Rivermen remain unbeaten after OT win over James Gang

Yes, they were missing several key players. But the Six Nations Rivermen were admittedly still not expecting much of a challenge from the host Ennismore James Gang in an Ontario Series Lacrosse match on Saturday. Perhaps the main reason the Rivermen were confident heading into the contest was because they had easily defeated Ennismore by a dozen goals (14-2) just three weeks earlier. The James Gang though only had 10 runners and a pair of goaltenders available for that outing.

As it turned out, the James Gang gave the Rivermen a lot more than they had anticipated in Saturday’s match, staged at the Robert E. Young Recreation Complex. In fact, a 10-minute overtime session was required to decide a winner in the contest as the two squads were deadlocked at 11-11 following the three periods of regulation play. Six Nations outscored the James Gang 4-1 in the extra session to register a 15-12 triumph.

With the victory the Rivermen kept their 2022 undefeated streak intact. Six Nations is now sporting a perfect 6-0 record, good for top spot in the six-squad OSL. Ennismore saw its mark fall to 2-3 with the setback.

“It was a good gut check win for us,” said Six Nations’ head coach Darcy Powless. “And it showed the depth of our team.” 

Ennismore dressed its maximum allotment of 20 players. The Rivermen had two players under their limit available for duty as they hit the road with 16 runners and two goaltenders. Powless explained several of Six Nations’ regular players missed the contest due to injuries, sickness or prior commitments. Jordan Goddard, who scored a hat trick for the Rivermen, said his teammates were not overly concerned when they discovered they would play the game without some key guys.

“We just focused on what we had to do,” Goddard said. “Everybody on this team can do some damage.” Powless added some “bus legs” contributed to his club’s slow start.

The teams were tied at 4-4 after the opening 20 minutes of action. And after the second period Ennismore was enjoying a 10-7 lead and it appeared the Rivermen just might taste defeat for this first time this season. But the Six Nations squad rallied in the third period, outscoring the James Gang 4-1. 

Goddard said his side was surprised it entered the third facing a three-goal deficit. “But we just battled back,” he said. “That just shows the character we have.”

Marshall Powless led the Rivermen offence by scoring five goals, including one in OT. Tye Argent also had a big night for Six Nations scoring four times. As for Goddard, he completed his hat trick by scoring once in overtime. Also scoring for the Rivermen were Rodd Squire, Leland Powless and Aidan Buis.

Six Nations’ next game will also be on the road, Saturday, June 11 against the host Clearview Crushers, an OSL expansion team.