Spartans down but not out
Jacob Edmands was defiant in defeat.
The captain of the St. Catharines Spartans wasn’t prepared to concede anything after his club dropped a 9-6 decision to the Six Nations Rebels Sunday night at the Merritton Arena.
The Rebels lead the best-of-three Ontario Lacrosse Association junior B playoff series 2-0 and can advance to the next round with a win in Game 3 Friday at home.
“We’re never going to back down,” Edmands said. “We know we’re down 2-0 but we’re not going to quit.
“It’s not over until we lose three so we just have to keep going.”
At the very least, Edmands, a 19-year-old Sir Winston Churchill graduate who now attends Nazareth College in Rochester, wants to play another game at home this season.
“We sure as hell want to come back and play here,” he said. “We don’t want this to be our last game (at home).”
Edmands is well aware how difficult the task at hand is.
“We just have to take it one game at a time. In the first game, we weren’t thinking about the second game or the third game,” he said. “We have to step it up. We have some injured guys but that’s no excuse.”
The Spartans were without snipers Tyler Kolodka and Mario Caito, while a handful of others were banged up and not operating at 100 per cent efficiency.
“It’s very difficult when we don’t have three of our top producers,” Spartans coach John Gatt said. “We’re putting guys on the defensive side and they’re playing both ends and getting tired.”
Gatt had no issue with his club’s work ethic.
“We battled hard. We didn’t quit,” he said. “It’s a tough game.”
Gatt said his message to the team before the game was a simple one.
“Everybody has to step up, everybody has to do their job, and everybody has to work harder,” he said. “We’re playing extremely strong on the defensive side of the ball. We’re trying to better our transition game so we can give our O a bit of a break.
“We had our opportunities on transition, but their goalie played well.”
The Rebels led 3-2 after one period and 7-3 after two.
Riley Miller paced the Rebels with two goals while Waylon Abrams, Justin Martin, Wesley Whitlow, Tanner Baldin, Chayton King, Jesse Longboat and Mason Hill added singles.
Connor Aquanno, Trent Jackson, Aaron Ward, Jacob McMillan, John Kit and Adam Kirchmayer replied for the Spartans.
Spartans stuff: Alex Gaston and Sam LeClair scored in the 10-2 loss in Game 1 . . . Game 4, if necessary, is at Merritton Saturday, June 30.
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