Oakville Ekes Out Victory To Snap Brooklin’s Winning Streak

A goaltending battle between a pair of professional teammates took place on Wednesday. Nick Rose and Riley Hutchcraft, who both suit up for the Toronto Rock of the National Lacrosse League, squared off at opposite ends in a Major Series Lacrosse match. Rose backstopped his Oakville Rock squad to an 8-6 victory over Hutchcraft and his Brooklin Lacrosse Club teammates in the contest, which was held at the Iroquois Park Sports Centre in Whitby.

The setback snapped a two-game winning streak for Brooklin, which had lost its first nine matches this season. And with the triumph Oakville saw its record improve to 6-6, good for third place in the six-team MSL.

Wednesday’s match could easily have gone in Brooklin’s favour. Oakville was holding onto a slim 5-4 lead heading into the final period. The Rock was also going to start the period with a power play, which had carried over from the second period. But Oakville was then given a gift as the Brooklin squad emerged late from its dressing room for the start of the period and was assessed a bench minor. The Rock scored on its 5-on-3 advantage just 26 seconds into the period.

“It wasn’t on purpose,” Dan Michel, one of Brooklin’s goal scorers on the night said of his team’s late arrival for the third period. “We were just going through our routines. It was something we could have avoided. I’m sure that’s not something we’ll be doing again.”

Michel said the loss was more frustrating knowing that had a few bounces gone his team’s way, Brooklin would be on a three-game winning streak now. “It was a tough loss,” he said. “Our compete level was there all night.”

Though a post-season berth seemed unlikely after Brooklin’s 0-9 start, no doubt team members had their spirits raised with back-to-back victories this week. A victory Wednesday would have pulled Brooklin to within four points of three teams (Oakville, Cobourg and Brampton) it is chasing for the final two post-season berths.
But Brooklin, which has just a half dozen regular season tilts remaining, is now six points behind Cobourg and Brampton, who are tied for fourth spot in the standings.

“We’ve lost a couple of games by one goal and I think we should have four or five wins,” said Brooklin’s Curtis Knight, who also scored on Wednesday. Knight added the Brooklin squad this season is a rather youthful one and team members also realize they are hoping to take this year’s experiences and build for the future.

Jeff Wittig, Justin Lemcke, Jake Fox and Ryan MacSpayden scored Brooklin’s other goals versus the Rock.

Brooklin’s next contest will be this coming Tuesday (July 16) on the road against the Six Nations Chiefs. That game, which begins at 8 p.m., will be held at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Hagersville, located on the outskirts of the Six Nations community of Ohsweken.

Brooklin’s next home match will be the following night, July 17, against Brampton. That game also has an 8 p.m. start.