Veteran Lakers down youthful Brooklin Lacrosse Club

By Sam Laskaris

Members of the Brooklin Lacrosse Club are still waiting and hoping that several players expected to be key contributors will join the Major Series Lacrosse squad this season. While doing so, the Brooklin team once again showed it is capable of playing with any club as it fielded a rather youthful roster on Wednesday.

The four-time defending league and national Mann Cup champion Peterborough Lakers defeated the host Brooklin club 14-9 in a match staged at the Iroquois Park Sports Complex in Whitby.

While Brooklin was able for the most part able to keep up with the Lakers in this contest, the difference ended up being the fact the Peterborough side went on a four-goal run in the second period and then managed to put together a string of four consecutive goals again in the final period.

“They have a really good team over there,” said Kyle Waters, who was appearing in his first game with Brooklin this season and responded with a five-point performance, including four goals. “I’m pretty sure they’re missing some guys. But we competed with them tonight and I thought we kept up with them pretty well. But they got a couple of bounces and it didn’t go our way in the end.”

With the victory the Lakers are now sporting a 2-0 record. Brooklin saw its mark fall to 1-2. “I thought we did an okay job stopping most of their runs but obviously we couldn’t get a couple of extra stops and ultimately in kind of hurt us in the end,” Waters said. “It’s tough. Probably all those guys over there, or at least 80 per cent of them have won a Mann Cup so they know what it takes to win. When they go on those runs it’s pretty hard to stop those guys.”

Brooklin netminder Riley Hutchcraft, who was between the pipes on Wednesday, chalked up the outing to a good learning experience.

“We’ve got a bunch of guys who are either first or second year for Senior A,” Hutchcraft said. “I think losing you learn a lot more than you do winning every night. And playing against the four- time Mann Cup championship team you’re going to learn a little thing here or there every night.”

While the Brooklin side continues to wait the return of some veteran players, it was once again forced to go with a lineup that included numerous players toiling for the organization’s Senior B affiliate, the Brooklin Merchants.

“I think it’s good that we have so many players in the locker room that can step in and out of this lineup,” Hutchcraft said. “It’s a learning experience in this league for a lot of players. It’s a step to the next level for what we all want to achieve – the NLL. And to have that many players that can step in, it’s only good for their game, it’s only good for our game and it shows the NLL coaches that are in the stands that we can play at this level as well.”

A young Brooklin squad had defeated the Six Nations Chiefs, a team expected to challenge for the league crown this season, a week earlier.

“On any given night, young and fast is a scary recipe in this league,” Hutchcraft added. “It will catch a lot of teams off guard. And that’s what we have in our dressing room – a young, scary team who I think will compete every night and just go hard every time they step on the floor.”

Waters also liked his first look at several of his young teammates.

“They’re good,” he said. “They are just getting used to the speed. It’s a completely different game from junior or even Senior B. Once they get the mojo of things and we all start playing together, I think we’ll be fine.”

Besides Waters’ four-goal night, other Brooklin scorers against the Lakers were Ben MacDonnell, Luke Pilcher, Tyler Goodchild, Adam Perroni and Daniel Mays.

The Brooklin squad is now off until next Wednesday when it will host the Brampton Excelsiors.

The opening faceoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.