Athletics stave off elimination
The St. Catharines Athletics are still alive.
Jake McNabb’s third goal of the game with one minute remaining in the third period broke a 6-6 tie and gave the A’s a 7-6 triumph over the Burlington Chiefs in Ontario Lacrosse Association junior A playoff action Friday in Burlington.
“Exciting, for sure. Breathtaking would be another word,” A’s general manager Jeff Chcoski said. “The guys had their backs up against the wall the whole game and I’m just so proud of the way they played and competed.
“Our leaders were our leaders tonight. That’s what won us the game.”
The Chiefs still lead the best-of-seven semifinal 3-2 and can advance to the league final with a win in Game 6 Sunday in St. Catharines at 7 p.m. Game 7, if necessary, would be Monday, July 29 at Burlington.
Chcoski said the A’s attempted to get back to basics and not focus on where the series stood.
“I heard a few guys talking about it (series) but the focus of the coaching staff was getting on getting back to playing Athletics lacrosse, our defensive system, working as a team, and letting the O do their job up front,” he said. “The focus was on cleaning up our back end and Nick (goalie Nick Damude) was amazing and Latrell was amazing and at this point, what else can you say about Jake McNabb?”
The game was tied 2-2 after one period and 5-5 after two. Scott DelZotto’s third goal of the game early in the third gave the Chiefs a 6-5 lead. Tyler Brown tied the game for the A’s at 6-6 at the 11:35 mark, setting the stage for McNabb’s heroics.
McNabb finished with three goals and three assists while Brayden Mayea added two goals and two assists. Brown and Latrell Harris added singles.
DelZotto had three for the Chiefs while Ryan Lanchbury, Devin Mayea and Matt Marinier also scored.
The A’s now face another must-win situation Sunday at home.
“The boys are having a little bit of fun now and will get some time tomorrow (Saturday) to rest,” Chcoski said. “It’s up to them to come back and play the way the played tonight.”
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