Merchants drop a pair on home floor

by Sam Laskaris

Members of the Merchants Lacrosse Club will now have to wait until the find weekend of their regular season to find out whether they will be participating in any post-season action this year. The Merchants, in desperate need of some points in order to secure a playoff position, dropped a pair of weekend home matches. The Oshawa-based club was downed 7-5 by the Oakville Rock on Saturday. The Merchants were then defeated 12-7 by the Six Nations Rivermen in their Ontario Series Lacrosse (OSL) game held Sunday. Both outings were staged at the Delpark Homes Centre in Oshawa.

With their latest loss the Merchants saw their record fall to 4-9-1. They are currently in fifth place in the standings of the six-team OSL. The top four finishers advance to post-season action. The Merchants are one point behind the fourth-place Ennismore James Gang, who are sporting a 5-10-0 record. While the Merchants have two games remaining this coming weekend, the James Gang have just one left. 

As was the case on Saturday, the Merchants had difficulties scoring goals against the Rivermen.

“Again we struggled to find the back of the net,” said Merchants’ coach Ryan Preston.

Usually an assistant coach for the Merchants, Preston took over the club’s head coaching responsibilities for the weekend as Clancy Almas was away.

The Rivermen led 5-1 after the first period and 12-4 after 40 minutes of action. There was a bright spot for the Merchants. 

“We held them scoreless in the third,” Preston said.

The Merchants were able to score three goals late in the match to cut down the Rivermen’s margin of victory.

“We had lots of looks offensively,” Preston added. “We just couldn’t figure out the Six Nations goalie.”

That would be Troy Holowchuk, who made his Rivermen debut and earned the 'W' between the pipes. Meanwhile, Ryan Schuetzkowski started the contest in the Merchants’ net but was relieved midway through the second by Lukas Coote.

“Even though we pulled (Schuetzkowski), it wasn’t his fault,” Preston said. “We didn’t do much to help him out.”

Adam Perroni, who returned to action after serving a six-game suspension, led the Merchants offensively by scoring a hat trick. Perroni also had an assist in the game. Sean Westley also had a four-point night for the Merchants. All his points were via assists.

Meanwhile, John Harrington added a pair of goals for the Merchants while Carson Rees and Cody Hamley provided singles. 

Both of the Merchants final two regular season matches will be on the road. For starters, they will square off against the Rivermen this coming Saturday, July 16, in a 7 p.m. contest at the Six Nations Sports and Cultural Memorial Centre. The Merchants’ regular season finale will then be next Sunday, July 17, in Stayner, versus the expansion Clearview Crushers. The opening faceoff for that tilt is scheduled for 4 p.m.