Undisciplined play proves costly for Rivermen

by Sam Laskaris

The Six Nations Rivermen suffered their first playoff loss of the year on Monday. The Ontario Series Lacrosse (OSL) champion Rivermen were downed 9-6 by British Columbia’s Ladner Pioneers during second-day action at the Presidents Cup, the national Senior B tournament being held in Edmonton. 

“We have got to stay disciplined,” said Darcy Powless, the head coach of the Six Nations squad. “We gave up seven powerplay goals.” 

The Rivermen were assessed 55 penalty minutes in the contest while the Pioneers were tagged for a total of 35 penalty minutes. 

“We have got to stick to playing our game and stay smart,” Powless added. “We kind of kicked ourselves in the ass that game.” 

The Pioneers, who captured the West Coast Senior Lacrosse Association crown, are one of the favourites at the seven-team Presidents Cup as their roster is stacked with players who also toil in the professional National Lacrosse League (NLL). The Rivermen are no slouches themselves, having posted an over-all record of 20-2-0 in OSL regular season and playoff competition. But in part because of the amount of time the Six Nations club spent in the sin bin on Monday, it was unable to get its own high-powered offence into gear. And when the Rivermen did have their offensive chances, they were frequently thwarted. 

“Our offence has got to bury our opportunities when we get them,” Powless said. “When you play against a ‘pro’ team like Ladner, those missed chances make a difference at the end.” Powless, however, was pleased with one aspect of his team’s play. The Rivermen were able to keep pace throughout the contest with the Pioneers when both clubs were at even strength. “They didn’t score 5-on-5 on us until the last few minutes of the third period,” he said. 

The seven-day national tourney continues until Saturday. The Rivermen, who won their tournament opener 11-3 over the Snake Island Muskies on Sunday, now have four round-robin matches remaining. Six Nations will square off against the Akwesasne Bucks, the Can-Am Lacrosse League champs, on Tuesday. 

“It’s a long week,” Powless said. “We’ve just got to regroup and come ready to play tomorrow.” 

Travis Longboat scored a pair of goals for the Rivermen on Monday. Also scoring for Six Nations were Marshall Powless, Justin Martin, Tyler Brown and Scott Del Zotto.