Merchants downed by host Rock in Oakville

By Sam Laskaris

Win one, lose one. Win one, lose one.

That seems to be the early-season trend for the Brooklin Merchants. Coming off their most impressive contest of the season thus far, a 14-11 victory over the defending Ontario Series Lacrosse (OSL) champion Six Nations Rivermen this past Friday, guess what the Merchants did on Monday?

That’s right. The Brooklin squad once again failed to win back-to-back matches as they dropped an 11-9 decision against the host Oakville Rock. That contest was held at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville. The Merchants actually rallied big time in Monday’s outing. They trailed 9-2 at one point in the second period before mounting their comeback which fell a tad short. The Rock scored the first five goals of the game. Merchants’ head coach Clancy Almas said his side yielded a handful of those markers because of mistakes made by his players. Similar mistakes were not made later in the match, especially when the Merchants went on a five-goal run of their own.

“I don’t mind losing a game when mistakes are easily correctible,” Almas said. Almas added he was pleased with the efforts of those who donned the Merchants’ jersey on Monday. “We don’t have a very big team,” he said. “But we have a fast team that can run.” Though they didn’t pick up the W on Monday, the Merchants’ players no doubt were pleased they were able for the most part to hold their own against the Rock. The Oakville squad will host this year’s Presidents Cup, the national Senior B championships. And the Rock roster is being built with numerous pro players and for what team reps hope will be a serious run at the national title.

“They definitely had an all-star offence,” Almas said of the Rock lineup on Monday. “The guys we have on this team it’s not like you look at the list and say ‘NLL, NLL.’ There’s none of that. But that’s not to say our youth won’t get there some day.” Zac Carrigan and Daniel May were the top offensive guns for the Merchants against the Rock. Both had five-point nights. Carrigan had a hat trick and picked up a pair of assists while May scored twice and had three helpers. Also scoring for the Merchants were Parker Pipher, Darren Elliott, Quinn Hyland and Adam Perroni.

Almas also praised netminder Lukas Coote who was between the pipes for the Merchants. Almas felt Coote had an outstanding match but at times wasn’t given much defensive support from his teammates.

The Merchants return to action this Friday when they host the Clearview Crushers. Since their home rink, the Luther Vipond Memorial Arena is unavailable that night, the game will be played at the Iroquois Park Sports Complex in Whitby. This facility is the home rink for the Merchants’ Major Series Lacrosse affiliate Brooklin Lacrosse Club.

The Merchants/Crushers tilt has an opening faceoff scheduled for 8 p.m.