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.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Dickson scores 5 goals to lead Peterborough to 13-10 win, forcing Game 7 in MSL finals

Dhane Smith had 8 points for Six Nations, but Matt Vinc made enough saves to lead the Peterborough Lakers to a 13-10 win Thursday night, forcing a seventh and deciding game in the MSL finals. (Photo: Tim Prothero)

The Peterborough Lakers had been in this situation before. It showed in the way they responded Thursday night in Game 6 of the Major Series Lacrosse championship series, winning 13-10 to force a Game 7 Monday night in Six Nations. You can watch the game live via JVI Sports Network.

Peterborough was down 3-2 after playing, as Head Coach Mike Hasen said, their worst game of the series in Game 5. Then, as had happened in every game in the series, Six Nations scored the opening goal Thursday when Johnny Powless tucked a shot home 43 seconds in.

The Lakers never let the Chiefs get more than a one-goal lead, though, and left the first period tied 5-5. The teams traded goals in the second with Cory Vitarelli getting the Lakers on the board 29 seconds in then Jeff Shattler answering at 8:26.

Then it became the Curtis Dickson show. Twice Dickson battled through a series of checks to fight his way to the net and score. Two other times he reared back and fired low shots that skipped into the net. His 4 goals in the second were part of a 6-2 period that sent the Lakers to the third with a four-goal lead.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Chiefs run away with Game 5 11-6, take 3-2 MSL finals lead over Lakers

For the first time in the Major Series Lacrosse finals, the Six Nations Chiefs were able to put some distance between them and the Peterborough Lakers. Doing so led to a convincing 11-6 Game 5 victory at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena Monday night that gives the Chiefs a 3-2 lead in the series.

The Chiefs got the first goal again—they've done so in every game in the series—and were up 3-1 before Curtis Dickson finished off a first-period hat trick to get the Lakers back even heading into the intermission. The first two minutes of the second period would prove to make a huge difference in the game.

Kasey Beirnes, Johnny Powless and Randy Staats scored in the span of a minute and a half and the Chiefs had jumped out to a 6-3 lead in the blink of an eye. The Lakers fought back to within a goal but Six Nations pulled away again and led 9-6 after 40 minutes. Brandon Miller continued to be stellar in the Chiefs' net and Peterborough couldn't beat him at all in the third period.

Six Nations was getting more time to set up and step into outside shots than they have in previous games. “Our game plan was, try not to settle for what they're giving us,” Smith said. “They have a game plan, their defence. We noticed the first two games we were just settling for those shots. We worked a little bit harder, we're getting those shots and we're lucky to bury.”

Monday, August 24, 2015

Chiefs even up MSL finals with 8-6 win in Game 4

Brandon Miller is used to coming up big in big games. He did it again Sunday, leading the Six Nations Chiefs to an 8-6 win to tie up the best of seven MSL finals at two games each. (File photo: Kevin Light)

Stepping in to turn the tide is getting to be a habit for Brandon Miller. In 2013, he didn't play a minute in the playoffs but took over in the Mann Cup and helped the Six Nations Chiefs win the trophy for the first time since 1996. Last year, he split the playoffs with Evan Kirk and entered Game 7 of the MSL finals with the Chiefs trailing 4-1; they rebounded to win 9-5 and Miller went on to be the MVP of the Mann Cup as Six Nations earned back to back titles.

If the Chiefs head to Victoria to try to repeat their three-peat of the mid-90s, it will be largely thanks to Miller again. He stepped in for Dillon Ward in Game 2 of this year's MSL finals and, while he couldn't salvage that 18-14 loss, Miller has been the main man as the Chiefs have won back to back games to even the series including Sunday night's 8-6 win in which he stopped 49 of the 55 shots he faced.

