Sunday, August 30, 2015

Lakers and Chiefs set for another epic Game 7 to decide MSL championship

Shawn Evans and Dan Coates have been leading performers for their teams in the 2015 MSL finals. The Lakers and Chiefs meet one more time for the championship Monday night at 8 pm at the ILA. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

Monday night at 8pm at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena, the Six Nations Chiefs will play host to the Peterborough Lakers in Game 7 of the Major Series Lacrosse finals. It's a rematch of last year's contest that saw a huge Chiefs comeback in which they scored the last seven goals of the game to win 9-5 and earn the right to play host to the Mann Cup, which they won for the second straight year in six games over the Victoria Shamrocks.

This year's winner will again face the Shamrocks, who are waiting at home after sweeping the New Westminster Salmonbellies in four games for the Western Lacrosse Association championship. There's still plenty of work to do for whichever team is going to hit the road Wednesday for the Mann Cup series starting this Friday at the Q Centre.

The MSL finals has been an exciting and competitive series. The Lakers defence and goaltending have limited the Chiefs to 10 goals or less in five of the six games. That would normally be enough to have wrapped up a series like this, but the Chiefs have responded by holding the Lakers to just six goals in each of four games.

The series is tied because when the Chiefs were able to score 14 in one game and 10 in another, the Lakers exploded for 18 and 13 in those same games, while in one of the games where the Chiefs held the Lakers to just six goals, Six Nations was only able to score four.

So as much as ever it's impossible to know what to expect in Game 7. Will it be scoring-fest or a defensive battle? Will the Lakers come out firing and getting the ball past Brandon Miller or will he be the almost unbeatable key to victory that he was in Games 3 and 4?

The Johnny Shooter Davis Trophy for the MSL playoffs' most valuable player is also up in the air, although some leading contenders have arisen. If the Lakers win, Curtis Dickson has to be considered the favourite with Shawn Evans also in consideration. Brandon Miller was a popular name in MVP talks before Game 6 but Dhane Smith was at the top of most people's lists after the game.

The only safe bet is that Game 7 will be intense and exciting. Three buses full of Lakers fans are going to be making their way to the ILA for the game, so both teams will have solid rooting bases. If you can't make it to the arena, you can watch the game live via JVI Sports Network's pay per view webcast.