Coquitlam, BC – The Onondaga Redhawks first game of the 2014 Presidents Cup was a good one; overcoming the OLA champion, the Six Nations Rivermen, in a fast paced hard checking 14-12 win.
From the opening draw, spectators of this game knew they were in for some great goal scoring. The Rivermen took the opening draw and 12 seconds later, tallied their first goal. Onondaga took the ensuing possession and Brett Bucktooth scored from a pretty pass from Dustin Hill to tie the game at 1. This set the tone as this game had 5 ties, 6 lead changes, and 3 goals was the largest lead for either team.
Miles Thompson scored the first of his five tallies when he found some room in front of the crease and Lee Nanticoke fired a half court pass for the assist. After a Six Nation goal, Brett Bucktooth found the back of the net despite being man down. The Rivermen returned the favor by scoring a shorthanded goal for a 4 to 3 lead. As the first period was about to close the Redhawks found themselves with a two men advantage. Miles took advantage scoring 2 straight man-up goals, the second with only 6 seconds left in the period to push the Redhawks in the lead 5-4.
The second period saw the Rivermen take advantage of some giveaways by the Redhawks on clearing situations. Six Nations was able to scoop loose balls and turn them into 3 straight goals and an 8-5 lead. With the Redhawk shooters not finding any success in close, Pete Benedict fired a long blast that beat the Six Nation goalie. Then Lyle Thompson received a pass in traffic, spun, shot and scored to bring the Redhawks to within one. Six Nations then took advantage of a Redhawk high stick for a goal and a 9-7 lead.
Coach Shenandoah sensing the Redhawks needed to break the Rivermen’s momentum, called for an equipment check on the Six Nation goalie. After much spirited conversation by both teams, the referee determined that indeed the goal keeper was wearing too much equipment and was ejected from the game and the Rivermen were assessed a 2 minute penalty.
On the Redhawk power play, the teams battled for a loose ball at the midline. Hiana Thompson scooped up the ball and raced down the floor and dove past the defenders to score and bring the Redhawks to within one again changing the score to 8 to 9. Six Nations then determined to keep the lead their lead scored twice again before Lyle Thompson ended the second period scoring at 11-9.
The third period saw the Redhawk defenders begin to challenge the Six Nation shooters as goal keeper Ross Bucktooth did not let any shots get by him for the next 18 minutes which included an impressive two men down stand! With the Rivermen unable to beat the Onondaga defense, goals by Miles, Hiana, Pete and Miles again pushed the Redhawks lead to 13-11. With only 3 minutes remaining, the Riverman took a 5 minute unsportsmanlike penalty which allowed the Redhawks to run out the game clock before both teams traded goals at the end of the game for the 14-12 final score.
Up next for the Redhawks is another great game as they face off against the Kahnawake Mohawks who defeated the host team Tri-City Bandits 8-7.