Rivermen trounce Crushers in playoff opener

by Sam Laskaris

The Six Nations Rivermen and Clearview Crushers both racked up their share of penalty minutes in their playoff opener. The two clubs were assessed a total of 112 penalty minutes in Game 1 of their best-of-five Ontario Series Lacrosse semi-final series held Friday. The Rivermen were tagged for 57 of those penalty minutes, two more than their opponents in the match held at the Six Nations Sports and Cultural Memorial Centre.

On the scoreboard, however, it wasn’t close at all. After taking a 5-0 lead into the first intermission and scoring eight more times in the middle frame, the host Six Nations squad cruised to a 17-5 victory. Rivermen head coach Darcy Powless felt it was the Crushers who were responsible for turning the contest into a penalty-filled one.

“They were chippy and mad because they were losing,” Powless said of the Clearview club. Powless added his charges didn’t help matters by retaliating when provoked by their opponents. “We’ve got to learn to take it now because it’s going to get even worse in the league final,” Powless said. “We’ve got to be smart.”

Powless also said the contest was a mismatch. Clearview scored four of its five goals on the powerplay. The Crushers’ only other goal was scored in transition.

“5-on-5 they didn’t really have anything,” Powless said.

The Rivermen had finished atop the OSL standings with a 14-2 regular season record and were clearly the class of the league this season. The Crushers, an expansion squad, ended up in fourth place with its 6-10-0 mark.

Like Powless, Jordan Goddard, who scored twice and also earned three assists for the Rivermen, also felt it was the Crushers who were responsible for the large number of penalties assessed throughout the match.

“It was a rough one,” Goddard said. “I think they tried to come out and set a tone. But we just kept to our game and stayed out of the garbage as much as we could.” Goddard also added the Rivermen are clearly the more talented of the two squads in this series. “The only way they’re beating us is if we beat ourselves,” he said.

Travis Longboat had a game-high four goals on Friday for the Rivermen while Tyler Brown netted a hat trick. Besides Goddard, others who also scored twice were Wake:Riat BowHunter, Marshall Powless and Scott Del Zotto. Justin Martin and Wes Whitlow also scored for Six Nations.

Game 2 in the series will be staged Sunday at the Stayner Arena. The opening faceoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. The winner of the Rivermen/Crushers series will square off in the OSL championship final against the club that emerges victorious in the other semi-final series. Game 1 in that matchup between the host Owen Sound North Stars and Oakville Rock is set for Saturday night.