Alumnus reaches MLL!

Johnny Wagner, alumnus (2014-2016, 2018), has excelled at all levels he has played. Starting in the Thunderhawks Minor Lacrosse system, Wagner was recruited to Michigan’s Cranbrook-Kingswood High School, where he become one of the dominant players for the USA prep school.

From there, he was recruited to Marquette D1 Lacrosse and become captain for the 2018 & 2019 seasons as well as many other honours. See all his accomplishments at Marquette at this link…..https://gomarquette.com/roster.aspx?rp_id=4272

During the 2016 season, Wagner was also named to the U19 World Lacrosse Championships with Team Canada where he earned a silver metal versus team USA (13-12).

Johnny’s experiences has lead to him to signing with the Chesopeake Bayhawks of the Major Lacrosse League July 2019. In his debut he earned 2 assists, while playing with greats such as Lyle Thompson, Steel Stanwick and many more. His box career has also taken off, he is now playing with the Brooklin Lacrosse Club of the Major Lacrosse League and reunites with his brother, Ryan, after a number of years who also is with Brooklin.

We look forward to seeing what else Wags can achieve from his humble beginnings as a Thunderhawk!

Thunderhawks make their mark.

After a season ending first round knockout, the Thunderhawks were proud to see three of our players extend their season as they moved up to St. Catharines and Orangeville Jr. A for the rest of their seasons.

Ryan Kydd, in his final season playing Jr. was called up to St. Catharines Athletic’s where he played 5 games versus Burlington. He joined alumnus Saul VanderZalm who played the who 2019 season with the A’s. Although the A’s fell to the Chiefs in their series, Ryan & Saul played well and gained some experience for their next step of playing Senior lacrosse.

Zach Belter and Chris Weier both continue to play for Orangeville Jr. A Northmen. Zach in his first year playing up, played 3 regular season games and has played 4 playoff games so far.

Chris Weier, however, is in his 2nd season of playing up for the Northmen and has played 6 regular season games and is in his 10th game in the 2019 playoffs. Weier, a defensive specialist, made his mark by scoring the first goal for the Northmen in the series opener versus the Burlington Chiefs for the Ontario Championships of the Ontario Junior A league.

Although already hard enough to play in the Championships, both Belter and Weier are playing against another Thunderhawk alumnus, Hunter Lemieux. Lemieux is in his second year with the chiefs after being a dominant offensive player for the Thunderhawks for two seasons before being called up.

Although bitter sweet watching these games, cheering for just one team is difficult. The Thunderhawk family wish all players good luck in the rest of their series and it makes all of us proud of our players making their mark at the next level.

Playoff Warm Up

Saturday saw the Thunderhawks play a depleted Wallaceburg Red Devils in a 17-2 win. The Thunderhawks used this opportunity to refine their team play as they head to the Hamilton Bengals Monday night for their last game of the regular season. Christian Watts & Brett Beetow lead the Thunderhawks with 4 goals each, while Devin Napoleon tallied 3, Kelen Pulera scored 2 and Zac Belter, Matt Mines, Nolan Fehr & Brandon Sveda had singles.

The Bengals are ending their season in 3rd place and the Thunderhawks will be 5th, irrelevant of the outcome Monday night. The Thunderhawks will use this last season game as a playoff warmup for the Windsor Clippers (4th).

Starting June 22nd the Thunderhawks take a road trip to Windsor, returning home on the 23rd for a 4pm matchup, before returning to Windsor on June 29th for hopefully the last game of the series. If, however, they aren’t successful in wrapping up the Clippers in three games, they return home on the 30th and back to Windsor on July 2nd, as needed.

The Thunderhawks encourage all alumni, friends and family to make it to the MCU arena to cheer on the Thunderhawks as they depart on their road towards the Founder’s Cup.

