McIntosh proves Devils’ difference-maker
Jake McIntosh arrived at just the right time for the Westwood Pub Devils.
Missing some of their big guns Sunday afternoon when they took on the Northland Nissan Assault Sunday in a Prince George Senior Lacrosse Association game, McIntosh brought his cannon to Kin 1 to make up for it.
In his first PGSLA game in two seasons since he left to play junior A lacrosse in Delta, the 19-yearold McIntosh blasted out seven goals in a 16-4 spanking of the Assault.
A former midget callup for the Devils, McIntosh reintroduced himself to his teammates when he scored their first three goals to erase a 2-1 deficit by the midway mark of the first period.
When the shooting finally stopped, the Devils had their 12th win in 12 tries this season, having launched 60 shots on Assault goalie Russill Mills. McIntosh left the floor with seven goals and an assist.
He returned to Prince George last week after choosing to leave the B.C. Junior Lacrosse Association, where he was in his second season playing for the Delta Islanders. In 16 games dating back to last season, he scored seven goals and had 14 assists for 21 points. He had three assists in two games this season.
“I just decided I wanted to come home and I want to play lacrosse because I love it,” said McIntosh.
“Hopefully I can keep performing like I did today.
“It was a good group of guys (in Delta) but I just didn’t feel I wanted to play at the next level this year. I want to work and make some money because I’m going to school next year (to study firefighting at the Justice Institute of B.C. in New Westminster).”
McIntosh hopes to return to junior A next year.
“It’s a lot faster in that league and there’s no room for mistakes, he said. “It’s the next level, and if you want to go professional that’s the league you want to play in.”
Assault captain Doug Porter grew up playing minor lacrosse with Jake and he’d much rather see him playing for Northland.
“I’ve played with Jake since we were six and he’s always been a great player, it’s nice to see him back here playing,” said Porter.
“He’s always been a great outside shooter and he can move and create space and he’s a good passer. He’s always dangerous out there. They just took it to us.”
After months of playing or practicing with his junior team six days a week, McIntosh has his six-foot, 180-pound body in great shape and that became all too obvious to the Assault players who could only watch as he used his speed to roll free of his check and lead rushes. His relentless hustle forced turnovers or loose-ball scoops he turned into scoring plays with his hard, quick and accurate shot.
“He’s grown up a lot,” said teammate James McIntosh, Jake’s cousin. “He’s got a different presence and a different speed to him, just the way he sees the game makes everybody better. It’s going to be great to have him back.”
It was natural choice for McIntosh to play for the Devils. His dad Blake was a longtime captain of the team and his uncle Kyle, Blake’s brother, also suited up as a Devil. His grandfather Neil coached and played for the Devils and Jake’s great-uncle Ken is also a former Devil player.
“My whole family played for this team so I want to play for the Devils,” said Jake.
“I’ve known most of these guys since I was three years old, watching them over the years, so I’ve grown pretty close with them.
“We want to win (senior C) provincials this year because it’s here. Hopefully we’ll get more guys out (to play). We’re missing four key guys.”
The Devils were without PGSLA scoring leader Andrew Schwab, who was in Vancouver after getting engaged, and they did not have the services of defencemen Scott Anderson and Jeff Moleski and forward Danton Nicholson.
The Assault was also shortstaffed without leading scorer Dave Jenkins, Clarke Anderson and none of their other righthanded shooters were available.
They lost sniper Matt Rochon midway through the game when he suffered a rib injury.
James McInstosh finished with two goals and an assist, as did Nolan Bayliss. Luis Enes had a six-point game with a goal and five assists. Porter led his team offensively with two goals and two assists.
Jamie Bellamy and Steven Brizan, who played the third period, combined to make 24 saves in goal for the Devils.
In other PGSLA results Saturday, the Devils beat the RPR Mechanical/JR Construction Bandits 7-5 and the Mackenzie Conifex Power Lumberjacks topped the Assault 14-9. A scheduled Sunday morning game between Mackenzie and the Quesnel Summit Electric Crossfire was forfeited when the Crossfire had only three shooters and a goalie. It was the second game this season Quesnel has been forced to forfeit due to insufficient numbers.
In a game on Wednesday, the Devils won 7-2 after the Assault forfeited after the first period.