(WINDSOR, ON) – Clippers’ captain Logan Holmes nailed the Ontario Junior B lacrosse Western Conference scoring title with 113 points last season. He found himself five points back of the overall champion, Kahnawake’s Kaheriios Montour, and third overall.
With four games remaining in the 2016 season, Homes has already registered 112 for an average of 7 points-per-game and a lead of 18 over the next in line, Halton Hills’ Connor Brown.
The Captain’s big lead was blown wide open this past weekend, when Holmes slammed down 9 goals and 20 assists over the course of three Windsor victories. Division rivals Point Edward Pacers and Wallaceburg Red Devils, along with the St Catharines Spartans, served as cannon fodder for an angry Clippers squad making amends for their recent losses to the Guelph Regals and Elora Mohawks.
This past Wednesday, Windsor travelled to Wallaceburg for another match-up with their arch rivals, the Red Devils. Starting in net for the first time this season was Jacob Corra, who had been locked out of the crease by starter Brayden Bell and fellow veteran Michael Cameron.
Park Gilhury gave Corra a rude welcoming only one minute into the game, giving Wallaceburg an early lead. The advantage was over by the end of the next possession, as Holmes snapped the twine for Windsor.
He was followed, in short order, with snipes from Dylan Riley, Patrick Kaschalk, Blain Wallace, and Kaschalk again, before the Red Devils could catch their collective breath.
Brendan Johnston made the score 5-2 with just over seven minutes to play in the frame, but was answered by Andrew Garant soon after. Kyle Dawson blasted a goal with 3:06 remaining to keep his Red Devils alive into the break.
Both teams sniped with impunity in the middle stanza, finding themselves tied 9-all with six-and-a-half to go. Gilhuly led the charge with a pair for Wallaceburg, with more coming from Johnston, Dawson, Tanner Cole, and Corey Lucier.
Garant scored two and Riley a single in reply for the Clippers.
That was all the gas the Red Devils had. From this point on, Windsor took control and scored 8 of the next 10 goals to take the game.
Garant and Chase Kavanaugh each nailed a pair, with single markers from Holmes, Noah Bushnell, Wallace, and Kaschalk, while only Evan Mathany and Gilhuly could muster offense for Wallaceburg. The final score was 17-11.
Corra scored the win in his debut, making 33 saves. Seasoned Red Devils’ tender Eric Shepley stopped 34 of 51 in defeat.
Corra’s start on Wednesday was to set him up for the bigger challenge of staring down the St Catharines Spartans on Saturday night at home. With Bell out of the line up for prom, the duties fell to Corra, who was last year’s starter until the acquisition of Ian Ferguson for the playoffs.
At no point did the Clippers trail in this game.
The Windsor tender was in game shape early, dishing the ball to Kaschalk for the opening snipe five minutes into the match. The Spartans would answer late in the frame with a goal from Cree Blakely.
Ryan Marchand blasted his first goal only 17 seconds into the opening possession of the second period, followed by a goal from Holmes. Blakely found the net again, but was followed with a three-goal Clippers run with contributions from the captain, Kavanaugh, and Austin Thompson.
Kyle Pedwell, Bryan Hancock, Kealan Pilon, and Connor Smith would add to the St Catharines’ tally, while Holmes answered with another for the Clippers and Liam Leclair, to close out the period with a 8-6 Windsor lead.
Marchand extended the lead on the first possession of the third, but Blakely and Pedwell sniped to bring the game back within one. Riley scored two quick ones for Windsor in this back-and-forth affair, to be answered with a single from Hancock. Thompson scored again halfway through, but was soon answered by Pedwell.
Up 12-10 with 5-and-a-half minutes left in regulation, the Clippers did what they could not do against Guelph and Elora; finish.
Holmes snapped a blast into the Spartans’ net with five minutes remaining, followed with snipes from Morgan and Riley to close out St Catharines. Corra tended his second consecutive victory, stopping 36. Meanwhile, David Herkimer took the loss for the Spartans, stopping 47 of 62.
The final game of the weekend had the Clippers travel to Point Edward and make quick work of the Pacers in a 22-6 blowout.
Holmes led the way for the road warriors, scoring a hat-trick and adding 10 assists. Marchand also had a big night with a hatty and 8 helpers.
In fact, Kaschalk netted a trifecta of goals, as well, and Kavanaugh nabbed a sombrero for his 4-goal effort.
It was stat night in Sarnia as Josh Jubenville, Riley, and Leclair all picked up pairs and Alex Mayhead, Thompson, and Wallace scored singles. In reply, the Pacers received two snipes from Blain Adams and singles from Jack Dunn, Kevin Durco, Josh Barraclough, and Hunter Krajniak.
Bell returned to the pipes, making 25 stops for the win, while Point Edward’s Tyler Hasting was blasted for 21 goals against on 85 shots. Jubenville’s marker was a second period buzzer beater on the empty net and was not attributed to Hastings.
Holmes leads the entire OJBLL with 112 points and 83 helpers, but he is not the only Clipper high in the scoring race.
Garant has slipped into third place in the rankings with both his 89th point and 59th assist of the season, followed by Marchand, in 8th place with 75 points and 6th with 49 assists. The Clippers have been scoring by committee this season, with nine players with 10 goals or more.
Five of these snipers should be able surpass the 30-goal plateau by the end of the season.
Bell is third in the OJBLL with a 6.06 goals against average and fifth in save percentage at 0.832.
On June 6h, Windsor general manager Mike Soulliere announced the acquisition of Welland Generals captain David Falovo.
The Welland native will be joining the Clippers right away as they make a push for the top seed in their conference. The 21-year-old brings a wealth of experience with him, playing in his fifth full season of Junior B, having already amassed 99 games in his career.