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HOME SWEET HOME THROUGHOUT SEMIS; TORONTO AND WHITBY ADVANCE TO MINTO CUP

By OJLL PR, 07/30/22, 10:15AM EDT

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After two years, the Ontario Lacrosse Festival returned to Durham region where the best minor teams in the OLA will compete to be the best in the province. It’s somewhat fitting, then, that on Friday night both OJLL semi-final game fives were played to determine Ontario’s Minto Cup representatives. 

In both series, all eight games were won by the home team. The streak continued with both the Whitby Warriors and Toronto Beaches winning to advance to both the Iroquois Trophy Finals and the Minto Cup defeating the Orangeville Northmen and Burlington Chiefs respectively. 

The crowd in Whitby was electric all night. Very few seats were available, and the crowd was split between home fans and Orangeville faithful who packed three buses to watch their team play. It was the home side who were delighted when the home team took an early 2-0 lead. A loose panel of glass caused a near thirty minute delay before play resumed and Brock Haley made it a 3-0 first period. 

Orangeville won the second period 2-1 scoring in the opening and closing minutes. Jeremy Searle pulled the Northmen within one with his goal three minutes into the third. Whitby would answer with another three goal run, including Adam Poitras’ second of the game. He’d complete his hat trick into the empty net in the final minute icing a 9-4 victory.

Kaleb Martin was sensational in net for Whitby. He was matched by Chris Origlieri before the Orangeville netminder was forced to leave the game in the second period when he took a shot off the mask. Zach Richards took over, allowing five goals over the final 33:51. 

Poitras led all runners with five points (3 goals, 2 assists).

Meanwhile, less than fifteen minutes to the West, the Toronto Beaches were clinching their first Minto Cup berth at the Pickering Recreation Complex. It was a tight back-and-forth game nearly the entire night. 

The teams traded goals twice in the first period, and again to start the second. A pair of goals from Jacob Hickey and Liam MacKay ended the second with Toronto on top 5-3. Hickey added two more in the third, to three goals from Burlington, before Cameron Acchione iced the game with an empty net goal. 

Will Johsnton made forty-six stops for the win. Jacob Hickey added a pair of assists to his hat trick. Mitch Dunham, meanwhile, stopped thirty-seven of forty-five Toronto shots. Beaches’ Jacob Hickey led all runners with five points (3 goals, 2 assists). Greg Elijah-Brown topped Burlington with his hat trick. 

For more information on the OJLL finals, visit ontariojuniorlacrosse.com