Haudenosaunee Outlasts United States in Semi-Final Thriller
The 2022 IIJL World Junior Lacrosse Championship semifinal lived up to all the expectations.
Despite trailing after 30 minutes, Haudenosaunee found a new gear in the second half, leading them to another championship berth with a 14-12 win over USA in the Canada Life Centre on Saturday (Aug.13).
Cooper Demallie opened the scoring for the United States 2:45 into the opening quarter, but it was Owen Vanloon who responded for their opponents 36 seconds later. Ross Hill scored his second of the game with 5:41 left in the opening frame to give Haudenosaunee a 4-3 lead.
Russell Maher had a pair of assists for the Americans in quarter two. Nate Senez, Solomon Hess, Brian Russell, Tate Watts and Spencer Vandenberg put USA up 8-6 at halftime, ending the night for Tehonatake Nicholas who was replaced by Lindyn Hill after the break.
It was brothers Ross and Thunder Hill scoring twice each in the third quarter to regain the lead for Haudenosaunee after scoring five goals on nine shots directed towards American netminder Cam Pilon in the frame.
Thunder Hill capped off the hat trick and Ross Hill finished his sock trick in the fourth quarter, but it came down to the wire after Tate Watts tied the game at 12-12 with 3:46 left to play. With as clutch of a finish as any, Mitch VanEvery gave Haudenosaunee the lead with a couple minutes left in regulation and they never looked back, booking their ticket to the final.
[PHOTO: Players of the Game | Tate Watts United States, Ross Hill Haudenosaunee]
Haudenosaunee's penalty kill went an incredible 9/9 in the win, an incredible team effort showing their desire to advance to the final.
Ross Hill and Tate Watts were named players of the game for their respective teams.
Pilon allowed 14 goals on 45 shots, while Lindyn Hill stopped 18 shots in his 30 minutes of play, picking up the win.
Haudenosaunee will face Canada in Sunday's gold medal final starting at 8:00PM CT while USA will face Israel for bronze at 5:00PM.
All games can be seen on the TSN app, streaming on TSN Direct and on TSN.ca.