Merchants Conclude Regular Season With Loss Against Titans

By Sam Laskaris

It was not the outcome the Merchants Lacrosse Club was looking for in its regular season finale.  The Merchants had their three-game winning streak snapped on Sunday as they were downed 10-5 by the host Oakville Titans in an Ontario Series Lacrosse (OSL) match.

The contest was held at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville. With the loss the Merchants ended up with a 9-6 record. Oakville boosted its mark to 12-4 with the victory.

Other than finishing off the regular season with a W and gaining perhaps a bit of momentum heading into the playoffs, Sunday’s contest was not really a meaningful one for either side.  That’s because both the Titans and Merchants already knew they would finish second and third, respectively, in the standings of the six-team OSL.

And the two rivals knew despite the outcome of the game they would see plenty of each other in the near future in their upcoming playoff series.  That best-of-five OSL semi-final series is scheduled to start this Friday in Oakville at 8 p.m. Dates and times for the remainder of the series were not available following Sunday’s match. But it is known the Merchants will host Game 2.

The Titans managed to win all three of its regular season meetings versus the Merchants this season.  But Merchants’ captain Ryan Degerdon is confident his team will fare well in the post-season. “Am I happy with the way we played tonight?,” Degerdon said. “No. But am I worried. No, not at all.”

Degerdon said his club proved this past Friday what it is they capable of in a game of importance. The Merchants easily downed the visiting Owen Sound North Stars 15-4 in a battle which determined third place in the OSL standings.

“I know you’ll see a different game from us on Friday,” Degerdon said. “When we play our best, I think we are the best team in the league.”  The Merchants led 2-1 after the opening 20 minutes in Sunday’s game. And the two sides were deadlocked at 4-4 midway through the match. But the Titans scored three more goals in the second frame to take a 7-4 lead into the final period . Dylan Goddard, Josh Toguri, Liam Osborne, Cory Upshaw and Jeff Fernandes scored the Merchants goals.

Meanwhile, the Merchants’ organization received some welcome news yesterday.  Its coaching staff was selected as the OSL’s best this season as chosen by other league members. The Merchants’ staff includes head coach Jason Crosbie, assistant coach Ryan Preston and Brad MacArthur, who also doubles as the team’s general manager.  As for the other OSL semi-final series, it will feature the top-ranked Six Nations Rivermen against fourth seeded Owen Sound. 

That series is scheduled to begin this Saturday (July 20). The Rivermen will host the series opener.  While final regular season standings would not have been affected, it should be noted the Merchants and the Rivermen played 15 games apiece this season, one less than both Oakville and Owen Sound.  That’s because the Merchants/Six Nations contest which had been scheduled for June 29 in Oshawa was postponed. That was one of the senior and junior matches affected when officiating crews raised safety concerns with the Ontario Lacrosse Association.  That game did not have to be rescheduled as final OSL regular season standings would not have changed with the outcome