The Canton boys varsity lacrosse team defeated Salmon River 7-5 on Thursday night to win the 2021 Section X Championship.
The stands were packed and the crowd was electric as both teams took the field at Massena High School to start the game. Both teams exchanged opportunities to begin the game, but neither could cash in early. Canton struck first to break the stalemate when senior attackman Aiden Hoose buried a step down shot on the man up off an assist from junior attackman Daniel Mahoney. Salmon River then went on a run that spanned all the way to the halfway mark of the second quarter, scoring three unanswered goals and taking a 3-1 lead.
Junior mifielder Michael Schwartfigure then reclaimed momentum for Canton when he scored to break the Shamrock’s streak off of a feed from Hoose. Senior midfielder Colin Taylor, who was phenomenal at the faceoff X all game, then tied the game at 3-3 with a snipe off of a another pass from Hoose.
“With the game tied at half, we knew whoever wanted it more in the second half would win this game,” said junior defenseman Rhett Palmer. “The opportunity was there for us, we just had to take advantage.”
The second half opened much like the first, with each team exchanging opportunities without any luck. Canton then put together a run of their own, started by a goal from sophomore attackman Nolan Bombard off of a feed from Mahoney. Mahoney then buried a goal of his own with help from Hoose to give the Bears a two goal cushion. Hoose then capped of the scoring run with a goal off of a feed from senior midfielder Trey Bessette to give the Bears a 6-3 lead at the end of the third quarter.
Salmon struck first in the final frame, getting within two with about 9 minutes to play. Canton then had a string of man up opportunities that allowed them to slow the game down and control the clock. Then with about four minutes to play Bombard caught a pass on the crease from Mahoney and buried a beautiful underhand goal to regain the Bears’ three goal cushion. Salmon then struck back with 16 seconds left to make the game 7-5, but it was too late for a final push.
Canton’s stout defensive play and phenomenal goaltending by junior Hayden Todd contributed to the Bears success all game long. Seniors Sky Kennedy, Parker Hunt, and Peter Coakley as well as Palmer anchored the Bears D that held a potent Salmon River offense to just five goals.
A big thank you to all of the Canton fans for your support throughout this season. Go Bears!