It was a game that will go down in Canton Chiefs Lacrosse lore.
And one Saline would rather forget.
Under a steady drizzle, Saline built a 9-2 lead on Canton eight minutes into the second quarter of Wednesday’s regional semifinal game at Canton High School. But the Chiefs stormed backed to win 13-11.
Canton advanced to next week’s regional final against Plymouth.
Saline finished the season with a 14-6 record.
Tanyr Krummenacher scored four goals for the Hornets. Davis Bruneau scored three goals. Noah Terech, Robert Borer, Jack Loveland and Jackson Fairman also scored in goal.
Goalie Shane Winkelseth made at least 10 great stops for the Hornets.
The first sequence of the game symbolized the way the first 20 minutes were played. Canton fired a shot. Winkelseth made the save. Saline quickly moved up the field and then patiently passed the ball around the perimeter until a lane opened up. Jackson Fairman fired the shot from the side of the goal to give Saline a 1-0 lead.
Saline went up 2-0 when Davis Bruneau picked up a rebound and whipped it into the goal 3:14 into the first quarter.
Midway through the first, Winkelseth made another stop. Saline turned it up field and played it around the Chiefs’ zone. Krummenacher took possession behind the Chiefs’ goal. He ran along the baseline, cut in front of the net and fired a shot into the goal for a 3-0 lead.
The rain came down harder in the second quarter, and Saline didn’t seem to mind. Loveland opened the scoring with a bounce shot that went into the top corner.
The Chiefs finally got on the board after winning the resulting faceoffs.
Canton hoped to halve Saline’s lead, but Winkelseth made another big stop. Saline went down the field and Krummenacher scored again to make it 5-1. Two minutes later, Loveland ran menacingly around the Canton net before passing to Krummenacher, who scored his third of the evening.
Saline kept pouring it on. Noah Terech and Robert Borer scored to make it 8-1 midway through the quarter.
Canton made it 8-2, scoring on a rebound. Saline made it 9-2 with 3:57 to play in the quarter. Loveland won the battle for a groundball. He passed to Bruneau who spun off a defender into the center and then scored from 10 yards.
The Hornets appeared able to score at will. They seemed to win almost every battle. And when the Chiefs did get a chance, Winkelseth was almost impenetrable in goal
But Canton won the next faceoff and scored, igniting a three-goal rally that gave the Chiefs some life before halftime. Saline led 9-5.
82 seconds into the second half, Krummenacher scored his fourth goal of the game with a whip from the middle. Saline led 10-5.
About a minute later, Canton scored to make it 10-6.
The next sequence seemed to turn the tide against Saline.
Saline spent about four minutes firing shot after shot toward the Canton goal. But every shot missed the target. Saline would win the race to the end to maintain possession, and the same thing would happen.
The Hornet attackers seemed less patient than they were earlier in the game. The Canton defense were also playing more physically and the officials allowed a blatant trip of Krummenacher as he beat a defender and reached the front of the goal.
Canton finally got the ball back and Jack Cerventes scored. Suddenly, after all that pressure, it was three-goal game. 25 seconds later, the Chiefs scored again when Drew Montgomery was left wide open in front of the goal.
Winkelseth continued to give the Hornets a fighting chance. But while his first half saves often resulted in big goals at the other end of the field, Saline’s shooters were suddenly snakebit. Canton scored two goals in the final 54 seconds of the third quarter to tie the game at 10.
Canton scored first in the fourth quarter. Bruneau tied it at 11 with 6:19 to play when he spun and shot from the middle lane.
Down the stretch, the Hornets had several chances to take the lead, but their shots were off the mark. With about 2:30 to play, the Hornets turned the ball over to Zach Sweet. They managed to strip him of the ball and regain possession. But with about 2:05 to play, Sweet intercepted another pass. This time he found his way to the net and scored with 1:55 left in the game.
Saline won possession of the ball and generated a shot that was off target. Canton won the race to the end to take possession. The Chiefs added a late goal for insurance. Chase Meredith finished with four goals for Canton. Sweet added three goals and Connor Flannigan also scored three goals.