The Onondaga Redhawks defeated the Six Nations Rivermen 9-7 in an all-Iroquois final at the 2014 Presidents’ Cup national senior B lacrosse championships.
Trailing 4-3 after two periods and 6-4 four minutes into the final frame, Onondaga went on a five-goal scoring spree to win its second-ever national senior B title.
“It’s grueling. It’s a tough tournament,” said 39-year-old Redhawks runner Neal Powless after the championship game.
Powless, who won Mann Cups with the senior A Six Nations Chiefs, a world title with the pro Rochester Knighthawks and a NCAA Division III national title at Nazareth College, said winning his second Presidents’ Cup was special.
“The guys have been running for five and six days a week (at practice) just because you got to be able to run every day here,” added Powless, who scored the Redhawks’ ninth goal late in the game with his sixth of the tournament.
Onondaga opened the scoring from Presidents’ Cup MVP Lyle Thompson, who finished the game with six points, including his hat-trick goal that sparked a game-winning, five-goal Redhawks’ scoring string midway through the third period.
The Can-Am champion Redhawks tallied four goals in a four-minute span, including Wade Bucktooth’s brilliant over-the-shoulder shot to the top corner of the Six Nations’ net from in close that stood up as the eventual game-winner.
Miles Thompson, who had two goals and two assists for Onondaga, was named the Redhawks’ player of the game.
Wayne VanEvery was the player of the game for the Ontario league champion Rivermen. He scored an early unassisted pair of turnovers. VanEvery finished the game with a hat trick and a team-high 15 tournament goals.
“We just knew at some point in the game some one was going to do it,” said Powless. “We’ve been doing it all year.”
Onondaga finished tied with the Quebec league champion Kahnawake Mohawks with identical 5-1 records following the five-day, round-robin matchups.
The Redhawks advanced to the gold-medal final on seven goals by Lyle Thompson in a 10-8 win over the Rocky Mountain league champion St. Albert Miners from Alberta.
Six Nations got past Kahnawake 8-4 in the other semifinal crossover matchup.
(Jaxson Lee Tri-City Bandits)
The host Tri-City Bandits finished with a record of 1-5, including a 20-4 pummeling over Akwesasne on Aug. 28.
Jesse Guerin led the Bandits with four goals in a nine-point outing. Ryan McNabb also scored four times for the hosts. Veteran Darren McEwen also had a goal and seven assists for the Bandits.
Lyle Thompson led all scorers in the competition with 17 goals and 40 points. Teammates Jerome and Miles Thompson tallied 16 and 14 goals apiece, respectively.