Mohawks, Gaels to start junior B final Friday

ELORA – The Ontario Junior B Lacrosse League’s championship series between the Elora Mohawks and the Green Gaels of Clarington is to start Friday at the Darlington Sports Centre in Hampton.

Second game of the best-of-five series is slated for Sunday at 7 p.m. at the Elora and District Community Centre.

The other games of the series have yet to be determined.

Both teams gained their berths in the final with victories in the fifth games of their conference finals. The Mohawks edged the Six Nations Rebels 9-8 at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena near Hagersville Monday night while the Gaels defeated the Akwesasne Indians Sunday afternoon at Hampton.

The two teams have had similar records throughout the season. Clarington is 9-2-0 in the playoffs while Elora is 9-3-0.

Clarington finished first in the Eastern Conference at the completion of the regular season with an 18-2-0 record while Elora was second in the Western Conference at 17-3-0. The Gaels outscored the Mohawks 256-218 in the regular season while the Mohawks yielded 98 goals and the Gaels gave up 122.

In the playoffs, the Mohawks have seven players with 20 or more points as Cole Spear has 57 (29 goals-28 assists), Kurtis Woodland 49 (27g-22a), Klayton Hoelscher 48 (18g-30a), Tyrus Rehanek 42 (5g-37a), Ryan Mueller 34 (20g-14a), Hyatt Welsh 25 (5g-20a) and Josh Rex 20 (5g-15a).

The Gaels also have seven players with 20 or more points in the playoffs – Jeremy McWatters with 54 (18g-36a), Adam Kitchen 44 (19g-25a), Brock Haley (30 (13g-17a), Tyler Stinson 29 (11g-18a), Trent Boyd and Adam Poitras 26 (9g-17a) apiece and Owen Boyle 25 (17g-8a).

Landon Kells has a 9-3-0 record with 7.50 goals-against average and .827 save percentage for Elora while the Clarington has used two goalkeepers, but gone primarily with Steven Walsh who is 7-2-0 with 7.68 GAA and .752 save percentage. Brett Underwood won his two first-round games against the Newmarket Saints, one by a shutout, and has a 2.52 GAA and .929 save percentage.

The Mohawks are a slightly older team than the Gaels as Elora has 11 players on its roster with birthdates in 1997, three in 1998 and two in 1999 and Clarington has three on its roster who were born in 1997, nine in 1998 and two in 1999.

Being in opposite divisions, the two teams do not play one another in the regular season. The last time the two franchises battled one another was Aug. 9, 2009, when the Gaels defeated the Mohawks 13-7 at the Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex in Bowmanville to win the league title. Elora’s head coach Kyle Goss and assistant coaches Brady Landoni and Scott Cook played in that game as did Gaels assistant coach Chris Cudmore.

This year’s final will be the fifth time the two franchises have met in the championship series. Elora won in 1999 and Clarington won in 2000, 2004 and 2009.

  • Guelph Sports Journal