings in its five-week league tournament. Brooklin improved its mark to a perfect 5-0 thanks to a 17-11 victory over the Oakville Rock in a Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) Classic match on Wednesday night.

All games in the tourney, which includes five of the six MSL squads, are being staged at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville.

The Rock record fell to 2-2 with Wednesday’s loss. The other three teams taking part in the Classic (Six Nations Chiefs, Cobourg Kodiaks and Owen Sound) have all lost three matches thus far meaning Brooklin would be guaranteed top spot by winning one of its remaining three games and if Oakville loses one of its final four contests.

League officials and team reps organized the tournament just last month in response to the fact the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the entire MSL regular season and playoff schedule for a second consecutive year.

“The whole premise was to get guys back on the floor and enjoying the game again,” said Brooklin’s head coach/general manager Brad MacArthur. “We were in a rebuilding process and these guys lost two years of their lacrosse lives.”

The good news for the Brooklin organization, however, is that is has assembled a solid mix of young talent sprinkled in with some veteran leadership. The club has utilized 41 different players in its five MSL matches thus far. The fact so many individuals are making impressive contributions now bodes well for the future of the franchise.

And it certainly will be no easy task to try to assemble a 25-man Brooklin roster to compete in the 2022 MSL campaign. “The fact they’re giving us hard decisions to make is just phenomenal,” MacArthur said.

It’s also a bonus the organization has an affiliate nearby, the Oshawa-based Merchants Lacrosse Club, a Senior B outfit competing in Ontario Series Lacrosse, where some of its youthful talent that doesn’t crack the Brooklin lineup can continue to develop.

For a while on Wednesday, it appeared Brooklin just might taste defeat for the first time in the MSL Classic. Brooklin blew a four-goal lead which it was enjoying in the second quarter and found itself up by just two goals, 10-8, heading into the final 15 minutes of action.

Brooklin, however, responded with a huge fourth quarter, scoring six unanswered goals, including a pair of shorthanded ones from Jonathan Donville and Ty Thompson, before Oakville was able to score and stop the onslaught.

After that Brooklin cruised to another win, despite the fact the Rock scored three of the last four goals on the night.

Donville’s shorthanded effort, in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, ended up setting the tone for the final stanza.

“We chatted about it on the bench before and it was perfectly executed,” Jason Crosbie, who handled the head coaching duties for the Brooklin club, said about the team’s shorthanded strategy and Donville’s goal. “That stopped the (Oakville) tide a little bit.”

Donville and Thompson, who was playing in his first MSL game, both ended up with three goals each.

Kyle Waters, Corson Kealey and Jake Stevens added a pair of goals each for Brooklin while singles were provided by Jake Fox, Colton Watkinson, Justin Robinson, Chris Boushy and Dan Michel.

Riley Hutchcraft earned the win between the pipes for Brooklin. Hutchcraft also chipped in offensively earning four assists in the game.

Brooklin’s next game will be against Six Nations this coming Tuesday, Aug. 17. The opening faceoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.