Fergus Thistles closing in on West Division title win
BRANTFORD – The Fergus Thistles are a win away from a berth in the Ontario Junior C Lacrosse League’s championship series.
Sunday at the Gretzky sports complex, the Thistles handed the host Brantford Warriors a 10-8 setback. That gave Fergus a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five West Division final. Each game in the series has been won by the visiting squad.
A pair of power-play goals 34 seconds apart early in the second period broke a 3-3 tie and put the Thistles ahead for good. Fergus had led 3-2 at the end of the first period and was up 8-5 at the end of the second.
Brantford netted the first two goals of the third to cut the gap to a single goal, but the Thistles responded with a pair of goals of their own to secure the win.
J.J. Swanston fired home a hat trick for the Thistles while Nick Aitchison, Brodie Schafer and Cameron Angst scored twice each and Sam MacDonald netted the other goal. Angst and Aitchison each had four assists while Adam Lantz had three, Schafer and MacDonald had two each and Swanston had one.
Dalton Thomas scored three times for Brantford while Jayden Drage tallied twice and Blake Dunford, Ryan Dorr and Caleb Wells each had one goal. Dorr collected three assists while Winston Bashford, Michael Comeau and Drage each had two and Nick D’Amico, Wells, Connor Merritt and Trevor McDonald had one apiece.
Brantford outshot the Thistles 58-42 and went 1-for-3 on its power play while the Thistles went 3-for-5.
Xavier DeMichele turned aside 50 shots to get the win in the Fergus net while Jackson Miller took the loss with 32 saves for Brantford.
Game 2 is set for Tuesday at 8 p.m. at the Centre Wellington Sportsplex.
If Brantford wins that game, the fifth and deciding game is to go Wednesday at Brantford starting at 8 p.m.
Winner of the series is to play the East champion Whitby Warriors in the best-of-seven Meredith Cup championship series.
Whitby completed a three-game sweep of the Peterborough Lakers in the East final Thursday. Whitby outscored Peterborough 55-24 in the series.
Thistles 10 Warriors 8
- Guelph Sports Journal