Snipers spilt pair of weekend games

by Sam Laskaris

They didn’t have much time to dwell on their first loss of the season. The Six Nations Snipers responded with a more energized effort on Sunday to get back into the win column and earn a split in their weekend Arena Lacrosse League (ALL) matches.

For starters, the Snipers put forth somewhat lackluster efforts and were downed 18-16 by the Paris RiverWolves in a Saturday night match staged at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena (ILA) in Hagersville. 

About 17 hours after that game concluded, the Snipers were back on the floor to take on the St. Catharines Shockwave in a Sunday matinee, also held at the ILA. The Six Nations squad emerged victorious 14-8 in that battle to improve its record to 2-1 this season. 

Snipers’ head coach Darcy Powless said he had an inkling that things weren’t going to go his team’s way on Saturday even before the game. 

“It was a different energy in the room,” Powless said, adding his charges didn’t seem as pumped to play as they were in the season opener a week earlier. “You could just feel it in the room that things were different.” Powless, who also doubles as the Snipers’ general manager, added that several of his players were chirping at the game officials over various calls, even despite the fact the match was not out of reach. “We need the guys to maintain their composure and just do their jobs,” adding players should realize they need to leave it up to the coaching staff to question any officiating calls when need be. 

Scott Del Zotto, a rookie on the Snipers’ roster, led the club’s offence with a five-goal performance on Saturday. Tyler Brown, Justin Martin, Brent Longboat and Daylen Hill netted two goals each for the Six Nations squad. Singles were provided by Vern Hill, Kevin Owen Hill and Rodd Squire. 

Del Zotto also led the Snipers attack with another five-point effort, including four goals, in Sunday’s battle versus the Shockwave. Needless to say, Powless was impressed with Del Zotto’s weekend performances. 

“He’s a good player,” Powless said of Del Zotto, a graduate of the Burlington Chiefs’ Junior A program. “Everything he was throwing on the net was going in.” Powless added Del Zotto came close on a handful of occasions to having an even more productive weekend. “I think he hit three or four goalposts too,” Powless said of Del Zotto’s efforts on Sunday. 

Del Zotto joined the Snipers this season after he was cut by the Toronto Rock of the National Lacrosse League (NLL) this past November. That was the first pro camp he had attended. Del Zotto was credited with two assists in the Snipers’ season-opening 20-14 win over the Whitby Steelhawks a week earlier. His nine-goal outburst in the two weekend games was not a surprise to him. 

“I think I had an idea I was capable of it,” he said.

Snipers’ goaltender Dusty Hill, who earned his first start of the season on Sunday and was selected as the game’s first star, also had plenty of praise for Del Zotto. “The kid can score,” Hill said. “Not a lot of guys can hop onto a new team and do that. You can teach guys how to shoot but you can’t teach them how to score.” 

Daylen Hill had a hat trick for the Snipers on Sunday while Vern Hill added a pair of goals. Singles were provided by Wes Whitlow, Johnny Powless, Justin Martin, Brent Longboat and Ross Hill. 

The Snipers’ next game is Sunday, February 20. The Toronto Monarchs will provide the opposition for the contest at the ILA. The opening faceoff is set for 4 p.m.