Merchants drop road contest versus Oakville Rock

By Sam Laskaris

The Brooklin Merchants hit the halfway mark of their season on Monday night. But they didn’t get a result they were hoping for as they dropped a 14-7 decision to the host Oakville Rock in an Ontario Series Lacrosse (OSL) match. That game was staged at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville. With that setback the Merchants will enter the second of their season at the .500 mark, sporting a 4-4 record.

Despite Monday’s loss, Merchants’ assistant coach Ryan Degerdon said he is satisfied with how the club has been faring this season.

“What I said to the guys at the start of the season is I want to see improvement from game to game,” Degerdon said. “Have I seen that? Absolutely.”

Degerdon added the Merchants’ coaching staff will become more demanding in the second half of the season and that those who are not performing well can expect to see less playing time granted to them. Though they ended up losing by seven goals against the Rock, the Merchants had a decent start on Monday.

The two clubs were deadlocked at 3-3 following the opening 20 minutes of action. Degerdon said Brooklin coaches stressed the importance of transitional play during the first intermission. But the Merchants were unable to respond adequately to the quick Rock pushes up the floor in the middle stanza. Oakville scored five goals in the opening nine minutes of the period to take charge of the contest.

“We got caught there in the first 10 minutes or so (of the second period),” Degerdon said. The Rock then held a 9-4 advantage heading into the third period. Degerdon added the Merchants will have some loftier expectations in the second half of the 2023 campaign.

“We feel like we have the talent,” he said. “We have young guys and we can run. We’ve proven we can run with anyone in the league.” Zac Carrigan had a two-goal night for the Merchants while Ben MacDonnell, Darren Elliott, John Leclerc, Koichi Nakamura and Cody Hamley provided singles. Meanwhile, Eddie Renaud chipped in offensively providing three assists. Ryan Schuetzkowski, who had won his first three starts of the season for the Merchants, was between the pipes for Brooklin and incurred his first loss of the year.

The Merchants return to action this Friday when they host the Clearview Crushers. This contest, which will be held at the Luther Vipond Memorial Arena in Brooklin, has an opening faceoff scheduled for 8 p.m.