Late Heroics From Dustyn Birkhof Keep Kodiaks Win Streak Alive

The Cobourg Kodiaks (4-4) visited the Brampton Excelsiors (1-7) in Major Series Lacrosse action Thursday night at the Memorial Arena in Brampton, Ontario.

The Kodiaks were fresh off a sweep of the Oakville Rock this past weekend.  The Excelsiors were hoping to right the ship after a couple of tough defeats to the Six Nations Chiefs.

The goaltending match-up had Steven Orleman in net for the Kodiaks facing Will Johnston in net for the Excelsiors.

In a low scoring, tight checking affair, both goalies were outstanding.   Cobourg had a 3-2 lead through two periods.

The Excelsiors got a pair of goals from Zach Sunderland in third to take the lead, but Cobourg battled back.  Again  Brampton took the lead when Matt Bennett scored, but late goals from Braedon Saris and Dustyn Birkhof gave the Kodiaks the 6-5 victory.

To The Game:

Cobourg opened the scoring quickly when Matt Marinier went coast to coast unassisted at 0:35 seconds, but the Excelsiors answered in transition when Connor McClelland converted a Seth Van Schepen pass at 2:05. Jackson Nishimura gave the Kodiaks the lead once again finishing a Nathan Pouliot feed from in close at 6:16, followed by a shorthanded laser by Scott Dominey off a Marcus Minichiello pass in transition at 18:39.

After one period, Cobourg 3 Brampton 1.

Second Period:

A goal from Holden Patterson firing an outside shot off a James Whiteford pass at 11:26 was the only score in the second period.

After two periods, Cobourg 3 Brampton 2.

Third Period:

Brampton tied the game early on the power-play when Zach Sunderland converted a JP Ward pass at 1:18, then took the lead off a  Sunderland low to low shot again off a Ward feed at 4:43.

The Kodiaks tied the game when Brock Haley blasted a Zach Herrewyers pass at 7:20, but the Excelsiors answered on a broken play in front of the Cobourg net.  Matt Bennett picked up the loose ball and fired it into the net at 10:40.

Cobourg once again tied the game on a Braedon Saris blast from the top of the arc off a Zach Thompson pass at 14:51, then took the lead off a Dustyn Birkhof blast unassisted at 17:40.

Both goalies were outstanding in this game.

Final score, Cobourg 6 Brampton 5.

The Three Stars:

1. Steven Orleman
2. Will Johnston
3. Jackson Nishimura

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Gary Groob
Gary Groob

Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.

An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.

Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.

In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.

Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).

Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.

Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.