By Fred Wallace
There's a very positive buzz in the community surrounding the Owen Sound Bluewater ProTeam NorthStars and their playoff run in Junior B Lacrosse.
The NorthStars advanced to the Western Conference semifinals against Elora following a 3 games to 1 series win over Windsor, climaxed by the excitement of their 7-5 win at home on Sunday over the A.K.O. Fratmen.
Why the buzz ?
One, obviously, the level of success for the NorthStars advancing to round 2 after barely sneaking into the playoffs.
Two, Owen Sound has enjoyed great success at the Harry Lumley-Bayshore Community Center with a mark of 10 & 2 combined to this point on the season.
Third, in the games at the J.D. McArthur Arena, you're almost guaranteed an exciting game.
Only once, ironically when Elora effectively, if not boringly, pressed the NorthStars in their last meeting, has a game at the Lum been something other than terrific, especially with many of the dramatic finishes.
Next, on paper at least, the win over Windsor was a significant upset with # 8 Owen Sound eliminating the regular season overall champion Fratmen.
I know, very few people connected with the NorthStars view it as an upset, but still, how often does # 8 beat # 1 ?
There's a buzz because to my way of thinking, the NorthStars are the most local team you'll find in Owen Sound sports, and there's always added lustre when local kids achieve success right in their own community.
Plus, lacrosse fans locally have taken to the NorthStars I think, because this is a pretty balanced team.
On any given night the goal scoring has to be spread out and defensively, a trademark of solid Owen Sound teams, this team is tough and the goaltending has been marvellous.
Finally, this vibe perpetuates itself.
The fans are into it, the NorthStars are into it.
Listening to coach Ronnie Smith following the elimination of Windsor, he says there's no doubt his group of teens are feeding off the growing crowds and the noise level that's been escalating certainly over the last month.
You really can beat it.
Can you beat the Elora Mohawks ?
We'll find out starting Friday.
I'm Fred Wallace