Both wins have come with Kirk in net for the Lakers and playing outstanding lacrosse, as well. But Miller has made the stops the Chiefs needed to have and in Game 4 Ryan Benesch found his scoring touch to make the difference at the other end. Benesch entered the game with 4 goals in seven playoff games but connected five times and added a pair of assists.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Critical Game 4 goes off at 7 pm Sunday in Peterborough

Game 4 is often the key to a best of seven series. That certainly looks like it could be the case tonight as the Six Nations Chiefs travel to Peterborough to take on the Lakers in the fourth game of the 2015 Major Series Lacrosse finals.

The Lakers won the first two games and came back to tie up Game 3 in the third period, but ultimately the Chiefs pulled out a 7-6 win that kept them from falling into an almost insurmountable hole.

Now the fourth game represents either a chance for the Lakers to grab a stranglehold with a 3-1 series lead and put themselves within one win of a trip to Victoria to battle for the Mann Cup, or a chance for the Chiefs to build momentum towards taking aim at their third straight national title.

The game is available via a free live webcast by JVI Sports Network at 7 pm ET Sunday night. To watch the game, follow this link to JVI's web site and click on the viewer box in the left column of the screen.

Contrary to rumour, Brooklin Redmen are looking forward to 50th anniversary season in 2016

To paraphrase the great Mark Twain, reports of the demise of the Brooklin Redmen have been greatly exaggerated.  A Twitter post by Peterborough Lakers' television colour commentator Scott Arnold evoked a flurry in the Twitterverse. Arnold tweeted that he had heard the Redmen would not be returning to Major Series Lacrosse in 2016.

Brooklin president Dean Link was understandably angry about the post given that he is in the process of preparing for what is an historic season for the Redmen next summer, including negotiating with potential sponsors. The team is looking forward to celebrating its 50th season next year.

"Regarding the Twitter comment from Mr. Arnold, I do not know him or who his 'legitimate' source is, or what their motive might be, but there are no plan to fold the Brooklin Redmen," Link said. "Certainly Mr. Arnold has not spoken to me. I have been in touch with our team GM, assistant coach, social media director and team captain and no one seems to know where this is coming from. As a community owned and volunteer run team, we don't have an individual owner who could simply choose to fold the team so this assertion just doesn't make any sense."

Link said that in the last few weeks, the team has "working on adding sponsors, putting together articles and events to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Redmen next season, preparing for our fall AGM, etc. There has been nothing else in the works, other than preparing for the 2016 season."

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Six Nations beats Peterborough 7-6 to get their first win in Game 3 of MSL finals

Billy Dee Smith checks Turner Evans during Six Nations' 7-6 Game 3 win in the MSL finals. (Photo: Six Nations Chiefs)

The Six Nations Chiefs did what they needed to do, edging the Peterborough Lakers 7-6 in Game 3 for their first win of the 2015 Major Series Lacrosse championship series Friday. Stephen Keogh scored the winning goal just past the midway point in the third period of a game that reverted to a defensive struggle like Game 1 after the Lakers had beaten the Chiefs 18-14 in Thursday night's Game 2 shootout.

Dhane Smith had a hat trick, Randy Staats 2 goals and an assist Colin Doyle 4 assists for the Chiefs. Curtis Dickson had 2 sensational shorthanded goals and an assist for Peterborough and Shawn Evans chipped in a pair of goals.

Both goalies were excellent. Brandon Miller made 29 saves on 35 shots for Six Nations and Peterborough's Evan Kirk stopped 33 of the 40 shots he faced.

Miller said he was focused on the basics after struggling when he replaced Dillon Ward in Game 2. “I just tried to come in with a fresh start, see the ball and react,” Miller said. “If you're worried about that Dickson kid, who's something else, and this Evans that someone tells me about...if you're worried about where those guys are going to shoot you'll get beat, because they go everywhere. So it's just get back to seeing the ball and trying to react.”

