May 28, 2023 | Paul Viherjoki | 1482 views
Orillia Sports Medicine U9-2 Kings open their season in Newmarket
The U9-2 Orillia Sports Medicine Kings started their season this past weekend at the Conrad Rollings Memorial Tournament in Newmarket. These were not only the first games of the year, but for many it was their first Rep experience or Lacrosse game ever.
In game one, Orillia started out strong with goals from Bennett Laframboise and Brice Reichert mixed in with some great goaltending from Griffin Ball. Defensively, Parvati Basta, Ahri Bhai and Talon Downey set the tone early but ultimately Pelham was a little too strong to overcome.
In game two, someone forgot to tell Gibson Elliott he was the smallest one on the floor as he routinely went up against players twice his size and won each of those battles. Piper LaFramboise was also a force, winning almost every face off and leading the team in shots. Ahri Bhai was solid in goal with great defensively plays from Griffin Ball, Rocco Guerrera and Cole Cousens. Again, the West Grey side proved to be too deep in the end and came out on top.
In game three, we saw a 0-0 score after one period with some bone crunching hits both ways. Gibson Elliott and Bishop Black led the way defensively with hit after hit while Brooks MacIntosh and Brice Reichert tried to help control the offence. Ben and Piper LaFramboise each had multiple scoring chances but we ran into a hot goalie from Shelburne. Rocco Guerrera was a force in net making save after save keeping Orillia in it.
Missing from action this weekend was Peyton Viherjoki who was recovering from surgery but still showed up and cheered on her teammates.
Although the scores weren’t the outcome we had hoped for, the kids gained immeasurable experience and were never outworked. They set the tone for the rest of the season with their compete level and are excited to kick off their regular season this week with two games.
Although Lacrosse was the weekend focus, the true highlight for many of these kids came after game two with a VIP experience at York Regional Police Headquarters. The kids were treated to a behind the scenes experience where they met with members of the E.R.U. (Emergency Response Unit). There they were shown all the different equipment, weapons, tools and vehicles used by the unit and saw a drone used in surveillance. Next up was a trip to the K9 Unit where they got to experience and watch one of the dogs in action take down an attacker. Saving the best for last, the kids headed across the street to watch a Helicopter land beside them while each kid then had the opportunity to jump in for a picture with the pilot's helmet on.
Truly a once in a lifetime weekend for these kids with special thanks to Coach Adam for arranging the Police experience. Coaches Paul, Adam and Drew are extremely proud of each kid and can’t wait to jump back into game action this week.
Written by Drew MacIntosh
Photo by Adam Reichert