Saturday, September 12, 2015

Shamrocks finish off Mann Cup victory with 12-6 win over Lakers in Game 6

Corey Small was named the Mike Kelly Award winner as the Mann Cup MVP as the Victoria Shamrocks downed the Peterborough Lakers 12-6 in Game 6 to take the series 4-2. (Photo: Kevin Light Photography)

The Victoria Shamrocks are the 2015 Mann Cup champions after downing the Peterborough Lakers 12-6 Friday night to win the series 4-2. Dan Dawson had 8 assists and Mike Kelly MVP award winner Corey Small a hat trick and an assist to lead the Shamrocks in a game they largely controlled from the outset. Jesse King and Karsen Leung each added a pair of goals for Victoria. Six different players scored for the Lakers. Aaron Bold made made 31 saves on 38 shots for an .838 save percentage to earn the win.

Victoria came out of the gates with a burst of energy and controlled play almost throughout the first period. They got on the board on yet another outside shot from Small. A pair of transition goals from Leung opened the spread. Both times Leung broke out of the Victoria end, the first receiving a breakout pass from Bold and the second taking off with a picked off pass. He bounced a shot past the right foot of Matt Vinc on the first and ripped one past Vinc's left shoulder on the second.

The shots at one point were 13-6 and those numbers were representative of the flow of play. Victoria was pushing the pace and creating scoring chances at one end of the floor with crisp ball movement and a solid screen game.

At the other end of the floor, the Shamrocks' defence was playing even better than their offence. They were spreading out high to pick up the Lakers well away from their goal, which is a risky approach against a team with as much talent at Peterborough. Victoria made it work, though, because their defenders played athletic, tenacious one-on-one D while employing an alert and cohesive slide game.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Stamplax Mann Cup Blog, Post 2: Lagoons and Geckos and Woodies, oh my

By Stephen Stamp

Hatley Castle on the campus of Royal Roads University. 
 It's always a pleasure to get back to Victoria, where I lived a good portion of my adult life. I moved here when I was 22 to go to school at UVic and prepare for Olympic trials for rowing. Within a matter of weeks I'd decided I wasn't going back to Ontario right away. That decision led to a decade spent in the city, with an interlude to attend grad school in New Hampshire.

Moving back to Peterborough has been fantastic—you really appreciate what a great city it is when you return after an extended absence. Getting to be close to my family as well as the chance to be immersed in lacrosse the way I have been adds wonderful richness to my life. But there's no question that walking along Dallas Road rekindles fond memories of Victoria and my life here.

It's been great catching up with old friends—with more gatherings planned for the final few days of the trip—but best of all, of course, is the chance to watch the Mann Cup at the Q Centre. The 2013 Mann Cup was my first experience with lacrosse at the arena; when I was a Shamrocks fan back in the day the team played out of the Memorial Arena downtown. It's a great venue for the game, with a passionate fan base that is just thrilled about the team's return to prominence after a period in the shadows of the New Westminster Salmonbellies and Langley Thunder.

The view from the press box is excellent, but as with two years ago I've enjoyed the chance to sit in the stands for some games and experience the atmosphere of the rink full-on. With apologies to New West, which is probably next, there's no question that Victoria and Peterborough are the two best places in Canada to watch a senior lacrosse game. Packed houses, great lacrosse and excellent venues make it highly enjoyable. If only, as Victoria coach Bob Heyes suggested to the Peterborough Examiner, the series could be played in both cities.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Shamrocks take Game 5 in overtime to pull ahead three games to two in Mann Cup finals

The Victoria Shamrocks continued to employ a physical approach to defence and held the Peterborough Lakers to 5 goals in Game 5 of the Mann Cup. Victoria won 7-5 in overtime to take a 3-2 series lead. (Photo: Kevin Light Photography)

Both goalies were stopping almost everything they were seeing in Game 5 of the 2015 Mann Cup, so it makes sense that the pair of overtime goals that eventually netted the Victoria Shamrocks a 7-5 win and a 3-2 lead in the best of seven Canadian senior lacrosse championship both came on screened shots.

Victoria came close to getting a pair of goals earlier in the overtime but both were waived off as crease violations. Jesse King was the first to have a goal nullified as his leg appeared to touch down inside the crease before the ball got across the goal line, although it was very close. The second one wasn't close—Scott Ranger drove in from the wing and buried the ball past Matt Vinc but his lead foot was clearly well past the crease line before the ball went in. In CLA play, the foot crossing the cylinder of the crease means it's no goal.

