(OAKVILLE, ON) – The Windsor Warlocks have been scouring the murky waters of their Zone 7 Bantam lacrosse league. Searching for solid competition to sink their teeth into, they have found worthy prey sparse and wanting.
In response, the Warlocks have taken to deeper waters to challenge more dangerous adversaries from across the province. In their travels, they have ventured to tournaments full of top level predators and found themselves with a litmus test by which to measure themselves.
This past weekend, the Bantams travelled to Oakville to see what the rest of the province could muster. Friday evening, the Windsor boys were in for a rude awakening.
The hometown Oakville Hawks, ranked first place in the province by the Ontario Lacrosse Association, was the first on their plate. Sadly, the meal did not agree with Windsor, as the Warlocks were upended 10-0 by the top-ranked powerhouse.
Scoring for the Hawks were Brian Jackman and Jack Dawick with a pair a piece, and singles from Zach Terry, Chase Strychawk, Myles Newport, Daniel Yan, Will Sheehan, and Ryan Brooks.
The late night game served the Warlocks better. Windsor was up against the fourth ranked Peterborough Lakers and took them to task.
In the first period, Kaden Brennan, Josh Bennett, and Zane Dalpe led the charge. Griffin Solaris tended his way to a shutout period in the frame.
Kale Couvillon extended the lead early in the middle stanza, but was answered by Nolan Burke of the Lakers only a minute later. Peterborough’s Tommy Hopkinson cut the lead further, not long after that, but Windsor replied with a snipe from Connor McManus to make the score 5-2.
With five minutes remaining in the period, Adam Thistlewaite notched another for the Lakers, but was answered to by a pair from Dalpe to close the period and stymie the Peterborough comeback.
The two combatants traded a goal each in the third, McManus for Windsor and Kalvyn Watson for the Lakers, to finish the game at a score of 8-4.
Salaris scored the victory in net for the Warlocks, while Jackson Hainer took the loss for the opposition.
Saturday morning the Warlocks went to war with the third ranked Nepean Knights; a team they lost 11-4 to in the Mimico tournament earlier this summer.
Not even halfway through the opening possession, McManus blasted a shot past the Nepean net minder. The Knights were able to tie the game with a minute left in the period, on a snipe from Zach Thompson, but was answered with a buzzer beater from Dalpe to take a lead into the break.
The second period belonged to Salaris as he held off the Nepean advance. With Dalpe bending the twine midway through the frame, Salaris was able to blank the Knights and take a 3-1 lead into the final act.
Halfway through the third, Nathan Lassenba brought Nepean back to within one, but Salaris and the Warlocks defense shut them down the rest of the way to maintain the 3-2 win.
The victory was a dramatic turnaround from their last encounter.
Finishing second in their group with a 2-1 record, the Warlocks were slated to face the top team from the other pool, the OLA’s second ranked Orangeville Northmen. The Northmen proved too much for the locals, as they slammed Windsor 9-1.
Dalpe picked up the only snipe for the Warlocks while Tyler Van Wart, Isaac Heslinga, and Reid Valade each netted doubles, and loners from Cody Coulson, Evan Brake, and Max Donohov.
Windsor was relegated to the consolation round against the Whitby Warriors. The Warlocks started strong, but Whitby always had an answer.
Dalpe tallied first, early in the frame. Kyle Shepherd replied for the Warriors. Dalpe knocked in a late one, to be returned by a buzzer beater from Shane Bachman.
The second was scoreless until late when Ryan Clark gave the Windsor boys the go ahead He was answered right away, however, by Whitby.
Knotted 3-3 going into the third, the floor fell out from beneath the Warlocks. The Warriors would tally three times to close out the game and end the Bantams’ weekend.
Windsor was fresh off of two victories against their regional foes, the Sarnia Pacers. The Sunday before the Oakville tournament, the Warlocks were able to extend their dominance over Zone 7 as they lambasted Sarnia with 15-2 and 9-2 beatings, respectively.
In the morning game, Windsor proved to be hostile hosts, scoring early and often for an overmatched Pacers squad. Dalpe lead the way for the Warlocks by notching six goals for a double-hatty. McManus had another big game banging home four of his own while Brennan nailed a pair and Bailey Rolph, Clark, and Joshua Rosa each lit the lamp once.
Eric McDonald and Kaleb Edlington answered for Sarnia as Windsor ran away with this one.
Salaris picked up a shutout period and the win for the home side.
The afternoon match had much the same result. Dalpe led, this time with five. Meanwhile, Rosa blasted two, with singular contributions from Rolph and McManus.
Salaris allowed two goals, both in the first, getting his second win of the day and a pair of blanked frames.
Scoring for the Pacers was Robbie Gladwish and Matthew Moore.
The next Zone 7 action for the Warlocks will be June 28 when they travel up the 401 to meet the London Blue Devils at 8:00pm.