The Durham Turfdogs dug themselves a whole then dug themselves back out of it, roaring back to beat the Iroquois Ironmen 14-13 thanks largely to 7 goals by Scott DeFrancesco, including 3 of the team’s 5 power play markers. Durham trailed 8-4 late in the first half and 9-5 early in the second but then went on a 5-1 run. Still, after Chris Attwood tied it up at 13 with 2:10 to play in the game, the Turfdogs needed a final power play goal from Tyler Tanguay to come away with the win in CLax action Sunday afternoon at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Hagersville.
The Toronto Shooting Stars dominated the Barrie Blizzard to win 18-10 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (formerly Maple Leaf Gardens) in the afternoon’s other Canadian Lacrosse League game. Mack O’Brien scored 3 goals and 3 assists to lead the Shooting Stars while Angus Dineley stopped 38 of the 48 shots he faced to earn the win. Mike Teeter was the top gunner for Blizzard with a hat trick and two assists.
It was 2-2 after the first quarter in Hagersville and Nic Grasby gave Durham an early second-period lead with his second of 3 goals (to go with 7 assists for a game-high 10 points). Then the Ironmen struck for a 6-1 run sparked by the first appearance of the Kedoh Hill show in CLax. Hill scored back-to-back beauties, the first on a breakout pass from goalie Jake Lazore (also making his CLax debut) and the second on an unassisted, shorthanded goal on which he grabbed a long rebound, raced up the floor and fought off two Turfdogs to get to the slot and bury it behind Zack Higgins. Hill’s fourth goal of the half was even prettier as he pinballed off defenders but somehow managed to flick a shot behind his back as he was being knocked to the turf.
Durham got back into the game in the third quarter with an interestingly palindromic (reading the same backwards as forwards) sequence. DeFrancesco connected on the power play then John St. John scored from the ensuing faceoff. A few minutes later, with the Iroquois sin bin stuffed with offenders and another penalty called on the Ironmen, Durham’s Grasby got to take a penalty shot, on which he was stoned by Lazore. St. John scored the next goal (his second in his first CLax game—what a day for debuts!) then DeFrancesco completed the palindrome with his third goal of the game to even the score at 9-9.
Kyle Jamieson put the Ironmen back on top but DeFrancesco took a pass in the slot and buried it with one second to play in the quarter to send it to the final frame knotted at 10. Jamieson opened the fourth with a goal 45 seconds in then the game went through an uncharacteristically long scoreless drought. When it was broken, it was no surprise it was DeFrancesco breaking it. He scored two goals 36 seconds apart to tie the game then put the Turfdogs ahead, but Josh Johnson wasted little time in tying it up yet again with a goal 33 seconds later.
Grasby set up DeFrancesco with a cross-crease pass yet again for the latter’s seventh goal of the game, six of which came on quick-sticks from within three feet of the crease. The Ironmen wouldn’t go away, though. Attwood took a pass on the run and skipped a shot just inside the far post to make it 13-13 with 2:10 to play.
The Ironmen’s lack of discipline proved to be just too much to overcome. Tanguay bounced in a shot from the high slot for Durham’s fifth power play goal on 14 opportunities. Iroquois had one more scoring chance in the final minute as Kedoh Hill scooped the ball out of the Durham crease and ripped a shot but Higgins turned it aside.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 email@example.com.
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