Friday, July 31, 2015

Steenhuis may be returning to Lakers sooner than expected

Mark Steenhuis is close to a return with the Peterborough Lakers.
(Photo: Tim Prothero)
On the evening when one of their stars was busy chasing the league scoring title en route to a 12-4 win over the KW Kodiaks, the Peterborough Lakers received more good news. Shawn Evans scored 11 points (6 goals, 5 assists) to pull within one of Dhane Smith for the Major Series Lacrosse lead. Even better for the Lakers, he could soon be rejoined on the Lakers right side by Mark Steenhuis, who was believed to have been lost for the year to a knee injury early in the season.

Peterborough GM Paul Day said Thursday that Steenhuis is likely to take warmup with the team this Sunday when they open the semifinals at home against the Oakville Rock. Day said the doctor let them know three or four weeks ago that the injury did not involve an ACL tear, as originally feared, and that it is healing well. Now Steenuis is close to returning. 

"It's a positive sign that we're probably going to see him at some point in the playoffs. We're expecting him to play in the playoffs, we just don't know when, but it could be sooner than later," Day said. 

Steenuis led the league in scoring in 2014 with 43 goals and 40 assists. His 83 points were 26 more than second-place Shayne Jackson of the Brooklin Redmen. But this summer he appeared in just four games (8g, 6a, 14pts) before being hurt. 

"The more athletes we get the better," Day said of adding the highly athletic Steenhuis to the roster. "Obviously, it's pretty tough to check him, Curtis Dickson and Shawn Evans. It's a good combination and I think it just makes us that much better all around the floor."

Lakers dump Kodiaks 12-4 to finish regular season on winning note

Shawn Evans had 6 goals and 5 assists to lead the Lakers to a 12-4 win over
KW in the season finale and within a point of Dhane Smith for the scoring
title. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
The Peterborough Lakers entered Thursday night's game against the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks with second place already clinched and just awaiting the result of the night's other game to determine their first-round playoff opponent (it turned out to be Oakville).

So, without another tangible goal to shoot for in the game, the Lakers dedicated much of their effort to helping Shawn Evans try to earn the league's scoring title. He started the game 12 points behind Six Nations' Dhane Smith (90-78). When Evans started the game with 4 goals and an assist in the first 12:17, the fans and his teammates got caught up in the chase.

"I looked at it but it didn't even really cross my mind. But I think my teammates were really talking about it and after I got a couple early in the game there was a chance for it," Evans said. "It wasn't for a lack of effort because they were all feeding me the ball at the end of the game, but it wasn't mean to be. I had a few chances, I had a breakaway at the end, but overall we got the win but we've got to be ready to go for playoffs."

Oakville earns first MSL playoff berth with 11-7 win over Brampton

The Oakville Rock knew they needed a win Thursday night to ensure themselves of a position in the 2015 Major Series Lacrosse playoffs, which would be the first time they would have earned a playoff berth (they appeared in the playoffs when all six teams qualified but never won a game). They also knew that the Brampton Excelsiors had played a hard game Wednesday in the hot box that is Whitby's Iroquois Park--losing 6-3--and that they were without their MVP, forward Joe Resetarits.

So the Rock put on a big push to start the third period of their game in Brampton (another very hot arena) and rode a 4-goal run to an 11-7 win and third place in the MSL standings. Brampton falls to fourth because while they were tied with Oakville at 14 points they lost the season series to the Rock 3-1.

Stephan Leblanc took charge in the game, scoring 4 goals and 4 assists including a goal and a pair of assists in the critical third-period run. Brett Hickey showed that he's getting back to full health after a high ankle sprain by potting 2 goals and adding 3 assists. Nick Rose made 57 goals as the Excelsiors out shot them 64-53.

Oakville opens the playoffs Sunday night at 7 pm with Game 1 of their best of seven semifinal against Lakers at the Peterborough Memorial Centre. Brampton, meanwhile, falls to fourth place and heads to Six Nations next Tuesday for the first game of their semi against the first-place Chiefs.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Could there be a bonus game to MSL season?