Friday, August 21, 2015

Lakers outscore Chiefs 18-14 in wild game, take 2-0 finals lead

Zach Currier had several chances in the MSL finals before the Jr A callup finally got on the board, batting home the ball for this goal to make it 16-12 for Peterborough in the third period. (Photo: Tim Prothero) 

What a difference a couple of days can make. After just 10 goals were scored by the Peterborough Lakers and Six Nations Chiefs in Game 1 of the Major Series Lacrosse finals Tuesday night, the teams combined for 18 in the second period alone in Thursday's Game 2. Shawn Evans had a remarkable and historical night, scoring 7 goals and 7 assists to lead the Lakers to an 18-14 win that gives them a 2-0 lead in the best of seven series. The teams get right back at it in a series that is quickly turning into a classic and you can watch Game 3 at 8pm ET Friday night via JVI Sports Network's live webcast.

The teams were tied 3-3 after an exciting first period that had the Peterborough Memorial Centre crowd of 3,293 rocking. That was just a warmup, though. Peterborough outscored Six Nations 10-8 in a wild and wooly second period that included some spectacular plays and never saw a stretch of longer than 2:23 without a goal.

The tide looked to be turning the Chiefs way when Stephen Keogh—who missed Tuesday's game because of illness—scored his third of four goals in the game at 4:08 and Jay Thorimbert grabbed the ball as it came down from a high bounce and skipped it between Matt Vinc's legs just seven seconds later to go up 7-4.

The Lakers responded quickly, taking advantage of a too many men penalty and then a holding call to Brodie Merrill; they scored on both power plays (they would go four for six on the power play in the game while Six Nations failed to score on three man advantages).

Thursday, August 20, 2015

IN-VINC-ABLE Performance

Matt Vinc is shining in net for the Peterborough Lakers in the playoffs. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
Story courtesy Craig Rybczynski, Rochester Knighthawks
Goalie Matt Vinc has made a career out of winning big games. On Tuesday night, he again showed why he is one of the most accomplished goalie in lacrosse. Vinc turned aside 41 shots in a 6-4 Peterborough win over the first-place Six Nations Chiefs in Game 1 of the Major Series Lacrosse Finals.
“By far he was the best player on the floor,” said Peterborough Lakers defenseman Mike Kirk. “We had some breakdowns and took some penalties in the second, but he bailed us out every time. He was just awesome.”
Game 1 was a goaltending duel between Lakers’ Vinc and the Chiefs’ Dillon Ward, who were both stellar in the series’ opening game. The two netminders combined for 37 saves in the first period as the teams battled to a 2-2 tie after one. The second period featured only three goals as Ward and Vinc fought off numerous transition opportunities. In the final period, however, Peterborough broke open the game early in the third on goals by Cory Vitarelli and Curtis Dickson (3+2) to build a 6-3 lead.
It was in the fourth that Vinc made his best saves of the game. With the game tightening up at 6-4 and Six Nations putting on the pressure, he stopped 88-point man Ryan Benesch on the doorstep and then batted away the rebound attempt by Johnny Powless – while lying on his back.
“He is a big game guy,” said Lakers defenseman Scott Self. “He has played in Mann Cups, Minto Cups and Champion’s Cups. The pressure definitely doesn’t get to Matty. It’s just another big game for him.”

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Chiefs players receive season awards before Game 1 of MSL finals

Major Series Lacrosse 2015 scoring champion Dhane Smith receiving his award from Commissioner Jim Brady. 
Commissioner Jim Brady was on hand Tuesday night in Six Nations to present a pair of 2015 league awards to Chiefs players. Dhane Smith received the award for the league's top scorer. It was a tight three-way battle between Smith, teammate Ryan Benesch and Peterborough's Shawn Evans.

Smith had 37 goals and 53 assists for 90 points in 18 games. Evans scored 11 points in Peterborough's final game of the season to fall just one short of Smith's total with 89 points. He had 29 goals and led the league with 60 assists.

Benesch led the league in goals with 43 and added 45 assists for 88 points. Both Evans and Benesch played 17 games.

Lakers take first game of MSL finals 6-4 over Chiefs

Cory Vitarelli (left) had a critical goal to help the Lakers jump out to a 1-0 lead in the MSL finals.

by Commissioner Jim Brady

The season-long waited for battle between the two top teams in the major series league commenced tonight Tuesday in the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Six Nations.

