Mohawks top Niagara to finish third in conference
NIAGARA – The Elora Mohawks showed their intentions early as they didn’t want to leave their fate up to any other team.
The Mohawks scored four times in the first seven minutes of the game to start on their way to a 12-7 victory over the Niagara Thunderhawks to wrap up their Ontario junior B lacrosse league regular season Saturday night at the Meridian Credit Union Arena.
The win clinched a third-place finish in the Western Conference for the Mohawks. The loss knocked Niagara out of the playoff race as the Point Edward Pacers secured the eighth and final playoff berth in the conference with a 13-6 win over the London Blue Devils.
Elora’s conference quarter-final playoff opponent will be decided either Sunday or Monday, the final day of the league’s regular season. The Mohawks (14-6-0) will play either the Owen Sound North Stars or Hamilton Bengals. Both enter Sunday with 11-8-0 records and will finish either sixth or seventh in the conference. Elora will play whichever team finishes sixth.
Hamilton is to play the Welland Generals (3-16-0) at Welland Sunday night and Owen Sound is to play the Orangeville Northmen (16-3-0) at Orangeville Monday night. If the teams finish in a tie, Hamilton will be awarded sixth thanks to a 7-4 victory over Owen Sound June 4.
Elora beat the Bengals 9-3 May 14 in their only meeting of the season while the North Stars won three of their four meetings with the Mohawks, winning 11-6 at Owen Sound April 27, 6-5 May 7 and 12-10 May 28 in the games at Elora. The Mohawks won 7-5 at Owen Sound May 11.
Saturday, Elora led 4-3 at the end of the first period and 8-5 at the end of the second.
Nathan Bolger, Ryan Buller, Carter McKenzie, Ryan Mueller and Kurtis Woodland scored twice each for Elora while Dawson Bolger and Klayton Hoelscher added single goals. Eric Egan assisted on five of the goals while Mueller had four assists, Woodland three, Hoelscher and Hyatt Welsh two apiece and Dawson Bolger, Buller, Jack Francis and Cody Stannard one each.
Bryce Mayea and Matt Mines fired in two goals apiece for Niagara while Dan Kritkausky, Devin Napolean and Saul Vanderzalm scored the other goals. Napolean, Vanderzalm and Chris Weier each had two assists and Wyn Blueye, Kritkausky, Hunter Lemieux, Mayea, Mines, Conner Overstrom and Brandon Sveda had one each.
Niagara outshot Elora 47-39 and both teams scored two power-play goals, Elora on four power plays and Niagara on seven.
Matt Humphrey was the winning goaltender for Elora while Brandon Rickard took the loss for Niagara.
The playoffs are to start next week.
Mohawks 12 Thunderhawks 7
1. Elora, Mueller (Buller, Egan) 2:07
2. Elora, D.Bolger (Welsh, Hoelscher) 2:55
3. Elora, Buller (Woodland, Egan) 3:16
4. Elora, McKenzie (Stannard, Mueller) 6:51
5. Niagara, Napolean (Sveda, Kritkausky) 14:30
6. Niagara, Mines (Vanderzalm) 16:40
7. Niagara, Mayea (Napolean, Mines) 19:30 pp
Penalties: Merza Niag (slashing), 8:03; Skirving Elora (holding), 12:11; Vanderzalm Niag (high sticking), 17:21; Francis Elora (holding), 18:59.
8. Elora, Woodland (Mueller) 1:36
9. Elora, Woodland (Egan, Welsh) 5:35
10. Niagara, Vanderzalm (Weier, Blueye) 12:43
11. Niagara, Mayea (Overstrom, Napolean) 13:07
12. Elora, Mueller (Woodland) 17:03 pp
13. Elora, N.Bolger (Francis) 19:35
Penalties: O’Donnell Elora (high sticking), 9:12; Maloney Niag (holding), 10:13; O.Ristov Elora (high sticking major), 14:36; Vanderzalm Niag (high sticking), 16:44.
14. Niagara, Kritkausky (Weier, Vanderzalm) 6:44
15. Elora, Hoelscher (Mueller) 9:36 pp
16. Elora, N.Bolger (D.Bolger, Hoelscher) 12:06
17. Niagara, Mines (Mayea, Lemieux) 13:36 pp
18. Elora, Buller (Woodland, Egan) 14:07
19. Elora, McKenzie (Egan, Mueller) 14:29
Penalties: N.Bolger Elora (tripping), 7:33; Merza Niag (slashing), 8:19; O.Ristov Elora (high sticking), 13:23.
Shots on Goal
Goalies: Humphrey (W, 47 shots-40 saves), Elora; Rickard (L, 39 goals-27 saves), Niagara.
Power Plays (goals-chances): Elora 2-4; Niagara 2-7.
- Guelph Sports Journal