Merchants register home triumph over visiting Crushers

By Sam Laskaris

Thanks to a 10-goal outburst in the second period the Brooklin Merchants were able to post another victory over the Clearview Crushers on Friday.

The Merchants defeated the Crushers 16-11 in an Ontario Series Lacrosse contest held at the Luther Vipond Memorial Arena in Brooklin.

The Merchants have now won all three of their matches against Clearview, a franchise in its second year of operations, this season.

Brooklin had eked out a 12-11 decision over the visiting Crushers the previous Friday.

“I think the way the last game went with Clearview, we just didn’t want to let it slip away and be a tight game,” said Merchants’ netminder Lukas Coote, who earned the W between the pipes in both outings. “They started crawling back there at the start of the second and we knew we had to turn it on and not let them get close. If we let them get close, they’re going to stay on top of us. We needed that spread.”

-  photo by Sam Hossack

The Crushers led 4-3 after the opening 20 minutes as they scored four unanswered goals after Brooklin had built up a 3-0 advantage.

But with their offensive explosion in the middle frame, the Merchants enjoyed a 13-8 advantage heading into the second intermission.

Zac Carrigan was once again an offensive leader for the Merchants. He scored three goals and added an assist in the second period.

Carrigan ended up with five points on the night and now has 34 points, including 20 goals, in six appearances with the Merchants.

“It’s awesome watching him from the other end,” Coote said. “He’s just dancing around everyone. I’m excited to see what he’s going to do over the rest of the season, playing with (the Merchants’ affiliate Brooklin Lacrosse Club). And I’m sure we’ll see him in the (professional) winter league, the (National Lacrosse League). I’m sure he’ll get scouted out. Happy to have him here and hopefully he stays here for the rest of the season.”

Merchants’ head coach Clancy Almas was also pleased to see his charges put forth a better effort against the Crushers than they did a week earlier. And they accomplished that by playing to their strengths.

“I think we move the ball very well,” Almas said. “And we have very good foot speed. So, when the guys are moving well and their foot speed is nice, teams can’t keep up with you. They can’t keep up with the fact you’re moving the ball so fast. So that’s really what it’s about – the ball movement.”

With the victory the Merchants improved their record to 5-4. The Crushers saw their mark fall to 1-6.

Almas added there is still plenty of room for improvement from his club.

“We still make mistakes,” he said. “We’ve got a long way to go. In the grand scheme of things, we talked about mistakes and things we had to do in the beginning. And of the three key points I made, we made all three of those mistakes on the first three goals (against). So, it was nice because (guys thought) coach just said that and we have to fix that. We’ve got things to work on. Hopefully we’ll get more practice time now because we haven’t had a practice in a few weeks.”

The Brooklin squad is now off until next Friday, June 16. The Merchants will host the Ennismore James Gang that night.

The opening faceoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.

Besides Carrigan, several other Merchants also had rather productive nights.

Devin Pipher had a team-high eight points, including two goals. Pipher’s brother Parker also scored twice and chipped in with three assists.

Also, Darren Elliott (three goals, two assists) and Daniel May (two goals, three assists) both have five-point nights.

Meanwhile, a pair of Brooklin players – Scott Reed and Brock Strong – both scored their first goals in a Merchants’ jersey.

Reed’s marker will undoubtedly be one he’ll be telling the grandkids about one day. He scored a shorthanded goal, on a breakaway, after one of his shoes came off and he followed the ball, flying headfirst into the Crushers’ goal.

Quinn Hyland had the other Merchants’ goal.

With Father’s Day (June 18) just around the corner, Brooklin officials would like to remind fans they can pick up some Merchants’ merchandise at the next home game this coming Friday.

Flex fit hats, in orange or blue, are available for $25 each in various sizes. And Velcro back navy blue hats are $20 each.

Also, special edition official team warmup shirts, which include a shoulder patch in honour of Merchants’ founder Don (Sully) Vipond who died earlier this year, are available for $30. The shirts include the message Every Child Matters on the back.

- photos by Sam Hossack