The lacrosse world was poised for a tight, compelling battle between the Coquitlam Adanacs and Orangeville Northmen in Game 1 of the Minto Cup finals last night. That’s exactly what it got—for just over 20 minutes. Then everything the Northmen touched seemed to turn to gold and the 2008 and 2009 champs ran away to a stunning 19-7 win. Mitch Jones lit up the scoreboard with six goals and seven assists for 13 points and three other Northmen (Brandon Benn, Rob Hellyer and Cody McMahon) added hat tricks. Dillon Ward was outstanding in the Orangeville net, stopping 30 of the 34 shots he faced as he stymied the Adanacs on a number of good scoring chances.
There was no scoring for the first eight minutes of what looked like an evenly-matched contest. Both teams were doing a good job of eliminating opportunities for each others potent transition games until Ian McKay broke out of the Orangeville zone and fired a cross-body shot over Davide DiRuscio’s left shoulder. Benn scored a pair of goals and McMahon capitalized on a power play chance to make the score 4-0 for the Northmen after one period.
The game seemed closer than the score indicated and when Robert Church buried a power play marker 45 seconds into the second period it looked like the Adanacs were ready to get back into it. Then Jones started to click. Jones had been missing the net wide throughout the first period but gradually honed his sights. He scored back-to-back goals then set up a pair by Hellyer and suddenly it was 8-1.
Coquitlam kept playing hard and creating scoring chances, but Ward was on top of his game. Every time the Adanacs did manage to get the ball past Ward, the Northmen responded with at least three goals of their own. The game got chippy in the third period as the B.C. Champions grew more and more frustrated. At one point near the end of the game, Coquitlam had one runner sent off to the dressing room, seven on the bench and seven in the penalty box. With five Northmen also serving time, the only way to tell which side of the rink held the penalty boxes and which held the team benches was the coaches and backup goalies on the latter.
The game took two hours and twenty minutes to play. By the end, as Coquitlam rallied with a few late goals to prove they weren’t giving up, officials didn’t even bother to relay scoring information to the PointStreak operators so the game is currently listed as having finished 19-6. None of that could expunge the faith of the Adanacs. Not long after the final whistle, Coquitlam star Matthew Dinsdale tweeted “3 game series. We’ll be back for more.”
Game 2 goes tonight at 8 pm and if Game 3 is needed it will be Sunday night at 8. All games are available to watch live via pay per view webstreaming.
Orangeville 19, Coquitlam 7 (box score)Stamp is a TV sports announcer and lacrosse lover whose skill set made him a defender but who always dreamed of being a goal-scorer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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