The Senior B St. Albert Miners (5-1) continue to march toward their second consecutive national championship at Six Nations of the Grand River in Ontario, currently holding down the second seed after a close 19-16 win over the third-seeded Native Sons (4-2) out of Irving, New York on Thursday night.
Graedon Cornfield opened the scoring three minutes into the first period with an unassisted marker. The Native Sons replied with three unanswered goals in just two minutes, two scored by forward Lyle Thompson. The Miners found themselves down 6-4 at the end of the first frame.
In the second, the Miners found themselves down 11-5 at the halfway point of the period before scoring an incredible nine unanswered goals in the remaining 10 minutes. Patrick O’Meara scored three of his game-high four goals in this frame. The Miners took a 14-11 lead into the dressing room before the final period.
It was an evenly paced third period, with each team scoring five goals to finish out the game. Miners defenceman Ryan Dilks scored the final goal, giving the Miners some insurance after Zed Williams got the Native Sons to within one with five minutes left in the game.
Miners forward Keegan Bal led the way with nine points on the night (2G-7A). No one should be surprised to see Bal leading the scoring race so far this tournament, with 49 points (23G-26A) in six games. He led the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse league with 123 points (49G-73A) in 16 games, a 33-point lead over second place, held by teammate Richard Lachlan who finished with 90 points (62G-28A).
On Wednesday night, the Miners lost their first game of the tournament against the top seeded Six Nations Rivermen (5-0) 12-9. Down 7-5 after two periods, the Miners scored three unanswered to start the third period to take an 8-7 lead. Four unanswered goals in three minutes by the Rivermen put an end to the comeback as the Miners ended up with their first loss in Ontario. Rivermen forward Alex Kedoh Hill scored a game-high seven points (3G-4A), and Layne Smith pitched in with six (4G-2A). For the Miners, four players scored three points in the losing effort.
The Miners play their final game of the round robin tonight before moving onto the medal round on Sunday. The top two seeded teams will play for the championship.