Big Win

Wednesday night saw the Thunderhawks host the 13-3-1 Hamilton Bengals. The game saw the Bengals start the scoring four minutes into the first period. However, the Thunderhawks scored two minutes later on a transition breakaway goals by Joseph Laforme and then another by Ryan Kydd a few minutes later. The period ended with goals from Devin Napolean & Christian Watts and a score of 4-2.

The season has seen the Thunderhawks struggle in the second period and this game had this same feeling, as the Bengals scored in their first possession. The feeling was quickly shattered as Christian Watts scored 60 seconds later to keep the Thunderhawks emotions positive. The rest of the period saw each team trade goals, until Zach Belter scored a beauty transition goal to round out the scoring and make it a 7-5 game for the Thunderhawks going into the third period.

Again, the third period saw the Bengals score within the first minute. Both teams continued to share goals, however, the Thunderhawks doubled up their efforts resulting in a 12-8 win. Scoring for the game came from Watts (3g), Laforme (2g), Napolean (2g), Joe Conti, Chris Weier, Zach Belter, Ryan Kydd and Matt Mines picked up singles.

Saturday, June 15th, sees the Thunderhawks hosting the Wallaceburg Red Devils. Although the last outing resulting in a tie versus the Devils in their third game of the season, The Thunderhawks have evolved their game and look forward to gaining retribution.

The Thunderhawks look forward to seeing all our supporters coming out to our last home regular season game.

Weekend Ends “not as planned”

The Thunderhawks traveled to the Six Nations Rebels on Friday and showed some spark with a Chris Weier transition goal early in the first to start the scoring. Kent Baker-Printup, Nate Maloney & Kelen Pulera added one each to end the first period with a 4-3 lead. However, the Rebels stepped up in the second scoring 7 unanswered goals to end the second 10-4.

The Third saw the Thunderhawks trade goals with the Rebels before allowing 5 additional unanswered goals and losing the game 17-6. Although the score doesn’t indicate it, the Thunderhawks had a good game fighting not only a tough Rebels team, but questionable officiating.

Coach Chrysler came away from the game with a positive outlook, telling the players they experienced a playoff scenario and they gained the necessary insight into the level of competition they will experience moving forward towards the Founder’s Cup.

Saturday saw the Thunderhawks start slow versus London, tied 1-1 at the end of the first period and taking turns scoring in the second. The Thunderhawks took control in the third and finished the game up 13-7. Goals came from Christian Watts, Matt Mines, Joseph Laforme, Kent Baker-Printup, Ryan Kydd. While Devin Napolean, Kelen Pulera, Mike Wilson and Chris Weier each netted 2. Weier however, while fighting off two defenders, picked up a bouncing loose ball with one hand and performed a ‘hockey like’ back hand shot scoring the highlight goal of the evening.

After less than a twenty four hour turnaround, the Thunderhawks hosted the Owen Sound North Stars on Sunday. The game saw the Thunderhawks down 4-3 after the first with goals from Connor Watson, Christian Watts and Joseph Laforme. In the second, the Thunderhawks outscored the Stars 2-1, ending the period 5-5, with goals from Kelen Pulera and Watson.

A goal, from a Matt Mines snipe, within the first 3 minutes of the third, showed a spark that the Thunderhawks needed to rally. However, the Stars scored 4 minutes later to tie it 6-6. The Thunderhawks pulled their goalie in the last seconds to have a 6 on 5, but were unsuccessful and the game went into overtime.

In the remaining 10 minutes of overtime, the Thunderhawks came out flat and allowed the Stars to net 2 without answering, resulting in a final score of 8-6. With this loss, the Thunderhawks are now relying on the last three games of their regular season to help them reach a favourable playoff position.

Wednesday, June 12th, sees the Thunderhawks host the Hamilton Bengals in a must win game. The Bengals are top in the Mid West division with a 13-3-1 record and in the midst of a four game winning streak. Preparation, focus and effort are characteristics the Thunderhawks need to harness to ensure their season goals for this season.

