With Ontario Lacrosse Association E-level tournaments few and far between, the Sudbury Tyke Rockhounds opted for the next best thing, facing teams in higher classifications that would leave them well prepared come time for provincials on the August long weekend.
So while a win and three losses might not seem like much to boast about, hitting the win column for the first time in tournament play while facing teams two classifications up actually left the local crew beaming with pride.
Attending the Dan Greer Memorial Tournament in Clarington over the weekend, the Rockhounds opened play with a 9-3 loss at the hands of the Huntsville Hawks, with Jacob Barney, Joseph Gouchie and Tyler Thompson all pulling the trigger for Sudbury.
Battling the Kawartha Lakes Fury in Game 2, the Rockhounds found themselves up 2-0 after the second period on goals from Brady Boucher and Caden McDonald, the latter finishing off a passing play courtesy of Owen Claridge.
The Fury opened a back-and-forth third period, closing the gap to 2-1, with Tyler Thompson getting that one back quickly. Again, Kawartha responded, making it a one-goal game, before Gouchie sealed the deal, netting his second of the weekend.
The Sudbury crew dropped a second game by a score of 9-3, defeated by the Northumberland Nemesis later on Saturday as Alek Duguay enjoyed a two-goal performance in a losing cause, with Ben Allen rounding out the scoring.
The Whitby Warriors saddled the Rockhounds with one final defeat, bouncing the northern lads 12-2 as Boucher and Gouchie as Sudbury kept it tight for a while, trailing only 2-1 after one period before the Warriors exploded, eventually, for seven third-period goals.
Despite the team's record, the coaching staff commended the play of goaltender Max Cirillo, who was outstanding in spite of facing a barrage of shots throughout the weekend.
The Sudbury Tykes have been slotted in Division E — Group 3 for provincials, looking to advance out of a quartet that includes the Beaches (2), Orillia and Akwesasne (2).
The 2014 edition of the Tyke Rockhounds features Max Cirillo, Ben Allen, Brady Boucher, Jacob Barney, Owen Claridge, Ethan Lamothe, Zak Legault, Max McGregor, Carter Roney, Tyler Thompson, Alek Duguay, Joseph Gouchie, Caden McDonald and coaches Ron Duguay, Steve Gouchie and Brad Roney.