Del Zotto the OT hero for Snipers who will face Whitby in the final

by Sam Laskaris

Scott Del Zotto picked a perfect time to complete his hat trick on Saturday. The Six Nations Snipers’ top point-getter from the regular season scored the game-winning goal in overtime to give his squad a 13-12 victory over the St. Catharines Shockwave in an Arena Lacrosse League (ALL) semi-final match. The game was held at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena (ILA) in Hagersville. 

With that victory the Snipers advanced to Sunday’s ALL championship final, which will also be staged at the ILA. The opening faceoff is set for 3 p.m.

The Whitby Steelhawks will provide the opposition for Six Nations in the final. The Steelhawks earned their ticket into the final by downing their Durham Region rivals, the Oshawa Outlaws, 10-8 in Saturday’s other semi-final, which also took place at the ILA.

The Snipers were the favourites heading into their Saturday contest. Six Nations had finished atop the ALL regular season standings with a 10-2 mark and earned an opening-round playoff bye. As for the Shockwave, which had a 4-8 regular season record, it had already registered a pair of post-season victories. 

For starters, the sixth-place St. Catharines squad defeated the seventh- seeded Toronto Monarchs in a game to determine the last quarter-final entrant. The Shockwave then upset the third-seeded Paris RiverWolves in their quarter-final battle.

“It was a fun game,” Del Zotto said of the Snipers/Shockwave semi. “They’re a good team. We knew they weren’t going to go away lightly.”

And for some tense moments late in the game it appeared the Snipers’ season might come to an end in a rather unfortunate manner. With just 23 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, and the scored deadlocked at 12-12, the Shockwave brass asked for a stick measurement on Six Nations’ Gavin Skye, who was sitting on the bench at the time. As it turned out, Skye’s stick was determined to be too long and he was assessed a two-minute minor penalty for having illegal equipment.

“I think it was a pretty cheap call,” Del Zotto said of the infraction, which carried over into the OT session. “But we never counted ourselves out at all.”

After killing off the penalty, the Snipers found themselves with a man advantage in the second minute of the extra session after Del Zotto was checked from behind. He ended up netting the game-winner on the ensuing powerplay, at the 3:19 mark. 

“I enjoy scoring goals and I think every goal is special,” Del Zotto said. “That one is definitely a little more special for the guys.” Del Zotto ended up with a six-point game as he also earned three assists.

Johnny Powless also had a solid performance for the Snipers as he scored once and added six assists. Tyler Brown, Justin Martin and Chayton King had a pair of goals each for Six Nations. And also scoring for the Snipers were Tye Argent, Jordan Goddard and Kevin Owen Hill.