The Ontario Lacrosse Festival formally wrapped up the 2014 summer season for the Sudbury Rockhounds, with five local rep teams in action in Whitby over the first 10 days of August.
The Tyke Rockhounds fared the best, finishing in third place overall in the E Division. After taking it on the chin in tournament action early in the year, the youngest of the local teams garnered some retribution at provincials, where they were likely ranked at least one bracket below their proper level of competition (it should be noted that the classification of divisions is completed by the Ontario Lacrosse Association, based on teams results in tournament action during the summer).
The Sudbury Tykes posted a 3-0 record in round-robin play, whalloping both the Orillia Kings (19-1) and the Akwesasne Storm (13-0), before outscoring the Toronto Beaches 10-7 in their most competitive outing.
The locals thumped the Simcoe Timberwolves 13-2 in quarter-final play, before being derailed 5-3 by the Beaches in a semifinal rematch. Making the first-ever appearance of a Rockhounds team in Division A competition at the festival, the Sudbury Intermediates were not overwhelmed in the least.
The team dropped a 6-3 decision to the No. 1 ranked Niagara Thunderhawks in their opening game, with Nick Marion scoring twice for Sudbury, and Wade Mallette adding a solo tally.
The elder statesmen of the Rockhounds' clan evened their record at 1-1, slipping past the Brampton Excelsiors 5-3 as Marion and Bo Peltier each enjoyed a two-goal effort. Jacob Leore rounded out the scoring, as Sudbury prepared for a do-or-die matchup, with a semifinal berth on the line.
Unfortunately, the northern lads would fall just a touch short, doubled 4-2 by the Toronto Beaches. All other Sudbury teams making the trek south found themselves in Division C brackets, with all well-matched for the majority of their encounters.
The Novice Rockhounds picked up a pair of ties and a loss, deadlocked 8-8 with the St. Catharines Athletics and 3-3 with the West Durham Rockmen, but beaten 7-2 by the Windsor Warlocks.
The Peewee Rockhounds tied the Welland Raiders 4-4, but lost to both the Kawartha Lakes Fury (3-2) and Huntsville Hawks (9-1), despite fielding a roster with roughly half of the team comprised of first-year peewees.
Finally, the Bantams tied the Six Nations Warriors 5-5, were defeated 8-2 by the Whitby Warriors, but closed out their season on a high, besting the Cornwall Celtics 5-2. Unfortunately, they would fall just short of advancing to the playoff round.
In one other tournament result to report, the Peewee Rockhounds prepped for provincials with some solid battles in Nepean in late July, posting a record of 1-3, with three of the four games decided by two goals or less.
Connor Coutu scored twice as the locals edged the Brampton Excelsiors 3-2, with Ethan Teeter closing out the scoring with his first tournament tally of the year.
The Rockhounds dropped a 4-2 decision to the Cornwall Celtics, with Cameron Walker and Max Dumais accounting for the offence in a losing cause. The Nepean Knights edged the Rockhounds 5-4 in the final round-robin contest, with Sebastien Chartrand (2) and Ethan and Aidan Teeter providing the scoring punch for Sudbury.
The offensive floodgates opened full tilt in their final affair, as the Rockhounds were beaten 11-6 by the Innisfil Wolfpack. Five different players found the mark for Sudbury, with Sebastien Chartrand, Zak Thompson, Max Dumais, Parker Farstad and Nolan Marion all bulging the twine.