Carrigan nets game-winning goal as Merchants edge visiting Crushers

By Sam Laskaris 

Darren Elliott had already netted a hat trick himself for the Brooklin Merchants on Friday night.

But Elliott was not the least bit surprised that it was one of his teammates, Zac Carrigan, who provided the game-winning goal in the Merchants 12-11 Ontario Series Lacrosse victory over the visiting Clearview Crushers.

Carrigan’s game-winner, his fourth goal of the night, came on the powerplay with 96 seconds remaining in the third period.

For Carrigan, it was the second time he had popped in the game-winning tally this week. Two nights earlier he was the overtime hero as the Merchants’ Major Series Lacrosse affiliate Brooklin Lacrosse Club defeated the Six Nations Chiefs 11-10.

“It was no surprise at all,” Elliott said of Carrigan’s game-winner on Friday. “It was pretty expected obviously. You saw what he did Wednesday night. So, we’re happy to have him in the lineup.”

Carrigan, a Nova Scotia native who recently moved to Ontario, has been tearing it up for the Merchants this spring. He racked up seven points on Friday and now has 27 points (14 goals and 13 assists) in just four matches.

- Photo by Sam Hossack

The Merchants trailed 9-8 heading into the third period of the match, held at the Iroquois Park Sports Complex in Whitby. But they responded with a solid final 20 minutes, outscoring the Crushers 4-2 in the final frame to eke out the win.

“We definitely feel we were the better team and we kind of let them hang in the game in the first and second period,” said Merchants’ rookie defender Ben MacDonnell, who had an impressive game on the back end. “But there was an awful lot of chatter coming off the floor for the second intermission and that really got the boys going.”

The two squads were fired up for the final period following a spirited late second period fight between Clearview’s Gareth Haigh and Merchants’ captain Adam Perroni.

“It was a great character effort there in the third period,” Elliott said. “We like to put up a full 60 minutes. But I think we showed a lot of character there and pulled together when it mattered. I’m really proud of our group tonight.”

The Merchants displayed some discipline late in the contest when they didn’t retaliate after Clearview’s Nick Nigro was assessed a double minor for slashing Carrigan when he was on the ground.

“There were a couple of big calls there at the end,” MacDonnell said. “But the D stepped up. The O stepped up when they needed to. And that’s all that really matters.” Meanwhile, Parker Pipher also had another impressive outing for the Merchants as he had a game-high nine points (four goals and five assists). Like Carrigan, Pipher, who now has 29 points in six games, is also a rookie with the Merchants this season.

“Having those guys in the lineup brings a great intensity and kind of gets our O snapping,” Elliott said of Carrigan and Pipher. “So, it’s a lot of fun being out there with them.”

Eddie Renaud was also an offensive spark for the Merchants on Friday. He scored once and added six assists for a seven-point performance.  Lukas Coote got the W between the pipes for Brooklin.

The Merchants are back in action on Monday. They will square off against the host Oakville Rock. That match, which will be held at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville, has an opening faceoff set for 8 p.m.