Will Shawn Williams and the Redmen wind up playing a one-game playoff for
the final postseason berth in MSL? (Photo: Tim Prothero)
According to MSL Commissioner Jim Brady, if there is a tie for the fourth and final playoff spot, the tied teams will play a one-game playoff to determine who earns fourth place. That possibility will come to fruition if Brampton and Oakville happen to play to a tie tonight in the final game of the regular season.

That scenario would leave Brooklin and Oakville tied for fourth with 6-11-1 records good for 13 points. The winner of the one-game playoff would face the Six Nations Chiefs in the MSL semifinals while Brampton would finish third and play Peterborough in the semis.

No date has been set for the potential one-game playoff.

7 of 9 players in IL Indoor's National Lacrosse League mock draft are from MSL

Graeme Hossack is expected to be one of the first players selected in the
2015 NLL Entry Draft. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
IL Indoor, the world's leading box lacrosse web site, has published its first mock of the 2015 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft. Seven of the nine players listed as first round draft picks are Major Series Lacrosse players. Read the full story here.

The seven MSL players, in order that they are projected to be drafted, are: Oakville's Wes Berg, Brooklin's Graeme Hossack, Peterborough's Chad Tutton and Turner Evans, Six Nations' Randy Staats, Brooklin's Reilly O'Connor and Oakville's Mitch De Snoo.

Other MSL players mentioned in the article as potential picks in the first half of the draft include Dan Lintner and Mike Triolo of Brooklin; Brad Gillies of Oakville; and Luc Magnan of Brampton. John St. John has played a few games with Brooklin since finishing his season with the Toronto Beaches Jr A team and several other players mentioned were in MSL last season.

Redmen stay alive in playoff hunt with 6-3 win over Excelsiors

Mike Poulin has been seeing the ball well, and that didn't change Wednesday as he gave up just three goals to lead Brooklin to a 6-3 win over the Brampton Excelsiors, keeping the Redmen's playoff hopes alive. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
The Brooklin Redmen had their backs against the wall Wednesday night and they responded with a solid team effort to pull out a 6-3 win over the Brampton Excelsiors. With the win, Brooklin moves into fourth place, one point ahead of the Oakville Rock.

Brampton is in third with 14 points (7-10), Brooklin has 13 (6-11-1) and Oakville has 12 (6-11). Tonight's Oakville at Brampton game will decide the final playoff standings. If Brampton wins, they will finish third and Brooklin will be fourth. If Oakville wins, they finish third and Brampton is fourth.

Six Nartions (15-3) will finish first. Peterborough (13-4) is locked into second place. The Lakers play KW (4-12-1), who will finish last, tonight in Peterborough.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Water under the bridge," Stewart says as Excelsiors take on Redmen with playoffs on the line

Paul Stewart coaching the New York Titans.
One year ago, Paul Stewart was an assistant coach with the Brookin Redmen as they finished first in the Major Series Lacrosse regular season and was the heir apparent to veteran Head Coach and GM Wayne Colley. With Colley having retired from his job and having been saying for several years that he was going to be retiring from coaching soon, as well, it appeared that Stewart's time to be a head man was coming soon. Well, it turned out that it was, but not in Brooklin.

During the off-season, before the MSL draft in January, Stewart received a text from Colley saying that the team was going in a different direction and his services as a coach would no longer be required. Stewart, as you could have guessed, was not very pleased either with being let go or with being informed via text message.

So, now how does he feel as his Brampton Excelsiors head into town with the chance to eliminate the Redmen from playoff contention Wednesday night? “If you had told me then that it would come down to their last game of the season and I had the opportunity to eliminate them from the playoffs I would have thought that was a storybook but right now it is water under the bridge and my main focus is securing third-place and nothing else,” Stewart asserts.

