My second set of thoughts are posted about the Bantams. Surpisingly, only 12 teams are involved this year as opposed to the usual 13. This made for a little easier time of scheduling as all 12 teams could be involved in games within an hour of each other. And after 5 games, these teams are in a dog fight. Halton Hills currently sits in 8th place, but are only 3 points from 1st. Now that is lacrosse!
1st Place – Clarington
The Gaels started with a bang against their zone 6 rivals from Whitby, winning 6-4. Whitby scored two pretty late in the game to make the score appear closer than the game really was. It was a very physical match, and Clarington capitalized on their opportunities. They should be considered a contender as they seem to be prepared to pay the price to get to the net offensively. And in their own end, they can dish it out. But if they want a to have a shot at top prize, they must beat the teams they are expected to. Their only blemish from having a perfect week was a couple of ties against Six Nations and Halton Hills.
2nd place – Orangeville
In typical Orangeville fashion, these kids play hard and never quit. They did not lose and only tied Whitby and Newmarket who are both currently in the top six. I only watched them in one game, but in that game they came back from a late deficit to battle for one of their ties. Week two looks to be maybe a little tougher, but in this group there are not really any easy games.
3rd Place – Six Nations
Six Nations could be sitting atop this group were it not for their loss to Mimico. I did not see the game, but based on the standings after five games, that looks like it was not supposed to happen. They still have to face 3 of the current top 6 teams in week two, so their current spot is not necessarily a safe one.
4th Place – Newmarket
Currently sitting in 5th place and without a loss is both good and bad for the Redbirds. They too have three games remaining against current top six contenders, but two of their current ties are against front runners as well. They certainly belong here, and with a few wins in week two they should be in. As with so many others in here though, there is not much room for error.
5th Place – Whitby
It was said to me many times that this group plays to the level of their competition. Maybe, but they need to step it up a bit if they truly desire another Championship. They are a solid team but sometimes seem to lack that killer instinct. That may not have been a requirement in the past but it is this season. They have a huge target on them, and Clarington either brought them down a notch or woke them up. We shall see which it was. They’ve scored the most, but only current seed 11 and seed 12 have been scored on more. Goaltending is not the issue, they’ll need to address that defensively.
6th Place – K-W
Most of their games were very low scoring. Offensively, 13 goals in 5 games won’t get it done, but 10 against is Championship type defense. They are in 6th right now only on the formula. Again, three matches with front runners will be a task in week two.
7th Place – Center Wellington
The good news is that they still have a shot, as most do. Hoever, to do it they must come up with some points against four of the top six in hte next round. This will be a tall task, but that is why we play the games right? It is an up hill battle but not impossible. They really need the game against Halton Hills in week two.
8th Place – Halton Hills
If Halton wins their three games against teams that are currently below them in the list, they should get in. Not that there is a really easy schedule, but this one in week two is more favorable than that of the two they are currently tied with. As mentioned above, their game with Center Wellington could well decide a spot in the top 6.
9th Place – Brampton
Brampton was a very confusing team this past weekend. I can only wonder what the Coaches are feeling. They lost by a goal to Whitby, and tied Newmarket, but lost to Peterborough and got crushed by Clarington. With so many teams above them so tightly bunched together, I cannot see them advancing. They will need to go 6-0 and get some help along the way if it is to happen.
10th Place – Mimico
Mimico’s only win came against Six Nations. Week two is a harder schedule than week one. Enough said.
11th Place – Peterborough
The Bantam Lakers had an awful week one, with their only win likely spoiling Brampton’s chances at advancing. It won’t be happening for them this season.
12th Place – Oakville
Oakville salvaged a tie from Center Wellington and that was it through 5 games. The Hawks will be playing for pride and maybe the role of spoiler in two weeks.