(WINDSOR, ON) – After a disappointing Game 1 for the Windsor Clippers, the local Junior B lacrosse club was able to answer the bell at home against the Orangeville Northmen, Tuesday night. A standout performance from Patrick Kaschalk put his team over the Northmen with a 7-5 overtime win.
Just like Game 1, the game started with a lengthy feeling out period. Despite an early power play for both teams, Windsor’s Brayden Bell and Orangeville’s Rylan Hartley, kept this game goose eggs for over half a period.
Windsor’s Logan Holmes broke the silence with nine and a half minutes remaining in the opening stanza, blasting a shot past Hartley. Late in the period, the Northmen’s Kyle Waters sniped two on Bell, including a backdoor buzzer-beater to give his team the lead into first break.
Mike Sutton extended the advantage to 3-1 almost six minutes into the middle frame, but was answered on the next play by Kaschalk.
With the Clippers only down one goal going into the third, it seemed like the home team might have the Northmen right where they wanted them.
Only a minute in, Orangeville’s Zack Deaken ripped a submarine shot past Bell, expanding the lead for the visitors. Dylan Riley responded for Windsor just five minutes into the frame to get the home team back into range.
At the midway mark of the third, Waters netted another goal with an outstanding dive-shot that eluded the Windsor net minder.
What seemed like a deathblow for Windsor was anything but. Not two minutes later, Kaschalk sprung to life again, snapping the mesh behind Hartley.
As the minutes wore down, the Clippers grew in intensity. Bell was pulled for the extra attacker and with less than a full possession to play, Windsor bore down on the Northmen net.
As most teams would expect their opponent to wear the clock down before bombing a shot on the cage, Orangeville seemed ill-prepared when Ryan Riley Marchand fed Holmes in the high slot. Instead of working the ball down low, the OJBLL scoring champion lined up and clocked the shot past Hartley so fast that, no doubt, it left him with nightmares.
Orangeville won the final draw, but were able to penetrate the Clipper D and the game went to extra time.
In the bonus round, Bell and his defense would shine, while Kaschalk led the offense. Only 59 seconds in, Kaschalk ripped his third of the game to give his team the lead.
A few minutes later, he would be escorted to the box for a roughing minor, but his team responded and kept Orangeville from generating the kind of down low plays that could prove fatal to the Windsor effort.
In the final minute of the frame, Kaschalk would tee-off again, blasting a rocket past Hartley and locking up the game for his teammates.
Bell made 37 saves for the win, picking up the shutout period in overtime. Hartley stopped 38 in defeat.
“We started a little bit slow,” said Kaschalk after the game. “I got one goal pretty early, after that I got some confidence and just started shooting more and it ended up being a good night. Everybody helped me out. D-side was so strong and I got passes in good places.”
Kaschalk would add two more assists to his points tally to give him six on the night. Holmes helped on three for five points.
“Tonight they saw the real Windsor Clippers and what we’re all about,” stated Kaschalk. “It’s kind of a wake up call for them and it shows us we’re playing with them and we’re going hard.”
“[Patrick Kaschalk]’s a monster,” said coach Jerry Kavanaugh after the win. “He does a really good job of just keeping the legs driving and turning the corner. Once he gets to the middle he gets some really good looks. He had a great game.”
Kavanaugh’s goal was to establish that his boys can match Orangeville’s intensity and speed.
“I thought in Game 1 that they were faster than us,” he said. “We didn’t do a good job of matching that and we got beat to the loose balls. I think tonight, right off the hop, loose balls were a plus for us. We turned every one of them into a battle. As the game wore down I think we were able to wear them down a little bit.”
The Clippers battled hard to wear down Hartley in particular. Orangeville’s goalie, who has made a good case for possibly winning the OJBLL’s goalie of the year award, was inundated with high percentage shots for much of the game.
“If we get a bunch of shots on him, as active as he is, he will get tired at some point,” said Windsor’s coach. “If he’s half a second slower on a shot in the third or overtime than he was in the first, it’s big.”
Game 3 will be a road game for the Clippers, as they travel up to Orangeville on tonight to test their luck at the Alder Street Recreation Centre. With Game 4 now a guarantee, Windsor will play hosts at the Glade at 7:00pm on Sunday, July 31.