Six Nations drop semifinal, will play for bronze

by Sam Laskaris

The Six Nations Rivermen can still capture some hardware at the Presidents Cup tournament being held in Edmonton, but the best they can now do is win the bronze medal at the national Senior B lacrosse championship. The Six Nations squad had its gold-medal aspirations dashed on Friday when it was defeated 14-8 by the Ladner Pioneers from British Columbia in a semi-final contest. 

The Rivermen will meet the host Miners Lacrosse Club in Saturday’s bronze-medal tilt. The Miners were edged 10-9 by the Akwesasne Bucks in their semi-final on Friday. Six Nations and the Miners will square off for a medal at 5 pm EST. The Pioneers and Bucks will then battle for the tournament championship at 9 pm EST. 

Early on Friday it appeared that the Rivermen might be the ones advancing to the gold-medal game. They led the Pioneers 4-2 after 20 minutes of action. The Six Nations club then extended its lead to 6-2 with a pair of early second-period goals. But the Pioneers came storming back scoring seven unanswered goals in the middle frame to take a 9-6 lead. Ladner also outscored the Rivermen 5-2 in the third period. 

“We had a bad 10 minutes in the second period and we couldn’t recover,” said Six Nations’ head coach Darcy Powless he said. “Our guys tried to battle back but we couldn’t get the momentum back.” 

The Rivermen entered the seven-team national tournament as defending champs. That’s because they had won the event back in 2019. The Presidents Cup tourney was not held in 2020 or last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Though disappointed the Rivermen will not capture another national crown, Powless said he was pleased with the season his charges have had. Six Nations finished atop the six-team Ontario Series Lacrosse (OSL) standings with a 14-2-0 mark. The Rivermen then swept both of their playoff series, winning six consecutive matches, to win the OSL title and advance to the nationals. 

“I’m proud of our guys and our coaches and staff that got us this far,” Powless said. Plus, the Rivermen campaign is not quite over just yet. “We’ve still got an opportunity for bronze,” Powless said. “Hopefully our guys stay focused to come and finish out the tourney and come home with a medal.” 

Marshall Powless led the Six Nations offence on Friday with three goals. Marcus Elvin, Tyler Conn, Tye Argent, Travis Longboat and Wayne Hill had the other Rivermen goals.