Author’s Note: Through the 2017 season, we’ve partnered with the Interstate Box Lacrosse Association (IBLA) to give you an inside look at what’s going on in all three Regional Box Lacrosse Leagues (RBLL). RBLL Oregon now has a champion in the River Monsters, now it’s Colorado’s turn to figure it out.
All eyes on Colorado from here out! The first season of RBLL Oregon came to an end this weekend when Portland stomped out Beaverton, 21-11, to hoist the cup. The River Monsters will join the Hastings Walleye in waiting for a Colorado champion to be decided.
While Oregon was crowing a king, the Mile High gang took one step closer toward getting back on track toward meeting Parker in a grand finale rematch. Things are really starting to shape up in the Rockies, and time is running out. Let’s dial back and see how we got here.
Sr. A: Stars 15, Buzz 8 – 9/23
After the first period, it looked like the Stars were going to absolutely run away with the contest. Mile High led, 8-2, after 15 minutes, carried by five different shooters. In that time, only two Buzz were able to sneak solo shots past goaltender Brandon Scharaga.
Meanwhile Dustin Grybinas, Rowan Sloss, and Brendon Anger were all burying their only two goals of the night.
The game didn’t even finish the first period before the tension boiled over. Denver’s Colt Webb and Drew Lazar took exception to each other’s actions and the two shook off the gloves for RBLL Colorado’s first clean fight of the season.
The tilt fired up both benches, but only a single shot would fall for the Stars before buzzer. Overall, it was a lopsided contest, until that first 20 minutes came to a close.
Then Denver fired back. Bradey Hall got his boys on the board early, with support from Mitchell Larson and Riley Horton halfway through the period. The three Buzz tallies would be enough to hold back the Stars for a frame, only allowing Tyler Burgasser to break through twice, and no one else.
Before the curtain could fall on the second round, Lazar and Webb again crossed paths the wrong way, resulting in the second clean shakedown of the game. Another clean fight, the duel would send both boxers to the locker room for the remained of the game. The overall effort from Denver only narrowed the overall margin by a point, but the Buzz had won their period and really shook up how Mile High was playing ball.
Denver came back with the same narrative to start the third, leading the Stars, 3-2, led from two Bradey Hall strikes, but that’s where Scharaga and his defense would seal the door to let the forwards go back to work. Matt Johnson would find his second goal, Rob Milnes would make it a hat trick, and Tyler Burgasser touched in his fourth and final of the game. The late surge would push Mile High to fifteen goals, two wins, and one victory away from clenching a spot in the RBLL Colorado postseason.
Mile High was delighted to get another strong game from net-minder Brandon Scharaga (.771), making 27 saves on 35 shots. Having six players across the floor to put up a minimum of two goals and two points is another stat to be proud of. Brandon Anger (2+4) led the way with 6 points, while Tyler Burgasser’s 4 goals led the scoring category. The Stars will search for the crucial third win in Parker on Sunday, while the Buzz will get look to get on track on Sunday, also facing the Rangers.
Hastings Walleye won RBLL Minnesota in six games over Week 6. Along with Portland, they’ll await a RBLL Colorado champion to meet at Nationals.
River Monsters 21, Mountaineers 11 – 9/23 – Game 5
Treating their astounding crowds to one last ride, the RBLL Oregon put on a show Saturday night. In the fifth game of the series, the River Monsters went on the road to Beaverton and racked up their third 20+ point game, fifth with double-digits. For the first time, the Meadowlark Championship Cup, named after the state bird, was hoisted and by none other than the Portland River Monsters.
The high-scoring affair was a group effort, six shooters distributing the weight. While Benton Souers (5+0) led the way in goals, Dakota Wolfe Norman (4+1) and Jesse Maslin (3+2) were in stride with 5 points each. Not as flashy with goals, but leading the squad in points, Jonah Mohawk (2+5) and Charlie White (3+4) assisted their ways to 7 point nights.
On the other side of the floor, the workload was split between just three men. Alex Tilson (4+1), Patrick Rogers (3+1), and Jourdan Dixon (3+1) were the only Mountaineers to beat goaltender Kyle Hamburger all evening. Hamburger rejected 29 of the 40 shots he saw in the final, finishing the series with a .725 save average, or better, all season. Beaverton would fail to ever reach the 20+ points they put up in the season opener, their only win of the year.
The River Monsters took a clean sweep over the Mountaineers for the end of season awards. Charlie White will finish the season as the RBLL Oregon Points (25) and Assists (12) leader. Aided by his 5 point finish, Benton Souers took the honor as season’s Goals leader (17), finishing one ahead of Dakota Wolfe Norman. Portland will now get back to work in the practice sessions as they await their trip to to the first-ever Nationals.
This weekend marks Rangers Community Appreciation Night when Parker returns home to welcome the Stars on Saturday. High Schools students with valid ID are welcomed to attend for only $3. All kids are free (max 4 to a party) if they wear their youth team’s jersey or shirt and are accompanied by paying adult supervision.
Mile High Stars at Parker Rangers – Senior A
Saturday, September 30th at 7:00 pm
Parker Fieldhouse – Parker, CO
Denver Buzz at Parker Rangers – Senior A
Sunday, October 1st at 7:30 pm
Parker Fieldhouse – Parker, CO
Portland River Monsters win series, 4-1.
Portland will meet the winner of RBLL Colorado on November 4th, 2:15 pm, at the Parker Fieldhouse in Parker, CO.
Hastings Walleye wins seires, 4-2.
Hastings will meet the winner of RBLL Colorado on November 4th, 7:00 pm, at the Foothills Fieldhouse in Denver, CO.