Saturday, September 10, 2016

Chiefs ride 8-goal run to 15-8 win over Burrards in Game 1 of Mann Cup

Riley Loewen escaped this double team and had 5 points, but the Chiefs dominated the second half of Game 1 to draw first blood in the 2016 Mann Cup. (Photo: Tim Prothero)

Both of the combatants in the 2016 Mann Cup have shown a knack for bouncing back when things start going against them. In Game 1 Friday night, both teams did so but the Six Nations Chiefs did it much more emphatically than the Maple Ridge Burrards did.

After Maple Ridge scored four straight second-period goals to rebound from an early deficit to tie the game 5-5, Six Nations ran off nine in a row to blow the game open en route to a 15-8 win in the opener of the national senior championship at Six Nations' Iroquois Lacrosse Arena.

Maple Ridge got off to a 1-0 lead three and a half minutes in when Ben McIntosh slipped open in the slot and buried a pass from Jarrett Davis past Dillon Ward. Dan Dawson replied with his first of 3 goals—to go with 5 assists for a game-high 8 points—less than a minute later.

The Burrards created some chances but were unable to beat Ward again in the period, and eventually it was the Chiefs who went on a run that saw them score 4 goals, including two power play markers, in a 10-minute stretch to head to intermission with a 5-1 lead.

Maple Ridge opened second-period scoring when captain Aaron Davis sprinted up the floor and tucked home a goal that sparked the Burrards. Riley Loewen scored just 20 seconds later when he stretched out to catch a Dan Taylor pass on a dead run in the slot and quickly released a shot that found the net. They got within one when McIntosh scored off a nice double pick play then tied it up when Taylor scored.

A Randy Staats goal short afterwards gave Six Nations the lead again, but it was by the slimmest of margins. 

That was followed by a 5-minute stretch in which both Ward and Frankie Scigliano turned aside everything they faced. Then the Dawson brothers combined for a highlight-reel goal that kicked off Six Nations' 8-goal run. We'll let them describe the play on which Dan got flattened after his pass for what would have been a penalty that was cancelled by Paul's snipe to the top corner.

“That's what happens when you admire your pass to your brother, you get blown up like that. It's a quick reminder that there's no quit in those guys,” said Dan.

“Just picked up a loose ball and took a look up the floor and saw we had numbers,” said Paul. “It's always good to tranny the ball as quick as you can to give the offence. I gave it up to Randy [Staats] and then Randy was the one who gave it to my brother and he threw it back. He kind of parted the Red Sea, as he got hit he took about three guys down with him so I was kind of forced to shoot it.”

Paul doesn't often put the ball in the net but he had a hand, or more precisely a foot, in a goal late in the game as well. Jarrett Davis ran towards the net and fired a low shot that bounced off of Ward towards Dawson, who was trailing Davis. He may or may not have tried to kick it away from the net, but whether it was an attempt to play the ball or it just ricocheted off him, Dawson wound up kicking it into the goal.

Dhane Smith added a goal and 6 assists for Six Nations and Ryan Benesch had 3 goals and 2 assists. Loewen wound up with 2 goals and 3 assists and McIntosh a pair of each to lead the Burrards.

Dan Dawson, Smith and Benesch were named the Thompson Brothers Lacrosse 3 Stars for the game.

Austin Staats split a pair of defenders for this spectacular goal in the first
period. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
Power plays were a huge factor. The Chiefs scored six times on nine man advantages while Maple Ridge went oh for four. Both Aaron Davis and coach Rob Williams cited discipline as a critical component for them to bounce back in the series.

Williams said the reffing was a little different to what they're used to but didn't want to make any excuses, saying it's on the Burrards to make the adjustments they need to make.

“I think that [WLA ref] Terry [Mosdell] was calling more of a Western game and the Eastern ref [Ian Garrison], he did a great job don't get me wrong, we just have to adjust to how he calls a game,” Williams said, noting that refs in the East appear to be a bit more strict in how they call things like off-ball slashing. “It's not a big deal. They did a great job. It wasn't the refs, we need to learn to adjust to how they call games.”

Davis added that, as usual, the result came down to a simple factor, and he didn't think it had anything to do with jet lag. “Bottom line we just got outworked,” Davis said. “There's no excuses. We've been here for a couple of days and we showed when we outwork them, when we run the ball and get our transition going they have a harder time playing with us. When we did that we had our runs and when we didn't it's a different story.”

The teams don't have much time to make any adjustments they need to make. Each will have a shootaround Saturday morning then they'll hit the floor for Game 2 Saturday night at 8 pm ET. You can watch the game live via JVI Sports Network's live stream.