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Northmen win Ontario Junior A Lacrosse championship

August 15, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

The Rayburn Construction Orangeville Junior A Northmen are Ontario champions after winning the final League series over the Burlington Chiefs in five games.

The Northmen raised the Iroquois Trophy in front of a large hometown crowd at Tony Rose arena on Wednesday, August 7.

Both squads knew they were in for a tough battle in the final series. The two teams finished first and second in the regular season standings with the Northmen finishing on top by a single point.

“We certainly have a lot of skill and a lot of resiliency,” said head coach Bruce Codd after the win of the merits his team brings to the floor. “This series alone we had three overtime games – one of them in double overtime. It was what you would expect in this series – it was very tight. It showed the character, hard work, and determination of these young men, and I’m extremely proud of them. I look at the last home game here, we had all the momentum. We were up 5 – 0, they crawled back to make it 6 -6 and we never quit. That’s what you need at this level. I have to give a lot of credit to the Burlington Chiefs. They are a really good lacrosse team.”

This is Codd’s second season with the Jr. A Northmen after taking over the top spot in 2018. He previously coached the Jr. B Northmen in Orangeville.

This will be his first trip to the national Minto Cup – the team’s next stop as they represent Ontario in competition in Langley, B.C.

Codd said the team focuses on each game as it happens.

“As coaches and players we focus on the on-floor stuff,” Codd said.

 “I know our executive has done some preparation (in case the team won the League). Bob Clevely (general manager) and his group were there in 2016 so they have some history with a trip like this. We’re going to work and get ready for the next one because that’s the big one.”

The final series got underway on Tuesday, July 30, in Orangeville. The Northmen left the floor with a 9 – 5 win to open the series.

The series was tied at one after the second game when Burlington got the edge and won by a single goal for a 7 – 6 game final.

Back in Orangeville on August 3, it was another one goal game with the Northmen back in the lead with a 9 – 8 win.

The Northmen were ahead by two and one game away from winning the series after a 6 -5 win in game four in Burlington on August 5.

The return to Orangeville on Wednesday night saw a full house in the stands as Northmen fans turned out to hopefully watch their team clinch the title.

After playing to an 8 – 8 tie at the end of the third period the teams returned for overtime to settle the game.

The Northmen outscored the Chiefs 3 – 1 in the OT period on goals from Ty Thompson and a pair from Jonathan Donville to win the game and the championship.

“I knew this was a great group of guys and we had something special,” said Northmen, Jonathan Donville, after the game. “I expected this to be a really good fight and that’s what they gave us. The Chiefs are really tough and they fought really hard. Three of the games went into overtime and that’s what I expected. The numbers really don’t show that, but the scores and the overtime does. We expected their best and they gave us their best.”

Getting ready for national competition, Donville said they just have to keep on top of their skills.

“I think we have to keep doing what we’re doing – focus on the small things. When you take care of the small things everything else takes care of itself. We’ll enjoy this night for a little bit then get back to work.”

The Minto Cup will take place at the Langley Events Centre in Langley, B.C. On August 15 – 26.



         

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