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.

Boucher is one of a handful of players in the series who are not currently National Lacrosse League players but can expect to be soon. His performance with both the Chiefs and the Presidents Cup champion St. Catharines Saints has pretty much every team in the NLL talking to him about playing for them in 2014. Buffalo may have the inside track, given his familiarity with Rich Kilgour, head coach for Six Nations and defensive coach for the Bandits, but Boucher is definitely being wooed by most of the NLL's teams.

The Chiefs have 19 NLL players taking part in the series while the Shamrocks have 14 (a 15th, Corey Small, is out for the series with an injury). Another Chief would likely be a second or third round pick in this year's NLL draft, but Rodd Squire, Jr. has decided to wait for one more year since he is probably going to go back to school in the winter semester. Karsen Leung of the Shamrocks is going in the draft this year and is ranked by IL Indoor as the 21st top prospect.

Boucher and Ian Llord have a chance to achieve the rare double of winning a Presidents Cup and Mann Cup in the same season. They were able to join the Saints for most of the Presidents in Kahnawake after the Chiefs swept the Brooklin Redmen in the MSL finals. That tournament wrapped up on Sunday, September 1 when the Saints beat the host Mohawks in the gold medal game. Three days, later, Boucher and Llord were at the airport with their Chiefs' teammates, departing for Victoria.

Game 6 faces off at 7pm PT/10pm ET. It can be seen via live pay per view webcast.