Host Merchants need overtime to defeat Ennismore

by Sam Laskaris

It was arguably the most important game of the season thus far for the Merchants Lacrosse Club. And though the Oshawa-based Merchants required overtime, they were able to register a 10-8 victory over the visiting Ennismore James Gang on Wednesday. The Ontario Series Lacrosse match was held at the Delpark Homes Centre in Oshawa.

“I’m happy to get the two points,” said Merchants’ head coach Clancy Almas said. “However, we are still not playing anywhere near our potential.”

With Wednesday’s triumph, the Merchants were able to leapfrog the James Gang in the OSL standings and into fourth place as they have now racked up nine points, thanks to their 4-5-1 record. Ennismore’s mark fell to 4-9-0. The James Gang, who have played three games more than the Merchants, are now in fifth place with eight points.

Following a 16-game regular season schedule, the top four finishers will advance to the OSL playoffs. Wednesday’s win was crucial for the Merchants as they didn’t want to fall three points behind the James Gang.

The two squads were deadlocked at 8-8 following 60 minutes of regulation action. As a result, a full 10-minute overtime session was required to decide the game’s outcome. Josh Medeiros scored game winner in OT, with just over two minutes left in the extra period.

“He’s a clutch player with tons of leadership,” Almas said of Medeiros, who had also netted a first-period goal in the contest. Devin Pipher added an insurance goal for the Merchants.

Almas also praised Merchants’ rookie John Harrington, who scored a natural hat trick in the opening period. “He started the game off on fire, scoring a few highlight reel goals,” Almas said.

Meanwhile, Bryce Tolmie, a former star with the Clarington-based Green Gaels’ Junior B squad, played just his second game with the Merchants this season. Tolmie is primarily living in the U.S. now as he’s working south of the border, after graduating from New York’s Hofstra University.

“Only being back for these few games, I can tell this group wants to battle,” Tolmie said of his Merchants’ teammates.

Tolmie scored once and earned a pair of assists on Wednesday. He said his club was able to register a win in large part because of the efforts of goaltender Joel Watson.

“There’s always ups and downs in a game,” Tolmie said. “Luckily Watson was in net to bail us out and keep us in this game.”

The others who scored goals for the Merchants were Jake Gilmour, Luke Pilcher and Matt Boissonneault.

The Merchants’ next game is this Sunday, July 3, against the league-leading Six Nations Rivermen. This match, which will be held at the Six Nations Sports and Cultural Memorial Centre, has an opening faceoff set for 6 p.m.