Thanks to a pair of weekend road wins, the Akwesasne Warriors can capture the inaugural Federal Hockey League championship on home ice.
The Warriors won the opening two games of their best-of-five championship series over the Brooklyn-based New York Aviators.
Akwesasne overcame a 3-1 deficit in the series opener and netted three unanswered goals to register a 4-3 victory on Saturday. The Warriors had another impressive comeback in Game 2 held Sunday.
Akwesasne trailed 2-0 heading into the third period. The Warriors though took command of that match by scoring five straight goals within the first 10 minutes of the final period and from there coasted to a 6-4 triumph.
Akwesasne will now try to wrap up the series in the minimum three contests. Game 3 in the series will be held on Friday in the eastern Ontario Mohawk community.
The Warriors play their home games at the A’nowara’ko:wa Arena, which is nicknamed The Turtle Dome. If necessary, Akwesasne would also host Game 4 in the series on Saturday. And if the Aviators do rally to extend the series to a deciding fifth match, that would be held on Mar. 29 in Brooklyn.
Besides playing in a Mohawk community, the Warriors also have plenty of Aboriginal connections. Five of their players have Native backgrounds. Dan Tessier, who is Metis, scored once and added an assist in the opening game of the FHL finals. And he was credited with a pair of assists in Game 2.
The Warriors also have four Mohawk players on their roster, Kyle Lagace, Casey Swamp, Travis Stacey and Nick Montour.
Of this quartet, Lagace is the only one who has played in the FHL championship series thus far. He was held pointless in the first two games.
Meanwhile, Aviators’ captain KC Timmons, who is a member of the Camp Mudge tribe and hails from Victoria, British Columbia, is the only Native player on the New York roster.
Timmons had a pair of assists in Game 1 and added another helper in the second match of the series.