Rebels sink A’s in OT
The St. Catharines WMKL junior B Athletics were eliminated by the narrowest of margins.
The Athletics season came to an end with a heart-breaking 11-10 overtime loss at Six Nations in the fifth and deciding game of their best-of-five Ontario Lacrosse League Western Conference playoff series.
The A’s got off to a sluggish start, trailing 9-3 after 40 minutes before rebounding with a dramatic rally scoring six unanswered goals in third period to force OT.
“It was a big Game 5 and emotions were high,” St. Catharines coach Alec Tamas said. “We came out and it felt like we were trying to do a little too much. Felt like we had to win the game right off the bat. We were kind of running around and put ourselves in a bit of a hole but like we did all series, we persevered through all the adversity.
“I couldn’t be more proud of the way our group battled.”
Colton Armitage paced St. Catharines with three goals and three assists while Trent Mooradian also had three goals. Ryan Andrews, Jack Parker, Avert Steinbach-Parker and Drew Kennedy, in OT, scored for the A’s.
Tamas was more than happy with the season which saw the A’s finish in third place with a solid 14-5-1 mark, win two playoff rounds and come within a goal of advancing to the league finals.
“My biggest thing was to build on last year. Our ability to improve on that and continue to improve and develop these players, it was incredible the way we were able to sweep Elora in the second round and the way we pushed Six Nations, the top dog, the undefeated team, like we did.
“Definitely not satisfied with it. We’ll be hungrier next year looking to improve even more.”
The junior B’s also befitted from a second season of their affiliation with the Junior A Athletics.
“I think last year, the first year of the junior B Athletics, there were a few rough patches just trying to iron out the kinks but we had it ironed out for sure this year,” Tamas said. “We had a really good relationship. Players were going up and down freely and it was super beneficial for our team as well for a handful of our kids to play junior A and then come back to junior B. You can definitely see the difference in their game gaining that experience and learning and getting used to the speed of the junior A game and when they come back down it helps them so much more.”
Tamas indicated he and the entire coaching staff (Alex Pace, Sam Leclair, Jeff Wittig) are slated to return next year.
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