Gaels win big in Home Opener

The Green Gaels finally returned home to Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex for their Home Opener against the Brampton Excelsiors. After 6 straight away games to start the 2024 season with 4 wins and only 2 losses, the Gaels looked to keep the wins coming, and they did just that.

After a tough loss to West Durham on Tuesday night at the Pickering Recreation Complex, the Green Gaels needed to bounce back in front of their hometown crowd. This task became much more demanding as Brampton was able to silence the fans early with the opening goal just 1 minute into the 1st period.

However, that did not last long as Kaleb Tatarek brought the building back to life less than a minute later with a snipe from the outside to open up a storm of goals for the Gaels that would follow.

Ryan Proctor would follow up with his 1st of 2 goals in the period. Kaleb would also pot his second goal of the period with 4:25 remaining in the 1st. Robbie McGrayne was also able to put one in the back of the net in his second game after returning to the lineup following a stellar season at Post Univeristy, making the score 5-1 heading into the second.

The 2nd period started much like the 1st, as Bramptons Ethan Viveiros scored first with 10:16 remaining on the clock. Also, similar to the 1st period, the Gaels were able to answer back with some goals of their own. Robbie McGrayne scored his second of the night, followed by Colton McNutt, and finished the period off with a buzzer-beater from Ty Taylor to end the period with a Gaels lead of 8-2.

The Gaels went into the 3rd period with a very comfortable lead, but they would not stop there. As Brampton got into penalty trouble, the Gaels put this game to rest with 7 total third-period goals, 4 of which came on the power play. Xander Johnson, Ty Taylor, Kaleb Tatarak, and John Mckinney did the honors of scoring the final-period goals in this one.

There were many notable offensive performances in the Gaels Home Opener, such as Ty Taylor leading the way with 4 goals and 5 assists, Cole Tucker with 6 assists, Kaleb Tatarek with 4 goals, Robbie McRayne with 2 goals 4 assists, and Xander Johnson with 1 goal and 5 assists.

All lacrosse fans know, winning games is more than just scoring goals. Gaels Goaltender Craig Johannson continues his streak of stellar performances, only allowing 3 goals on 28 shots. As well as Noah Thompson made his first appearance between the pipes for the Gaels to finish off the game at the 7:03 mark in 3rd period.

Brody Strong put on a show at the faceoff dot in this one, as well as the entire defensive unit on the other side of the floor. Overall, the Gaels showed up big time with an extremely well-rounded game in front of their home crowd to continue this tough week of games, bouncing back from Tuesday evenings poor showing.

Next up is a home-and-home series with the Halton Hills Bulldogs, as the Gaels will travel to Halton on Saturday, May 18th, at 7:00pm and then return home to face the same Bulldogs squad on Sunday, May 19th, at 2:00pm back at home, adding another chapter to this lengthy rivalry.