Wednesday, September 18, 2013

15 MSL players selected in National Lacrosse League Entry draft

The National Lacrosse League held its annual entry draft Monday, September 16 and Major Series Lacrosse was well represented among the 55 total selections made, with 15 of the picks being MSL players. The Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks' Jason Noble was the first of them, going second overall to the Minnesota Swarm.

Below is the full list of MSL players drafted on Monday, with their draft position, their MSL team and the NLL team that chose them.

2 Jason Noble, KW, Minnesota
3 Dillon Ward, KW, Colorado
9 Ethan O'Connor, Brampton, Toronto
12 AJ Masson, Oakville, Philadelphia
13 Adrian Sorichetti, Brooklin, Edmonton
14 Nick Diachenko, Brooklin, Buffalo
15 Mitch Wilde, KW, Buffalo
16 Mike Woods, Oakville, Toronto
21 Reid Acton, Six Nations, Minnesota
27 Mark White, Brampton, Rochester
29 Jordan Houtby, Brooklin, Minnesota
32 Cameron Mann, KW, Colorado
42 JJ Laforet, KW, Minnesota
43 Jake Hayes, Brooklin, Calgary
44 Alex Lubczuk, KW, Toronto

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Six Nations Chiefs earn Mann Cup title with 8-5 win in Game 6

Rory Smith with the Mann Cup. 
(Photo: Kevin Light)

The Six Nations Chiefs took the final step up the mountain Friday night, beating the Victoria Shamrocks 8-5 to win the 2013 Mann Cup four games to two. As they have done throughout the post-season, Six Nations dominated the third period to earn the win. They scored the only 4 goals of the final 20 minutes, turning around a game they had trailed 5-4 and in the process securing the first Mann Cup for the Chiefs since their run of three straight ended in 1996.

Head Coach Rich Kilgour was a member of that '96 team, and he said it's been a hard climb to get back atop the mountain. In his previous three years as head coach of the team, they had lost to Brampton in the semi-finals twice and then to Peterborough in the finals last year. “I haven't won one of these since 1996. It was a lot of hard work,” Kilgour said. “I've been here four years and we've had a lot of bitter disappointment up to this point. I think that makes it even sweeter, though, to have a lot of those tough losses along the way. Basically with the same team. There've been a few coming in here and there but basically we've had the same 12 or 14 guys. I kept believing in them and I think they kept believing in me, and that's what makes this championship so sweet.”

Kilgour was quick to give praise to everyone who helped the team reach its ultimate goal. “It takes 25 guys, 3 coaches, a great owner and a whole bunch of support crews. Dave Sowden, Brian Miller, Paula our tee shirt many more people. No one realizes, that stuff all adds up. You need it all to win a Mann Cup. It's not easy, that's what we've said all year. If it was easy everyone would have one.”

Friday, September 13, 2013

Mann Cup Game 6 goes Friday night

Ben McCullough (left) and Stephen Keogh get up close
and personal during Game 5 of the 2013 Mann Cup.
(Photo: Kevin Light)
Friday night will be the first time in the series there's a chance that the Mann Cup will be presented after the game. The Six Nations Chiefs lead 3-2 and can wrap up their first title since they took the last of three consecutive Manns in 1996.

Six Nations' Cody Jamieson is leading the series in scoring with 10 goals and 12 assists for 22 points, just ahead of Victoria's Jeff Shattler, who has 8 and 12 for 20 points. Stephen Keogh is tied with Shattler for second in goals, although he is only officially credited with 7. One of his goals was awarded to Jamieson.

In total, 3 Six Nations' goals have been misawarded, so keep that in mind when you are viewing the overall stats for the series. Jamieson was given a goal that was scored by Keogh, but the former's totals are accurate because Kasey Beirnes was awarded one goal that Jamieson scored, the very first of the series, in fact. Tom Montour scored a key goal in Game 5 but it was awarded to Kedoh Hill.

