Using the terminology of our banker types, London Werewolves recorded a 50% return over the last tournament reporting period and achieved a stellar 33% increase in tournament on tournament returns. Long term returns are 44% ( an even better 50% in the key reporting sample) which is an unbelievable 444% increase over the previous years results. These results should greatly increase our recruiting ability and help us build for the future (and possibly allow us to increase management fees!). DISCLAIMER: Past performance is no guarantee of future results.
After a relatively pleasant drive to Niagara on Friday night, the first game on the schedule was against Toronto Beaches. A FULL dressing room, a couple of new recruits and the game was on. Werewolves pushed hard right from the start and directed a lot of shots at a new Beaches goalie but the Toronto players put up a stifling defensive shell that did not allow many close in scoring chances. London dominated in possesion time and scoring chances but couldn’t convert. At the other end Beaches were able to slowly pick away and score a few. Going into the latter half of the 2nd period Beaches were up 5-0 and, surprisingly, they went into a full on defensive ball control mode. Better to run out the clock than allow some turnovers and possibly change the momentum in London’s favour. The 3rd period was pretty slow and boring with Matt Austin finally solving the Beaches’ goalie but they were able to get one back and the game slowly ran out – final score Beaches 6 – London 1. Not the best game to watch but the fact that Beaches were worried enough about the Werewolves to play a stifling defensive shell was encouraging.
After extended strategy discussions at the beer hall, further lacrosse discussion ensued back in Niagara over food and, surprisingly, more beer. As usual all London Masters and LMLA issues and problems were discussed and solved but noone remembered to take minutes…sigh…. Forgot to ask the players that held the subcommitee meeting at the strip bar to see if minutes (or incriminating videos) were recorded there! The 9:00am Saturday morning game arrived much earlier than was desired but the additional players driving from London did show up as promised – an even FULLER dressing room and the game was on. Matt Austin scored very early to get things going but Peterboro responded and the game remained close, the 1st period ending with London up only 2-1. Peterboro tied up the game early in the 2nd but the rest of the period was all Werewolves who scored 5 to pull away. Key goal -#4, when, 10 sec in to a power play, a pretty 4 way passing play found Darryl open in front of the net. Peterboro deflated and the scoring gates opened. 2nd period ended with London up 7-2. 3rd period Peterboro scored 2 bookend goals, one right at the start of the period and one in the last few seconds, but London scored 3 in the middle – final score London 10- – Peterboro 4. The minimum 1 win per 2015 tournament streak continues.
Afternoon game was against Halton Hills. Would their early season loss to the Werewolves up their game this time or would we be able to humiliate them with a 2nd defeat? Again Werewolves scored on the first possession, this time it was Ian Gordon with his first of 4 goals. London led after the 1st 2-1 and both teams exchanged a couple of goals with Halton scoring to get within 1 and then London scoring to extend the lead again to 2 to end the 2nd with London up 4-2. In the 3rd the sequence was reversed, London scoring to up the lead to 3, and Halton clawing back each time. Timekeeper issues allowed about 6 minutes of play with only 4 minuted of time remaining in the game – what is this? soccer with extended penalty/injury time? In any case a last minute penalty allowed Halton to get within 2 with 30sec to play but it was too little, too late and Werewolves won 6-4!
After intense strategy discussion (again) at the beer hall a disturbingly large number of players headed home to London – excuses such as birthday parties for brothers or children, parental obligations….. where are your priorities? It was decided that this situation would have to be discussed by a 45% quorum of the remaining players at a suitable location in downtown Niagara. After extended review (of the appropriate toppings for the pizza order) and more beer, the meeting was adjourned to a new craft brewpub in the middle of Clifton Hill. At this point things went bad…very bad. Tom, our legal counsel, saw a sign across the alley indicating the presence of Bumper Cars! Obviously a (very) long ago childhood trauma has made bumper cars somewhat of a trigger for Tom as he would talk of nothing else for the next hour. Upon further investigation, it was found that the ride was actually Combat Cars (much better name) and that none of our restraining orders prevented us from being in the arcade itself and combat was on. Luckily there were no breathalizer limitations and Formula 1 driving skills were optional. A hilariously good time was had though the 2 kids who foolishly participated in 5 minutes of Combat Car mayhem were heard to ask about the creepy old guys in the cars. Apparently incriminating photos of a famous local radio personality have been forwarded to the NATIONAL LACROSSE ENQUIRER and should be on the front page next time you are in the grocery store.
For the Sunday afternoon 4th game, the dressing room was definitely the opposite of full – only 8 runners – back to the bad old days. Without the speed and scoring of 5 of our top scorers, the result, if not inevitable, was at least predictable. Huntsville, with only 9 runners themselves, was able to win the ball control game and scored 4 in the 1st and a further 4 in the 2nd. Werewolves were only able to get 1 in the 1st but put out a burst of energy in the 2nd to score 3 in a row, 4 total as well. There was some glimmer of hope when the score was 6-4 and 8-5 but it was not to be. Exhaustion pushed the shots on goal wide, and allowed numerous uncontested breakaways in the 3rd and Huntsville scored 4 more to win easily 12-5.
Still, 2 wins, .500 for the weekend and .500 for the 3 best tournaments that are used for seeding purposes. Much better than the 0-12 in 2014. Not bad, overall a positive weekend – Werewolves (ver. Full Squad) can compete with any of the other teams and, depending on the final seedings, should cause a lot of worry for the other teams in their pool. On to the provincials – September 12 weekend in Oakville.