Merchants enjoying success in new but old home

By Sam Laskaris

It was deemed as a bold move.

But officials with the Brooklin Merchants’ organization are pleased they were able to bring the team to its original home this season.

The Merchants had played out of a pair of different Oshawa facilities in recent years. But they returned to Brooklin in time for the 2023 Ontario Series Lacrosse season.

“When we decided to move the Brooklin Merchants out of Oshawa back into the Luther Vipond Memorial Arena we took a leap of faith and it’s been very good,” said Garry Igel, the club’s game day director. Igel said the community is responding well to having the Merchants back in town.

“We’re seeing a lot of growth with the local families coming to the games,” he said. “We have a couple families that ride their bikes weekly to the games.” 

- photo of Garry Igel

Igel added more people are jumping on the Merchants’ bandwagon. 

“Every game the attendance has been growing,” he said. “We want to thank all those fans for coming out and supporting the team.”

Igel also said the Brooklin squad is praised whenever team officials post any Merchants’ news on social media.

“It’s been very well received,” he said. “Comments have been phenomenal.”  

Igel is hoping interest in the team continues to swell.

“We just want to fill the seats with fans and go for a long playoff run,” he said. 

The Merchants, who are on a four-game winning streak, are sporting a record of 8-4-0, good for second place in their six-team league. Like the Merchants, the Six Nations Rivermen have also compiled 16 points thus far. The 7-3-2 Rivermen, however, are technically occupying third place in the standings since the Merchants have registered one more victory.

Brooklin’s next game is tonight (Thursday June 30) at home against the league-leading Oakville Rock, which has a 9-1-0 record. The opening faceoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.