The game was preceded by the presentation of trophies to Chiefs goaltenders Dillon Ward and Brandon Miller, who ended up the season with two less goals against than the Peterborough crew of Matt Vinc and Evan Kirk. This was followed by the presentation of the leading scorer award in Major Series Lacrosse for 2015 to Dhane Smith, who ended up winning by one point over Peterborough’s Shawn Evans.

Six Nations were the league champions, edging out Peterborough by two points. Everything pointed towards exciting games and a long series.

The game itself was everything it promised to be. Both teams played great defense ran the ball like crazy and had ample opportunity to win the game.

However, offensive stars ran into superlative goaltending from Vinc and Ward and goals were hard to come by. The Chiefs had their best crowd of the year and gave them an effort to cheer for. They never allowed more than two goals in any one period and would have one most games in such a manner. But Peterborough was even tougher on them and held them to the four-goal total.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Game 1 of MSL finals available as PPV webcast

For fans who can't make it to the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena for Game 1 of the Major Series Lacrosse championship series tonight (Tuesday) at 8 pm, you can catch the game live on JVI Sports Network's pay per view webcast.

Stephen Stamp will have the play by play call of the game, joined for colour commentary by Craig Rybczynski.

To access the game, go to the JVI Sports Network home page at this link or by clicking on the JVI logo in this site's right hand column. Follow the directions on the JVI site to purchase and view the game.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Get your MSL finals tickets

The Major Series Lacrosse finals between the first-place Six Nations Chiefs and second-place Peterborough Lakers get underway Tuesday night at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Hagersville, home of the Chiefs.

To order advance tickets for the games in Six Nations, you can call Arrow Express Sports at the ILA. The phone number is 905-768-2225.

Ticket bundles for games at the Memorial Centre in Peterborough are available now. Season ticket holders have until the close of business Wednesday to renew their seats for the series. Single-game tickets, including those not picked up by season ticket holders, will go on sale Thursday morning.

You can visit the Memorial Centre web site here or call 705-743-3561.

Lakers planning fan bus to Six Nations for Game 1 of MSL finals

The Peterborough Lakers are planning to have a fan bus head down to Hagersville for Game 1 of their MSL championship series against the Six Nations Chiefs.

Tickets for the trip cost $32. It leaves the Peterborough Memorial Centre parking lot at 4:30 pm sharp, the team says. To book a seat, contact Lakers chairman Bill Joiner at 705-875-8347.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Official schedule for MSL finals

The official schedule for the MSL finals is available. The series will start Tuesday in Six Nations and continue Thursday in Peterborough. The seventh game, if necessary, will be played either Sunday August 30 or Monday August 31 depending on whether the Minto Cup goes a full seven games.

The full schedule is below. Note the 7 pm start times for Sunday games.

Game 1  Tuesday Aug 18, 8 pm at Six Nations
Game 2  Thursday Aug 20, 8 pm at Peterborough
Game 3  Friday Aug 21, 8 pm at Six Nations
Game 4  Sunday Aug 23, 7 pm at Peterborough
Game 5  Monday Aug 24, 8 pm at Six Nations*
Game 6  Thursday Aug 27, 8 pm at Peterborough*
Game 7  Sunday Aug 30, 7 pm or Monday Aug 31, 8 pm at Six Nations* (depending on Minto Cup)

*if necessary

Lakers gain berth in MSL finals against Six Nations with 10-3 win over Rock

Matt Vinc and the Lakers defence held Oakville to just 3 goals in Game 5 of the MSL semifinals. (Photo: Tim Prothero)

The Major Series Lacrosse finals are set after the Peterborough Lakers finished off the Oakville Rock with a 10-3 win in Game 5 of their semis. Peterborough led 3-1 after the first period and ran out to a 6-1 lead after the second. Curtis Dickson led the Lakers with 3 goals, Adam Jones had a goal and 4 assists and Shawn Evans a goal and 3 assists. Matt Vinc was credited with 42 shots in the Peterborough net to earn the win.

