(WINDSOR, ON) – The Wallaceburg Red Devils, to their credit, are having a great lacrosse season. First place in the OJBLL’s Far West Division and clinched a berth in the playoffs, the Red Devils require only a single win to bring home their first-ever division crown.
A win against their arch rivals, the Windsor Clippers.
If they can sweep the Clippers and the Six Nations Rebels, the next night, they will also clinch their first ever OJBLL Western Conference title.
The two teams, despite having the same objectives, are very different. The Clippers focus on systems and feature a homegrown roster, while the Red Devils are more run-and-gun and have drawn much of their talent from other centres through acquisitions over the past couple years.
They are both exciting clubs to watch, but they mix like oil and water on the floor. Or, maybe, sodium and chloride considering last year’s stick-swinging blow-up which resulted in national media attention and charges from the Windsor Police.
So far this season, the Clippers are 2-0 against Wallaceburg, but tight losses to the Elora Mohawks, Orangeville Northmen, and the Rebels have left the team with a 14-3-0 record and in need of three straight wins to take their sixth consecutive division title.
On the other hand, the Red Devils (16-2-0) have made some major acquisitions as of late, including securing the Point Edward Pacers’ top three players in a bid for a deep playoff run. So far, the gamble with team chemistry has paid off with big wins against Elora and Orangeville. But, their final two games of the season are where the buck stops.
Tonight at 8pm at Forest Glade Arena, the Red Devils must win against Windsor to clinch the Far West Division. A loss puts their fate into Windsor’s hands, who still have two road games this weekend to close the regular season.
Wallaceburg is on a six-game winning streak after losing on May 20 to the Clippers. Windsor has not lost in five games since dropping a contest to the Northmen on May 19.
The Clippers offence features the league’s scoring leader, Chase Kavanaugh, who has tallied 44 goals and 98 points in 17 games. He’s backed up by rookie Brayden Mayea with 85 points, league assist leader Noah Bushnell, with 80, and Jake Rosa, who also splits his time with the Six Nations Arrows in Junior A, with 70, despite having only played 13 games.
League-leading goal scorer and sixth-year Red Devils veteran Kyle Dawson leads the way for his team with 52 goals and 85 points, followed by Marshall Powless with 79 points, Tyler Brown with 72, and Tanner Cole with 66.
In net, Wallaceburg’s Cecile Jacobs leads the way with a 7-0 record in 11 games played, and he sits fifth in the league with an .854 save percentage. Windsor’s Carson Hebner is not far behind as his 9-3 record has him tied for third in wins in the OJBLL, and his .833 percentage ranks him ninth. Former Clipper Brayden Bell also has nine wins for the Red Devils, having played the bulk of the net time for his team.
Between the two teams, dynamic scoring and stingy goaltending are not a problem. Expect a high-shooting, high-scoring affair, brimmed with remarkable goals and show-stopping saves at both ends.