The Brock Badgers men’s lacrosse team played host to the Baggataway Cup finals over the weekend. The Badgers became the defending champions by beating the Bishop’s Gaiters 9-8 in sudden-death double-overtime.
The game-winning goal came courtesy Matt Marchildon, who scored to take home the Ontario University Field Lacrosse championship.
Both teams had difficulty getting to the finals as they were met with great competition. Bishop’s chore was to defeat the defending champion Western Mustangs; a job that they eventually completed, by upsetting the Mustangs 10-7.
The Badgers road seemed a little more intense, as they had to play their division rivals, the Guelph Gryphons, in what would prove to be a very close match.
Brock had beaten the Gryphons in both of their regular seasons games, but this match took three overtime periods before Brock finally won in sudden-death play. Brock goaltender Kenny “Monster” Montour made an incredible save on a Guelph shot, and Brock took possession. Sandy Chapman, fed a pass to Brad Tapp who potted the winner.
The finals began with Brock taking a commanding 3-0 lead at the end of the first quarter, captained by the superb play of tournament MVP Montour. ‘Monster’ had a fantastic game, recording 26 saves on the night.
The Gaiters came back in the second quarter, throwing all the offense they could muster at the shocked Badger team. Bishop’s scored three consecutive goals to tie the game, but Brock’s Sean Turner broke the tie just before the half.
In the second half, Brock started by scoring another three unanswered goals, which were, again, responded to by Bishop’s three quick goals, tying the game at six. But then the unthinkable happened, as the Gaiters let their momentum carry them into the Brock zone and took the 7-6 lead on a hard, bouncing shot that passed Montour close to the end of regulation.
McNamara grunted out a quick goal to tie the game, sending the championship into its first overtime.
The first overtime half saw Bishop’s momentum continue, as they struck first blood giving them the 8-7 lead. However, the Badgers refused to give up and eventually re-tied the game at 8-8. The game remained tied until the end of overtime, bringing sudden victory to the team scoring the first goal in the third overtime.
Brock gained possession of the draw from the gritty play of Andy McClintock, who went 4-for-4 on draws in overtime, making his totals 21-for-25 for the game. The possession turned out to be a key part of the win, as the Badgers held on to the ball for most of the overtime, eventually scoring the winner when McNamara set up Marchildon for a goal that was so surprising, Marchildon was left celebrating by himself for a few seconds until either team realized what had happened.
“You can’t ask for a better championship game. We did what we set out to do,” head coach Shawn Williams said.
Assistant coach Dan Pilon was able to sum the game up in even fewer words, saying simply “What a game … We’ve been waiting three years for this.”
Although it was assumed that Brock would be playing Western in the final, the coaches did not seem to relieved, or surprised at the Bishop’s entrance into the game.
“They are a really talented team. Very well disciplined. It is tough with a two division league because you think that all you see is all you have. You don’t see some of the other teams,” Williams said.
“We were not relieved at all. [Western and Bishop’s] are both good teams,” Pilon commented.
The win is not only great as it gives Brock more recognition as a great school for lacrosse, but also brings the coveted Baggataway Cup to Brock after three years.