Ontario captured their 10th consecutive CLA Peewee Box Lacrosse National Championship title this past weekend with a 9-1 win over First Nations in the gold medal game. A total of six teams – Ontario, British Columbia, First Nations, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia – competed in the annual event which was hosted in conjunction with the Ontario Lacrosse Festival in Whitby, Ontario.
Ontario dominated their competition, finishing the tournament with a perfect 6-0 record while allowing only six goals against, which was 12 goals less than the next closest team. Their undefeated record earned them a bye directly to the finals.
Meanwhile, First Nations won a 6-5 double-overtime thriller over British Columbia to capture second spot in the championship game. They trailed 4-1 after the second period, but rallied with three straight goals to tie things up and force overtime. Tayoni Galante scored the game-winner at the 5:58 mark of the second overtime period to help his team advance and play for gold.
Unfortunately, the momentum First Nations had gained from that incredible game was no-match for a well-rested Ontario squad.
Clark Dunford (2g, 2a) and Matthew Drimmie (0g, 3a) paced Ontario’s offense in the championship game, while Thomas Bagnall, Tyler Graham , Justin Tavares and Zackary Toll contributed with two points each. Tayoni Galante scored the lone goal for First Nations, ending Ontario’s shutout bid at the 12:59 mark of the third period.
B.C. shutout Saskatchewan 12-0 to bring home the bronze medal. Goaltender Malcom Taylor was unbeatable between the pipes, while Oliver Josephson (2g, 1a) and Dylan Anderson (0g, 3a) led a balanced offense with three point each.
Manitoba captured the B Division crown thanks to a 7-5 overtime win over Nova Scotia. The teams combined for six goals in the extra frame, with Connor Bruyere netting the game-winner at the 7:03 mark. Parker De La Ronde was Manitoba’s top scorer with two goals and an assist, while Matt McCarron led the way with a hat-trick for Nova Scotia.
Taka Thompson of First Nations led the tournament in scoring with 18 points on 15 goals and three assists, while B.C.’s Oliver Josephson (6g, 9a) and Ontario’s Zackary Toll (10g, 3a) weren’t far behind, finishing with 15 and 13 points, respectively.
Ontario’s goaltending tandem of Zachary Constantopoulos and Jesse Morrison each finished the tournament with identical 3-1 records and one shutout apiece. Constantopoulos led the way with a 0.67 goals against average, however Morrison’s 1.33 GAA mark was equally as impressive.