Brooklin has to win Wednesday or they won't be in the postseason. While Brampton has already clinched a berth in the playoffs, the game isn't meaningless to them; a win would ensure them of third place.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Rock lose heartbreaker to Chiefs, miss chance to clinch playoff berth

The Oakville Rock were within a couple of minutes of downing the powerhouse Six Nations Chiefs and clinching their first earned playoff berth in Major Series Lacrosse. They had an 8-7 lead and were looking for some insurance. They almost got it, twice.

First Stephan Leblanc drove to the net and appeared to put the ball past Dillon Ward in the Chiefs goal, but Ward pulled out a spectacular save to deny him. A little later, Brier Jonathan picked up a loose ball in the Oakville zone and sprinted up the floor on a three on one. He filled the centre lane with Alex Crepinsek to his left and Ian MacKay, playing just his third MSL game, to his right. Jonathan passed the ball to MacKay and cut over to set a pick on Craig Point, the lone Chief back.

MacKay nipped around the pick and cut to the top of the crease, where he proceeded to throw one fake after another at Ward. With the goalie falling back, MacKay fired the ball into the net for what would have been a critical insurance goal. But referee Roger Nurse adamantly pointed towards the carpet, indicating that MacKay had stepped on the crease line. The slight misstep would come back to haunt the Rock.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Lakers to open playoffs Sunday July August 2

The Peterborough Lakers will open their Major Series Lacrosse semifinal series this Sunday, August 2 at home at the Memorial Centre. Game time is 7 pm.

Peterborough is assured of finishing second in the regular season and will play the third place team in the playoffs. That will be either the Brampton Excelsiors or Oakville Rock, depending on results of games this week.

Monday's Six Nations at Oakville game to be webcast live by JVI

Monday's game in Oakville will be streamed live by JVI Sports Network. If the Rock can beat the visiting Six Nations Chiefs, they will clinch a playoff spot. Six Nations has already locked up first place and home floor advantage throughout the MSL playoffs.

To watch the game, click on the JVI Sports Network link in the right hand column of this web site.

MSL names year end award nominees

Davide DiRuscio is KW's nominee for both Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
With the 2015 season into its final week, Major Series Lacrosse teams are voting for the recipients of its annual year end awards. Each team nominates a player for MVP, top defender and Rookie of the Year, then the teams vote on those awards as well as the coaching staff of the year. 

Teams can't vote for their own players. Winners will be announced during the playoffs. Below are the players nominated in each category.

Excelsiors clinch playoff berth with last-minute win over Kodiaks

Going into the season, many MSL observers expected five teams to be competitive this season. The team that most figured faced too many questions to challenge for a playoff spot was Brampton. Well, apparently nobody told the Excelsiors, who have worked hard all year and on Sunday night in Kitchener-Waterloo won their seventh game to clinch a playoff berth.

Brampton had to go right to the wire to earn the win; the margin of victory in the 10-9 victory came on Mike Burke's goal with 35 seconds to play. Burke had 2 goals and 3 assists to lead the Excels while defender Robert Koger chipped in a pair of first-period goals.

Brampton led 6-3 after one period but the Kodiaks fought back with a  3-1 second period then took an 8-7 lead when they scored the first two goals of the third. Brampton moved back in front with a pair, Sandy Chapman converting in transition then Brandon Benn scoring on the power play at 16:35.

The lead was short-lived, though, as Joey Cupido scored his second of the game (to go with 2 assists) just 22 second later. That tied the game and ultimately set the stage for Burke's heroics, which ensure the Excelsiors a spot in the playoffs while officially eliminating the Kodiaks from postseason contention.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Lakers get back on track with 12-5 win over Brampton

Shawn Evans feeding Curtis Dickson for the goal of the night, and perhaps the season, a shorthander against Brampton
Thursday. Watch TVCogeco's video of the play here
The Brampton Excelsiors played 40 pretty solid minutes against the Peterborough Lakers Thursday night. That just isn't enough, though, especially against an elite team, and it led to a 12-5 trouncing by Peterborough that delayed Brampton's opportunity to clinch a playoff berth.

