May 20 - The Saints and the Bulldogs entered Saturday night looking to take a step in their seasons and in the standings. 60 minutes wasn't enough for these clubs and, for the first time this season, the Saints had to settle things in overtime.
Starting in goal for the Saints was Dylan Munro, while the Bulldogs countered with Samuel Haines.
Newmarket set the tone early reeling off three straight goals to open the frame. Dante Romano's hot streak continued as he buried the the first, quickly followed by a sneaky shot from Angus Rawding and then Romano again on a great shorthanded solo effort. Halton Hills would get one back, before Saints Captain Eric Mawdsley sniped a shorty of his own. The teams traded goals once again, with Josh Connors closing out the scoring to give the Saints a 5-2 lead into the break.
In the second, the Bulldogs turned the tide and took it to the Saints. They reeled off five goals in the frame, while Brandon Tanacs was the only Saint to find the back of the net. When the buzzer sounded to end the period, the Bulldogs led 7-6.
The Bulldogs looked to run away with it the third, finding the back of the net twice in the first six minutes of the period to build a 9-6 lead. But the Saints refused to quit. Dougie Crawford got things started, busting through to the slot and picking a corner to cut the lead. The Saints got another golden opportunity only minutes later in the form of a 7 minute power play, but couldn't capitalize. Undaunted, the Saints kept pressing and Tanacs' second of the game made it a one goal game with just over two minutes to play. 11 seconds later, Newmarket corralled the ball and Dante Romano tied the game.
Once extra time started, the two sides traded chances until the Bulldogs broke through to take the lead with four minutes to go. They followed up with an insurance marker two minutes later and looked, again, to have things in control. But it wasn't over yet. Luca Romano's outside shot found twine to make it 11-10 with just over a minute to play. Halton Hills tried to salt the game away, controlling the ball and getting a reset, but the Saints regained possession with 7 seconds to go. A timeout, a play call and the game was back on. The Saints got a decent look, but couldn't tie it up. The Bulldogs walked away with the win.
"Tough loss. I feel for the guys because they deserved it," said Saints Head Coach, Dan Ransom Sr. "We won the first and third periods, but we got burned again by the second. In the game of lacrosse, you make a couple mental errors and they end up in the back of your net."
Despite the loss, the coach remains upbeat. "We showed a lot of character getting it into overtime, but we fell one short. The good news is we are right there."
Final score: Bulldogs 11 - Saints 10.
Up next - the Saints get set for a pair of weekend battles. First they travel to Oakville to take on the Buzz in a Saturday night tilt at 7PM at Joshua's Creek Arena. The next day, the Saints host the West Durham Ironheads in a pivotal divisional matchup.