With the regular season a week away, the Canadian Lacrosse League made final preparations on Saturday January 5th with a number of events across the Greater Toronto Area. The General Motors Centre in Oshawa played host to all-day lacrosse starting with minors clinics at 9am in the tyke division. Throughout the day, staff and players from the Durham Turfdogs led minor players in drills and scrimmages with a different age group every hour culminating with midgets/prospects division at 1pm.
Following that clinic the floor cleared to allow the Turfdogs and Barrie Blizzard to prepare for their exhibition matchup at 2pm. Spencer Janes, who was traded to Barrie on entry draft day, opened the scoring in the first for Barrie but they’d be down 2-1 after the first. Durham would score the first of the second period, but a four goal run by Barrie, including Tyler Patterson’s second of the game made it 5-3 Blizzard. The Turfdogs responded to finish out the period 5-1 thanks to two goals by Scott DeFrancesco who already had a hat-trick at halftime. The hometown Durham Turfdogs led 8-6 at the break.
Barrie’s head coach Rob Blasdell must’ve said the right words in the room as the Blizzard responded with a five goal run to open the third. DeFrancesco would score again in the closing minutes of the period to end the third 11-9 for Barrie. Despite trading goals early in the final frame, the Blizzard would once again go on a run, scoring four straight to lead 16-10. Nic Grasby got one back for Durham, but the game was basically over after two more responses from Barrie. An empty netter sealed the deal as the Blizzard win 19-11.
Scott DeFrancesco led all scorers with four goals in a losing effort. He, Kyle O’Brien (two goals) and Graham Bergsma (who also had two goals) were the only multi-goal scorers from Durham. Mike Vertolli led the way for Barrie scoring three goals with Spencer Janes and Mike Teeter adding a pair.
At the same time the Ohsweken Demons played host to the Cattagarus Upstate Bears in exhibition action where they won 11-4. The Iroquois Ironmen also faced the Bears in the second game of the ILA double header and won 14-12.
The Toronto Shooting Stars and Brampton Inferno will face off in another exhibition scrimmage on Sunday afternoon at 1pm at Stephen Leacock Arena. Admission is free to the public with standing room only viewing available.
The action begins for real on January 12th at 1pm at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena with a Creator’s Cup rematch between the Ironmen and Demons. Visit www.tickerpro.ca for single game tickets ($12), season’s passes ($50) or the all-inclusive CLax pass (unlimited games at all six venues $100) which are available now, andwww.canadianlacrosseleague.ca for the entire 2013 schedule.
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