Merchants on verge of advancing to league final and Presidents Cup

By Sam Laskaris

The Brooklin Merchants are one win away from qualifying for their league championship final. And if the Merchants are able to do that, by capturing just one of their next two possible contests, then they will also earn a berth into next month’s Presidents Cup, the national SeniorB lacrosse tournament which will be held in Oakville.

The Merchants downed the visiting Six Nations Rivermen 15-6 in a match on Friday, which was held at the Iroquois Park Sports Centre in Whitby. With the win, Brooklin now leads its best-of-five Ontario Series Lacrosse (OSL) semifinal series against the Rivermen 2-1.

The Merchants can wrap up the series on Sunday if they are able to post a W in Game 4, which the Rivermen will host at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Six Nations. The opening faceoff is set for 7 p.m.

And if a fifth and deciding game is necessary to determine a series winner, that contest will be held this coming Tuesday, Aug. 1, at the Luther Vipond Memorial Arena in Brooklin.

-Photo by Sam Hossack

Merchants’ assistant coach Ryan Degerdon said the Brooklin players are pumped knowing they are a win away from advancing to the Presidents Cup. “We’re excited,” Degerdon said. “We told the boys if we stick to our game and we play fast, we’re going to win this thing. The boys are showing they are capable of doing that.”

But Degerdon added even though the Merchants are ahead 2-1 in the series, the Brooklin squad should not be in a celebratory mood yet. “This series is not over, not by a long shot,” he said. “And if somebody thinks that it is, then they are a fool. This is a good Six Nations team that we’re playing. They can easily come back and win two straight games.”

The OSL’s Oakville Rock will host this year’s Presidents Cup, which will begin on Aug. 27. The Rock have an automatic entry into the national tourney. Since the Canadian championship is being held in Ontario, the OSL is allowed to have two representatives at the tournament. Thus, the Merchants/Rivermen series winner will also qualify for the Canadian tourney.

Oakville advanced to the OSL championship final series on Friday with a 16-12 victory over the visiting Owen Sound North Stars. The Rock swept their best-of-five semi series against Owen Sound in the minimum three games.

The Merchants were led offensively by Parker Pipher and Darren Elliott as they both scored four goals each. Zac Carrigan added a hat trick for Brooklin. Also scoring for Brooklin were Devin Pipher, Eddie Renaud, Riley Curtis and Tristan Hanna.