Defence never rests for undefeated Mohawks
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
ELORA – The Elora Mohawks let their defence do the talking Sunday evening as they remained unbeaten in the Ontario junior B lacrosse league season with an 11-7 victory over the Orangeville Northmen at the Elora and District Community Centre.
“Our D’s our backbone and we know that,” Elora coach Kyle Goss said. “Our offence is starting to click now. We were a little slow off the start. The guys were a little snake-bit, but everything’s starting to click a little better now.
“I’m pretty pleased with our D every night. They’re our backbone and they work hard and they keep the pressure on. For sure, between the D and (goaltender) Landon (Kells) tonight, a really good job.”
The Mohawks shut down Orangeville’s power play and that turned out to be the difference in the game. While both teams had eight man-advantage situations
the Mohawks scored on four of them and held the Northmen scoreless on their power play.
That allowed Elora to rebound from a 3-0 deficit nine minutes into the game for the win.
“You’re never worried with this squad here.“We’re ready to play a full 60 minutes. It doesn’t matter what the score starts off, it’s how it finishes,” said Elora’s Cole Spear. “We worked hard. We saw that 3-0 on the board and no-one backed up. We didn’t pack up tent and leave. We were all ready to battle and went.”
A run of five goals put Elora ahead 3:10 into the second period before the Northmen tied it with two of their own. Another four-goal run put the Mohawks ahead for good as they led 9-5 at the end of the second.
Spear struck for four goals for the Mohawks, two on the power play.
“I was just seeing the ball tonight,” Spear said. “Last night, we had a good battle here against Niagara, but I just wasn’t feeling it last night so I came out tonight just ready to battle.”
Brett Harrison added a pair of goals for the Mohawks and Hyatt Welsh, Ryan Mueller, Ryan Buller, Dean Sealey and Kevin Hutchison also scored. Kurtis Woodland collected six assists while Klayton Hoelscher had three, Spear and Harrison two each and Owen O’Donnell, Welsh and A.J. Skirving one apiece.
Grayson Houghton connected for a pair of goals for Orangeville while the others were scored by Liam Smith, Cameron MacDonald, Brett Draper, Mitchell Bernier and Tanner Buck. Bernier and Smith each had two assists while Jamie Hunt, Buck, Jeremy Searle, Ryland Baird and Zach Bell each had one.
The Mohawks outshot the Northmen 54-50. Kells picked up the win for Elora while Daniel Tanner took the loss for Orangeville. Keegan Madden started for the Northmen, but was replaced at 3:10 of the second following Elora’s fifth goal. Madden faced 28 shots, Tanner 25.
The Mohawks have won all five league games they’ve played while Orangeville’s at 1-1-0.
“We’re playing like a team and we’re slowly getting better at that,” Goss said. “There’s been a lot of key saves, good goaltending.”
“That’s the first quarter of the season that’s over with now,” Spear said. “We’re ready to go for the second quarter here again. We’re going to go another five-game stretch and see what we can put out there.”
All games in the Mohawks’ second quarter will be played away from Elora as next on their schedule is their first of five consecutive road games as they’re to play the St. Catharines Spartans (0-3-0) at the Merriton Lions arena Friday at 8 p.m.
Elora’s 20-game schedule has eight road games in the first half and eight home games in the second half including their final four games.
“It’s a bit of a different schedule, but I don’t think I really mind it,” Goss said. “It doesn’t really matter to me. We’ve got to win some big games and we’ve won some big games already and they’ve been on the road, too. That’s big.”