Even without the phantom goal he was given, Hill is leading the series in shooting percentage at 38.5, connecting for 5 goals on 13 shots. Keogh is just behind him at 33%, scoring his 8 goals on 24 shots. Jesse King of Victoria is also at 33%, having scored his 4 goals on 12 shots. That's not counting the two players who are perfect, having scored their only goal on their only shot of the series: defenders Ben McCullough of Victoria and Colin Boucher of Six Nations.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

The Life of a Third-string Goalie: Brenner Jacobs role with the Six Nations Chiefs

If you've been following the Mann Cup, you're aware that Colin Doyle was thrust into the role of third goalie for the Six Nations Chiefs as they won Game 5 11-7 to take a 3-2 lead in the championship series. But while Doyle's turn between the pipes is historic and certainly memorable, the team does actually have a third goalie. It's just typical of the way things go for the position that everyone knows about Doyle's goaltending stint but very few people know about Brenner Jacobs' role with the team.

Jacobs is the actual third goalie on the team, playing the overlooked and underappreciated but important role for the Chiefs. Jacobs makes no bones about what he's with the team to do. “I take it as my role to be the first guy out there and the last guy off the floor, just so everybody feels comfortable shooting and having a goalie in there” he says of what he does at practices and pre-game warmups.

While regular goalies Brandon Miller and Evan Kirk play the games, Jacobs is there to give players someone to shoot at while Miller and Kirk are doing what they need to do to prepare physically and mentally. So Jacobs gets out right at the start of practice or pre-game and lets anyone who wants to shoot for as long as they like and does the same thing at the end of practice.

Doyle dons the goalie pads for final 11 minutes of strange 11-7 Six Nations Chiefs win in Game 5 of Mann Cup

Cody Jamieson fought through swarming Shamrocks defence to have a 
9-point night as the Chiefs won Game 5 11-7 to take a 3-2 lead in the
2013 Mann Cup. (Photo: Kevin Light)

Colin Doyle has done a lot of things in his long and illustrious lacrosse career, but until Wednesday night playing goalie in the Mann Cup was not one of them. That all changed when both Brandon Miller and Evan Kirk were ejected for having shin pads a little too wide in the third period of Game 5. Doyle made six saves on nine shots and even earned an assist while playing net as the Six Nations Chiefs held on for an 11-7 win to take a 3-2 lead over the Victoria Shamrocks in the best of seven Canadian senior lacrosse championship series.

Lost to an extent amid the weirdness of Doyle having to go in and play net was another huge night from Cody Jamieson, who had 3 goals and 6 assists to lead all scorers. Stephen Keogh was also instrumental in the Chiefs win. He scored 3 goals, all of them huge ones in the third period.

The Chiefs led 3-2 after the first period thanks to a Johnny Powless goal with 27 seconds to play. Powless then got the first goal of the second period, but it wasn't until the 9:32 mark as both goaltenders, Miller and Matt Vinc, were outstanding. Another late-period goal gave Six Nations a 7-4 lead heading into the second intermission. This time it was Doyle connecting with less than a second to go when he took a pass from Jamieson, who was cutting across the top of the zone to where he had scored the previous goal exactly two minutes earlier, and tucked a shot between the post and Vinc's foot.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Tom Montour relishes return to action in Mann Cup Game 4

Tom Montour was just hoping to get a chance to get into a game at the 2013 Mann Cup and show what he can still do. Game 4 was his chance and he made the most of it, helping the Six Nations Chiefs to push the ball up the floor and giving the offence more time to work with in an 8-3 win that evened the series at two wins each.

The veteran transition player had been out of action since late June, when he had a mishap while fooling around. He fell and drove his right arm through some glass. As he instinctively yanked it back out, the glass caught his wrist and sliced a tendon. It's been a long road back to being ready to play for the 31-year-old, but he was the most excited player to be on the floor in Game 4.

He had said earlier in the series that he felt like he was ready to play, but the training staff were concerned about whether his wrist was back to full strength and functionality. For his part, Montour said he just wanted to help out the team. “For sure I could help them out in the running game, I think,” Montour said. “It's the coach's decision and I'll agree with whatever they decide. I'll just bide my time again and hopefully I get back in there before this series is over and bring the cup back home.”

Six Nations Chiefs win Game 4 8-3, even Mann Cup series at 2-2

Cody Jamieson had a hat trick to help the Chiefs win
Game 4 by an 8-3 score. (Photo: Kevin Light)

Brandon Miller made 47 saves and Cody Jamieson scored 3 goals to lead the Six Nations Chiefs to an 8-3 win over the Victoria Shamrocks, tying the best of seven Mann Cup championship at 2-2 and setting the stage for an exciting best of three close to the series. Miller came into Game 3 late in the first period and allowed just 3 goals as the Chiefs fell to the Shamrocks. He was even better in Game 4.

