Lions vs Pronghorns



Date Time League Season Home Away Court
July 30, 2023 1:50 pm Canadian National Pickleball League 2023 Lions Pronghorns 2


The Sleeman Centre
Sleeman Centre, 50, Woolwich Street, Downtown Guelph, Guelph, Southwestern Ontario, Ontario, N1H 3T9, Canada


Prairie Pronghorns Storm Back to Beat Lions in Four

Lions Whip Pronghorns 15-7 in First Mixed Doubles Tilt

There have been many close, electrifying, and lengthy games in the Eastern Split. This wasn’t one of them.

Not to say that there wasn’t some good pickleball played, but the Montreal Lions duo of Cam Rich and Kim Layton absolutely devoured their Pronghorns counterparts Matty Stodola and Kim Brent. The Pronghorns scored the first point but could do little to counter the dominance of Rich and Layton.

The score was tied 2-2 early on, when Layton hit two very good shots in a three-point swing as Montreal went ahead 5-2. The Pronghorns’ Brent countered with a forehand smash for a point, followed by Montreal’s Rich slamming an overhand and Brent setting up a Pronghorns side out miss to make the score 7-3. Rich made another excellent flick to send the teams to side change and Montreal up 8-4.

Rested and still in command, Rich and Layton continued their shot mastery. Rich drilled a great overhand and followed it up a little later with a tricky set-up to put Montreal ahead 11-5. Layton then added a sweet flick of her own for another point, forcing the Pronghorns to take a time out.

The Lions used that break to reset, only allowing the Pronghorns two more points, one on a great Stodola cross-shot to make the score 13-7. Rich followed with another superb backhand shot for a point and Layton closed this one out with a nice flick.

Pronghorns Stave Off Lions Comeback to Triumph in Second Mixed Doubles Game

This game was a lot tighter than the first contest of this match, won in a walk by the Lions. And much as Pam Clarke and Ravi Prakash play well together, this was the “Ravi Show” as the Prairie Pronghorns hung on to beat Grace Thomas and Eric Gagnon of the Lions, 15-13.

It didn’t start that well for Prakash, who was caught with a foot in the kitchen to give the Lions a 2-1 lead. The undrafted 39-year-old made up for it right away, though, banging an overhand winner and then a deft cross shot to put the Pronghorns up. Two points later, the Lions had to take a much-needed timeout, down 5-2. Leading up to side change, both the Lions and Pronghorns traded returns into the net or side outs, with the score favoring the Pronghorns at 8-6.

The Lions quickly tied it up after the break, and then Prakash went to work. He would account for his team’s next five points on flicks, forehands, and overhands, with only one Lions rally and a Pronghorns side out to interrupt in between, putting the tally at 13-10 Pronghorns. The Lions took another timeout and it seemed to work, as they climbed back in, with Gagnon tying it up on a brilliant cross. However, Clarke ensured Prakash wouldn’t take all the credit, slamming a cross to put the Pronghorns back up, with the final point gained when Gagnon put a return into the net.

Pronghorns Women’s Doubles Team Puts in Gutsy Effort in Win Over Lions

The Eastern Split saw a lot of very tight, thrilling games that went down to double freeze. The pivotal game between the Prairie Pronghorns Kim Brent and Pam Clarke, up against Montreal Lions Kim Layton and Grace Thomas did not disappoint. The Pronghorns had to erase a pair of two-point deficits late to squeak by the Lions 15-14.

Not much remarkable happened in the early stages, other than a foot foul to Montreal. With the score at 2-2, Clarke placed a great shot down the line for a 3-2 Pronghorns lead. After Clarke scored again on a forehand, it started a bit of Pronghorns run, with Brent contributing a brilliant forehand to force the Lions into a timeout down 7-4. The teams would trade points into side change and then the Lions showed their mettle.

Layton and Thomas would put on a display of well-coordinated dinking, some monster shots that the Pronghorns struggled to return and stout defense to tally six straight and take an 11-8 lead. Undaunted, the Pronghorns turned the tide, outscoring the Lions 4-1 to knot things up, 12-12. Clarke smacked a superb cross to give the Pronghorns a 14-13 lead, but the Lions answered to send it double freeze. The Lions did stay alive for one play, however, the Pronghorns put on a dinking show and then Clarke sealed the Lions fate with a dazzling forehand winner.

Pronghorns Men Seal Match Triumph with Dominant Win Over Lions

If one particular play can epitomize a game, then what happened to the Montreal Lions pair of Eric Gagnon and Cam Rich after side change was it. Down 8-4 and coming off a 60-second break, the two collided at center court after some miscommunication, handing the Pronghorns team of Matty Stodola and Ravi Prakash another easy point on the way to a 15-9 Pronghorns victory.

Despite the Lions struggles at times, Stodola and Prakash set the tone early, with both players zipping terrific shots down the line on difficult returns to score points. Prakash also contributed a booming overhand and a tricky placement shot to give the Pronghorns an 8-4 cushion at side change.

After the collision, the Lions did dink their way to a point, but had any mojo from that erased when Prakash again drilled on overhand to keep the Pronghorns up 10-5. Gagnon, one of the oldest players in the Eastern Split at 54, did his level best to try and return one after Prakash’s smash, just missing. However, he did dazzle with a seeing-eye flick to get the score to 11-6.

The Pronghorns defense and team play, in the end, was too much to handle for the Lions, even though Rich pounded a solid shot to keep his team in it at 13-9. But Gagnon returned a shot long in a subsequent play and Rich hit nothing but net to give the Pronghorns the game and match.




Player Player of the Match Category wins Category PF Category PA Mixed wins Mixed PF Mixed PA Mixed partner
Cam Rich009151157Kim Layton
Kim Layton0014151157Cam Rich
Eric Gagnon0091501315Grace Thomas
Grace Thomas00141501315Eric Gagnon

General Manager: Jay Devilliers


Player Player of the Match Category wins Category PF Category PA Mixed wins Mixed PF Mixed PA Mixed partner
Kim Brent0115140715Matty Stodola
Ravi Prakash1115911513Pam Clarke
Pam Clarke01151411513Ravi Prakash
Matty Stodola011590715Kim Brent