While the Lakers won the series 4-1, giving them an 8-1 edge against the Rock between the regular season and playoffs, Oakville made the Lakers work for the series and look like they'll be an emerging force in the league. “We knew it wasn't going to be easy. They started off 0-7 and we knew they were a better team than that,” said Dickson. “They finished strong down the stretch and they have a good team. They've got a great goalie in Rosey and they've got a great offence. They've got some serious firepower. Kudos to our defence for holding them to three tonight. That was unbelievable. This is how we want to be playing heading down the stretch here into the finals.”

The Lakers move on to the MSL finals against the Six Nations Chiefs, the matchup that everyone expected to happen before the season started. Now that it has come to fruition, Nick Weiss says the Lakers defence needs to keep playing the way it did last night: together and for a full 60 minutes.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Chiefs double Excelsiors 12-6 to wrap up MSL semifinal

Dhane Smith and Six Nations are off to the MSL finals after downing Brampton 4 games to 1. (Photo: Dave Fryer)
Half of the Major Series Lacrosse championship series puzzle is in place. The Six Nations Chiefs earned a berth in their fourth straight league finals by finishing off their semifinal series 4-1 with a 12-6 win over the Brampton Excelsiors.

Things were close for the first half of the first period, then the Chiefs began to run away by connecting for three goals--starting with a Dhane Smith shorthanded marker--in a two and a half minute span. They led 5-1 after the first period and were up 8-1 by 6:16 of the second period.

Brampton was able to creep a little closer with a 4-3 edge in the third period, but they never really threatened to get back into the game. The Chiefs did an excellent job of containing league MVP Joe Resetarits, holding him without a point in the game. Mike Burke led Brampton with 2 goals.

Four different Chiefs matched Burke's goal output--Smith, Johnny Powless, Brandon Goodwin and Randy Staats had 2 goals each for Six Nations--while Kasey Beirnes produced a hat trick and Jeff Shattler contributed 5 assists.

The Chiefs now await the winner of the Peterborough vs Oakville semifinal, which could conclude as soon as tonight. Peterborough is up three games to one and playing at home at 8 pm. If Game 6 is necessary it will be Saturday at Oakville and Game 7 would be Sunday in Peterborough.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Lakers beat Oakville 9-7 to pull ahead 3-1 in semifinals

Nick Weiss scored an impressive goal to give the Lakers a 4-1 lead after the first period en route to a 9-7 win in Game 4.
(Photo: Tim Prothero)
Goalie Matt Vinc and the Peterborough Lakers struggled in Game 3 of their Major Series Lacrosse semifinal against the Oakville Rock, losing 12-5. Tuesday night, both bounced back with much stronger games to take Game 4 9-7 and extend their lead in the series to 3-1.

Vinc stopped 46 of the 53 shots he faced and particularly strong as Oakville tried to come back from an early deficit, turning aside several good scoring chances to keep the Lakers ahead when the Rock applied pressure.

Dan Lomas opened the scoring for Oakville 7:03 into the game but Cory Vitarelli led the Lakers back with three straight goals in a six-minute span. Nick Weiss scored a fantastic goal to end the first period with Peterborough up 4-1. Weiss sprinted hard to catch and pass Jordan Critch going after a loose ball that was rolling out of the Lakers end towards the Oakville restraining line. Critch made a good play to tap the ball back between his legs so he had body position on Weiss, but the Lakers defender adjusted and fought hard to get the ball. He then drove to the net, ducked his shoulder inside of Critch to create a lane and threw a hard fake on Nick Rose before tucking the ball past him.

Chiefs trounce Excelsiors 14-3 to take 3-1 lead in semifinals

Defender Billy Dee Smith turned scorer to help the Chiefs run away with Game 4. (Photo: Dave Fryer)
On a night when three Brampton Excelsiors players were recognized for excellence in the regular season, it was the Six Nations Chiefs who showed how excellent of a team they can be.

