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Outlawz are 2014 Three Nations League Champions

 

The Three Nations Senior B Lacrosse League champion Akwesasne Outlawz pose after defeating the Snake Island Muskies three games to one in a best-of-five series. They took game four 10-7 on Sunday, Aug. 16 at Massena Arena in front of a crowd of about 200. All photos by Andy Gardner.

The Akwesasne Outlawz came back from losing game one of a best-of-five series and took three straight wins over the Snake Island Muskies to claim the Three Nations Senior B Lacrosse League 2014 championship.

"It was a good series ... I want to thank the Muskies for playing us and never giving up," Outlawz Coach Mark Jacobs said after the game. "We thought it was going to go five (games). That's the way the ball bounces."

He praised his team's efforts throughout the season. Many of the players he said have been under his tutelage since first picking up a stick.

"It's a great bunch of guys. A lot of the guys I coached novice up to now," he said.

What would prove to be the last game of the 2014 season for the newly founded Three Nations League started with the Muskies coming out with a quick lead, and kept pace in each of the three frames.

The final score of the Sunday, Aug. 16 bout played at Massena Arena was Outlawz 10, Muskies 7. About 200 spectators attended.

The Muskies opened the game with a goal 31 seconds in. The Muskies gained possession from the face-off and swarmed the Outlawz net. After a couple of denied scoring attempts, Trent Jacobs passed to Shane Francis, who notched the first of his two goals of the game. Four minutes later, Brandon Swamp connected with Matt Thompson to put the Outlawz on the board. After six minutes of steady failed shots on goal from both sides, Akwesasne's Jarrett Jacobs rebounded a blocked shot and passed it to Tekari Thompson, who was about 12 yards outside of the net. Despite the distance, he fired a sidearm shot to bring his squad to a one-goal advantage. Three minutes later, Muskie Shane Francis converted a pass from Jordan Thomas to tie the match. Thomas would go on to be the game's overall top scorer, with two goals and three helpers.

With just over a minute in the frame, Outlawz' Nick Sanseverino eyed teammate Josh Jacobs, who was less than a yard from their opponent's net. Sanseverino's pass went high, but Jacobs caught it and in one smooth motion, appeared to effortlessly pull the ball down into the Snake Island goal, giving the team a 3-2 lead.

The Outlawz offensive domination continued in the second period, once again outscoring 3-2. Snake Island came out with another quick goal, after 22 seconds, off the stick of Cody Kilcoyne, with an assist from Jordan Thomas. Akwesasne's answer came about 2:20 later, when Andrew Bomberry capitalized off a pass from Angus Leborgne and Nick Sanseverino. After about 10 minutes of stalemate play while a swarm of players from both sides congested the Snake Island net, Nick Sanseverino took a pass from Derek Hopps and fashioned his lone marker of the contest.

Less than a minute later, the Muskies Thomas fired his first of two goals on a play set up by Evan Cree. One minute and one second later on a power play, Bomberry pushed the Outlawz out to a two-goal lead, with the assist going to Matt Thompson.

The third frame opened with a breakaway goal for the Outlawz, which came from Bomberry. He scooped up a loose ball near his team's net and successfully went one-on-one with Snake Island's Jake Lazore. His squadmate Neil Hopps followed up with back-to-back goals, the first assisted by Derek Hopps.

The Muskies came back with a couple of flashy goals. After several passes around the net, Mac Mitchell, while on Akwesasne goalie Ni McComber's strong side, fired around the back of his head and found the inside of the net. Thirty seconds later, the ball went from Shane Francis, to Scott Thompson, to Hank Delisle. He caught the ball one-handed, dove through the air across the net and flipped the ball in, still holding his stick with his left hand. The Outlawz came in with their final goal of the season about a minute later, from Angus Leborgne with assists from Neil Hopps and Andrew Bomberry. The final goal of the 2014 season came from Muskie Jordan Thomas, who took a pass from Cody Kilcoyne and, for the second time in the game, connected on a shot fired around the back of his head.

Games Two and Three by Derrick Lafrance

In game two on Thursday the Muskies came out with a 2-1 first period lead but in the second the Outlawz put up a six goal blitz on the way to a 9-8 win to even the series at one each.

Angus Leborgne and Tekari Thompson scored hat tricks in the win. Daryl Seymour, Nick Sanseverino and Derek Hopps scored one each.

Sanseverino also added three assists.

For Snake Island Lee Thomas scored a pair which were back-to-back markers. Clayton Barnes, Shane Francis, Cody Kilcoyne, Jake Lazore, Ryan Oakes and Wallace Thompson netted one each. Francis and Jordan Thomas drew three assists each.

As with the previous game this game got chippy but both teams showed discipline and played the game.

Game three in this series on Friday night - also at Anowarakowa Arena saw the Outlawz take a 2-1 series lead with a 13-9 win.

Leborgne continued his scoring pace with four goals while Hopps scored three.

Jarett Jacobs notched two and Brandon Swamp, Sanseverino, Troy Lyons and Josh Jacobs scored singles. In addition to his one Jacobs scored three assists.

In the loss Scott "Butter" Thompson, Lee Thomas and Kilcoyne scored two each. Kilycoyne and Thompson received four assists each. Barnes, Hank Delisle and Andrew Lazore scored one each.

The first period ended in a 4-4 tie but the Outlawz pulled ahead to end the second period 10-7.

Scary moment for the Outlaws late in that middle period as starting goalie Ni McComber was knocked into his goal and hit his neck on the crossbar. He stayed down for a few minutes but got off the floor assisted.

Backup Tori Bigtree came in relief and stepped into a hot game as the third period started with more of the rough stuff. But it also featured some fine lacrosse with end to end rushes and ringing off the goalposts.

Both teams scored three times each in the final frame but the Outlawz six goal second period stood up and they held a 2-1 series lead.

Game 1

The Muskies took game one, played Wednesday, Aug. 13 at Massena Arena, by a narrow 9-8 margin.

The Akwesasne Outlawz congratulate each other on their championship win seconds after the final buzzer.

Snake Island jumped out to a 3-2 lead after the first period, but started to lose their grip in the middle frame, as the Outlawz outscored 4-2. The Muskies came back to re-assert dominance in the closing frame, turning the tables by outscoring the Outlawz 4-2.

Shane Francis led the way for Snake Island with three goals and an assist. Jordan Thomas scored twice and assisted once. Andrew Lazore recorded a goal and an assist. Wallace Thompson, Trent Jacobs and Clayton Barnes fashioned single goals apiece. Cody Kilcoyne had three assists, Jake Lazore two and Evan Cree one.

For Akwesasne, the offense was headed by Angus Leborgne with three goals and Tekari Thompson with two goals and an assist. Nick Sanseverino had three assists. Brandon Swamp fashioned a goal and an assist. Dwight Bero had two assists. Tyler Barnhart and Jarrett Jacobs each scored once. Devon George, Derek Hopps, Josh Jacobs and Troy Lyons all had single helpers.

 

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