By Fred Wallace
Hi, this is Fred Wallace with " Off the Wire "
When we come to the end of any sporting calendar year, there seemingly is always one great game or one bizarre sequence of events that stands out in local sports.
For 2019, we had both, in spades, surrounding the Owen Sound Bug Juice Senior NorthStars.
As an early indication of things to come, we cannot overlook the sweater fiasco where the Ontario Lacrosse Association threatened to fine the NorthStars if they wore their new uniforms.
The jerseys were great, a sea of bold colors to promote Bug Juice.....the only problem was you couldn't see the numbers.
But that issue was minor to week long events of late July
The Bug Juice NorthStars won the opening game of their playoff series at Six Nations on July 20th in a game that was marred by a series of fights & nasty incidents.
Suspensions and fines were proposed and the following day, the Rivermen threatened to forfeit Game 2 at Owen Sound.
Peace was restored and the Rivermen pumped the NorthStars 9-4 to tie the best of 5 at 1 win apiece.
Between Games 2 & 3, the OLA decreed the Rivermen's remaining home dates were to be played in Brantford rather than at Six Nations, a move that wasn't overly popular in certain circles.
And so on July 26th, the 2 teams faced each other, at Brantford, and the Rivermen were poised to win, holding a 7-5 lead with a minute to go.
But, the Bug Juice boys rallied with a goal by Brenden Welsh and then the tying goal came from Matt McLeod with just 11 seconds to play.
In overtime, Dan Michel of the NorthStars scored....BUT, overtime in lacrosse is not " sudden death " and Six Nations proceeded to pour in 4 quick goals to retake the lead.
Owen Sound made it close with 2 late goals but ended up falling 1 goal short.
The next night back at the Harry Lumley-Bayshore Community Centre, it was deja vu.
Six Nations led 8-5 with 5 minutes to go and the series was over........or so it appeared.
Lachlan Elder, Michel & Dan Keane scored for the Bug Juice NorthStars and we had overtime again.
In this overtime, there was just one goal, Joe Maracle Jr scored the winner for Six Nations 5 minutes into OT and the Rivermen took the series 3 games to 1.
Four games, 2 of them comeback-overtime-epics in a swirling cloud of bizarre twists made the Bug Juice NorthStars & Six Nations Rivermen the most memorable sequence of events on the 2019 local sports landscape
Happy New Year.
I'm Fred Wallace