WHITBY, Ont. -- After cruising through the Minto Cup round robin with a perfect record, the Orangeville Northmen reached an even higher gear Friday night in the opener of the best-of-three tournament final.
The Northmen scored four times in the first period and built a 10-2 lead after two en route to an emphatic 19-7 victory over the Coquitlam Adanacs at Iroquois Park Sports Centre in Whitby.
The Northmen, who won their three group stage games by a combined score of 32-13, beat the Adanacs 9-5 in the tournament opener. They easily surpassed that margin of victory on Friday.
The early lead was important for the Northmen, who hadn't played since closing out the round robin on Tuesday, but it was an outstanding second period that made the major difference. The man in the middle of most of that was Mitchell Jones, one of 13 Northmen in their final year of junior lacrosse.
Jones had five points in that second period on the way to finishing with six goals and 13 points to front the Northmen attack.
"It means a lot to get that first game, but obviously the second one is still to come," Jones said outside the room afterwards. "It was a full team effort and our team knows what's at stake."
Brandon Benn, Rob Hellyer and Cody McMahon fired home three each with others coming from Ian MacKay, Jordan Critch, and Jordan Dance with two.
Northmen coach Matt Sawyer knows the series is far from done, but still remains more concerned about his own club than the opposition.
"To be honest, and this is no disrespect to Coquitlam, I've been consistant with this all year in that we don't worry about who we're playing," Sawyer said. "We worry about our game. Whatever game they bring, they'll bring it and we're going to focus on ourselves being better than we were tonight."
Coquitlam looked nothing like the team that knocked off host and defending champion Whitby Warriors in the semifinal on Wednesday. They struggled to find their grove on offence, while the Orangeville attack gave their back end, and the goaltending duo of David Diruscio and Riley Camazzola, fits all night long.
Col Schafer and Wesley Berg each scored twice for the Adanacs, while Robert Church, Vincent Ricci and Ben McIntosh added singles.
But Coquitlam coach Neil Dinsdale expects a much better effort out of his club when the two teams return to the floor for Game 2 of the series on Saturday night.
"That's one's over with and it's on to tomorrow," said Dinsale, whose team won the Minto Cup two years ago before losing to Whitby last summer. "We just didn't play the way we needed to play. We lost our shape. We lost our focus and they played better than we did.
"One game doesn't win you a Minto Cup. Coquitlam won one game last year and they didn't win the Minto Cup. It takes two."