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NorthStars enter playoffs on two-game winning streak

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Not only do the Owen Sound Quantum Properties NorthStars head into the playoffs on a two-game winning streak, but those two wins came against the club's two possible post-season opponents.

The Ontario Lacrosse Association Senior B League's N'Stars downed both the Brooklin Merchants and Norwood James Gang on the weekend, clinching the sixth and final play-off spot.

Who they'll play was not known at the Sun Times deadlines.

A Brooklin win over Oakville on Sunday evening would lift the Merchants into third place and give them a first-round date with the N'Stars.

A Merchants loss would leave them tied with Norwood but the James Gang would take third due to the tiebreaker. That means Owen Sound would play Norwood.

Regardless of who the N'Stars meet, Game 2 of the series is expected to be on Saturday in Owen Sound.

The time and the opponent had not been determined at the Sun Times deadline.

"When we have our full squad and everybody's healthy I think we match up well with both teams," Owen Sound coach Brandon Sanderson said on Saturday following his squad's 10-6 win over visiting Norwood.

"They're both great teams and it's going to be a battle. If we come ready to play the way we have been the last couple games, we should be OK."

Stu Gordon, Jayme Szabolcs, and Sanderson all scored twice while Mike MacLeod, Drew Barfoot, Curtis Gibbons, and Zack Tomkinson added singles for Owen Sound (6-10-0, sixth).

"In dropping those five (games) in a row we were struggling to score but (on Saturday) we got goals from different guys which is good to get them some confidence," Sanderson said.

Josh Wasson-McQuigge scored four goals while Mike McNamara and Joel Wasson-McQuigge added singles for Norwood (8-8-0, third).

"We made a couple more mistakes than them and they went home with the win," James Gang assistant coach John Martin said.

"We made mental mistakes in the third that cost us. That was the difference in the game. It was pretty evenly played other than that."

Owen Sound goalie Josh Bowen made 21 saves while Norwood's Kevin Croswell stopped 23 shots.

Travis Gibbons took it on himself on Friday to end the suspense about whether or not Owen Sound would make the playoffs.

Gibbons scored five times in a 6-4 win over host Brooklin to clinch the post-season berth.

"We didn't have much offense going so it was just one of those timely events where the ball seemed to just go in for me ... it was neat," Travis Gibbons said.

"It definitely boosted the morale for everyone and going in to the playoffs on a two-game winning streak is definitely a plus for everyone. It's certainly better than a seven-game losing streak."

Tyler Gibbons added a single.

Coady Adamson had a hat trick while Brock Levick added a single for the Merchants (8-7-0, third).

"We played mean and we played with an edge (against Brooklin)," said Sanderson.

"I think that's what we have to bring to the table. We don't have the big goal scorers but we have guys who can score."

Owen Sound goalie Ryan Masters earned the win while Brooklin's John Cheeseborough took the loss.

SHOOTING STARS: Both teams were shorthanded on Saturday so they agreed, with the referee's permission, to play the game in straight time with no stoppages other than for time outs ... Owen Sound had three juniors in the line-up on Saturday - Derek Haylow, Boyd Mclay, and Ryan Hamelin.

 

bill.walker@sunmedia.ca

Follow Bill Walker on Twitter at https://twitter.com/BillWalkerST

 

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