Wednesdays game has a starting time of 8pm and the Thunderhawks look forward to seeing all our supporters at the rink cheering them to reach their season goal.

3 game weekend

We have a few old, but new faces on the roster.  Players such as Brandon Rickard & Liam Anderson, who played their minor with NOTL have returned to bolster the goaltending and defence, respectively. 

Chris Weier (#14) has been a dominant transition player for the Thunderhawks (25pts) and has been notice again this season by Orangeville Jr. A.  Chris has been AP’d to the Northmen for the last two playoff seasons and for a number of games this season (so far).  Likewise, Mike Wilson (#13) was just called up to St. Catharines A’s to play in his first Jr. A game yesterday.  

Saul Vandersalm, Thunderhawks 2018 team captain, has been playing for the A’s this season and been a steady pillar of defence and we wish him all the best for the rest of the season.  Similarily, Reid Lowe was picked up by Brampton Jr. A and has played 5 games for the Excelsiors after starting with the Thunderhawks for the 2019 season.  

This weekend sees the Thunderhawks attempt to extend their 6 game winning streak as they head to Six Nations on Friday.  It will be a good test for the boys as they meet the 16-1 Rebels, before returning home to continue their game filled weekend versus London on Saturday at 7pm and Owen Sound Sunday at 4pm. We encourage you to come and cheer on the boys as they take on this weekends challenge head on. 

Streak Continues

The Thunderhawks travelled to London to be hosted by the Blue Devils. Niagara start out strong going up 3-0 after the first 6 minutes. However, the Blue Devils didn’t sit back and notched a goal with 30 seconds left in the first.

In the second, the Blue Devils continued by scoring two in the starting 10 minutes and waking up the Thunderhawks, who’s transition team members Chris Weier and Connor Watson sparked a four goal run.

The third saw the Thunderhawks continue the goal streak, scoring 4 before the Blue Devils answered with one at the end of the period.

Connor Watson also continues a streak of 6 games with at least one goal , scoring 2 goals in the 11-4 win. Chris Weier also scored 2 goals as did Devin Napolean and Kent Baker-Printup. Brandon Sveda and Keenan Ninham added singles, Ninham scoring his first as a Thunderhawk.

This win puts the Thunderhawks winning streak at 5, with hopes to continue it versus the St. Catharines Spartans June 4th at home at 7:30pm.

Alumni Shares Expertise

A few of the Thunderhawks, and future Thunderhawks, received a rare opportunity to learn from the best. Alumnus Jay Thorimbert, who has played in the NLL for 10 years, shared his time and expertise on taking draws with some of the Thunderhawks last night.

Jay with current Thunderhawks, Nate Maloney, Aiden Buis, Devin Napolean

Jay provided insight into his strategies, techniques and tricks to help our Thunderhawks become better draw men. The Thunderhawks look forward to working with Jay again and hope to arrange others similar sessions with other alumni in the future.

Check out Jay’s stats at https://www.nll.com/players/player/?id=8222318 .

Pulled it off

The Thunderhawks were host to the Welland Generals on May 29th. The Generals came out strong scoring two minutes into the first period, but the Thunderhawks stuck to their game plan and tied it up 20 seconds later and going on to finish the period ahead, 6-3.

The second period started similar to the first, with the Generals scoring within the first two minutes and the Thunderhawks answering back minutes later with two. However, with a number of undisciplined penalties by the Thunderhawks, the Generals were able to go on a 5 goal scoring streak to bring the score to 9-8 for the Thunderhawks at the end of two periods.

The 3rd saw each team trading goals until a stalemate of 11-11 at the end of the period. Going into overtime, the Thunderhawks came out strong scoring 2 within the first 6 minutes of the 10 minute overtime. The Generals were able to score one more with only seconds left in the game resulting in a Thunderhawks 13-12 win.

Leading the charge for the Thunderhawks was Devin Napolean scoring 4 goals, 2 assists and Kellen Pulera scoring 2 goals and 1 assist on his first game of the season. Connor Watson maintains his scoring streak of at least 1 goal a game for the past 5 games.

