Ajax-Pickering Rock Suffer Loss in MSL Debut Against Crosstown Rival Brooklin Redmen
It did not have the ending I am sure the home fans were looking for, but they had to have walked away from their first MSL game experience with a positive outlook. The Brooklin Redmen were not very hospitable guests, leaving with an 11-7 victory on Sunday night.
The Ajax-Pickering Rock, owned by Rob Roche, and Coached by none other than Jim Veltman and Paul St. John, opened their Major Series Lacrosse tenure tonight on their home floor at the Ajax Community Center. After the Barrie Lakeshores abruptly ceased operations earlier this past week, schedule adjustments were made and as I like to refer to it, the “Battle Down Bayly”was born. (For those not in the know, the two teams can travel across Bayly Street about 10 minutes to play in the others barn).
The two local communities of Whitby and Ajax are well known as hotbeds of minor lacrosse. And while Brooklin has a formidable history, as of tonight Ajax has begun to build one of their own. The winners will be the fans as they will witness a lacrosee rivalry that will entertain for years to come.
Scott Campbell led the way for Brooklin with a three goal effort with Derek Hopcroft and rookie Kevin Brownell each netting two. Ajax was led by Bryan Johnson with a pair of goals. Other scorers on the night were not available to me at the time of this writeup.
After surrendering the first goal of the game, Brooklin took control building a 4-1 lead, and led 4-2 after one period. They continued on in the 2nd frame and built a 9-4 lead after two. But Ajax, a team with a lot of youth and speed would not lie down in the third period. They fought hard and to their credit battled through to the final whistle. Ajax cut the lead at one point to 9-7 but that was as close as they would get.
Both teams had a number of young players in their lineups tonight. Pat Campbell went the distance for Ajax, while Kurtis Wagar got the win for Brooklin.
Reports from the Rock personnell, have roughly 350 fans in attendance for tonights game; a respectable turnout for a brand new team. With the game tonight, I have no doubt that word will travel fast and Ajax will experience some good crowds this season.
Both teams will have a few days off and will be right back at the Ajax Community Center this Friday night, June 4th for the rematch. Game time is once again 8:00 pm.
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