Brooklin Lacrosse tops Oakville to stay unbeaten in MSL Classic

Published August 12, 2021 at 7:40 pm

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No official champion will be declared but it’s starting to look like the Brooklin Lacrosse Club will end up on top of the standings when the five-week MSL Classic tournament wraps up August 26.

Brooklin improved to a perfect 5-0 thanks to a 17-11 victory over the Oakville Rock (2-2) Wednesday night and would be guaranteed top spot if they only win of their remaining three matches.

All games in the tourney, which includes five of the six MSL squads, are being staged at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre in Oakville.

League officials and team reps organized the tournament last month in response after the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the entire MSL regular season and playoff schedule for a second consecutive year.

“The whole premise was to get guys back on the floor and enjoying the game again,” said Brooklin’s head coach/general manager Brad MacArthur. “We were in a rebuilding process and these guys lost two years of their lacrosse lives.”

The Brooklin organization has used 41 different players in its five MSL matches thus far, making it a difficult task in assembling a 25-man Brooklin roster to compete in the 2022 MSL campaign. “The fact they’re giving us hard decisions to make is just phenomenal,” MacArthur said.

It’s also a bonus the organization has an affiliate nearby, the Oshawa-based Merchants Lacrosse Club, a Senior B outfit competing in Ontario Series Lacrosse, where some of its youthful talent that doesn’t crack the Brooklin lineup can continue to develop.

For a while on Wednesday, it appeared Brooklin just might taste defeat for the first time in the MSL Classic. Brooklin blew a four-goal lead which it was enjoying in the second quarter and found itself up by just two goals, 10-8, heading into the final 15 minutes of action.

Brooklin, however, responded with a huge start to the fourth quarter, scoring six straight goals, including a pair of shorties from Jonathan Donville and Ty Thompson, before withstanding a furious late Oakville rally.

“We chatted about it on the bench before and it was perfectly executed,” Jason Crosbie, who was behind the Brooklin bench, said about the team’s shorthanded strategy and Donville’s goal. “That stopped the (Oakville) tide a little bit.”
Donville and Thompson, who was playing in his first MSL game, both ended up with three goals each.

Riley Hutchcraft earned the win between the pipes for Brooklin. Hutchcraft also chipped in offensively earning four assists in the game.

Brooklin’s next game will be against Six Nations this coming Tuesday, Aug. 17. The opening faceoff is scheduled for 8 p.m.

With files from Sam Laskaris

Photo by Tim Bates, OJHL Images

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