Six Nations Rivermen capture bronze medal at Presidents Cup

by Sam Laskaris

It wasn’t the colour of medal they would have preferred. But rest assured the Six Nations Rivermen are nonetheless pleased they were able to capture some hardware at this year’s Presidents Cup tournament, which wrapped up on Saturday in Edmonton. The Rivermen downed the host Miners Lacrosse Club 12-8 in their bronze-medal contest at the Canadian Senior B tourney. 

“It wasn’t the medal we wanted but at least we finished the season on a high note and got a medal,” said Rivermen head coach Darcy Powless. 

The Six Nations squad was able to win its bronze-medal tilt even though several of its key players were unavailable for the match. Travis Longboat, Tyler Brown, Wes Whitlow and Wake:Riat BowHunter sat out the game as they were all nursing various injuries suffered throughout the grueling tournament, which saw the Rivermen play eight matches over the course of seven days. 

Though his top two goaltenders were healthy and could have played on Saturday, Powless opted to give the team’s third-string goaltender Dylan Sprentz the start between the pipes. Sprentz had been cut from the club earlier this season but he continued to work hard and show up for the team’s practices. 

“Dylan earned it,” Powless said of the decision to start Sprentz in net with a medal at the national championship on the line. 

Sprentz had accompanied the Rivermen to Edmonton as their emergency goaltender. But Powless had planned to give Sprentz a start in a round-robin match at the tournament. That plan was nixed when Six Nations lost back-to-back games earlier in the week and needed some more victories to qualify for the playoff portion of the tourney. 

Powless added several of the Six Nations players approached him earlier on Saturday and suggested that he reward Sprentz’ loyalty by giving him the starting assignment for the bronze- medal contest. Powless, who doubles as the general manager of the Six Nations squad, did just that. Sprentz responded by not only turning in a solid effort to get the W between the pipes but he was also selected as the Rivermen’s MVP of the game. 

Justin Martin led the way offensively for Six Nations by scoring five goals. Brooker Muir, Scott Del Zotto and Jordan Goddard netted two goals each. Wayne Hill scored the other Rivermen goal. 

British Columbia’s Ladner Pioneers won the gold medal beating the Akwesasne Bucks 8-6 in the championship final.