Rivermen edged by visiting North Stars

by Sam Laskaris

The Six Nations Rivermen who have earned themselves a reputation of having an explosive offence just couldn’t get on track on Saturday. As a result the Rivermen were edged 5-4 by the visiting Owen Sound North Stars in an Ontario Series Lacrosse (OSL) match. The contest was held at the Six Nations Sports and Cultural Memorial Centre.

For the Rivermen it was just their second loss of the 2022 campaign. Six Nations continues to lead its six-team league thanks to its 12-2-0 record. With the win the North Stars improved their mark to 8-6-1, good for second place in the OSL standings.

Rivermen defender Mike McLaughlin felt North Stars’ netminder Landon Kells was one of the main reasons the Owen Sound squad earned the two points on Saturday. “Kells was outstanding,” McLaughlin said. The Rivermen veteran also had some additional praise for the North Stars. “The Owen Sound defence played very well all game long,” he said.

The Rivermen didn’t help their own cause, scoring just once in the opening period.

“We didn’t get off to a quick start,” McLaughlin said.

The Six Nations squad then managed to score just twice in the middle frame and only once in the final 20 minutes of action.

“It was a defensive battle tonight,” said Rivermen coach Vince Longboat. “Both teams didn’t have a lot of room on the offensive side of the ball.”

Longboat usually serves as an assistant coach for the Six Nations club, but he handled the squad’s head coaching duties as Darcy Powless is in Alabama, working as the assistant general manager for the Haudenosaunee men’s team competing at the World Games. Longboat felt both netminders – Kells and Dusty Hill who was between the pipes for the Rivermen – were on top of their games.

“Both Dusty and their goalie played well,” he said. Longboat also felt the lacrosse gods were not on the Rivermen side on Saturday. “A few bounces didn’t go our way tonight,” he said.

Vern Hill, Travis Longboat, Wes Whitlow and Tyler Brown netted the Six Nations goals.

The good news for the Rivermen is that they won’t have long to dwell on Saturday’s setback. The Rivermen are right back in action on Sunday. They will hit the road to square off against the Oshawa-based Merchants Lacrosse Club. That match, which will be staged at the Delpark Homes Centre, has an opening faceoff set for 6 p.m.