(TORONTO, ON) – With an excellent showing a week ago at the Toronto Beaches Intermediate Lacrosse Tournament, the Windsor Warlocks were able to return home with the ‘B’ championship title and a second place ranking in the province. It all started after a long drive to Toronto on June 9, when the Warlocks opened the tourney against the Ontario Lacrosse Association’s top-ranked team, the Whitby Warriors.
Despite a 4-2 loss, goalie Carson Hebner had a great game, picking up a shutout period in the first frame.
“The boys played [well], but were unable to seal the deal,” said coach Hunter Bushnell. “Some poor line changes that led to defensive breakdowns left Carson Hebner out to dry. [Hebner] had a standout performance in his four games [in net].”
The next morning, Windsor drew the Owen Sound North Stars for the second game of their round robin. The Warlocks flexed some muscle, pummeling the North Stars by a 9-2 score. Elijah Trudeau had a strong game in net, grabbing a blank period in the third to secure the win.
Windsor’s Nathan Salaris notched a hat-trick while Drew Denomey and Will Cecile blasted pairs. Andrew Clark and Jonathan Jenkins each scored once to round out the Warlock’s scoring.
Saturday afternoon, Windsor was back in action against the West Durham Rockmen and the Warlocks won the game 5-1 to finish second in their pool. Clarke led the way with two goals while Salaris, Cecile, and Blair Cosgrove each bent the twine with singles.
Hebner picked up the win between the pipes, collecting shutout periods in the first and third.
With the victory, the Warlocks clinched second place in their pool and earned a berth into the Saturday night quarter-final against the Mississauga Tomahawks. This time, Windsor won the game 5-1.
Hebner and Clarke played a strong game against the Tomahawks with the goaltender scoring two shutout periods in net and Clarke, whose effort Coach Bushnell described as an, “outstanding showing,” netted a pair. Denomey also had quite the game, scoring two and adding two assists. Jackman Schooley had two points on the day, including the fifth goal, while Cecile collected a trifecta of helpers.
The next morning, the Warlocks met Whitby in the semi-final, hoping for a better result than last time. No dice.
The Warriors earned a trip to the finals with a 5-1 win, while Windsor was relegated to the ‘B’ championship.
“Injuries and penalty trouble crippled [our] game plan,” admitted Bushnell. “[We] left Carson Hebner stranded to protect [our] goal. Hebner made many saves, however, the Warriors found the back of the net four times in the second period …”
Windsor’s lone goal was scored by Schooley.
The Warlocks collected themselves and prepared for one more shot at glory; a consolation championship game against the fourth-ranked Markham Thunder.
“Markham came out strong,” said Bushnell. “Markham had several good shots on net [late in the game], all denied by Elijah Trudeau.”
Windsor built up an early lead with snipes by Salaris and Schooley. Markham answered back, but Jenkins and Fraser Nelson replied in kind. The Thunder scored a buzzer beater in the dying seconds to stay within two going into the first break.
Markham tallied once in the second and again in the third to draw the game even before an unassisted blast in the final minute of the game by Salaris clinched the win and the title for the Warlocks.
“[We] finished the weekend on a high note and know what [we] have to do in order to get better as a team going forward,” reported Bushnell. “Aside from the solid goaltending between Carson Hebner and Elijah Trudeau, very strong performances were shown by Drew Denomey, Nathan Salaris, and Blair Cosgrove.”
Denomey had a particularly solid tournament, showing heart and determination for his club, but his physical play greatly impressed his coaches.
The Warlocks Intermediates will next be in action on Friday, June 30 as they host the Wallaceburg Griffins at 8:00am at Forest Glade Arena.