Shawn Evans had 3 goals and 2 assists and Curtis Dickson 2 goals and 5 assists to lead Peterborough.  Scott Evans chipped in 2 goals and a helper. Mike Burke was the main offensive weapon for Brampton and scored 2 goals and 3 assists. 

There was no scoring for the first eight minutes of the game, then the Lakers got two within a minute and a half as Shawn Evans opened the scoring and Cory Vitarelli added a power play goal. Brampton worked hard to stay with the Lakers and got a pair back.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Redmen stay alive in playoff hunt with win over Chiefs

Mike Poulin has been brilliant this week for the Brooklin Redmen. He led them to wins over Oakville and Six Nations with
46 and 47 saves, respectively, to keep their playoff hopes alive. (File photo: Tim Prothero)

The Brooklin Redmen's playoff hopes were on life support entering their Monday game in Oakville. Their 9-5 win over the Rock, led by a 46-save effort from Mike Poulin, maintained that status but things still didn't look rosy with the Six Nations Chiefs coming to town Wednesday night.

Brooklin can't afford another loss as it would eliminate them from playoff contention and first-place Six Nations had lost just twice entering the game. The Redmen stayed right with the Chiefs through 20 minutes, exiting the first period tied 3-3. A couple of minutes into the second, Brooklin took their second lead of the game on Dan Lintner's goal. It didn't last long, though; Jeff Shattler scored 23 seconds later to even things up.

That's the point where most teams just haven't been able to stay with Six Nations this summer. The Chiefs' depth and talent just wear opponents down and the league leaders pull away as the game progressed. But Brooklin flipped the script, taking control with their transition game. Veteran defender Derek Suddons scored two of the four goals as the Redmen pulled away over a seven-minute stretch.

Chiefs down Lakers 12-5 to clinch first place

Brandon Miller had to switch back to this mask mid-game after he was called for illegal equipment for still sporting his NLL cage in Tuesday's game against Peterborough. The Chiefs still won handily, 12-5. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
The Six Nations Chiefs played host to the Peterborough Lakers Tuesday night with a chance to clinch first place in the Major Series Lacrosse regular season. They did more than that. With a dominating 12-5 win, the Chiefs removed any doubt that they are the favourites to win their third straight MSL title and head out west to vie for their third straight Mann Cup.

The game was close through the first period; when Cory Vitarelli's shot clanged off the post one second before the buzzer, Peterborough still trailed 3-2 but were right in the game, thanks largely to Matt Vinc's early sharpness in turning aside a number of Chiefs opportunities.

Six Nations started to get to Vinc in the second period, though, and Peterborough couldn't respond. Jeff Shattler, Ryan Benesch, Dhane Smith and Randy Staats scored unanswered goals in a 10-minute stretch to give the Chiefs a stranglehold they wouldn't release.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Lakers open 10-0 lead, cruise to 11-5 win over Redmen

Adam Jones, here against KW, had 5 points to lead Peterborough to an 11-5
win over Brooklin Wednesday. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
The Peterborough Lakers are used to getting plenty of offence from their right side, with Shawn Evans and Curtis Dickson leading the team in scoring. Wednesday night in Whitby, each did contribute a goal but it was the lefties who did the bulk of the damage. Adam Jones scored the game's first three goals, Turner Evans had a hat trick in the second period and each added a pair of assists to lead the Lakers to an 11-5 win over the Brooklin Redmen in Major Series Lacrosse action. Even the transition scoring came from lefties for Peterborough Wednesday: Brad Self, Brock Sorensen and Chad Tutton each chipped in a goal.

The Lakers did most of their damage in the first half of the game. Jones established the lead with his three goals while Evan Kirk was stoning the limited opportunities Brooklin got on him. Then, in the final minute of the first period Self made it 4-0 when he cleanly picked off a pass in the defensive zone and sprinted away from everyone to bury a sidearm shot past Mike Poulin.

