Moment of silence in Buffalo, disappointment in Toronto and other weekly sports 1-offs
Respect and tragedy know no borders
The Rock and the Buffalo Bandits have a bitter and historic rivalry that plays out in the National Lacrosse League East Conference Finals, but they were united in a common goal before Sunday night’s opener: to respect and mourn those who were killed and injured in the Buffalo shooting. massacre the day before.
“We knew their home crowd and their team had been very emotionally affected by the tragedy and, just watching the local news, our players were too,” said Rock goalkeeper Nick Rose. “Being part of the first game right after, and the moment of silence they had, was pretty special.”
The Rock’s captain, Challen Rogers, explained that “lacrosse is a game of medicine, a game of healing. The whole building put the rivalry aside and it was nice to be a part of something like this, united as one, showing respect as one. Living in the world we live in now and the changes we’re all trying to make, it was nice to be a part of it. At the same time, there is so much to do against racism which still pass.
Buffalo won an open thriller 18-17, with Game 2 in the best-of-three at FirstOntario Center Saturday at 7 p.m.
One of them is not like the others
The Flames, Oilers, Hurricanes, Rangers and Maple Leafs all played in the first five rounds of the Stanley Cup Playoffs which ended in Game 7. All of them worked hard during the regular season so that if their first series were to end in a decisive game, it would be played on their own rink. And all but one found a way to use that home ice advantage to advance to the quarterfinals.
This corner believed the Leafs would beat Tampa in six because that team felt different from Toronto groups of recent vintage, even those with that same five-star core. The Leafs have come commendably close, but as Torstar’s Dave Feschuk pointed out, Toronto is the first team in collective NHL, MLB, NBA and NFL history to lose five straight games. in the first round. It says they’re right there, but also that they can’t pass right there and more is needed. And it’s going to cost something. The Leafs were better and deeper this year and the likes of Mitch Marner and Auston Mathews weren’t the issue in the playoffs: but can they improve significantly, given the stratosphere they’ve already reached ? That’s a lot to ask. More likely, they’ll have to trade someone like William Nylander in order to add another star defenseman to a defensive line that has only one consistent elite player. And they have to ask themselves bluntly and honestly if, when they face the same opponent for two solid weeks, they are overwhelmed.
To be on the right track, you need leads
Ruby West and Team Canada “B” finished sixth in the Women’s Nations Cup Team Pursuit last week at the Mattamy National Cycling Centre. The Dundas resident has his sights set on the 2024 and 2028 Olympics and says the Milton Velodrome, built for the 2015 Pan American Games as the only Olympic-sized indoor facility in the country, will help Canadian athletes get there and to succeed.
“I think there are a lot of people in the same boat as me, who come from this area but otherwise wouldn’t have found this sport if it wasn’t for the velodrome,” West says. . “It’s an incredibly facility-based sport and you can’t be a track cyclist if you don’t have a track to ride on. We’re lucky to have this one, plus they cover the outside track in Bromont, Quebec and there are plans to build one in Victoria or Edmonton. This only raises the level of the sport in the country. Great Britain has five or six in its small country, so it would be good for us to have more in Canada.
Good season for the Bs
Pennant-winning Hamilton Kilty B’s highly successful season is over. They forced a Game 6 in their Golden Horseshoe conference final with a victory in front of 500 fans at Dave Andreychuk Arena last Wednesday, but were eliminated by the St. Catharines Falcons’ 1-0 win Friday night. Some 900 fans watched the Falcons win for the seventh time in seven GOJHL playoff games at the former Jack Gatecliff Arena, the Falcons’ home for 54 years which will be demolished later this spring. St. Catharines advances to the Sutherland Cup round robin final against Chatham and Cambridge. None of the three finalists finished first in their respective conference.
Dylan Abbamont, who scored a conference-high 36 goals, was named to the Golden Horseshoe All-Star Team along with Caledonia’s Ethan Doyle and three Falcons, including former Jr. Bulldog defenseman Jonah Boria. The conference rookie squad included Kilty B’s goaltender Braedyn McIntosh and forward Colin MacDougall as well as Pelham Panther and Hamilton native Florian Xhekaj, a younger Hamilton brother of Hamilton Bulldogs star Arber Xhekaj.
Alyssa Wheeler has two goals to lead Hamilton United’s women’s first team of the Ontario League 1, and Lindsey Barwirtzi and Victoria Orfei have singles, while Miles Green leads the men’s team with two goals, and Sebastien Guerrieri and Santiago Ubate have one each… Former Forge FC Marcel Zajac plays for defending O1O champion Guelph United and has two goals in three games… Hamilton Ryan Raposo started the Vancouver Whitecaps’ 3-3 draw with San Jose at the weekend, got an assist on the game’s first goal and scored to tie it 2-2. He also scored a goal in last week’s 2-0 Canadian Championship tournament win over CPL’s Valor FC… Memo to Panthers: Never Trade Carter Verhaeghe, who set the NHL playoffs on fire last week. He was sent to the Islanders by the Leafs in 2015 for Michael Grabnerwho only played one season for Toronto with just nine goals, and two years later Verhaeghe was traded by the Islanders for the Lightning goaltender Kristers Gudlevskis who has played no NHL games and only one minor league season for New York… Until Monday night, Burlington’s Josh Anderson had one goal and three assists for Team Canada to rank sixth overall in men’s world championship tournament scoring.