The Orangeville Northmen will play for the Minto Cup.
Their opponent remains to be determined.
The Northmen, champions of the Ontario Junior A Lacrosse League, earned their spot in the best-of-five championship series with an 11-4 victory over the Okotoks Raiders on the final day of round-robin play at the 2019 Minto Cup Junior A National Championship at Langley Events Centre on Sunday.
After playing three games in as many days, the 3-0 Northmen now get a pair of days off.
The Okotoks Raiders will play the Victoria Shamrocks in Monday’s semifinal game at 7 p.m. to determine, which team earns the right to square off against the Northmen beginning on Wednesday night.
The Shamrocks defeated the Coquitlam Adanacs 15-7 in the final round-robin game on Sunday, leaving Victoria, Okotoks, and Coquitlam all with 1-2 records.
With the goal differential used as the tiebreaker, the Adanacs were the odd man out.
Orangeville Northmen 11 Okotoks Raiders 4
For the second straight game, the Orangeville Northmen used a dominant second period to break open a tie game.
On Saturday, the Northmen used an 8-2 spurt to pull away from the Coquitlam Adanacs.
Sunday’s middle stanza was not as explosive, but they did still score six while surrendering just one goal to snap a 2-2 tie on their way to an 11-4 victory.
“Give them credit, (Okotoks) played hard. The second period, we stuck with it and our shots started falling and we were able to go on a run,” said Northmen assistant coach Rusty Kruger.
Northmen captain Zack Deaken said the second period has been the team’s best all season, and the numbers would back that up.
“All year it has been like we come out with a shaky start, but the second period, we just blow up,” he said. “It has been like that since day one.”
Through 20 regular season games and another 14 OJALL playoff contests, the Northmen outscored their opponents by 50 goals over those second periods. By comparison, their combined goal differential in the first period was +26 while in the third period and overtime, the Northmen finished +9.
Against the Raiders, Jonathan Donville led the charge.
Already the leading scorer through two games, Donville added another five goals and nine points, giving him nine goals and 20 points.
Dylan Watson chipped in with a pair of goals and six points while Ty Thompson, Mike McCannell, Jordan Caskanette and Curtis Butka each scored once.
Goaltender Rylan Hartley made 43 saves on 46 shots before exiting the game with just under seven minutes to play.
The Raiders twice led in the game, 1-0 and 2-1, but scored just two goals over the final 50:18.
“They do a really good job of taking the game down to the pace they want to play at. They control the tempo, their offence is very controlled and they know exactly where they want to put the ball and what they want to do with it,” said Okotoks coach Jesse Fehr. “They just did a better job of finishing than we did tonight.”
Ethan Landymore had two of the goals with Myles Hamm and Zach Mantei each scoring once. Marshall Bloomfield finished the game with four assists.
Jackson Brown made 41 saves as his team was outshot 52-44.
Bloomfield was the Okotoks player of the game while Donville earned the honour for Orangeville.
With the victory, the Raiders will face Victoria, a team they beat 13-10 during the round-robin.
“It is one of those things where at the beginning of the year, if you told your team that you had a one-game playoff to go and have a chance to play in a Minto Cup final, anyone would take that opportunity,” Fehr said, “That was our goal to make that game and then take it from there.”
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Victoria Shamrocks 15 Coquitlam Adanacs 7
Knowing they needed to win by at least three goals or more to prevail in a potential three-way tiebreaker, the Victoria Shamrocks left themselves plenty of room to spare.
The Shamrocks scored the game’s first six goals and never looked back, defeating the Coquitlam Adanacs 15-7.
The closest the Adanacs came was cutting the deficit to five goals, 8-3, with more than half the game remaining. But Victoria stretched the lead to 10-3 after 40 minutes and closed things out in the third.
“Our backs were against the wall. It was either do-or-die and our guys came out to save our lives,” said Shamrocks head coach Terry Dennett.
Even with his team up 6-0 after 20 minutes, Dennett said there was no relax in his team.
“Coquitlam is so good. Pat Coyle is probably one of the best Junior A coaches in Canada by far (so) I don’t think any lead is safe with them.”
He did add that he felt the Adanacs were not at full health while adding that the game was likely the best 60-minute effort his team put together all season.
Patrick Dodds led all scorers with six points, including a pair of goals, while Zach Manns (three goals, two assists) and Brayden Brown (three goals, one assist) both had hat tricks. Manns was also one of three players with five points, alongside Ben Preston (two goals, three assists) and Austin Madronic (one goal, four assists) while Brown and Casey Wilson (four assists) each had four points.
Teioshontathe McComber and Liam Phillips had a pair of goals apiece.
Cameron Dunkerley finished with 43 saves in the Victoria goal, earning his team’s player of the game award. Will Clayton led all Coquitlam players with two goals and four points, earning the Adanac player of the game honours.
Reid Bowering had a hat trick and Braydon Cresswell finished with a pair of goals.
Nate Faccin made 25 saves on 34 shots while Cam MacLeod stopped six of a dozen shots.
Coquitlam dropped their final two round-robin games after opening with a victory.
Coyle said didn’t know what happened but did say he was proud of his team.
Now Victoria prepares for a rematch with an Okotoks team, which beat them in the round-robin.
“They work every shift. They are a very well-coached team and they have that internal drive to work hard. We just have to match their intensity and effort,” Dennett said.
“It is really going to get your shovel and putting your work boots on and making sure you hard hat stays on and getting to work.”
For tickets to Monday’s semifinal, click here.