The Brooklin Redmen continue to find ways to win lacrosse games. The Redmen moved to 4-0 on the Major Series Lacrosse season by playing strong defence, getting a solid performance from goalie Steve Fryer and scoring just enough to eke out a 7-6 home win over the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks Wednesday night. Brooklin got a pair of second-period goals, including a key shorthanded marker, from Shawn Williams then won the third period 2-1 to earn the victory.
The Redmen’s winning goal came when they had the tallest right side in the league on the floor. Kiel Matisz, Mike Triolo and defender Steve Priolo—averaging about 6′5”–worked together to create space and Triolo completed a high touch pass over a defender to Matisz, who walked towards the crease and snuck the ball past Dillon Ward at 11:39 of the third.
Brooklin was up 3-1 after the first period but the Kodiaks had an outstanding specials teams second to even things up. They connected for 3 power play goals (2 by Aaron Wilson) and a shorthanded goal by Ryan Dilks to outscore Brooklin 4-2 in the frame. Dilks’ goal came when he finished a perfect cross-floor pass on a two-on-one with Jason Noble, who stole the ball in the defensive zone and skidaddled down the floor to create the scoring opportunity.
Wilson had a hat trick and an assist while Corey Fowler had 1 goal and 3 assists to lead the Kodiaks. Dillon Ward was solid throughout and outstanding in the third period in his first MSL start, while Fryer moved to 2-0 in his second start in the league.
Both teams worked hard to limit each other’s transition opportunities, so the track meet that was expected between two fast young teams didn’t materialize. What arose instead was a fascinating defensive chess match that saw both clubs effective in forcing their opponents to run the set offence. “You have to keep that in the back of your mind,” said Brooklin’s Gavin Prout, who had 3 assists on the evening. “You see it on tape and you realize how fast they are but when you get on the floor they’re that much faster. You have to keep that in the back of your head when you’re taking a shot and react very quickly.”
Prout is enjoying a renaissance of his summer career with the Redmen after spending 2011 with the Peterborough Lakers and sitting out last year because of work commitments. He looks right at home in Brooklin’s retro red-based uniforms.” It’s like the old school with both Gaits and Marechek,” Prout said with a chuckly. “It’s nice history on this team and we’re trying to honour it this year. We have a great team, a very fast and talented team and gritty. It showed tonight that we can come out here and win a one goal game. That’s very important for us in a confidence factor and that’s a typical playoff type of game.”
KW’s veteran forward Wilson said the game, although they were disappointed to lose it, helps his team’s confidence as well. “We worked hard. We battled defensively,” Wilson said. “Dillon Ward played great; it was his first start in the MSL so we’re proud of his performance. I hit the post with two minutes to go. If it goes in we’re going to overtime. We’re getting more confident as we go.”
Wilson said the Kodiaks understand they are underdogs on many nights in MSL but believes they’re improving every time they step on the floor. “That’s what we want to do, get better as the season goes. We realize that we’re going to be battling for that last [playoff] spot. Peterborough, Six Nations and Brooklin on paper are the best three teams. We’re going to give them a battle whenever we play them, but realistically I think we want that fourth spot. We want to earn respect in this league and I think we’re starting to earn that respect.”
Brooklin 7, KW 6 (box score)
Coquitlam 12, Langley 8 (box score)
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