Snipers down Steelhawks to capture ALL championship

by Sam Laskaris

Six Nations Snipers were the cream of the crop during their Arena Lacrosse League (ALL) regular season action. The Snipers were able to keep their momentum going in the post-season as well. The Six Nations squad capped off its 2022 campaign on Sunday, downing the visiting Whitby Steelhawks 16-11 in the ALL championship final, held at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Six Nations, Ont.

“It’s unreal,” said Snipers’ goaltender Dusty Hill during the post-game celebrations with his teammates.

Members of the Six Nations squad had set their sights on winning the league crown at the start of this season. The Snipers then registered a league-best 10-2 regular season record before winning both of their playoff matches.

“We talked about this but nothing really compares to actually getting here,” Hill said.

Unlike some other contests this season in which they had slow starts, the Snipers came ready to play on Sunday. After the two clubs traded goals early on, Six Nations then scored four unanswered goals to enjoy a 5-1 lead after 15 minutes of action. The Snipers then found themselves with a five-goal cushion, 10-5, at halftime.

“The guys really stepped up and pulled through today,” Hill said. “I’m really proud of them.”

Scott Del Zotto was named the MVP of the match as he netted five goals and added three assists for an eight-point performance.

“Del Zotto really pulled through, showing us what he’s made of,” Hill said. “And the defence really showed how to shut them down.”

Meanwhile, despite a hectic weekend, Travis Longboat also had a solid outing for the Snipers, scoring four goals and adding a pair of assists. Longboat returned to his Six Nations home in the wee hours of Sunday morning. He had been in Georgia on Saturday. That’s because he’s alternated between being on the practice roster and active roster for the National Lacrosse League’s Georgia Swarm this season. Though he was not activated for the match, Longboat attended the Swarm’s home contest Saturday night against the visiting Buffalo Bandits. He then flew back to Buffalo arriving at 2 a.m. on Sunday, before driving to his home. “It was a quick turnaround,” Longboat said. Though he is clearly one of the Snipers’ main offensive weapons, Longboat praised his teammates for their winning season.

“We have great players on offence,” he said. “I don’t really have to do too much out there. There’s a lot of looks we have, guys that can step in and play their role. It takes a lot off of my shoulders.”Photo courtesy of Nanticoke Photography

Snipers’ head coach Darcy Powless was pleased to see his charges have some success early on Sunday. “It was good to get them rolling right off the start like that,” he said. “A big start is important. I said if we get down, emotionally it’s going to be a little harder to come back. We were able to get a big jump on them like we had planned on and we were able to just ride it on out from there.”

Also scoring for the Snipers on Sunday were Jeremy Bomberry with a pair and Tye Argent, Justin Martin, Wes Whitlow, Tyler Brown and Mike McLaughlin who all provided singles.