It looked like Brooklin would have a last chance to get on the board in the dying seconds of the first, but when the Lakers got a turnover, called timeout and stretched the lead to 5-0 when Evans--who also added three assists in the game--fired an outside sub shot into the far corner with three seconds remaining.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Chiefs down game Excelsiors 13-11 Tuesday

Dillon Ward and the Chiefs held off Brampton for a 13-11 win Tuesday.
(Photo: Darryl Smart)
Courtesy Six Nations Chiefs

To say that Jeff Shattler has had some hot hands since returning to the Six Nations Pro-Fit Chiefs lineup is a bit of an understatement.
On Tuesday night at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena, Shattler scored three times in the second period and added two more in the third as the defending Mann Cup champs held on for a 13-11 win over the Brampton Excelsiors.In the last five games, Shattler has caught fire, scoring 16 goals and 14 assists.In front of another good crowd at the ILA, Ryan Benesch got the Chiefs going early, scoring twice, while Dhane Smith added one.The Excelsiors answered with goals from Mike Melnychenko and Tyler Fereira.In the second period, it was all Chiefs, with Shattler leading the way with his first three goals, while Randy Staats, Kasey Beirnes and Benesch added to the lead.Joe Resetarits and Simon Desousa responded for the visitors.Despite two more goals from Shattler and a pair from Smith, the Excelsiors wouldn't go away.  Resetarits and Mike Burke led the short Excelsiors comeback scoring twice each, while Ethan O'Connor, Desousa and Tyler Fereira added singles.Despite the comeback, Dillon Ward shut the door when it counted, making 35 saves for the win.Tyler Carlson took the loss despite a great 44-save effort.With the win, the Chiefs sit alone at the top of Major Series Lacrosse with a 13-2 record, six points in fron of the Peterborough Lakers.With three more games remaining in the regular season, the Chiefs host the Lakers Tuesday at 8pm.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Oakville Rock leapfrog KW Kodiaks with 6-3 win

Brett Hickey made his return to the Oakville Rock lineup Monday night, but it was Dan Lomas who did most of the damage with a hat trick to lead Oakville to a 6-3 win over the KW Kodiaks. With the two points, the Rock jump over KW into a third-place tie with the Brampton Excelsiors. Both teams have 10 points while KW has nine in the race for the final two playoff spots in Major Series Lacrosse this summer.

Lomas scored once in each period, which was more than KW was able to manage. The Kodiaks led 3-1 for a while in the second period and entered the final 20 minutes up 3-2 but were unable to beat Nick Rose after that. 

A 4-0 third made Oakville's 52-37 advantage in shots pay off in the win. Lomas added an assist and Jeremy Noble also had a 4-point night with 1 goal and 3 assists. Corey Fowler was the only Kodiak with multiple points, scoring once and adding an assist. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

IL Indoor presents mid-season MSL awards

Shawn Evans is among the top players in MSL as selected by IL Indoor half way through the 2015 season.
(Photo: Tim Prothero)

IL Indoor's Stephen Stamp last week presented his award winners for the first half of the Major Series Lacrosse season as its schedule turned to head home. Read the whole article, including write-ups about the award winners and honourable mentions, at this link.

The winners were:

Top Offensive Player
Dhane Smith, Six Nations Chiefs

Top Defensive Player
Dan Coates, Six Nations Chiefs

Top Transition Player
Joey Cupido, KW Kodiaks

Top Rookie
Davide DiRuscio, KW Kodiaks

Top Goalie
Dillon Ward, Six Nations Chiefs

Most Valuable Player
Shawn Evans, Peterborough Lakers

Excelsiors take lesson from loss to Chiefs, pull out 16-15 overtime upset of Lakers

The Brampton Excelsiors knew they had to do it as a team and they succeeded, downing Peterborough 16-15 in overtime.
(Photo: Melissa Boufounos)

Last Thursday, the Brampton Excelsiors suffered a tough loss to the first-place Six Nations Chiefs, falling 22-14 after trailing by 14-13 and 15-14 midway through the third period. They showed Sunday night that it didn't take them long to learn their lesson in how to respond late in a close game. Brampton scored four of the last five goals, including Mike Burke's tying laser with 20 seconds to play, and outscored second-place Peterborough 3-2 in overtime to earn a 16-15 win over the Lakers in a thrilling MSL matchup at Brampton's very hot and humid Memorial Arena.

