CONFUSION TAKES OVER IN BROOKLIN/PETERBOROUGH MSL SEMI-FINAL SERIES
By Sam Laskaris
The Brooklin Lacrosse Club has managed to register two victories in its three playoff games thus far.
And yet, members of the Brooklin side, which edged the host Peterborough Lakers 11-10 in double overtime on Thursday, are unsure which squad is leading its Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) best-of-seven semi-final series.
That’s because Ontario Lacrosse Association (OLA) officials announced on Thursday morning that they were awarding Game 2 of the series, one which Brooklin registered a 12-10 victory on Tuesday, to the Lakers.
The OLA reasoning was that Brooklin assistant coach Gavin Prout, who had been ejected from Game 1 in the series, should have also been hit with a suspension forcing him to miss the next three matches.
But Prout was on the bench for Brooklin’s Game 2 victory. The Lakers appealed to the OLA and the association ruled in Peterborough’s favour.
BUT…. And this is a big BUT.
Brooklin management is appealing the OLA decision based on post-game events that caused confusion as to the type of penalty assessed.
“We wouldn’t have put (Prout) on the bench if we knew he was suspended,” said Brooklin Head Coach Jason Crosbie.
Crosbie added he was disappointed the Lakers protested the game since Prout was not actually on the floor playing and was not a determining factor in the outcome.
“Our team earned that win,” Crosbie said. “(Prout) had nothing to do with that. He didn’t play. He didn’t score a goal. He didn’t make a pass. He didn’t play defence.”
Because of the uncertainty surrounding this issue, including the protest from the Lakers, the OLA decision and the ensuing Brooklin appeal, Crosbie said players from his team were not told anything that was happening off the floor either before or after Thursday’s game.
Game 3, held at Peterborough’s Memorial Centre, was certainly a classic between a pair of evenly-matched squads.
The two rivals were tied at 4-4 after the opening 20 minutes. They were then tied 6-6 heading into the second intermission. And they were still deadlocked at 8-8, following regulation play.
As a result, a full 10-minute overtime session was required. But even that didn’t settle anything since the clubs scored twice apiece to remain tied at 10-10 after the first OT.
And then in the second OT session, which featured sudden-victory action, Brooklin’s Connor Kearnan ended the proceedings by scoring at the 16-second mark.
“It was a great game,” Crosbie said.
For Kearnan, who averaged four points per game this season, his OT marker was his first goal (and point) of the evening.
“He was snake bitten all game,” Crosbie said. “We just needed one from him though.”
The victory also proved to a youthful Brookin team that it can indeed win in Peterborough’s home rink.
“We’ve got a formula and we’re sticking to it,” Crosbie said.
Ryan Barnable led the Brooklin offence on Thursday by registering a hat trick. Others who scored for Brooklin were Jake Stevens, Austin Murphy, Dyson Williams, Kyle Waters, Mitch Wilde, Carter McKenzie and Brady Kearnan.
Now all eyes turn to the OLA to determine which club is actually leading the series 2-1.
Game 4 in the series will be staged Sunday in Whitby at the Iroquois Park Sports Centre. The opening faceoff is set for 7 p.m.