Thistles nipped by Whitby in Meredith Cup opener

FERGUS – The Fergus Thistles surrendered the final four goals of the game including three in the final two and a half minutes as they were edged 8-7 by the Whitby Warriors Friday night at the Centre Wellington Sportsplex in the opening game of the Ontario Junior C Lacrosse League’s best-of-seven Meredith Cup championship series.

Nick Aitchison’s power-play goal had given the Thistles a 7-4 lead with just under nine and a half minutes to go in regulation time.

However, Whitby started its winning rally about a minute and 15 seconds later then scored three goals in a span of a minute and 22 seconds late in the period to claim the victory.

Cameron Angst hit for a hat trick for the Thistles while J.J. Swanston, Brodie Schafer, Alec Beaurogard and Aitchison each had single goals. Aitchison and Sam MacDonald each had three assists while Angst had two and Swanston, Jacob Hayne, Adam Lantz, Ryan Biggs and Schafer had one apiece.

Devin Gilligan and Connor Platt each had two goals and two assists for Whitby while Matt Shand had a goal and four assists, Mike Andersson had a goal and three assists, Matt Andersson had a goal and two assists and Adam Smellie scored the other goal.

Whitby outshot the Thistles 52-44 and both teams had a power-play goal – Fergus on three power plays and Whitby on four.

Xavier DeMichele took the loss despite 44 saves in the Fergus net while winning netminder Zack Hubbard had 37 saves for Whitby.

The Thistles are trying to become the first team to beat Whitby this season as the Warriors have won all seven of their playoff games and all 16 of their regular-season matches this year. Their last loss was a season-ending 12-11 edging by the Peterborough Lakers July 30, 2018, in last year’s East Division final.

The Thistles are 19-9 overall in regular-season and playoff action this year.

Second game of the final is scheduled for Sunday at 8 p.m. at Whitby’s McKinney arena.

 

Warriors 8 Thistles 7
Whitby     1-2-5–8
Fergus     3-2-2–7
 
Click here for complete boxscore
 
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