Mid summer and only the 2nd real tournament of the season – Werewolves were on the road Friday night on the way to Fergus. After doing reasonably well (2 ties and 2 points in Midland) the Wolves were snarly after learning that their few hard earned points had been taken away due to forfeits for not having enough players – I guess we don’t get any bonus points for successfully grovelling and begging for additional live bodies…sigh. This weekend’s chances were more promising – a reasonable number of players and the addition of IanG and JeffW to bolster our …anemic… offense.

First game – Brampton, a perennial nemesis – but surprise of surprises, BigBobF opened the scoring with a pretty goal early in the first. Unfortunately for the Werewolves, their lead was short lived as Brampton responded half a minute later to tie it up. Goals were exchanged and the period ended with the teams tied at 3. Hopefully the late (as usual) arrival of the JKOW would improve our offense…but, unfortunately not, as the 2nd period was similar, with a total of 4 goals being traded leaving the teams tied at 5. In the 3rd Brampton pushed hard and scored a couple while keeping the Wolves off the scoreboard till very late in the game. A last second goal closed the gap to 1 but not enough time remained to get another – Brampton winning the game 7-6. Ian G led the Wolves with 3 goals and 2 assists.

Saturday morning the main concern was which team had more opportunity to discuss strategy the evening before in the bars. An ominous text from the JKOW reporting that all his equipment, left out on the lawn to dry out, had been stolen (REALLY? that has to be one sick lowlife, or at least one with no sense of smell!) No JKOW but we should still be competitive – maybe. The morning opponents were The Niagara Viagras who opened the scoring less than a minute into the game, and then again 8 minutes later and again a minute after that – there seems to be a disturbing pattern here. The Wolves were finally able to solve the Niagara goalie and a couple of goals were exchanged – Niagara exited the 1st period leading 4-2. In the 2nd, London added a couple of goals but Niagara was able to get 1 back late in the period, the 2nd frame ending with Niagara clinging to a 1 goal lead – 5-4. The 3rd period displayed strong defense from both teams with no goals until London was able to tie it up with 5 minutes to go and THEN, score again with a minute to play to pull ahead. Niagara pushed hard but was unable to break through London’s stingy defense and the clock ran out on the Werewolves’ first win of the season – London 6 – Niagara 5. Again, IanG led the Wolves with 4 goals and an assist – another possible pattern here!.

For the afternoon game, the opponent was 6Nations. A number of the Wolves retired to the downtown riverside restaurant patio for some sustenance and it was a hard decision on whether to have another round in the sunshine or return to the hot arena – decisions, decisions! Unfortunately we decided to return to play  🙁   . 6Nations started the scoring but the Wolves responded quickly and the teams exchanged another pair of goals before London popped 2 quick ones late in the period to stun the crowd by going to the intermission leading 4-2 – unprecedented! Could this be the beginnings of another upset? Unfortunately not – the 2nd period reverted to a more typical pattern – Nations scoring 5 and London only able to respond with 1. 2nd period ended with Nations leading 7-4. In the 3rd, defense again came to the forefront, neither team able to score until London was able to pop a meaningless goal with 3 sec to go. Game ended with a 6Nations victory, 7-5 over a scrappy Werewolves team. A moral victory but we’ll take what we can. This game, JeffW led the Wolves with 3 goals. A a result of this unexpected display of high(?) quality lacrosse, the Wolves were feted by the Fergus elite (ex mayor….BigBobF!) and enjoyed a wonderful discussion of all things lacrosse over BBQ and beer on Bob’s sunny deck. It was also determined that our environental lawyer TomC was likely responsible for serious amounts of global warming and likely the major contributor to the lack of penguins in the NorthWest passage due to this choice on environmentally unfriendly pool liners. In any case, a good end to a good day of lacrosse.

On Sunday it was Barrie on deck for the final game of the tournament. The game started slowly before Barrie was able to get 1 on the board. They added another before the teams exchanged goals to end the 1st period with Barrie leading 3-1. The 3rd goal was particularly galling with Barrie’s BobS (an ex Werewolf) basically dropping the ball gently on the top of the London goalie’s head, having it bounce, drop to the top of the shoulder pad, bounce again of the crossbar, off the goalies’ back, down the back of the goalies’ leg and in to the net…sigh….. if it wasn’t for bad luck we wouldn’t have no luck at all. In the 2nd, the Wolves were able to score a couple and only allow 1 in return, the teams exiting the period with Barrie still leading by 1, 4-3. In the 3rd, Barrie scored early to pull ahead by 2 but the Wolves kept scrabbling back, BigBobF scored his 2nd of the weekend to get it close and with game time getting short, IanG solved the Barrie goalie with his 3rd of the game to tie it up with 5 minutes to go. Both teams pressed hard, but both goalies were able to shut down the rapidly tiring shooters and the game ended Werewolves 5 – Barrie 5. Another character building game as would be obvious to anyone listening to the Werewolves dressing room and shower discussion on the merits of various soap and skin care products – things definitely change as the average age gets over 50!  😯

Overall a pretty good weekend, 3 points, an increase of 1 over what we should have got from our 2 ties in Midland and a major improvement in turnout – funny how much better (and more enjoyable) thi with 10 runners instead of 7. Now, first to see if we can find some replacement equipment for the JKOW (still not sure how anyone can lose a bag of damp, toxic, biohazard lacrosse equipment but then, it IS Jason…) and then on to Niagara in 3 weeks time to see if our weekend over weekend performance can be improved again – year end bonuses and contract renegotiations are upcoming! Onward and upward!