Devil of a night for London
London Community News
Photos by Mike Maloney/London Community News/Twitter:@mdmaloneyphoto
It seemed somehow fitting on the hottest day of the year, it was two teams carrying the moniker of Devils — the London Blue Devils and Wallaceburg Red Devils — that ended hooking up in what would turn out to be a barn-burner of a game at the Earl Nichols Recreation Centre on Friday night (July 6).
Playing game one of their Ontario Junior B Lacrosse League (OBJLL) Western Conference semi-final, it was the Red Devils who would be the one's rising out of the melee as victors, rallying back from a one-goal deficit with two of their own in the dying minutes to snatch a 10-9 win.
Coming into the game fresh on a week’s rest after eliminating Elora last weekend, London wasn’t long in getting the ball rolling.
Three quick Blue Devils goals midway through the first period by Patrick Masterson, Mike Rybka and Dan Forbes made it look like London might run away with the game.
But lacrosse is a game of momentum and it wasn’t long in shifting back towards Wallaceburg as the action at the Earl Nichols heated up in the second period.
A four-goal run by the Red Devils would wipe out London’s lead and put Wallaceburg ahead by one midway through the second, turning the game into a seesaw battle from that point forward.
Tied at 6-6 to start the third, Jordan Bennett looked to have plunked London back in the drivers seat when he beat both the shot clock and Wallaceburg netminder Brennor Jacobs just over eight minutes into the final frame, only to have that cancelled out in short order by a pair of Red Devils markers.
Cranking up the offence once again, Masterson knotted the score 8-8 with a sidearm from the top of the D. Four minutes later, Forbes snagged his own rebound off the chest of Jacobs and fired it home to give London a whiff of victory with 4:30 left to play.
That whiff wasn’t long in turning as sour as a sweat soaked jersey.
Red Devils Jordan Durston stepped up with two highlight reel goals – the second a diving shot across the crease deposited over the shoulder of Blue Devils cager Tyler Glebe — that ended the party for London.
With two minutes left to play, the hometown squad just couldn’t muster a reply, earning Wallaceburg the 10-9 win.
London Blue Devils Coach and General Manager Jeff Williamson was obviously disappointed with the outcome, “We have to play 60 minutes, … We played about 58 minutes there.”
While musing the possibility some missed calls or a questionable goal may have factored into the result, Williamson had to call into play his own team first as a reason behind the loss.
Pointing out the effort was there for the most part, it was a few small errors that ultimately cost them the game.
“You can’t sit back at all in the game of lacrosse and some of these young kids still have to learn that,” said the London bench boss.
Veteran Ian King agreed, admitting that it was that not pressing the attack when they had the opportunity that cost them.
“We had chances in the first to make it 6-0,” said King. “We didn’t bury them then and it came back to bite us.”
Game two of the series goes at 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon ( July 8 ) in Wallaceburg with game three of the best-of-five series slated back at the Earl Nichols Recreation Centre next Friday (July 13) starting at 8 p.m.
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