Longboat leads Rivermen to victory in OSL Finals opener

by Sam Laskaris

Thanks in large part to a seven-point performance from Travis Longboat, the Six Nations Rivermen emerged victorious in the opener of the Ontario Series Lacrosse (OSL) championship series. Longboat netted a hat trick and also earned four assists as the host Rivermen defeated the Oakville Rock 12-8 in Game 1 of the league’s best-of-five final series. The match was held at the Six Nations Sports and Cultural Memorial Centre.

The two squads are right back in action on Sunday as the Rock will host Game 2. That contest, which will be staged at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville, has an opening faceoff scheduled for 7 p.m.

Rivermen head coach Darcy Powless said Longboat often prefers to let his on-floor efforts speak for him.

“Travis doesn’t say much,” Powless said. “He’s not the guy to stand up in the dressing room and be the guy hooting and hollering. He just goes out and works hard on the floor and leads by example.”

Powless added Longboat wasn’t the sole reason for his squad’s Game 1 victory.

“We’re getting goals from difference places,” he said. “It was a good team win.”

The Rivermen, however, had to play a bit of catchup on Saturday. The Rock scored the first two goals and led 4-3 after the opening 20 minutes of action. Six Nations never trailed again though after taking a 6-5 lead in the second period.

“We just kept grinding after we got going,” he said.

The Rivermen, who had finished atop the OSL regular season standings with a 14-2-0 record, are considered the favourites in the final over the 8-8-0 Rock, which placed third. But Powless believes the Oakville squad will continue to provide a stiff challenge for his side in the final.

“They’ve got a good team,” he said of the Rock. “They’ve got experienced coaches over there. And they’ve got some (National Lacrosse League) players. But if we play like we did in the second half of the game, we’ll be okay.”

Dusty Hill picked up the W between the pipes for the Rivermen. He also picked up an assist on Longboat’s hat trick goal in the second period. Scott Del Zotto and Vern Hill scored two goals each for the Six Nations squad. Also scoring for the Rivermen were Wes Whitlow, Jordan Goddard, Marshall Powless, Wayne Hill and Wake:Riat BowHunter.

Powless likes the fact the series will resume in less than 24 hours.

“Our guys are all pumed right now,” he said.