Ethan O'Connor scored his second transition goal of the game to open the overtime and Burke added his fourth goal to make it 15-13 after 3:18 of the extra frame. Nobody scored for a few minutes after that, but when they did it was Brady Heseltine skipping home his third goal and what would prove to be the game winner.

The Lakers weren't done. They pushed hard to get back into it and made a start when Shawn Evans scored his fourth of the game at 7:11 with goalie Evan Kirk pulled for an extra attacker. Tyler Carlson was excellent in the second half of the third period and overtime, and he needed to play right to the final whistle after Scott Evans pulled Peterborough back within one with 25 seconds to play.

The Lakers got a chance to even things up. They won a possession with 10 seconds to play and had the ball on its way towards Shawn Evans and Curtis Dickson—who scored 5 goals—but Chad Culp's pass skipped off a stick and Brampton got the ball and took a timeout with 6.3 seconds to go. Chris Corbeil stood in the crease with the ball for a few seconds upon the restart then adroitly sprinted to the corner and just rolled the ball away as the buzzer sealed Brampton huge win.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Contribute to GoFundMe campaign, get credit for playoff PPV

Because MSL's GoFundMe campaign to support webcasting of games this year hasn't come close to its target, JVI Sports Network may not be able to stream any more regular season games after the pair coming up this week: Sunday night at 7 pm when Peterborough visits Brampton then Wednesday at 8 pm when the Lakers are at Brooklin. The latter game will feature a special intermission treat...members of the Canadian women's U19 team will play an exhibition game on the floor of the Iroquois Park Sports Centre.

If you would like to see more games webcast, please contribute to the campaign. People who have already made contributions and those who make contributions to help provide funding to stream more regular season games will receive some credit towards watching playoff games, which will be streamed on a pay per view basis unless sufficient funding comes in between now and the end of the regular season.

Here is the link to make a contribution and share with your fellow fans to encourage them to contribute: MSL GoFundMe campaign

Chiefs and Lakers extend lead atop MSL standings with wins over Excelsiors and Redmen

The Brampton Excelsiors let the Six Nations Chiefs know they were in a game before Major Series Lacrosse's first-place team was able to pull away for a 22-14 win Thursday night. Brampton scored four straight second-period goals to take a 9-7 lead and were twice within a goal in the third before the Chiefs finished things off with seven unanswered goals.

Ryan Benesch had 4 goals and 2 assist for Six Nations and three other players had hat tricks for the Chiefs: Jeff Shattler and Randy Staats each added 5 assists to their 3 goals and Dhane Smith added 9 helpers to lead all scorers with 12 points.

Joe Resetarits led Brampton with 4 goals and an assist and defenders Kyle Rubisch and Sandy Chapman each had 2 goals (with Chapman adding 2 assists) for the Excels.

Peterborough remained two points behind Six Nations with a game in hand by downing the Brooklin Redmen 11-5. The shorthanded Redmen were able to stick with Peterborough for the first period and even took a 4-3 lead when Michael Teeter's second goal put them ahead 50 seconds into the second. Only having 14 runners to match up against Peterborough's potent roster hurt the Redmen, though, and Peterborough ran off seven straight goals in the second period to put the game away.