The Chiefs took advantage of the opportunity he gave them by outscoring Victoria 6-1 in the final 40 minutes of the game to earn the win. Miller said he's just on one of those rolls goalies sometimes get on where he's seeing the ball well. “Sometimes a goalie gets into that kind of streak and it's definitely happening right now,” Miller said. “I felt good coming out here, too. Every time in practice I've been working on my game and just hope to maybe get the call. Everyone's here for a reason. It's not a vacation. It's just nice to get in there and contribute a little bit.”

Miller said he was a little surprised to get the call to start Game 4 and will leave the decision about who goes in Game 5 up to the coaches. “I actually thought they'd go back to [Evan Kirk] tonight. He's the guy that got us here. He went 8-0 in Ontario and he had two great games out here as well. Kirky and I are roommates, we're really good buddies, and either one of us is going to go in there and do a good job, I'm sure.”

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Shamrocks take 2-1 Mann Cup series lead with 8-6 win after 6-goal first period

The Victoria Shamrocks scored six times in the first period to produce a lead they would never relinquish as they beat the Six Nations Chiefs 8-6 in Game 3 of the 2013 Mann Cup in Victoria, taking a 2-1 lead in the best of seven Canadian senior lacrosse championships in the process. Cory Conway scored 3 goals in the first period and Jeff Shattler led the Shamrocks with 2 goals and 4 assists for the game. Kasey Beirnes and Stephen Keogh each scored twice for Six Nations while Colin Doyle had 4 assists, which moved him past J.J. Johnston into eight place in all-time Mann Cup scoring with 109 points (50 goals, 59 assists).

“There's a long way to go,” said Victoria coach Bob Heyes of needing two more wins to claim the title. “It was a battle tonight. That's exactly what a Mann Cup game is all about. We came out in the first period, I kind of focused the boys and said you've got to come out and have a good first period. We had that then just kind of hung on a little bit there.”

The Shamrocks seemed to be able to create some seams to get shots off from mid-range and buried five of them in the set offence in the first period. Six Nations pulled starting goalie Evan Kirk after the fifth goal, although their coach Rich Kilgour wasn't laying the blame on his goaltender. “That first period really wasn't his fault,” Kilgour said. “They were good quality shots. It wasn't like any hit him in the belly and trickled in. They were right in the corner. It was more I think on the defence than on Kirky. Sometimes you've just got to pull the trigger on something like that to get the boys going again. It's been done a million times in all sports. It's nothing on Kirky, but at the same time, we've got to try to change momentum.”

Monday, September 9, 2013

Webster is a regular at 2013 Mann Cup

Manny Lewis enjoying a round at Olympic
View Golf Course with the Chiefs.

Manny Lewis is in Victoria enjoying the Mann Cup as part of Six Nations Chiefs' owner Ken Hill's entourage. You more likely remember him as Emmanuel Lewis. Even more likely is that you remember him simply as Webster, from his title role in the 1980s sitcom in which he played the adopted son of linebacker Alex Karras. Yep, Webster's in the house.

Lewis says he met Hill years ago in Atlanta, where Lewis went to university. He isn't thoroughly familiar with the game. “It's not a sport that I grew up on, but it's very interesting,” Lewis said. “The sport of lacrosse is very interesting, it being created by the First Nations people. I thought that was very interesting in itself.”

The first game he saw in person was during the Chiefs' Major Series Lacrosse championship victory over the Brooklin Redmen, and “I think it was pretty awesome. I don't necessarily know all the rules yet, but there's a lot of technique and running around.” Lewis is sitting with the rest of the Chiefs' fans in a section of Bear Mountain Arena. He even got the feel of a stick in his hands. The diminutive former child star tried out a stick that Kasey Beirnes had cut down for his son.

