|The Peterborough Lakers and Six Nations Chiefs will meet for the MSL title after wrapping up their semifinal series Monday night. (Photo: Tim Prothero)|
The MSL finals matchup is set. The Peterborough Lakers and Six Nations Chiefs finished off their semifinal series in five games each Monday night. Peterborough dominated the KW Kodiaks to take a 12-2 lead then cruised to a 13-9 win behind a spectacular performance from John Grant Jr. The Lakers star scored 7 goals, most of them in breathtaking fashion, and added 3 assists. Mark Steenhuis' big night was overshadowed by Grant's brilliance; Steenhuis scored 3 goals and 5 assists. Peterborough took a 3-2 lead after the first period then ran up a 6-0 second to take total control of the game. They added three more to open the third before taking their foot off the pedal and giving up 7 of the game's final 8 goals. Mitch Wilde led KW with a hat trick and 2 assists. Corey Fowler and Ryan Benesch each scored twice and added 3 assists.
In Whitby, Six Nations got the last two goals of the game from Cody Jamieson to pull out a game that went back and forth in a series of runs. Jamieson, who had 4 goals and 3 assists total, potted the winner with just 22 seconds left in the game. Jeff Shattler added 2 goals and 4 assists. Curtis Knight led the Redmen with 3 goals and 4 assists; Shawn Williams added 2 goals and 5 assists.
The MSL finals will start Thursday night in Peterborough at 8pm. The rest of the schedule has not yet been finalized.
“I felt awful, had a terrible warmup,” Grant said of his big game. “The first one went in it wasn't where I was aiming, it kind of gets the monkey off your back. I was able to get to areas of the floor where I feel successful and I got there more often than not. Fortunately I was able to put a couple of fun ones in and everyone leaves happy, I guess.”
The important thing about the win, Grant added, was that it gets the Lakers more ready to play the Chiefs. “I think offensively we had the ball moving more than we have all season, at least that I've been here. It made it a lot easier for us to get into those positions because it wasn't just one guy trying to break through three,” Grant said. “If we move the ball like that I think it'll give us a much better opportunity on Thursday. We're feeling better than we did early in the series. Now it's time to put it all together against the Nations.”