Win Streak

The boys achieved their 3rd consecutive win Sunday against the Point Edward Pacers as well as three of the defensive core earning a few individual achievements. Zack Belter and Ryan Kydd both scored their first goals as a Thunderhawk, while veteran Connor Watson scored his first natural hat trick, while 11 different scorers earned goals in the 14-6 win.

The Thunderhawks started their streak playing the St. Catharines Spartans on Thursday May 23rd in Thorold. The game was a seesaw battle with the Spartans opening the scoring within the first minute of the start of the game putting them up 3-0, until with 2 minutes left Christian Watts scored his first Thunderhawks goal before the end of the period.

Nate Maloney, Mike Wilson, Christian Watts each earned 2 goals, while singles went to Connor Watson, Chris Weier and Brett Beetow to earn a 9-7 win over the local rival Spartans.

The Thunderhawks were hungry to continue their winning when they travelled to Guelph to take on the Regals. Kent Baker-Printup, C. Weier, C. Watson, B. Beetow all contributed with singles, while N. Maloney contributed with 2 goals.

The Thunderhawks host the Welland Generals this upcoming Wednesday at 7:30pm in hopes of extending their streak before heading off to London June 1st to meet the Blue Devils.

Bitter sweet loss

The Niagara Thunderhawks are sad to say goodbye to one of our own. Reid Lowe was drafted by the Brampton Excelsiors in 2018, but remained with the Thunderhawks for further development. Congrats to Reid for taking that opportunity and stepping up his game this season, resulting in him signing with the Excelsiors last night.

Reid played his whole career with Niagara on the Lake Minor Lacrosse in both field and box, where he earned provincial championships in both disciplines. At an early age he demonstrated a willingness to learn the game and do what was needed to be done to excel.

The famous quote ..

“What counts is not necessarily the size of the dog in the fight – it’s the size of the fight in the dog.” by Dwight D. Eisenhower

…does a great job describing Reid. His heart, aggressive play, game IQ and willingness to learn made him that unsung hero every coach wishes they could have on their team. Often resulting in him being designated captain or assistant captain on a number of those teams and always leading by example.

The Thunderhawks family feel sad to lose such a player, but are happy for one of our own to move up in the lacrosse ranks. We wish him all the best and hope he reaches and surpasses his lacrosse goals.

We will be watching.

Big win at home opener

T-Hawks played a hard game against the defending Elora Mohawks and came out on top with a 8-4 win.

The game started with a quick goal for the T-Hawks, but after a seesaw exchange of goals the T-Hawks pulled ahead with a 3 goal lead at the end of the second. The hawks kept that lead till Chris Weier scores two open nets to seal the deal.

Tomorrow the T-Hawk host the Windsor Warlocks and then look to May 15th when the Undefeated Six Nations rebels come to NOTL.

Win at Welland

T-Hawks made their last road game a win (14-9) versus Welland, before returning home for their home opener May 10th.

The T-Hawks started the game with a goal within their 1st possession and kept the pressure on till the final buzzer.

The team is looking forward to meeting our fans Friday when they take on the defending Founders Cup Champions, Elora Mohawks at 8pm.

Let’s pack the house!

Go T-Hawks!

Last minute win

T-Hawks had a rough game versus Pt Edward, but came out on top. Chris Weier, Trent Hunter and Conner Watson all involved in altercations resulting in ejections for all involved.

After the unsuccessful attempt by the Pacers to rattle the T-Hawks. Michael Wilson’s goal with less than a minute to go in the 3rd and relentless defensive play, the T-Hawks came out on top 9-8.

The T-Hawks visit Wallaceburg May 4th and Welland May 7 before coming home May 10th & 11that for their home opening weekend versus the defending Founders Cup champions Elora Mowhawks and the Windsor Warlocks respectively.