Lions vs Rollers



Date Time League Season Home Away Court
July 30, 2023 6:05 pm Canadian National Pickleball League 2023 Lions Rollers 1


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


Montreal Lions Slip Past Northern Rollers in Five

Lions Stage Monumental Comeback in Mixed Doubles

You could say that the Dura ball was not quite the Northern Rollers’ friend in this mixed doubles opener. The duo of Rob Krizmanich and Jessica Kawamoto held an early 8-5 lead and then proceeded to either hit the Selkirk net or send it long to allow Cam Rich and Kim Layton of the Montreal Lions to win, convincingly, 15-9.

Krizmanich and Kawamoto were mostly in sync before side change, combining some good dinking along with a great lay-in shot and a laser that hit Layton off Krizmanich’s paddle. Before the break, it was Rich and Layton who weren’t gelling, but that wouldn’t last.

Immediately after side change, the 8-5 Lions’ deficit turned into a 9-8 lead, courtesy of three long returns and a net shot by Krizmanich and Kawamoto. The Lions then returned one into the net and from there it was all Montreal. The Lions forced many a shot by the Rollers to go into the net or side out, with Layton displaying great patience, not hitting what would be a long shot by Krizmanich to seal a point and go to freeze up 14-9. Krizmanich then knocked another one into the net to give the Lions a huge win.

Rollers Even Up Match with Overwhelming Victory

This time, there was no epic collapse by a Rollers Mixed Doubles team. Jonas Dahler and Emma Li jumped out to an early lead and never took their foot off the gas in a 15-7 drubbing of Montreal Lions pair Eric Gagnon and Grace Thomas.

Dahler set the tone, smoking an overhand winner that gave the Rollers a lead in a game they never trailed. As if to frustrate Gagnon and Thomas even further, Dahler got one to dribble over off the net cord for a 4-2 advantage after an extended rally. He and Li then played outstanding defense and dinked well enough to set up a great forehand winner by Li and another overhand bomb by Dahler to take an 8-3 lead into side change.

Gagnon and Thomas managed to trim the lead to 9-6 after a rest, with Thomas hitting a nice overhand for a point and Gagnon adding a laser of his own. But whatever ideas they had at a comeback, were quickly squashed by the Rollers. They kept the pressure on the Lions to go up 12-6 and force a timeout and quickly dispatched them four plays later.

Lions Women Come Back to Beat Rollers

With two lopsided victories for either team in the books, the Lions and Rollers hammered away at each other in a very hard-fought game with many great rallies that eventually went to Montreal, 15-13.

Emma Li and Jessica Kawamoto of the Rollers utilized superior defense and shot making early on to take a 4-2 lead. However, that evaporated quickly as the Lions duo of Kim Layton and Grace Thomas also played outstanding defensively and hit key shots to tie it up 5-5. The teams then traded points until side change, which favored Montreal 8-7.


The Rollers pushed the score to 9-9 and then went to work on the Lions, scoring three straight points on two Kawamoto smashes and a Li overhand winner to take a commanding 12-9 lead. Unfazed, Layton and Thomas answered with great shots of their own to get within one, but Li followed with a backhand sizzler that eluded the Lions for a point. The Rollers were then forced to take a timeout when the Lions roared all the way back to tie it 13-13, courtesy of a great shot by Thomas.

The timeout actually favored the Lions, who forced a long and a net shot by the Rollers to emerge victorious.

Rollers Men Take Match to Tiebreaker with Clutch Win Over Lions

Still looking for their first match victory of the tournament, the Rollers needed a solid effort from men’s doubles duo Rob Krizmanich and Jonas Dahler. And they delivered. Krizmanich and Dahler built an early advantage and were never tied or behind against Eric Gagnon and Cam Rich.

Krizmanich put the Rollers in the driver’s seat early, exuding hustle and sending an amazing return shot down the line for a 2-0 lead. Not long after, Dahler played staunch defense and helped put the Rollers up 4-2. The closest the Lions could get was within one, at 5-4 Rollers, but Krizmanich with a monster counter shot for a point and Dahler with a beautiful seeing eye shot of his own gave the Roller an 8-4 lead at side change.

The rest didn’t do much good for the Lions, who were put back on their heels by Krizmanich and Dahler, who again teamed up for a big return to make the score 10-6. A kitchen violation by Rich bumped the score to 11-6 and in no time the Rollers were leading 14-7. To their credit, Rich and Gagnon didn’t back down, keeping the freeze alive long enough to get the score to 14-11, with Gagnon striking a big blow in that sequence. However, the Rollers staged a furious rally to finally win it.

Lions Make Quick Work of Rollers in Singles Tiebreaker to Take Match

After a match that saw a lot of lead changes and flip-flopping victories, it didn’t take long for the Lions to down the Rollers 11-4 in the singles tiebreaker. And it was “Richly” deserved.

Montreal’s Cam Rich figured huge in this one, scoring a possible five of six points against Jonas Dahler. He opened it up with a 3-0 count in the first mini game with Dahler, smoking a big forehand for the second point. Rob Krizmanich managed to get his team a bit closer in the following stanza, which featured a bit of controversy on a line call that went against the Rollers, who were down 4-2 then instead of being tied 3-3.

Grace Thomas then took two out of three from Emma Li and Kim Layton swept a game Jessica Kawamoto, setting up Rich to finish off the Rollers with the score 9-3. He did just that, forcing Dahler to return the Dura ball low into the Selkirk net for the game and the match.





Player Player of the Match Category wins Category PF Category PA Mixed wins Mixed PF Mixed PA Mixed partner
Eric Gagnon0011150715Grace Thomas
Kim Layton1115131159Cam Rich
Cam Rich0011151159Kim Layton
Grace Thomas0115130715Eric Gagnon

General Manager: Jay Devilliers


Player Player of the Match Category wins Category PF Category PA Mixed wins Mixed PF Mixed PA Mixed partner
Jonas Dähler0115111157Emma Li
Jessica Kawamoto0013150915Rob Krizmanich
Emma Li0013151157Jonas Dähler
Rob Krizmanich0115110915Jessica Kawamoto

General Manager: Rob Krizmanich