Major Series Lacrosse Commissioner Jim Brady presented 2015 season awards to a trio of Excelsior players before the game Tuesday night in Brampton's Memorial Arena: Joe Resetarits as MVP, Chris Corbeil as top defender and Tyler Ferreira as rookie of the year.

Then Six Nations went out and dominated Brampton from start to finish, outscoring them handily in each period en route to a 14-3 win that gives them a commanding 3-1 lead in the best of seven MSL semifinal.

Ryan Benesch, Billy Dee Smith and Dhane Smith scored in the first 7:26 of the game as many goals as Brampton would manage all game. Corbeil got one back shorthanded but the Chiefs added another pair before the first period buzzer.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Game 4 of Peterborough/Oakville series on free live webcast tonight

Tonight (Tuesday) at 8pm the Lakers take on the Oakville Rock at the Peterborough Memorial Centre. There are still tickets available for the game. Visit the Memorial Centre web site to order. If you can't make it to the game, you can watch it live via JVI Sports Network's free webcast. Go to the JVI web site to watch.
In the other semifinal, the Brampton Excelsiors play host to the Six Nations Chiefs in Game 4 with Six Nations leading 2-1. Tickets for the game are available at the door. To find Brampton Memorial Arena, follow this map.

O'Brien gone for rest of MSL semis, no other suspension arising from Game 3 melee

Tim O'Brien, left, has received a four-game suspension for
getting two game misconducts arising from actions in Oakville's
Game 3 win over Peterborough. (Photo: Dave Fryer)

Tim O'Brien won't be around for the rest of the Major Series Lacrosse semifinal series between the Peterborough Lakers and his Oakville Rock. O'Brien gets a four-game suspension for receiving two game misconducts for his actions in the game. He won't be eligible until into the MSL finals if the Rock advance.

No other suspensions were assessed following the game, although Commissioner Jim Brady has said that he will be notifying the teams that he will be paying attention to the series and further unruly behaviour will not be tolerated. 

MSL announces 2015 award winners: Excelsiors sweep player awards

Chris Corbeil is Major Series Lacrosse's defensive player of the year for the second time. (Photo: Dave Fryer)
Major Series Lacrosse is pleased to announce the winners of its 2015 awards. Each team nominates a player in each category then the teams vote to determine the winners. Teams are not allowed to vote for their own players or coaches. You can see all the nominees in this post.

Most Valuable Player: Joe Resetarits, Brampton Excelsiors
Resetarits made a huge difference for the Excelsiors in the 11 games he was able to play. He finished third on the team in scoring with 21 goals and 25 assists for 46 points. Resetarits was the centrepiece of the Brampton offence, helping to generate scoring chances for his teammates. Brampton wasn't expected by most observers to reach the playoffs but they won seven games to earn a postseason berth.

Most Valuable Defensive Player: Chris Corbeil, Brampton Excelsiors
Corbeil is the Excelsiors' captain and the leader of their defence. He is one of the best loose-ball men in the game and added 3 goals and 8 assists in 14 games while taking just 10 minutes in penalties. Corbeil was also named MSL's top defender in 2013. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Excelsiors hold on for 7-6 win, close to within 2-1 of Chiefs in MSL semis

Mike Burke, here against Oakville, scored 4 points to lead Brampton to a
7-6 win in Game 3 of the MSL semis. (Photo: Dave Fryer)
The Brampton Excelsiors entered Game 2 of the Major Series Lacrosse semifinals with a 6-4 lead over the Six Nations Chiefs but got blanked 3-0 in the third period to fall 7-6. Saturday night, the Excels again entered the third ahead, this time 6-5, and they applied the lesson learned from their previous loss to pull out Game 3 with a 7-6 win that tightens up the series at 2-1 for Six Nations.

