SIX NATIONS – Rebels fans were counting down the last seconds Sunday night at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in anticipation of a 13-5, Game #3 win to sweep the Halton Hills Bulldogs in three games straight in the best-of-five OLA Jr. B lacrosse finals.
Next stop? Halifax, August 18th, and a shot at an unprecedented fourth consecutive Founders Cup Jr. B National Championship.
The Rebels played like champions against a weaker Halton Hills team, dominating the Eastern Conference Champions in every aspect of the game.
Rookie Rebel, Layne Smith, who this year has proven to be a name to watch, scored the first goal of the game from Tyler Longboat and Jacob Bomberry at the 11-minute mark.
Dallas John made it 2-0 on a powerplay from Smith and Bomberry a minute-twenty seconds later. Tehoka Nanticoke-Hill opened a 3-0 lead unassisted at 16:04.
It wasn’t until 17:08 of the first period that the Bulldogs’ Lewis White found twine behind Chase Martin, who has been a pillar of strength for the Rebels this playoff season.
Six Nations put more distance between themselves and the struggling Bulldogs in the second, outscoring them 6-2 to take a 9-3, two period lead with two goals scored by Dallas John, and singles by Bo Henhawk, Zed Williams, Travis Longboat, and Tanner Baldin. Halton goals were scored by Cory Highfield and Seth Laidlaw.
When Zed Williams scored the 10-3 goal, 53 seconds into the third period, the Bulldogs bench simply collapsed. Then came goals by Bomberry, John’s fourth of the night, and Travis Longboat’s second to secure a 13-3 lead by the halfway point of the third period.
Lewis White and Adam Charalambides netted the last two goals for Halton, but the game was over long before that. When the final buzzer sounded, the Rebels Nation captain Jacob Bomberry accepted the OLA Jr. B Championship J.A. Macdonald Cup for the fourth consecutive year on behalf of his team.
Rebels coach Murray Porter was very proud of his entire team, but singled out a few in particular. When asked who he would see as his team’s offensive player of the game, he very quickly answered, “Zed Williams has been great for us in the playoffs. He scored five points tonight, 10 points in Game #2, and 8 points in Game #1, and has been great all through the playoffs.”
He missed a few games due to injury, but in 8 games played this post season he collected 51 points with 21 goals and 30 assists.
He was also quick in mentioning Chase Martin’s play all season long but especially in the playoffs where he recorded a goals-against average of 5.76 and a saves percentage of .851 making 422 saves in 13 playoff games.
“It was a tough series for us,” said Halton Hills Bulldogs’ General Manager, Mike Hancock after the game. “Losing Game #1 like we did, (16-2) didn’t do us any favours. I think we deserved a better fate in Game #2 (14-13). We were probably the better team the other night, but it didn’t go our way.
“Tonight there were a couple of things that sent the momentum their way and we just couldn’t recover,” said turning his eyes toward the score clock. “We rode through our conference pretty well and got here tonight against a team with a lot of experience winning and we have only three guys on our roster who won the Founders Cup back in 2010, so we don’t have the same kind of experience as the Rebels do.”
He called this disappointment a building block for his team to get started on developing next year’s team.
The Bulldogs were sent back to the GTA to lick their wounds after being soundly beaten 16-2 in their first encounter with the powerful Six Nations Rebels in Game #1 of the OLA Jr. B finals.
The game was over in 20 minutes as the Rebels overwhelmed the Bulldogs 10-1 in the first period. Before settling into a more defensive mode for the rest of the game.
The Rebels outshot Halton 51-27, but Chase Martin and the Rebels defense stood tall allowing only two goals.
Zed Williams earned eight points on 3 goals and 5 assists while brother Zach Williams tallied 5 assists. Travis (3G, 2A) and Tyler Longboat (2G, 3A), combined for 10 points and Dallas John scored 3 and added 4 assists for a seven-point game.
In Game #2 played in Halton-Hills, the Bulldogs pulled out all the stops and very nearly evened the series but, 14-13, could not get that last goal past Chase Martin which would have sent the game into OT where anything can happen.
Zed Williams had the hot hand for Six Nations, scoring 5 and assisting on 5 for a 10-point night.
Halifax, Nova Scotia will host 7 teams and more than 175 athletes and coaches from Quebec, Nova Scotia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario and Manitoba.
Competition for the National Championship in the Junior “B” classification was initiated by the Canadian Lacrosse Association in September 1964. A silver cup donated by Castrol Oils served as the winner’s trophy (1964 – 1971) but was retired to the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame, located in New Westminster, B.C. in 1972.
In 1972, the C.L.A. inaugurated the Founder’s Trophy (1972 – Present) as emblematic of the Junior “B” Championship of Canada. This beautiful handcrafted unique trophy commemorates the founders of organized Lacrosse, particularly the contributions of “The Father of Organized Lacrosse,” Dr. George W. Beers of Montreal, Quebec who wrote the first rulebook and in 1867 was instrumental in organizing the National Lacrosse Association, predecessor to the Canadian Lacrosse Association.