Two Niagara-on-the-Lake minor lacrosse teams travelled to Brampton on Thanksgiving weekend to participate in a new form of the game, called Sixes.
The U9 and U11 Niagara Thunderhawks competed in the first Ontario Lacrosse Sixes tournament, a hybrid version of field and box across that features six players a side, playing outdoors on a smaller field.
Teams play four eight-minute quarters.
“This tournament was the first time Sixes games have ever been played in Ontario, a huge advancement for the game,” said Tracey Hope, a spokesperson for the U9 team.
“It was definitely a challenge during our first game to get used to the new rules and style of play compared to box lacrosse,” she said.
“But the players were quick to pick it up and turned out to be a great day.”
The U9 Thunderhawks won three of their four games, losing their first game 13-5 to Clarington-1 and then bouncing back for wins against Clarington-2 (8-4), Peterborough (12-6) and Owen Sound (12-9).
They were tied with Orangeville for a spot to compete in the final but lost out on a tie-breaker based on goal differential.
The U9 team is coached by Jared Hope, James Sticca and Matt Dietsch. Players participating included: Rily Hill, Bennett Hope, Ryan Riddle, Lucas Froese, Colton Dietsch, Daniel Canning, Noah Scaringi, Elliott Epp, Brock Friesen, Nico Mirabella, Theo Moore, Reed Francis, Sydney Herriman, Noah Sticca, Weston Stewart and Ethan Sticca.
The U11 Thunderhawks, coached by Jay Thorimbert and Jason Meleskie, faced some stiff competition, defeating Orangeville 19-9 in their first match but losing games to Whitby (26-8) and to Toronto Beaches twice (18-12, 17-14).
Participating players were: Owen Thorimbert, Nash Funk, Charlie Fratangelo, Peter Kotsanis, Colton Meleskie, Hunter Berry, Bentley Berry, Sylas Hill, Jaxson Good, Nicholas Riddle, Blake Bedic and Jesiah Paul.