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Thursday, June 13, 2024
Sports: U13 Thunderhawks win Mike Jones Memorial tourney
U13 goaltender Benjamin Eurasian is mobbed by teammates after their championship win. DAVE VAN DE LAAR
Niagara's Mason Jaeckle (#21) shoots on the Pelham Raiders' net. DAVE VAN DE LAAR
Colton Moleskin, left, and Owen Thorimbert, during the U11 game of the Niagara Thunderhawks vs. the Akwesasne Thunder. DAVE VAN DE LAAR
Max Plomish (#7), Miller Davis (#18), C.J. Washburn (#9) celebrating their win — the NOTL Thunderhawks defeated the Pelham Raiders 7-3. DAVE VAN DE LAAR

The U13 Niagara Thunderhawks were crowned champions at the annual Mike Jones Memorial Lacrosse Tournament on Sunday in Virgil after a 7-3 come-from-behind win over the Pelham Raiders.

Niagara opened the game with goals by Jax Johnson and Ryder Kallies as the first period ended tied 2-2.

Pelham took the lead in the second period, but couldn’t hang on as the Thunderhawks answered with four goals by Elijah Paul (2), Jake Van Spronsen and Jax Johnson.

Niagara added one more by Mason Jaeckle in the third period to seal the win.

The tournament, which attracted 24 teams, is named in honour of the late Mike Jones, a former Junior B lacrosse player who grew up in Queenston.

On the weekend, the Niagara U13s started their round-robin series strong with back-to-back wins over the Halton Hills Bulldogs (14-1) and Toronto Beaches 2 team (15-0), giving their goalie Benjamin Eramian his first shutout of the season.

The boys came up a goal short in a 4-3 loss to the Guelph Regals 1 team in game 3.

Saturday evening in their semifinal, at the end of the first period the Thunderhawks trailed the Six Nations 1 team 4-3 thanks to two goals by Elijah Paul and one from Hunter Froese.

In the second, Niagara tied the game up quickly and battled hard to take a 6-5 lead into the third thanks to goals scored by the Froese brothers, James and Hunter, and Elijah Paul.

Jax Johnson and Mason Jaeckle stretched the lead to 8-5 and Six Nations added one more before time ran out. The win sent Niagara to the championship game on Sunday morning.

The Thunderhawks team is full of seasoned talent, with some of the boys playing together since junior paperweight, said team manager Nancy Washburn.

The winning squad includes Jesiah Paul, Hunter Froese, Elijah Paul, Jack Kislasko, C.J. Washburn, Jake Van Spronsen, Miller Davis, Conor Bailey, Quintin Doxtator, James Froese, Max Plomish, Mason Jaeckle, Ryder Kallies, Benjamin Eramian, Jax Johnson and Brody Cech.

They’re coached by Connor Watson along with assistants Dan Willms, Braedon Rawsthorne, Chris Weier, Aaron Ward and Cam Overstrom.

The U11 Thunderhawks came up just short of repeating as champions, losing in the semifinal to Pelham.

“With only a few games under our belt this season, our home tournament comes early,” said coach Jay Thorimbert.
The team has been putting in the work at practices to come prepared for games.

“The coaching staff couldn’t be more proud of the players’ growth from game 1 to game 4,” Thorimbert added.

After going 2-1 in the round-robin, Niagara fell behind 6-0 early but rallied to outscore Pelham over the final two periods, but fell 8-4.

Team members are: Lucas Froese, Kaleb Coffey, Ryan Riddle, Nicholas Riddle, Owen Thorimbert, Colton Meleskie, Peter Kotsanis, Charlie Fratangelo, Nash Funk, Hunter Berry, Bentley Berry, Lincoln Venneri, Jaxson Good, Mac Pickett, Hunter Grant and Logan Nichols.

The U9 Thunderhawks had a tough weekend, losing all three games to teams from larger centres.

But the team took solace that their scoring was spread among a variety of different players.

Team members are: T.J. Gauld, Carmen Coccimiglio, Brock Friesen, Bennett Hope, Hunter Konopka, Nico Mirabella, Christopher Treanor, Ben Kirkness, Noah Werner, Colton Ferguson, Tessa Froese, Kenny Neuhof, Auston Cwiertniewski, Connor Cech, Hunter Willms, Reece Nichols, Lincoln Thwaites, Noah Sticca, Nora Thorimbert and Harper Herriman.

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