A healthy roster, the ability to sleep at home – recipe for success? or not…

A couple of younger recruits from O’ville, an unexpected London pickup and a pretty strong looking roster for Friday evening – what COULD go wrong…? 🙄 Less than 2 minutes in ChrisS put the Werewolves in the lead and things were looking GOOD! Unfortunately 6Nations replied less than a minute later and then scored again, and again and again….. I’m sensing a pattern here, not entirely sure of what it is, but definitely a pattern. 6^Nations led 3-1 at the end of 1, 7-1 at the end of 2 and coasted to an easy 11-2 victory. London had lots of chances but just couldn’t seal the deal. Oh well, a quick drive home to sleep at home and back for 2 games on Saturday.

For the early Saturday game, Lions Park was the venue, but humid air coupled with cold concrete made the floor behave like ice – runners and goalies were falling left and right and both teams decided that a 0-0 tie would be better than risking serious injury. After some quick phone calls tournament convenors were able to switch the game to the Gretzky Centre – air conditioned comfort but 4’6″ Jr sized nets. A somewhat short benched Huntsville opened the scoring early but good defense and ball control by both teams kept the chances low and the teams exchanged a couple of goals each and the period ended with Huntsville up 3-2. In the 2nd, Werewolves quickly tied it up but then allowed a couple of Huntsville goals before replying with 2 of their own to tie things up. The tie game was short lived as Huntsville scored very late in the period to carry their 1 goal lead into the 3rd – 6-5. The late 2nd period goal seemed to give Huntsville an infusion of momentum and they scored again 20 sec in to the period and again at the 8 min mark to up their lead to 3 goals. But, as we all know lacrosse is a game of momentum, and no lead is safe! Werewolves scored a minute after the last Huntsville goal and again 2 minutes later and AGAIN to tie it up a minute after that. Werewolves pressing, Huntsville back on their heels and London scores again to pull in to the lead with just over a minute to play. Great defense, a couple of loose balls and some ball control and the Werewolves held on to a well deserved 9-8 come back victory. First win of 2017, hopefully a portent for both the rest of the weekend and the remainder of the season.

The late Saturday game was back at the sauna that was the Memorial Centre against perennial nemesis – the Niagara Viagras. London scored early and the teams exchanged goals before Niagara reeled off 3 late period goals to exit the 1st leading 4-2. Niagara scored a couple more before the Werewolves were able to reply with 3 raising hopes for another come from behind performance. The 2nd period ended with Niagara leading by a single marker, 6-5. In the 3rd, Niagara popped in a couple early and the Werewolves struggled back with 2 of their own to get within 1 goal, but unfortunately a 2nd comeback was not to be. A couple of chances and a last minute goalie pull were unsuccessful and time ran out on a Niagara victory – 8-7. Still, an exciting game, with lots of chances for the Werewolves. Some debriefing over beer and food and everyone left for a quick drive back to London.

Sunday dawned bright and cheerful for the final game of the tournament with Halton Hills as the opponent. Again, the Werewolves started quickly, with IanG scoring less than 30sec into the game and then playing awesome defense to hold Halton off the scoreboard for the remainder of the period. Unfortunately the 2nd and 3rd periods were all Halton, with the Rams scoring 6 in the 2nd and 3 more in the 3rd ….sigh. IanG scored his 2nd of the game late in the 3rd but it was not nearly enough as the Rams easily coasted to a 9-2 victory over the overwhelmed Werewolves.

Regardless, an OK start for 2017, 1 victory to build upon and lots of opportunity to have tournament-on-tournament performance improvements as the season unfolds. Next is Fergus in mid July – we’ll see how things progress… or not!