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President’s Cup 2018 – Day 4 Recap

The President’s Cup tournament is Canada’s national championship for Senior ‘B’ box lacrosse. The national summer sport of Canada has been full-throttle since Sunday and continues to September 2, when a national champion will hoist the President’s Cup. Follow along as we bring the games to you LIVE and FREE, as well as photos, videos and all the fun that surrounds this outstanding tradition.

Oakville Titans – 7, Capital Region Axemen – 6

What turned out to be an exciting finish here in Nanaimo was really a comeback that came-up one goal short. The Ontario team came out on fire, leading the Axemen 4-1 after the first, and 7-1 after the second period. That seventh goal would be the final tally for the Titans, going blank on the score sheet for period three. All five goals of the period would come from Capital Region, including the twister-like goal that brought the game within one goal with just 18.5 seconds remaining. Oakville’s Craig Wende was outstanding in turning away 33 shots from the likes of names like Mark Vradenburg and Blake Kenny. Axeman James Jordan reciprocated in the opposing goal, and keeping this young and fast team to seven is quite the feat in itself! The Axemen fall to 0-4, while Oakville’s record improves to an impressive 3-1 in their President’s Cup debut.

Ladner Pioneers – 8, Onondaga Redhawks – 4

The President’s Cup tournament is a war of attrition. We’re beginning to see evidence of teams slowing down and making mistakes — this game especially. Ladner was able to get the job done, but it wasn’t pretty. Onondaga probably wants this one back, and that frustration was evident in the body language visible throught the game. James Cathers was the Redhawk responsible for most of the offensive production, but that number was stymied by an excellent effort in net by one massive Brodie MacDonald. Onondaga drops to 1-4, while Ladner improves to 3-1 with one game left to play in the day against provincial rival and host team, the Nanaimo Timbermen.

 

Caughnawaga Indians – 10, St. Albert Miners – 7

Ever since hearing that Caughnawaga was going to be at President’s Cup, speculation has spread as to what this team would look like. That opening-night win over Nanaimo instantly drew eyes to this Wednesday matchup with the back-to-back champion Miners. There were no disappointed souls in the stands. Back and forth action was the story of the day, with hard-hitting physical action that never stopped. The Miners looked slow and fatigued, which could be caused by the fact that  they’ve rallied on speed and fresh legs up until now. Caughnawaga’s Blaze Riorden and Vaughn Harris were electric up front, while behind them Brandon Miller looked as good as he ever has in shutting down the likes of Lachlan, Bal and Triolo.

Capital Region Axemen – 12, Saskatoon Brewers – 9

These two teams entered with zero wins, meaning it had to have looked up for somebody! The Axemen pick up their first win of the tournament making them 1-4, and the still winless Brewers sink to 0-5. This game was not especially tight at any given point, but the Brewers held their own. The Axemen looked to make the conscious effort to play smart and let the overwhelming experience and talent on their roster do the work. The Brewers had some fantastic offensive series that was snuffed out by Axemen goaltending. Blake Kenny was fantastic for the Axemen, seeming to have his name called on just about every Axeman goal. The Brewers had an excellent third period, but unfortunately the Axemen had a better 60 minutes than the Brewer’s 20 minutes.

Nanaimo Timbermen – 8, Ladner Pioneers – 6

The rivalry! When you looked at the schedule for the day, you saw this one was the primetime matchup and you KNEW it was going to be a war. Both teams were at the top of their game and everyone watching at home around the world — as well as those in the Frank Crane Arena — got what they came to see. Ladner led after the first period 2-1, and the Timbermen took that lead back for a 5-4 lead after the second. Dubensky was a goaltender change from the original starter, and he rose to the challenge. A second period riddled with funky bounces and less than perfect Nanaimo reverse transition forced Dubensky to make a dozen kick saves to bail out the defense. Ladner played arguably the best game I’ve seen them play since their opening onslaught of the Axemen, but they just weren’t able to get past Dubensky on several excellent opportunities — primarily created by Poole and Berekoff. The Timbermen and Pioneers both keep their playoff hopes alive, but both teams will need to come out of tomorrow with wins.

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