These days, Lewis spends a lot of his time working with charitable causes in the Atlanta area and elsewhere. “Wherever there's somebody in need, that's the cause that we're looking at,” he says. “Whether they be health issues, cancer, AIDS or elderly. There's lots of great causes and I like working with various different organizations and charities to help bring awareness.”
Rich Kilgour kickin' it old school in a
light-hearted moment at Bear Mountain Arena
Six Nations Chiefs Head Coach Rich Kilgour made a fashion statement at Bear Mountain Arena when he broke out his 1994 Chiefs' jacket. That was the year of the first in a three-year run of Mann Cup titles for the Chiefs. Kilgour was a key figure in those Chiefs' wins, scoring 2 or 3 points a game while contributing defensive prowess and leadership. Now he's running the show with the team that it trying to win Six Nations' first Mann since those mid-90s glory days. So while the jacket may be fun to pull out and wear around the arena for a bit, it does bring with it some deeper meaning. It says, it's time to get back to winning championships. The Chiefs are tied 1-1 in the 2013 series with the Victoria Shamrocks, so they are three wins away from making it happen. Game 3 goes Monday night at 7pm PT/10pm ET and can be seen via live pay per webcast.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Chiefs take Game 2 10-8, even Mann Cup at one game each

Kedoh Hill had a hat trick to help Six Nations even the
Mann Cup with a 10-8 win. (Photo: Judy Teasdale)

Kedoh Hill hadn't played a game of lacrosse in over a month. The young Six Nations Chief's last action was Game 3 of the Major Series Lacrosse semi-finals against Kitchener-Waterloo on August 6. But when called on to play in Game 2 of the Mann Cup championship series Saturday night, Hill stepped up big for the Chiefs, scoring a hat trick to help them win the game 10-8 and even the series 1-1.

“This morning, [Head Coach Rich Kilgour] said be ready for anything,” Hill said. “I didn't even think I was going to get a chance, really, but I knew that if there was a chance that I might get to play I had to make the best of it. When he told me I was in, I was like holy man. I was just excited.”

Hill scored once in each period and played a big role on the penalty kill. The PK was critical to the Chiefs' success in winning last night because Victoria had 15 power plays including at least half a dozen two-man advantages. The referees had called just 11 penalties resulting in a total of seven power plays in Game 1, but Saturday night the whistles were blowing fast and furious. The refs called 29 infractions leading to 26 power plays, including an astonishing number of 5-on-3's for a Mann Cup game.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Family day at the Mann Cup

The Six Nations Chiefs' Saturday morning practice took on a distinctively family flavour when some of the players' partners and children showed up to watch. Colin Doyle's wife and three young daughters were on hand, as were Kasey Beirnes' wife and son and Rob Marshall's girlfriend. The children got to head out onto the floor to stretch with the players, did some laps around the concourse level of the arena and watched their fathers shoot.

Spirits were clearly higher than they had been 12 hours earlier, after the Chiefs lost the opening game of the 2013 Mann Cup 5-4 to the Victoria Shamrocks. Coaches ran through some adjustments they want to make for tonight's Game 2 and the defensive players enjoyed some shooting practice with backup goalie Brandon Miller and third goalie Brenner Jacobs. The mood was light as the team left practice, looking like a club that is ready to get back to the game that made them the Major Series Lacrosse champions after an undefeated playoff run.

Shamrocks take Game 1 of Mann Cup finals 5-4 behind hat trick from Jesse King

Craig Point had a pair of goals for Six Nations but they
managed two others in a 5-4 opening game loss to Victoria. 
(Photo: Judy Teasdale)
The Victoria Shamrocks showed that they're just as fast in transition as advertised, but it was Junior A call-up Jesse King's 3 third-period goals in the set offence that pushed them to a 5-4 win in the opening game of the 2013 Mann Cup. King, who will only be able to play one more game before he has to return to school at Ohio State, scored the only goals of the third frame in which the Shamrocks had just eight shots, after they had fired 22 at Six Nations goalie Evan Kirk in the first and another 14 in the second. 

