Friday, July 29, 2016

Evans leads scorers, Vinc and Rose top goalies in MSL regular season

Shawn Evans won his third MSL scoring title this year, leading the league in both points and assists. (Photo: Dave Fryer)

Shawn Evans put himself in elite company by winning the Major Series Lacrosse scoring title this summer. He becomes the sixth man to win at least three, joining legendary players Johnny Shooter Davis and Josh Sanderson at three Ontario senior scoring championships each. Shawn Williams won six titles, Bill Isaacs seven and all-time leading scorer John Tavares nine.

Evans finished with 82 points, giving him a 13-point cushion despite sitting out the final two games of his Peterborough Lakers' regular season. He also collected more assists, 60, than all but second-leading scorer Cody Jamieson of the Six Nations Chiefs. Evans also led the league in assists with Jamieson second at 49.

Evans' third title moves him ahead of the 13 players who won two each. That group includes an interesting array of former stars. They range from Norm Zimmer, who won the first two OLA senior scoring championships in 1925 and '26 to Scott Evans, Shawn's older brother who won titles in 2005 & '06. A pair of current Brooklin coaches, Derek Keenan and Gil Nieuwendyk, each won a pair, as did Peterborough legends J.J. Johnston, Bobby Allan and Larry Ferguson.

Wes Berg barely held on for the goal-scoring lead. Berg had 32 goals, one more than Cory Vitarelli, who almost caught him by scoring six in Peterborough's final game Tuesday night. Berg played 17 games this season and Vitarelli 14.

The rookie scoring race was a tight four-way battle. Austin Shanks wound up on top with 46 points. Shanks also led rookies with 22 goals and tied for most rookie assists with 24, matching Brooklin Redmen teammate Ryan Keenan.

Among goalies, Nick Rose of the Oakville Rock led with 10 wins and an .857 save percentage while Peterborough's Matt Vinc had the lowest goals against average at 6.13. Vinc had the top winning percentage, going 9-1-1 for an .864 mark.

The race for the highest save percentage was about as tight as the rookie scoring race. The next three behind Rose were Brooklin's Zack Higgins (.854), Vinc (.850) and Six Nations' Dillon Ward (.850).

Below are the top five in each category.

Shawn Evans, Peterborough 82
Cody Jamieson, Six Nations 69
Stephan Leblanc, Oakville 59
Mike Burke, Brampton 57
Johnny Powless, Six Nations 57

Wesley Berg, Oakville 32
Cory Vitarelli, Peterborough 31
Dan Lintner, Brooklin 27
Matt Crough, Cobourg 25
Randy Staats, Six Nations 25

Evans 60
Jamieson 49
Powless 45
Burke 43
Noble 39

Rookie points
Austin Shanks, Brooklin 46
Jordan Durston, Six Nations 40
Ryan Keenan, Brooklin 40
Quinn Powless, Six/Brampton 32
tie John St. John, Cobourg 31
tie Holden Cattoni, Peterborough 31

Rookie goals
Shanks 22
Durston 19
Keenan 16
Cattoni 16
Vaughn Harris, Six Nations 14

Rookie assists
Shanks 24
Keenan 24
Durston 21
Quinn Powless 20
St. John 19

Goalie wins
Nick Rose, Oakville 10
Matt Vinc, Peterborough 9
Dillon Ward, Six Nations 7
Zack Higgins, Brooklin 6
Mike Poulin, Brooklin 6

Save percentage
Rose .857
Higgins .854
Vinc .850
Ward .850
Poulin .823

Goals against average
Vinc 6.13
Rose 6.31
Ward 6.92
Evan Kirk, Peterborough 7.28
Higgins 7.33