Brandon Benn and Joe Resetarits gave Brampton a 2-0 lead by the 4:19 mark of the first period. After Brandon Goodwin got one back for the Chiefs, Brampton opened the second period scoring three of the first four goals to stretch their lead to 5-2. A pair of the second-period markers came from Mike Burke

Much like back in Game 2, the lead started to disappear gradually. Jeff Shattler scored 3 goals in the last half of the second period, including one with just two seconds to play, to gain ground for Six Nations. Only a Tyler Ferreira marker 1:18 from the end kept the Excelsiors ahead going into the third frame. 

Rock dump Lakers 12-5 for first playoff win

Mitch De Snoo helped lead the Oakville Rock's strong defensive performance as they downed the Peterborough Lakers 12-5 in Game 3 of the MSL semifinals series. (Photo: Dave Fryer)
The Oakville Rock earned a playoff spot for the first time in the franchise's history this year. Now they've won their first playoff game and they did it in dominating fashion. Coming into Saturday night's game trailing their Major Series Lacrosse semifinal 2-0, the Rock dumped the Peterborough Lakers 12-5 behind a seven-goal first period and a 39-save performance by Nick Rose.

While Rose was sharp from the opening faceoff, at the other end of the floor the Rock were finding holes in Matt Vinc early and often. Dan Lomas opened the scoring with his first of 4 goals in the game and Oakville was up 4-0 before Adam Jones was able to beat Rose with a perfect shot twelve minutes into the game. Jones would wind up with a hat trick to provide the majority of Peterborough's offence.

It was 7-2 for Oakville after one period and they stretched the lead to 9-3 in the second. Peterborough was never able to cut substantially into the margin. Jones did get back to back power play goals in the second but that would be all the scoring by the Lakers.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Chiefs go up 2-0 in semis with 7-6 comeback win over Excelsiors

 Connor Sellars had a pair of transition goals for Brampton but it wasn't
enough as Six Nations won 7-6 to take a 2-0 lead in the semifinals.
(Photo: Dave Fryer_
The Brampton Excelsiors scored the first three goals of the game but the Six Nations Chiefs made the most of scoring the last three goals of the game to take a 2-0 lead in their Major Series Lacrosse semifinal  with a 7-6 win in Brampton Thursday.

The underdog Excelsiors jumped ahead 1-0 when Mike Mawdsley grabbed a rebound right on the Six Nations crease and fired it behind Chiefs goalie Dillon Ward. Tyler Carlson shook off a hard shot right to the face mask to make 20 saves in the first period, keeping the Chiefs off the board. Thanks to a pair of transition goals from Matthew Bennett and Connor Sellars, that allowed the Excelsiors to head into the first intermission with a 3-0 lead.

The second period went back and forth. Six Nations outscored the Excelsiors 4-3. Dhane Smith had a pair of goals for the Chiefs and Sellars added another breakaway marker for Brampton, who led 6-4 heading into the third period.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Free live webcasts of playoff games Thursday and Saturday

JVI Sports Network will present Thursday night's Six Nations Chiefs at Brampton Excelsiors game and Saturday's Peterborough Lakers at Oakville Rock game as free live webcasts. Playoff games thereafter will be on a pay per view basis.

"We're going to do these two games live and free in part to thank the folks who donated to the GoFundMe campaign to allow us to webcast games this summer," said JVI president Gary Morrison. "The campaign didn't raise enough to webcast all of the games we would have liked to in the way we would have liked, but we do appreciate the people who contributed. So we thought we'd present these two games as free webcasts then switch over to PPV."

Tonight's game is at 8 pm and Saturday's game starts at 7:30. To watch the games, just click on the JVI Sports Network logo in the right hand column of this site.

Lakers take 2-0 lead over Rock with 12-8 win in Oakville

Curtis Dickson had 6 points to help the Lakers beat Oakville 12-8 and take a 2-0 lead in their MSL semis.
(Photo: Dave Fryer)
Every time the Peterborough Lakers and Oakville Rock have played this year, the Lakers have won, and every time it's been thanks in large part to a single big run of goals. That pattern played out for the sixth time Wednesday night. Peterborough scored six straight goals from 7:56 of the first period to  4:55 of the second period en route to a 12-8 win over Oakville that gave them a 2-0 lead in the best of seven Major Series Lacrosse semifinals.

