Mohawks knocked from ranks of undefeated
Rob Massey, Guelph Sports Journal
ELORA – The Elora Mohawks surrendered six consecutive goals, including all four goals scored in the second period, as they fell from the ranks on the Ontario junior B lacrosse league’s undefeated teams with an 8-6 loss to the Six Nations Rebels Sunday night in a hot, humid and packed Elora and District Community Centre.
“We had a lot of chances in that second period,” Elora coach Kyle Goss said. “We knew they were going to press us in the second and I thought we did a good job pushing back, but the balls just weren’t going in. We’ve got to bear down on those chances and that game’s maybe not a win, but it’s different for sure.”
The Mohawks had jumped out to an early lead as they were up 3-1 before the game was six minutes old. However, Six Nations started its rally with 1:26 to go in the opening period. They led 6-3 by the end of the second and completed their scoring streak exactly a minute into the third.
The hosts rallied after that to close the gap with three goals by Kurtis Woodland, the last two being power-play markers in the game’s final eight minutes.
The Mohawks have stressed defensive play this year and in this game they ran up against another team that’s stellar on defence. The Rebels forced Elora to take more shots from long distance than is usually the case.
“There’s a reason why they were undefeated going into this,” Goss said. “We knew they were going to be good all over the floor. It was a good wake-up call and a good test.”
Owen O’Donnell scored twice for the Mohawks while Klayton Hoelscher had the other goal. Tyrus Rehanek and Josh Rex each had three assists while Hyatt Welsh, Woodland, Ryan Mueller and Hoelscher had one apiece.
Wes Whitlow and Riley Miller collected two goals apiece for Six Nations while Isiah Whitlow, Daylen Hill, Garret Vyse-Square and Kahn General had one each. Justin Martin, Austin Giles and Wes Whitlow each had two assists while Travis Staats, Isiah Whitlow, Mason Hill and Tanner Baldin had one each.
The Mohawks were outshot 47-43 by the Rebels and didn’t take advantage of their power plays. Elora went 2-for-10 with a manpower advantage while Six Nations was scoreless on its two power plays.
Keegan Thomas made 37 saves to get the win in net for Six Nations. Landon Kells took the loss for Elora. He was relieved by Matt Humphrey one minute into the third after allowing the seventh goal by the Rebels.
The result leaves Six Nations as the league’s lone undefeated squad. The Rebels are at 14-0-0 and Elora is at 11-1-0.
“Not many of us thought we were going to go 20-0 this season anyway,” Goss said. “At the end of the day it sucks to lose, but it’s not the end of the world.”
The Rebels, Mohawks and Wallaceburg Red Devils have all clinched playoff berths in the Western Conference.
The Mohawks won’t be thinking about this loss for long as they have three games on their schedule this week.
“We can get right back at it and we don’t have to dwell on this for much longer,” Goss said. “We can get back on that winning streak hopefully and get ramped up for the playoffs because they’re coming quick.”
The Mohawks are to play the Orangeville Northmen (7-4-0) at Orangeville Tuesday at 8 p.m. and host Wallaceburg Saturday night and the Guelph Regals Sunday night. Both of those games carry 7 p.m. starting times.