A couple of very hard fought games on Wednesday night – Team Blair (or should I say Team Ian) and Team Jacquie punch their tickets to the ultimate test of Summer2017 London HL supremacy….Took lots of notes but they are hard to read so here is what I can decipher. For the 1st game good turnouts for both teams – 4 on the bench for Team Blair, 7 for Team Lia. Team Lia struck very early but Bummer got one back for Team Blair soon after. Team Lia with another before BigAdam and IanG and another last second goal for Bummer closed out the 1st period – Team Blair up 4-2 and Justin was looking a bit flustered. In the 2nd, AlexF opened the scoring for Team Lia but IanG continued his scoring run with a couple more goals, one right at the goalie switch to  open a seemingly safe 6-3 advantage at the half way mark. Another IanG over the shoulder goal right after the switch and then nothing from either team for the rest of the period – at the end of 2, Team Blair 7 – Team Lia 3. But, as we all know, lax is a game of momentum – Team Lia opened the 3rd with a nice Knapper goal followed by a precision Standish tally followed again by the first of of veteran BillMs 3 goals of the night to pull to within a single goal. Would the story of the night be the big comeback? Maybe not – another Team Blair goal and then IanG looped a high floater over Gord’s shoulder that barely had enough forward momentum to cross the goal line – but, in it was, for a heart breaking, momentum killing goal – Team Blair up by 2 and Team Lia’s momentum dead late in the game. But maybe not dead yet – BillM with his patented low shot and then another put Team Lia within a single goal AGAIN! But then, changing things up, IanG with ANOTHER goal, backhand, but this time, not over the shoulder, down low instead and Team Blair was up by 2 – would this be enough of a lead to kill off Team Lia? AND AGAIN! NOT DEAD YET! another Team Lia goal to pull within 1, pull the goalie and put pressure on to tie things up. But, it was all for naught, a last second empty net goal from a totally unexpected source, IanG (!) for his 7th goal of the game and Team Lia was finally dead and no chance for a 3-peat championship in 2017. Team Princess (Cinderella, Sparkle) is dead, long live the new Princess team…(this analogy is getting a bit strained. oh well). Team Blair is on their way back to the finals with a strong 11-9 victory in one of the best games of the summer (so far). In the goalie battle GordC beat out JustinP 8-12 for a surprisingly easy win.

On to the late game – Team Jacquie with lots of runners, Team Dirka not so much. Team Jacquie jumped out early with the Pickle getting the first goal but Team Dirka responded and added another to exit the 1st period up 2-1. In the 1st half of the 2nd the teams exchanged goals with JodyH’s breakaway goal, then BrentY picking off an errant pass and finally IanF with a picture pinpoint top corner goal and the teams hit the goalie change/halfway point with Team Dirka up 4-2. After the change, it was all Team Jacquie, Pickle with the hard shot and NateH with a nice pinpojnt goal tied things up at the end of 2.  In the 3rd, MikeP, with a beautiful quick stick goal from a hard Pickle pass and the Brick, with a bounce shot to the corner, upped Team Jacquie’s lead to 2 goals but JodyH powered through the middle to finally put one past GordtheGoalie to bring the Dirkas to within 1 with under 5 minutes to go. Another tense finish was in the works! A careless Frithy penalty with less than 2 minutes to go resulted in some quick consultation – would a tie stand (-> penalty shot) or would there be OT (->run the penalty)? With OT (and a shootout) a possibility Team Dirka was going to be shorthanded for the rest of the game – a much harder hill to climb. Goalie pulled, lots of pressure, some chances, but in the end, it was another BrentY goal, on an empty net, that put a nail in Team Dirka’s hopes for a last place to finals trip for 2017 – Team Jacquie booked their championship berth with a hard fought 7-5 victory. Another good game, close and hard fought – it’s what LMHLL playoff lacrosse is all about. For the 2nd game, the goalie battle was even more decisive – GordC easily bested Justin 3-9 for a sweep of the nights goalie games.

On to the Championships! Week #17 Wednesday August 30, 2017 Kinsmen Arena

First we have to decide the LMHLL EveryWinnerHasToGetSomethingChampionOfTheLosersRound Bronze Award (Girl’s Lax Bobblehead version) or alternately the (Stained) SilverBedpanToiletBowlLoser trophy)

Team Dirka  vs.  Team Lia     8:00pm  – 9:00pm

And then the pinnacle of London HL Lacrosse, what we all vie for over the hot summer weeks, the LMHLL MemorialBraggingRightsUsedBallOfTape Championship Crystal Trophy(picture)

Team Blair  vs  Team Jacquie     9:00pm  – 10:00pm.

Remember that we will adjourn to the Alibi after the championship game to partake of some snacks, quaff some cold beverages and argue over whether the results truly reflect the best lacrosse teams in LMHLL Summer2017.

See you on the floor next week.