Merchants Down Visiting North Stars To Return To Winning Ways

By Sam Laskaris

The Merchants Lacrosse Club earned a much-needed victory on Friday night.

And Travis Getz, playing in his first game for the Merchants, can take a good chunk of the credit for that. Getz scored six goals and added an assist to pace the Merchants to a 15-9 win over the visiting Owen Sound North Stars in an Ontario Series Lacrosse (OSL) match staged at Children’s Arena in Oshawa.

For the Merchants, the triumph snapped a two-game losing streak. The club is now sporting a 4-2 record.

Even Getz was surprised to find himself in a Merchants’ jersey. The 22-year-old Calgary native came to Ontario this spring with the hopes of suiting up for the Cobourg Kodiaks, members of the higher calibre Major Series Lacrosse.
But after the Kodiaks released him this past Sunday, Getz, who was keen to remain in Ontario, was scrambling trying to find a place to play. He connected with Merchants’ general manager Brad MacArthur who offered him an opportunity to suit up for some games.

Getz, who played with the Calgary Mountaineers’ Senior B squad in 2018, wasn’t surprised with his success in his first game with the Merchants even though he didn’t practice once with the club. “It wasn’t that big of a difference from the lacrosse out in Alberta,” he said. And he was able to find some chemistry rather quickly despite not knowing a single player in the Merchants’ dressing room.

“Everybody was great,” he said. “They all came up to me before the game and shook my hand. Wherever you go with lacrosse you always find common ground with everybody.”

Merchants’ assistant coach Ryan Preston had no inkling of Getz’ offensive capabilities beforehand. “I was just expecting him to come in and fill a role because we were missing a few bodies tonight,” Preston said. “But he came in and had himself a game.” Preston though wasn’t pleased his charges allowed four shorthanded goals on the night, making the score somewhat more respectable for the North Stars. Preston though was happy to see the Merchants net their fair share of goals themselves. “It’s good to have our offence explode like that,” he said. The Merchants only scored 11 goals in their two back-to-back losses a week ago.

With Friday’s loss, the North Stars saw their record fall to 2-3. Besides Getz’ six-goal effort, the Merchants also had another big night from Austin Murphy, who had a had trick. Jeremy McWatters had two goals for the Merchants while Dylan Goddard, Tyler Goodchild, Graham Bergsma and Adam Perroni netted singles.

The Merchants don’t have much time to rest on their laurels as they’re back in action on Saturday. They’ll hit the road to face the host Six Nations Rivermen. That game, which will be held in the Six Nations community of Ohsweken, has a 7 p.m. faceoff.

Meanwhile, the Merchants’ next home contest is next Saturday (June 8) against the defending league champions, Oakville Titans. The opening faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.