What a weekend – 2 wins, 2 shutouts! … we’ll just go with that story! No need for further explanation. 🙂

The Werewolves of London were on the hunt for blood at the TRAC in Oakville over the weekend for the 2016 Ontario Masters Provincial Championships – expecting to continue their 2016 trend of tournament over tournament performance increases but hoping just to exit the weekend with minimal injuries.

Friday’s first game was late – an 11:00pm start against 4th seed Durham with a somewhat disappointing turnout of only 9 runners. Despite allowing a Durham goal 6 sec into the game the Wolves were able to stay close and exited the 1st tied at 2. In the 2nd Wolves pulled ahead early and held on until giving up the tieing goal late in the period. Unfortunately the 3rd was all Durham – 6 unanswered goals and the Wolves dragged themselves from the floor on the losing end of a 9-3 score. Oh well, pizza and cold beverages are the point of the weekend…right?

Saturday afternoon bright and positive with the news that the previous night’s 9-3 loss was really a 1-0 win (Durham charged with a forfeit due to illegal players one of which scored 3 of their goals). Not being proud, the Wolves were more that willing to take the victory and go with the 1-0 narrative – a tightly fought victory, a shutout for Gord – works for us. The good spirits were quickly quashed in the game against 2nd seed Six Nations who were on a mission to take back the OML Seniors crown. Six Nations scored early and often, counting 7 goals to the half time goalie change and 6 more afterwards. The Wolves were only able to reply once – final score 13-1….sigh…..

5th seed Huntsville was the opponent for the Saturday late game. Huntsville scored early and the teams settled down for a tight defensive struggle for the rest of the period. BigBobF tied it up late but Huntsville quickly replied and the Wolves exited the 1st period down 1-2. In the 2nd the teams alternated goals with MattA and BigBobF, with his 2nd of the game, scoring for London – Huntsville leading at the end of 2, 4-3. Tight game, anything can happen and unfortunately it did. Some rough play in the corner, a stick that defied gravity and flew for a few (well maybe 20 or 30) feet  and the JKOW was gone for the game (and the tournament….more sigh…). The Wolves bore down on defense and held Huntsville to a single marker in the 3rd but were unable to muster any offense themselves – final score Huntsville 5 – London 3. Pretty good game, but not the result desired.

On to Sunday! With Durham forfeiting all 3 of their games, serious math was needed to figure out the final standings – (no one said there would be math involved with lacrosse – NOT FAIR!). In any case with GA being the deciding criterion for breaking points ties in Masters Lacrosse, registering forfeits as 1-0 games helps out (distorts) the results for both the winning and defaulting teams. London (0-3) ended up 7th! ahead of Durham in 8th (0-3, all forfeits) ahead of Peterboro and Brampton (also 0-3). Should have said we played an illegal player against Six Nations – a 1-0 loss would look a lot better than 13-1 in the records. May have to review the forfeit rules as this issue has now come up in both London HL and the Provincials. It was London vs. Durham for 7th place on Sunday morning – with the impeding forfeit (LONDON FINISHES 7th IN THE PROVINCE!!!!) it was decided to pick up a couple of Durham Jr players that were willing to play to make for a better game. As in the Friday game, Durham scored early but the Wolves fought back with 3 goals to take a lead late into the period. But then the wheels started to wobble – Durham with 3 goals late in the 1st and then 5 more in the 2nd and 3 more in the 3rd,  overwhelmed the Wolves who were only able to counter with a couple of goals in each of the last 2 periods – final score Durham 12 – London 7….fun game, but again, not the result desired. At least we can still go with the 1-0 shutout victory story – don’t really have to provide any additional explanations.

The end of another season of Sr. Masters lacrosse – disappointing player turnouts but with some encouraging game results – enough to go for another year…maybe. Good news with the retirement of RobA and the Brick from the O’Ville Jr team and their subsequent (immediate) recruitment to the Old Wolves – should lower the average age and up the average speed a bit. Hope we can afford the 10 yr, $1 long term contracts we had to offer. As always, hope springs eternal – if we can add another player or two, the Wolves might be able to howl in 2017.

Only 32 weeks to go before LAX2017.

Go Werewolves of London – ARROOOOH!