The Chiefs led 3-1 after the first period and 4-2 after the second and seemed to be getting a handle on controlling the Victoria transition game that had created numerous scoring opportunities in the first period. King was spectacular in scoring all the goals Victoria would need in the third, particularly on the final goal when he caught the ball in traffic on top of the crease and fought off a double team to whip a behind-the-back shot into the top corner. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Colin Doyle poised to move up on Mann Cup scoring list

Colin Doyle, Mohawk and all, is tied for 10th in all-time
Mann Cup scoring and should move up several spots this 
year. (Photo: Judy Teasdale)

Over the last few years, Mann Cup series have seen some serious climbing up the all-time scoring charts. Last year's big mover was Shawn Evans, whose 31 points bumped him from 56 and a tie for 50th in all-time Mann scoring to 87 and a tie for 22nd. A pair of other Peterborough Lakers moved closer to the very top of the list. Scott Evans' 15 points took him from 9th to 5th with a total of 118. John Grant, Jr. was already third among the elite group of scorers in Mann Cup history, but his 30 points leapfrogged him over legendary Geordie Dean into second place with 174 points.

This year, there's only one player who will likely be making a big mark in the scoring history books. Six Nations' Colin Doyle currently sits tied for 10th spot with 49 goals and 53 assists for 102 points. He has a realistic shot at taking over 4th from former Shamrocks' great Gary Gait, who finished his career with 120.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Chiefs are letting team unity go to their heads

Kasey Beirnes
If you want to see a mark of the team unity the Six Nations Chiefs have found in what has the potential to be a championship year for the club, look no further than the heads of some of their players. Colin Doyle, Rob Marshall and Kasey Beirnes are all sporting Mohawks and there are more to come. Beirnes says there was a special feeling in the dressing room right off the bat this summer. “Walking into the dressing room at the beginning of this year was totally different than last year,” Beirnes said. “The demeanour seemed to be so enthusiastic. There was no segregation amongst players. Everybody was in, we were all mixed together having a great old time, right from day one. It was evident at the beginning of the year—I knew we were going to have a successful year just because of that.”

The haircuts are part of that collegiality, Beirnes says. “Coming to a Native reserve, we're kind of doing our role to fit in with them. It's always very common among a lot of the Native players on our team and it was just something that we felt was going to show we're here and we're committed to this. It was all part of that. Now we're here and I think there are three or four more guys who are going to get them [Thursday]. It's showing that we're coming together really well as a team.”

Now the players, young and not so young alike, just want to get the series going, to start playing the games. “It's tough to grasp right now. The jitters are here right now. It's hard to believe we have a full day [Thursday] before the first game even happens on Friday,” Beirnes said. “It's hard to get over that part. I'm anxious, I'm excited. We have a good group of guys. It's new to a lot of us, so we're actually enjoying the ride with everyone else.”

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Plenty of new blood seeking Mann Cup glory in 2013

Recent Mann Cup winning teams have generally been loaded with experience. That won't be the case this year. Only four players on each team have played in Mann Cups before, so there are plenty of guys experiencing the Canadian championship for the first time. One of the Six Nations Chiefs veterans, 3-time Mann winner Colin Doyle, says it's actually refreshing having a bunch of young and even not so young players who are getting their first taste of the Mann.

“I think there's only one way to gain experience” Doyle said. “At one point 10 years ago those Peterborough and Brampton [teams that have won 8 of the last 9 Mann Cups between them] didn't have much experience either. That's the way it goes. You've got to get into these to get experience. I'm hoping that the guys don't know any better, they just go out and play. There's something that you gain in experience from having been on a Mann Cup on the road, that's for certain. I think we'll help out along the way. But the idea is you just learn as you go and play like you have been all year. The experience will come with the games you play.”

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Mann Cup information at your fingertips

The 2013 Mann Cup between the Six Nations Chiefs and Victoria Shamrocks opens Friday September 6 at 7 pm in the Bear Mountain Arena just outside of Victoria. To find information about the tournament, visit the Mann Cup web site that is now up and running.

The web site includes links for schedule, stats, scoreboard, game recaps, team information, Mann Cup history and more.

To watch the live pay per view webcasts of all the Mann Cup games, go to this link for playfullscreen, the webcaster for the WLA.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Mann Cup schedule

Six Nations Chiefs vs Victoria Shamrocks
at Bear Mountain Arena

All games at 7 pm

Game 1  Friday, September 6
Game 2  Saturday, September 7
Game 3  Monday, September 9
Game 4  Tuesday, September 10
Game 5  Wednesday, September 11 (if necessary)
Game 6  Friday, September 13 (if necessary)
Game 7  Saturday, September 14 (if necessary)