Curtis Dickson has 4 goals and Shawn Evans 3 goals for Peterborough, with each adding an assist. Turner Evans chipped in with 6 helpers and Adam Jones scored twice and added 3 assists. Evan Kirk was solid in goal for the Lakers, although he only faced 31 shots. Zack Higgins was sensational for Brooklin, keeping Peterborough from pulling away by stopping players with open looks and on breakaways. In all, he stopped 42 of the 53 shots he faced.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Kodiaks move into third with 11-7 win over Redmen

Joey Cupido (18, against Six Nations) and the Kodiaks came up with an 8-2
third period for an 11-7 win against Brooklin Wednesday night. 
The KW Kodiaks took a while to hit their stride, but once they did there was no stopping them. KW trailed the Brooklin Redmen 5-3 after 40 minutes Wednesday night in Whitby then put together an 8-goal third period to pull out an 11-7Major Series Lacrosse win that vaulted them past the Brampton Excelsiors and Oakville Rock into third place in the league's jam-packed standings.

Brooklin overcame Joey Cupido's opening goal for the Kodiaks on junior callup Ryan Keenan's first MSL goal and a pair from Mike Triolo to lead 3-1 after the first period. Twice in the second period the Kodiaks scored but each time the Redmen had an answer and it was 5-3 after two frames.

In second period and the early part of the third, Brooklin round seams in the KW defence to create open looks in tight on goalie Davide DiRuscio but he was masterful, turning aside shot after shot to keep the Kodiaks close. Eventually, KW started to find the back of the net and just like that they led 8-6, although it took a bit of luck for them to run off 4 goals in 1:58.

One of the four goals came after the ball was trapped momentarily between goalie Zack Higgins and the post but escaped to trickle down his back and over the line. Another came when defender Graeme Hossack tried to corral a rebound but wound up having it slip out of his stick and then trace a high, slow arc that Higgins didn't see as it bounced past him. The four goals came between 6:31 and 8:29.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Lakers and Chiefs win close games to remain atop MSL standings

Colin Doyle's back with the Six Nations Chiefs and helped them to an 11-7
win over KW in his first game of the summer.
It wasn't easy in either case, but the Peterborough Lakers and Six Nations Chiefs won games Monday and Tuesday, respectively, to pull a little further ahead of the pack atop the MSL standings.

Peterborough used a 4-goal third-period run to beat the Oakville Rock 7-5 Monday night after a rare scoreless first period. It was actually Oakville's second scoreless period in a week; they beat Brooklin 7-4 last Monday in a game where neither team scored in the third period.

Oakville took a 3-1 lead in the second period but the Lakers tied it up with goals from Scott Evans and Turner Evans in the final two minutes of the frame. They were playing without their third Evans--Shawn Evans was ejected from the game as the third man into a scuffle after coming to his brother's aid when Tim O'Brien cross-checked Scott's helmet off his head and was trying to fight the older sibling.

Jeremy Noble's second goal of the game, on the power play, gave Oakville the lead again just 36 second into the third period. Curtis Dickson got that one back under two minutes later then Josh Currier struck for back to back goals to give Peterborough what must have felt like a huge 2-goal cushion in a game where scoring was so hard to come by.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

John Grant Jr not returning to Peterborough Lakers this year

John Grant Jr will not be playing for Peterborough this summer.
(Photo: Tim Prothero)
Peterborough Lakers press release:

John Grant Jr. has made one of the toughest decisions of his lacrosse life and will not be playing with the Century 21 Lakers as he steps away for an excellent opportunity in his new home of Denver, Colorado.

‘Junior’ as he has become known to so many in Peterborough is one of the best box and field lacrosse players in the world. He has been playing lacrosse for a Lakers’ team in his native Peterborough since
he was five years old but the 40 year old has accepted a full time coaching position at a local private high school, Valor Christian High School, where he will be in charge of the lacrosse program.

“I’m devastated that I won’t be playing for the Lakers this season. I’ve stayed in touch through my Dad and the internet and the changes in the executive and coaching staff have been incredible. I have
nothing but respect for all of these people. I’ve won a championship with that coaching staff in the NLL and several with Tracey and grew up on Hamilton Street with Paul Day so I would have really liked to have been part of that team. But I had to look at the long term and what was best for my family. They have sacrificed a lot for me and this is too good of an opportunity. Denver is our home now. My wife Raygen has started her real estate career and our daughter (five-year- old Gabby) is going into kingergarten. I really am devastated not to be a Laker, I know they will do well.”

