The Brooklin Redmen’s recent trade acquisition paid immediate dividends Wednesday night. Kyle Aquin, suiting up in his first game for Brooklin since coming over from the Oakville Rock in a deal just before the trading deadline, scored the goal that tied the game and forced overtime then completed a natural hat trick by netting the first two goals of a 4-1 overtime that gave the Redmen a 13-10 Major Series Lacrosse win over the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks.
Aquin had a slow start to the night, not doing anything particularly notable for the first two periods, but started to feel more comfortable as the game went on. “I came a little nervous,” Aquin said after the game. “It’s good when you have leaders like [Shawn Williams] and [Derek] Hopcroft and what not constantly talking you through it, so I kind of got it together there in the third and overtime and it worked out.” That’s a bit of an understatement, as Aquin suddenly seemed to find open seams in the KW defence and exploited them.
“I think in the first couple of periods I just tried to read and adjust to what the other guys were doing. Later in the game I kind of felt what they were doing so I could react off of that and then eventually things came together,” Aquin said.
A shorthanded KW squad appeared to run out of steam a bit in the third period. Coming off a home win over Oakville Tuesday night, the Kodiaks had only 16 runners to start the game then lost Brad Gillies to an ankle sprain. None the less, they came out strong in the third period, getting a goal from Dhane Smith on an outside shot through traffic to even the score at 7-7 then a pair from Jamie Rooney to take a 2-goal lead.
Brooklin got some momentum back when Steve Priolo collected a loose ball, broke in on Mike Poulin and nestled a shot just inside the left post to pull them back within one. Then Aquin went to work. After his trio gave Brooklin an 11-9 lead, Mitch Wilde got the Kodiaks back into it with a great individual effort to score a breakaway goal. But the Redmen scored a couple in transition as KW tried to press for more, including one by Mike Cudmore into an unprotected net as Poulin raced back from the bench.
Kodiaks captain Jay Thorimbert said his team didn’t want to use being shorthanded as an excuse on the muggy night in the Iroquois Park Sports Centre. “We were right there, we had our opportunities, we should have buried them when we did. A couple of mistakes ended up in our net. You can’t use [being short a couple of runners] as an excuse,” Thorimbert said. “We had a lead and we sat back a little bit and they started to find the seams. It’s our own fault for sitting back and not just playing the way we’d been playing all game.”
The loss cost the Kodiaks a chance to catch the Redmen and move into a tie for third place in MSL. Thorimbert stressed that there was plenty to take away from the tough loss for his club. “Take all the positives. We’re a young squad, we’re battling, we’re in every game,” he said. “Until this game we held teams under 8 for the most part. Just keep battling and working on the positives. If we get down on ourselves that’s just going to be bad for us.”
Kiel Matisz matched Aquin’s hat trick for Brooklin and added an assist. Williams led all scorers with 7 points (1g, 6a). Priolo added 3 assists to his single goal and continued to show that he is among the best defenders in the league. At the other end, Rooney scored 3 goals and 2 assists, Aaron Wilson had 5 assists and Smith scored twice and added 2 assists. Rookie Jason Noble continued to impress with his defensive acumen as well as his speed and nifty hands, breaking free to score a pair of goals for KW.
Brooklin 13, KW 10 OT (box score)
Coquitlam 17, Burnaby 1 (box score)
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