Traveling Mohawks give Orangeville the slip

Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal

FERGUS – The Elora-Fergus Mohawks, as in Elora-to-Fergus, wrapped up the home portion of their Ontario junior B lacrosse league’s regular season with a 6-4 victory over the Orangeville Northmen Sunday night.

“Any night you can beat a good team like Orangeville, you’re quite happy with it,” Elora coach Kyle Goss said. “We’d like home-floor advantage in the playoffs and that win there is a huge two points to help that get that fourth seed.”

For the third consecutive week an Elora home game started at the Elora and District Community Centre and then moved to the Centre Wellington Sportsplex when the floor in Elora became too slippery to play on due to the high humidity in the building.

“We’re not getting used to it, but we’ve kind of learned to not have to worry about what’s going on, what floor we’re playing on,” Goss said. “We still play the same game no matter where we are and I think we showed that especially well tonight.”

The game was tied 2-2 with 5:36 to go in the second period when the match was halted and moved nine kilometres to Fergus.

“It’s obviously not ideal, but we’re just going to have to do what we can and if it means playing in Fergus, then we’re just going to have to do our job here instead,” Goss said.

After a warmup, Orangeville scored a shorthanded goal about a minute and a half into the Fergus segment of the game.

The Mohawks got that one back in the opening minute of the third before Orangeville scored six and a half minutes later. Hyatt Welsh pulled Elora even again half a minute later and Cody Stannard fired in the game winner on a power play with three and a half minutes to go. Jack Francis added an empty-netter with nine second to play to round out the scoring.

Carter McKenzie, Nathan Bolger, Owen O’Donnell, Welsh, Stannard and Francis scored the goals for the Mohawks while Kurtis Woodland set up three of them. Francis, Klayton Hoelscher, Ryan Mueller, Stannard, Dawson Bolger and Carter McKenzie each had one assist.

Nik Farrus had a hat trick for Orangeville while Grayson Houghton scored the other goal. Colin Courtney had two assists while Scott Dominey, Kyle Waters and Cameron MacDonald had one each.

The win leaves the Mohawks third in the Western Conference at 12-6-0 with two games to go. The Six Nations Rebels (18-1-0) have clinched first in the conference and Orangeville (16-3-0) will finish second. The Wallaceburg Red Devils (11-5-1) are fourth, Windsor Clippers (10-6-1) fifth and Hamilton Bengals (10-8-0) sixth. Owen Sound North Stars (9-8-0) are seventh and Niagara Thunderhawks (8-10-0) and Point Edward Pacers (8-10-0) tied for the eighth and final playoff spot.

The Mohawks lose one-on-one tiebreakers with Wallaceburg and Owen Sound, but win them with Windsor and Hamilton. Top four teams in the conference gain home-court advantage in the first round.

The Mohawks are to play the Guelph Regals () at the Sleeman Centre Friday at 8 p.m. and Niagara at the Meridian Credit Union Arena in Niagara Falls Saturday at 7 p.m.

“Definitely four points is our goal,” Goss said. “We don’t want to take any team lightly. We definitely don’t want to give anything away we maybe shouldn’t have and we definitely want to be rolling going into the playoffs and that means two big points of Friday night and two big points on Saturday.”

 

Mohawks 6 Northmen 4
First Period
1. Elora, McKenzie (Woodland) 6:24
2. Orangeville, Farrus (Dominey, Waters) 6:56
Penalties: Mikulik Orange (slashing), Mueller Elora (slashing), 0:16; N.Bolger Elora (holding), 3:12.
Second Period
3. Elora, N.Bolger (Francis, Hoelscher) 5:45
4. Orangeville, Houghton (Courtney, MacDonald) 6:46
5. Orangeville, Farrus (unassisted) 15:48 sh
Penalties: Anyon Orange (high sticking), 2:01; Lewis Elora (holding), Mikulik Orange (holding), 7:12; Woodland Elora (slashing), 9:34; MacLean Orange (illegal cross checking), 14:45; Hutchison Elora (illegal cross checking), 17:06.
Third Period
6. Elora, O’Donnell (Woodland, Mueller) 0:23
7. Orangeville, Farrus (Courtney) 7:00
8. Elora, Welsh (Stannard) 7:38
9. Elora, Stannard (D.Bolger) 16:35 pp
10. Elora, Francis (Woodland, McKenzie) 19:51 en
Penalties: Buck Orange (roughing), 10:59; Hoelscher Elora (slashing), 12:21; MacDonald Orange (slashing), 15:53; Hoelscher Elora (roughing), Anyon Orange (roughing), 17:25.
Shots on Goal
Orangeville     13-11-9–33
Elora                   9-8-9–26
Goalies: Tanner (L, 25 shots-20 saves), Orangeville; Kells (W, 33 shots-29 saves), Elora.
Power Plays (goals-chances): Orangeville 0-for-4; Elora 1-for-4.