The Brampton Excelsiors brief Junior A season came to a heartbreaking close on Sunday in Oakville, losing the Ontario Junior Lacrosse League final to the St. Catherine’s Athletics 14-13.
The Excelsiors made the Iroquois Trophy final after posting a 6-2 record during round robin play, good enough for 2nd in their division, and defeating Whitby 8-7 in the semi-final. St Catherine’s had defeated Mimico in the other semi-final to secure their place in the finals.
The final was expected to be a defensive affair with both teams coming in averaging right around 5 goals against per game. The score was tied 3-3 after the teams kept trading goals. The 2nd period was an offensive explosion, with St. Catherine’s outscoring Brampton 9-7 to take a 12-10 lead going into the 3rd period. Late in the 3rd period, shortly after St. Catherine’s scored to go ahead 14-11, goaltender Steven Orleman was ejected from the game for slashing. Caleb Slinger came on in relief and made several saves which allowed the Excelsiors to stage a late comeback.
After cutting the lead to 1 with about 30 seconds to play, the Excelsiors went all out, getting several excellent chances including hitting a post with just seconds left, but they could not find the equalizer.
While the end result wasn’t what they wanted, I’m sure if you asked anyone 2 months ago, they would have been thrilled with the idea of even being able to play this season. The Junior A club would like to thank the OJLL, Commissioner Mark Grimes, The Toronto Rock Athletic Centre and everyone else who made this season possible.
The Brampton Junior A Excelsiors would also like to thank their 1999 born players for their contributions:
The future remains unknown for the 2000 born players, as decisions regarding increasing the age of the Junior A division still need to be made. If this is their last game, the Excelsiors wish to thank the following players:
Seth Van Schepen