Brampton v. Peterborough Game Six Report by Radio Free Merritton

story by Gary Gardell, photos by Tim Prothero

September 2, 2010
Brampton, Ontario

A red hot goalie, some rejuvenated veterans, a solid work ethic, and sixty minutes of all-around self-discipline was the recipe that the Peterborough Lakers cooked up for their backs-to-the-wall, series tying win right in Brampton`s Powerade Centre on Thursday night. What began for many BE hopefuls as the coronation night as Ontario`s best for the third year running, would end in bitter disappointment as the Lakers played eerily smart lacrosse throughout, and goalie Mike Thompson would time and again, confidently turn aside a heavy barrage of shots.

The game would open well for Brampton…a remarkable, perhaps even lucky, stick save by Anthony Cosmo to deny Kyle Clancy a sure goal, plus Aaron Wilson and Kevin Ross beating defenders to get good close looks at the Laker net, and then Ross breaking the ice at 7:37 on a twenty-five footer. Excelsiors continued to press to the attack, but Laker Cory Vitarelli would make a dropping Cosmo look bad on a rising shot into the top right corner to tie it at one. Unmistakably the story of the first period was the goaltending of Mike Thompson. Brampton assaulted fortress Peterborough with a steady bombardment of shots from all directions, and a great many of them of good quality. Thompson responded with some deft lateral movement, a keen eye, and on several occasions, some old-school cat-like reflexes. The hungry Excelsiors wanted to bury Peterborough early, but Thompson would close the door and nail it shut. In the late going, John Grant would put the Lakers ahead (to stay as it turned out) from the right crease-side after a cross-floor feed from Scott Self. The heavily out-shot Lakers would head to the dressing room with a 2 – 1 lead after one.

Brampton was on the floor early for the start of the second and not long after the face-off, Dan Dawson was in alone on Thompson only to be denied. The Lakers proved to be alert counter-punchers all night, and on one early second-period transition, ball-carrier Mark Steenhuis pulled up along-side the Brampton left wall and then waited as John Grant stormed off the bench and charged goal-ward. Steenhuis fed the bounce pass that stretched Grant to the crease, but soft hands pulled it in, and in an eye-blink, it was behind Cosmo. Grant looked rested and ready on this night, and played an exceptional game. And I even thought Grant followed that nice one just five minutes later with his hat trick tally on a perimeter screen shot, but the goal was apparently credited to Scott Evans. Red-shoed Steenhuis was another that had his best Powerade Centre game of this series, and his pure-athleticism shined when he reached around a Brampton attacker for the one-handed ball pickup and gingerly rolled his stick around the legs of his puzzled opponent before racing down floor to score on a twenty-footer. The game seemed to be slipping away from Brampton, but then a late-period quick sequence of in-close shots stemmed the bleeding…Brodie Merrill, save!…Josh Sanderson, save!!…Merrill again, goal!!! Excelsior fans were hungry to cheer. A couple of minutes later, the cheer turned to a roar as Dawson endured a bone-rattling check the instant he slipped one under a sprawling Thompson, and hope returned. The score after two periods; Peterborough 5, Brampton 3.

Brampton’s hope would turn into a smouldering crater of despair when a wild and wide shot at the Laker net would roll around the corner glass and then past all attackers out towards mid-floor, and there to everyone’s startled surprise, into the waiting stick of Steenhuis with a clear path to the goal-crease of his one-time Major Athletic teammate Anthony Cosmo. A quick glance at the 6 – 3 scoreboard had some home fans moaning, “that one hurt!” But the home-side hurt would only continue over the next several minutes as the Lakers cashed in four more on a now deflated Excelsior squad. The enthused Peterborough fans became a standing, clapping, chanting, bra-waving bunch as it was clear early to all that it was “mission accomplished.” Brampton on this night threw everything but the kitchen sink at Thompson, but the goaltender stood tall, wide, quick and confident…stopping 54 shots in all and earning much of the credit for the final outcome. Brampton would pull Cosmo on every down floor excursion over the last seven minutes and even pot one with a couple of minutes left, but it was settled well before that. Final score; Peterborough Lakers 10, Brampton Excelsiors 4.

The series is tied at three each, with the Ontario champion to be determined in game seven at Peterborough.

Please have a look at Gary Gardell’s great web site, chronicling The St. Catherine’s Athletic’s Lacrosse Club at – http://www.athleticslacrosse.com/.

Also, to view some great work of Tim Prothero’s, check out his site at – http://vintagelax.com/

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5 Comments

  1. Finally the refs let the teams play.
    By far the best lacrosse game of the series, regardless who won.

    • Those ref’s did a fine job, we didn’t notice them. Gardonio in game 5 was a disgrace.

  2. They certainly did let them play in terms of ignoring high sticks, holds and slashes.

    Refs weren’t a factor in the outcome and they did almost everything they could to let the men decide it on the floor. Can’t ask for much more.

    Only things that were a bit aggravating were a few of the minor interference / moving pick calls. Way worse stuff from seconds before didn’t result in a whistle.

    Anyway, glad to see a couple of younger refs looking pretty good at the highest levels.

  3. I heard there was webcasting of the Mann Cup..how do I access it

  4. Hey Paul,

    Until the Eastern final of game 7 on Monday we will not know where it is being hosted. I suspect that some time Tuesday morning we should have all of the information and links to purchase games.

    Until then you can get info at the “2010 Mann Cup” link at the vewry top of this site.


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