Merchants Conclude Season With Overtime Road Loss In Oakville

By Sam Laskaris

It’s over.

The Merchants Lacrosse Club had its 2019 Ontario Series Lacrosse campaign come to an end on Monday night. The Merchants were edged 9-8 in overtime by the host Oakville Titans in their fifth and decisive match of their best-of-five OSL semi-final series. And boy, what a classic it was in the match, held at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville.

The series, and result, was déjà vu from 2018. That’s because the host Titans also concluded the Merchants 2018 season by winning Game 5 in their best-of-five semi-final battle last summer. Early on it appeared the Titans, who led 5-0 after the opening 20 minutes, would register a convincing victory on Monday. But the Merchants clawed all the way back and forced a 10-minute overtime session as the score was deadlocked at 8-8 after the third period. During their disappointing opening 20 minutes on Monday, the Merchants were outshot 20-8 in the period.

Oakville’s dominant performance in the first period included a shorthanded goal which opened the scoring. The Titans also made a bad period even worse for the Merchants by scoring with just two seconds remaining in the opening frame. The Merchants did manage to cut the deficit to 5-2 with a pair of early second-period goals. But Oakville restored its five-goal lead by scoring the next two. But the Merchants scored a late goal in the period. As a result they headed into the third trailing by a score of 7-3.

The Merchants though displayed plenty of grit in the third period, outscoring the Titans 5-1 to force OT. Bryce Tolmie, who was the captain of the Clarington-based Green Gaels’ Junior B squad this past season, led the Merchants with two goals on Monday. Tolmie joined the Merchants after his junior career concluded late last month. Liam Osborne, Travis Getz, Dylan Goddard, Jeff Fernandes, Dylan Riley and Cory Upshaw also scored for the Merchants.

By winning the series the Titans, the defending OSL champions, advance to the league finals once again.

Oakville will square off against the Six Nations Rivermen in a best-of-five final. The Rivermen secured their finals appearance by beating the Owen Sound North Stars 3-1 in their semi-final series, which concluded on Saturday.