Youthful Brooklin Squad Concludes 2019 MSL Campaign With Win

July 31, 2019

By Sam Laskaris

The Brooklin Lacrosse Club can officially start preparing for its 2020 season. Brooklin concluded its 2019 Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) campaign on Wednesday, with an impressive 11-9 triumph over the visiting Six Nations Chiefs.

The match was held at the Iroquois Park Sports Centre in Whitby. The Brooklin squad, which knew it would be in a rebuilding year with a predominantly youthful roster, finished its season with a 4-14 mark. Brooklin ended up in last place in its six-team league, 10 points out of a playoff spot. But it proved its future is bright as it was able to down the playoff-bound Chiefs, who will finish second in the league standings with a 11-7 mark. “Solid,” Brooklin head coach/GM Brad MacArthur said of the efforts of his charges. “I’m proud of them.”

MacArthur also praised a pair of his key players, Mitch Wilde and Julian Garritano, who purposely sat out Brooklin’s final match so the club could showcase its seven players who are eligible for this year’s National Lacrosse League (NLL) draft.“We wanted to give all those guys a chance to play,” MacArthur said of his players eligible to be drafted in the pro NLL.

MacArthur believes his franchise’s future is bright. “We’ve got good players,” he said. “But they’re young and a bit inexperienced. Tonight though we put in a good effort.” MacArthur said it was still a meaningful match even though neither side could move up or down in the standings. “Maybe we were playing more for pride than they were,” he said.

The fact both teams were not concerned about the two points as they would have been in a more significant match was evidenced by the fact they gave their goaltenders basically equal playing time. Just before the midway mark of the second frame, with the score deadlocked at 6-6, Brooklin pulled its starter Zach Higgins in favour of Riley Hutchcraft. And the Chiefs also took out their starting netminder Doug Jamieson and put Dillon Ward between the pipes.

“It was planned,” MacArthur said of the goalie switch. “We wanted to give both of them some time tonight. But I didn’t know they were going to do the same thing at the same time.”

Brady Kearnan, who spent the majority of the season with the Toronto Beaches Junior A club and joined the Brooklin squad afterwards, led his club with four goals on the night. Kearnan, the younger brother of Brooklin’s assistant captain Connor Kearnan, admitted to being rather nervous prior to the contest. “I looked down at their lineup during the warmups and I saw a lot of NLL stars,” he said. “I was a little star struck. But all the boys on our team just told me to relax.”

And relax he did as his four goals on the night showed. Brady Kearnan is hoping to be a part of Brooklin’s future. “I know there’s a lot of up-and-coming talent on this team,” he said. “And there is a lot of young talent that is already here. So you can see the future is bright.” Connor Kearnan, Holden Garlent, Nick Chaykowsky, Jake Fox, Curtis Knight, Jake Gilmour and Dan Michel also scored for Brooklin.

So while Brooklin can start preparing for next year, the Chiefs will square off against the third-place Oakville Rock in a best-of-seven MSL semi-final series, which will begin this coming Monday.

The other MSL semi-final series will feature the top-ranked Peterborough Lakers, the two-time defending Mann Cup champions, against the fourth-ranked Brampton Excelsiors.

Peterborough will host Game 1 this Sunday.