Shawn Evans was huge once again for the Lakers. He had 2 goals and 3 assists in that 6-goal run and totalled 5 goals and 3 assists for the game. Curtis Dickson added 3 goals and 3 assists and Adam Jones a goal and 4 assists for the Lakers. Jeremy Noble's hat trick led Oakville and Brendan Thenhaus added 2 goals.

Peterborough led 4-2 after the first period and extended their lead to 9-5 after two. Game 3 of the series goes Saturday in Oakville with a 7:30 pm start.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Chiefs open playoffs with 9-6 win over Excelsiors

Randy Staats, here against Brooklin, scored 4 goals to lead Six Nations to a
9-6 win over Brampton in their playoff opener. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
Randy Staats scored 4 goals, including a hat trick in the first period, to power the Six Nations Chiefs to a 9-6 win over the Brampton Excelsiors in the first game of their Major Series Lacrosse semifinal series Tuesday night.

Stephen Keogh for Six Nations and Chris Corbeil for Brampton exchanged goals in the first half of the first period, then Staats took over with three straight goals to make the score 4-1 after 20 minutes.

Joe Resetarits, who led the Excels with 3 goals and 2 assists, opened second period scoring at 7:17 and closed it with a goal three seconds from the buzzer. In between, though, Staats scored again then Jeff Shattler produced his own natural hat trick, and the Chiefs were up 8-3 following 40 minutes.

Brampton, as has been their wont, didn't give up. They outscored Six Nations 3-1 in the third to pull closer, but the hole was too deep to dig out all the way.

Game 2 goes Thursday night in Brampton.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Preview of Six Nations Chiefs / Brampton Excelsiors semifinals

Not surprisingly, both Stephen Stamp of IL Indoor and Mike Mackley of In Lacrosse We Trust are picking the first seeded Six Nations Chiefs (15-3 regular season) to beat the fourth seeded Brampton Excelsiors (7-11) in the Major Series Lacrosse semifinals.

Both suggest the games might be tighter than the standings might suggest. Read Stamp's analysis here and Mackley's here.

Lakers down Rock 7-5 in opener of semifinals

Curtis Dickson, here against KW, had a hat trick to lead Peterborough to a
7-5 win in the MSL playoff opener. (Photo: Kendall Taylor)
The Peterborough Lakers beat the Oakville Rock all four times the teams met in the 2015 MSL regular season, so the second-place Lakers are clearly favourites in the semifinal series between the teams. Three of the four games were tight battles, though, so it's hardly a surprise that Game 1 of the series was hard-fought and close again.

Peterborough got the first two goals of the game, from the sticks of Cory Vitarelli and Curtis Dickson, by the 11:11 mark of a first period that featured tight defence from both teams. It took the Rock a while to respond and when they did, it came from an unusual source. Defender Alex Crepinsek, who has just six regular-season goals in two seasons with Oakville, stayed up for an offensive shift and bouried a shot past Matt Vinc.

Rookie of the year candidate Dan Lomas evened things up with a minute to play in the first and the teams went to the intermission tied 2-2. The second period was even more tightly played. Crepinsek struck again, scoring a shorthanded marker that gave the Rock their first lead at 14:45. Shawn Evans matched Crepinsek's feat with a shorty of his own a couple of minutes later and the second intermission saw another tie at 3-3.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Lakers/Rock semifinal series previews

The Peterborough Lakers and Oakville Rock square off Sunday night at 7 pm in Peterborough for Game 1 of their MSL semifinals. IL Indoor's Stephen Stamp and In Lacrosse We Trust's Mike Mackley provided their insights on the first round matchup on their respective web sites.

Both are leaning towards the second-place Lakers ousting the third-place Rock. You can read Stamp's analysis here and Mackley's here.