3 WINS! 1 loss. BEST TOURNAMENT IN RECENT MEMORY! Now up to 4 tournaments , 6 wins! Increased 2015 win total by 100%. The superlatives are unending. Funny how winning a few games and being competitive is so much more enjoyable. Everyone smiling, aches and pains much less noticeable, beer tastes better! Have to get a few more data points to confirm this.
The Werewolves made the trek up to Fergus on Friday night with the expectation of a full roster. Everyone healthy (more or less), the addition of Ian Gordon and Jeff Williamson to the line charts, and only missing a couple of regulars made for a full, (and at least on paper) strong roster. And the expectations were fulfilled quickly on the floor – 3 goals in the first coupled with strong defense put the Werewolves up 3-0 at the end of 1. In the 2nd the London lead increased to 4 before Durham started to pick away, adding a couple of power play goals to end the 2nd with the Wolves still leading 4-2. In the 3rd London tried to put Durham away by adding a couple more but Durham kept coming back scoring 3 goals to bring it to within 1 with 4 minutes to play. London clamped down on the defense and Durham was unable to tie it up – end result London 6 – Durham 5. 4th tournament, 4th win, the streak continues!
Saturday morning the opponent was Peterboro (motto – “Our drinking team has a lacrosse problem”) reinforced with a handful of Beaches Sr players. For the first time in a long time London was able to light up the Beaches goalie more or less at will scoring 6 in the 1st, 3 more in the 2nd and 2 in the 3rd while keeping the P’boro scoring to 4. Final score London 11 – Peterboro 4. 2 games, 2 wins – we’re in some uncharted waters here. Whispering around the arena “Who are those players in the dayglo yellow shooting shirts and why are they playing for ….LONDON?”
For the afternoon game the opponent was Six Nations, also 2-0 for the weekend, with a full bench and ready to rumble. And a rumble it was. Lots of end to end play, good scoring chances, great defense and monumental faceoff battles. But, surprisingly enough, London pulled ahead early and held on to a comfortable lead for most of the game. Some intense play led to a couple of players hitting the showers early and to more penalty minutes that usual. London maintained a comfortable cushion and the Six Nations shooters were, for the most part, kept away from the Werewolves net – the game ended London 7 – Six Nations 3. Wait! What? – London 3-0 in the tournament? 24 goals scored! GAA of only 4.00! Call for the pee cups for drug testing, check the rosters for illegal players, ….this just can’t be happening!
Unfortunately all good things must eventually come to an end. For the Sunday game a couple of key players were missing, one due to a nagging injury, another due to misplacing their car after a birthday party (really?) but the bench still had 10 runners so, better than usual! Niagara went up by a couple of early easy goals but London quickly tied it up again, the period ending tied 2-2. In the 2nd London scored one and was dominating possession time and scoring chances but was unable to reliably solve the Niagara goaltending duo. Things were still looking positive but Niagara tied it up and got 2 more to exit the 2nd up by 2. In the 3rd London was still dominating the play but Niagara started to pull away, scoring 2 more to up their lead to 4 goals. But wait, the game isn’t over till the fat lady sings… Jeff with a laser shot, Ian with a nice bouncing shot goal and things were interesting again, Another goal and another spectacular goal from Ian and London was within 1 with 2 minutes to go. Pressing hard in the last minute, looking for the tieing goal….an errant pass, picked off for an uncontested breakaway, a looping ball, dropped over the goalies shoulder….sigh….. game over! Final score Niagara 8 – London 6. Not the result we would have wanted but not too shabby, none the less.
6 points for the weekend moves us out of last place and hopefully allows for slightly better seeding in the Provincials. We’ve always known that we have been a couple of key players short of being competitive, and with this year’s addition of 4(!) key players, the Werewolves are now more than competitive. We can play with, and surprise any of the other teams. Bring it on! Next… the Niagara tournament – August 7-9 weekend. Pretty hard to increase the wins total by 100% again but try we must!