From start to finish, the Sudbury Novice Rockhounds were clearly the team to beat in the Novice "C/D" division of the Nepean Knights 18th Annual Lacrosse Tournament last weekend.
The Rockhounds recorded five wins, none by less than four goals, in claiming the tournament banner. The Sudbury crew took roughly a period to get rid of their travel legs, kicking things off with a 6-2 win over the Kahnawake Tomahawks as Ben Harris, Atley Gringorten and Mason Lachance scored two goals apiece for the winners.
The team started much better early Saturday morning, bolting out to a 5-1 lead and doubling the host Nepean Knights 8-4. Lachance and Ashton Eadie-Chartrand helped power the attack with two-goal efforts, while Brek Morrow, Felix Dennie, Harris and Gringorten found the back of the net once each.
Game three would see the Rockhounds spot the Oshawa Blue Knights a 2-1 first period lead, before roaring back to post an 8-3 triumph. Harris netted the hat trick to show the way for the northern lads, with Lachance and Gringorten scoring twice each, and Oliver Coté closing things out.
Sudbury netminder Kiaus Lalonde enjoyed a particularly strong outing in a contest that was much closer than the final score indicated. Facing Kahnawake in a Sunday morning semi-final, the Rockhounds left nothing to chance, outscoring the Tomahawks 5-0 in the first period alone.
A final count of 12-2 would see Harris (4), Lachance (3), Gringorten (2), Cameron Shanks, Stephen Rathwell and Coté all find their way on to the scoresheet for Sudbury.
A rematch against Oshawa in the sweltering heat found the Rockhounds leading 2-0 (after the first period) and 4-1 (after two), pulling away for an 8-3 victory and the tournament crown in the process.
Harris recorded the hat trick, giving him 13 goals in five games, with Coté, Gringorten, Lachance, Eadie-Chartrand and Brandon Salem also getting in on the act.
The championship winning roster for the Novice Rockhounds included Kiaus Lalonde, Oliver Coté, Félix Dennie, Stephen Rathwell, Atley Gringorten, Mason Lachance, Ashton Eadie-Chartrand, Brandon Roney, Alexei Dokis-Dupuis, Brandon Salem, Easton Hinschberger, Brek Morrow, Ben Harris and Cameron Shanks.
The team will head to the OLA (Ontario Lacrosse Association) provincials in Whitby from Aug. 8-10, competing in the Novice "C" classification. Their four-team round robin grouping includes the Windsor Warlocks, West-Durham Rock and St. Catharines Athletics.