Lakers survive comeback attempt to beat Chiefs 14-13

Adam Jones had 3 goals and 5 assists to help the Lakers hold off the Chiefs
for a 14-13 win Thursday. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
It couldn't have kept going the way it was. The Six Nations Chiefs are just too good. For quite a while, though, it really looked like the Peterborough Lakers were going to run away and hide on the Major Series Lacrosse league leaders. Peterborough led 6-2 after one period, extended their lead to 9-3 when Chad Culp scored his fourth goal of the game at 14:31 of the second and led 10-4 heading into the final 20 minutes.

The Chiefs roared back in the third and it took a huge Evan Kirk save against a Dhane Smith naked look in the dying seconds to preserve a 14-13 Lakers win that pulled Peterborough within two points of Six Nations atop the standings and kept the Lakers' hunt for first place overall alive.

It looked good for Six Nations forcing overtime when Smith stripped the ball from Curtis Dickson as the clock wound down. He'd already scored 5 goals in the game, including 3 in the third period alone, so it was a particularly sensational foot save that maintained Peterborough's lead and allowed them to avoid falling victim to a spectacular comeback.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Chiefs/Lakers tilt is a battle for first place: see it live via JVI Sports Network

The Six Nations Chiefs and Peterborough Lakers renew their rivalry tonight.
You can see the game live via JVI Sports Network. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
The Six Nations Chiefs invade the Memorial Centre Thursday night to play the Peterborough Lakers hoping to solidify their hold on first place in Major Series Lacrosse. The Chiefs sit at 9-1 while the Lakers are 7-2 midway through the 18-game season.

Six Nations has won the first two games between the clubs this summer after beating Peterborough in seven games in last year's MSL championship series and the Chiefs are the two-time defending Mann Cup champs.

The game features the first-, second-, third- and fifth-leading scorers in MSL: Dhane Smith, Shawn Evans, Ryan Benesch and Curtis Dickson. It's also a matchup of two of the best goalies in the league in Dillon Ward and Evan Kirk, although Matt Vinc may just get the nod for the Lakers.

Dickson, Benesch and Smith are the top three goal scorers. Throw in Cory Vitarelli, Craig Point and Randy Staats and you have the top half dozen in that category as well.

There are some tickets left for the game but not many, mostly singles and some seats in the restaurant. Camp Moshava will be in attendance and that always makes for the most exciting atmosphere at a regular season game as the camps attendees bring tons of energy and enthusiasm with them.

If you don't have tickets and can't make it to the game, you can watch it live via JVI Sports Network's webcast thanks to new sponsor Nexicom, who have installed a dedicated line in the arena so JVI can stream Lakers home games. Just click the JVI link in the right hand column of this site to watch the game. And please consider making a contribution to the webcasting GoFundMe account so that JVI will be able to keep bringing you MSL action.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Chiefs down Redmen 17-8 behind 7-1 first period

Apparently, the Six Nations Chiefs didn't like not having control of Major Series Lacrosse's top spots in several categories. Six Nations dumped the Brooklin Redmen 17-8 to regain sole possession of first place ahead of the Peterborough Lakers.

Dhane Smith's 3 goals and 5 assists returned him to the top of the scoring chart and the flood of goals put them back on top of the team scoring race with 107, seven more than the second-place Peterborough Lakers. The Chiefs also retained their lead for fewest goals allowed; their 55 leads the Lakers by 10.

Ryan Benesch's first game back from an injury looked much like his other games for Six Nations: he had 4 goals and 2 assists. 

Six Naitons will look to hold on to their overall lead Thursday when they head to the Peterborough Memorial Centre to take on the Lakers, who trail them by two points atop the standings.