There was no question about Corey Small's goal at 5:15 of the extra frame, though. He took a pass from Dan Dawson and stepped into a low shot between two Peterborough defenders and past the legs of teammate Daryl Veltman. The ball skipped into the far corner and the soldout crowd at the Q Centre erupted in cheers that finally wouldn't be quashed by a referee pointing towards the crease.

In the final half minute, Dawson ended any hopes of a Lakers comeback with a straight overhand past another pair of defenders tied up with teammate Cory Conway that banked in off the far post.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Lakers even up Mann Cup with 8-6 win behind 4 Curtis Dickson goals

Curtis Dickson went around and through Shamrocks defenders for 4 goals to lead Peterborough to an 8-6 Game 4 win at the Mann Cup. He was named Peterborough's player of the game. (Photo: Kevin Light Photography)

The Peterborough Lakers have shown the ability to bounce back before, so it should come as no surprise that they rebounded from a dismal Game 3 defeat to down the Victoria Shamrocks 8-6 in Game 4 of the 2015 Mann Cup Tuesday to even up the series at two games apiece.

As has been their habit in the playoffs this year, the Lakers surrendered the first goal early in the first period. This time it was Rhys Duch connecting on an outside shot at 1:55 of the opening period. The scoring was spread out but the Lakers responded with a goal each of the five times the Shamrocks took the lead.

Scott Evans stepped back into the Peterborough lineup after being a healthy scratch for the last two games and he contributed some valuable work banging around in the offensive zone as well as chipping in with the Lakers' second goal and an assist. Curtis Dickson was the offensive star for the Lakers, though, scoring 4 goals and adding an assist after getting just a single assist before being kicked out of Game 3.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Shamrocks blow out Lakers 14-8 in Game 3 of Mann Cup to take 2-1 lead

Peterborough Lakers enjoying the scenery at the 17th hole of the course they golfed Sunday. 
Mark down September 6, 2015 as quite likely the last time the Major Series Lacrosse champions go golfing on the off day following Game 2 of the Mann Cup. In 2013, the Six Nations Chiefs had a team golf outing on the Sunday of the Mann Cup and proceeded to lay a bit of an egg, falling behind the Victoria Shamrocks 6-1 in the first period of Game 3 en route to an 8-6 loss.

This past Sunday, a day after a dominating 14-7 win in Game 2 of the 2015 Mann Cup, several Peterborough Lakers went golfing. The next day they gave up a 7-2 second period as the Victoria Shamrocks dusted them 14-8 to take a 2-1 lead in the series.

The Lakers will be happy enough if this series turns out the way the 2013 final did—Six Nations won the next three games to take the Mann Cup 4-2 for their first of back to back titles—but for now they may be ruing their 18 holes.

Monday, September 7, 2015

A day off is a good day for fishing

From left Mike Kirk, Evan Kirk and Nick Weiss show off their catch on the Sunday off day at the Mann Cup.
Eastern guys love to get out to the West Coast for the Mann Cup for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, of course, is the chance to win lacrosse's holy grail. Then there are the opportunities it presents. In 2013, Brandon Miller and Evan Kirk went fishing while they were in Victoria with the Six Nations Chiefs and they caught some pretty sweet fish.

Now, Kirk has returned and has once again hit the waters, along with his brother Mike Kirk and teammate Nick Weiss. Once again, the fishing has been good to the MSL champs, as you can see from the picture above.

The Shamrocks and Lakers will hit the floor again Monday night in a highly-anticipated Game 3 battle. When they do, some of the Lakers may just be fuelled by a delicious fish pre-game dinner.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Stamplax Mann Cup Blog, Post 1: The long and winding road from Peterborough to Victoria

Gorgeous Shuswap Lake as we cruised by on Friday, en route to Victoria for Game 1 of the Mann Cup. We got on the ferry to Victoria at 3 pm. (Photo: Stephen Stamp)
By Stephen Stamp

It's been quite a week since the Peterborough Lakers clinched the Major Series Lacrosse championship with a thrilling 6-5 win over the Six Nations Chiefs in Game 7 last Monday night. I'm going to share with you some of my travels and travails en route to the Mann Cup in Victoria, plus of course what's going on at the Mann itself.

Plans changed a bit when I found out Monday that I wouldn't be able to fly out to Victoria with the winning team on Wednesday. Because of the cost of tickets and other variables, there simply wasn't a ticket available for me to fly out to represent and report for the league. It was a bit of a quandary.

Driving home from the game in Six Nations with my girlfriend (Kerry) and my sister (Jane) we had time to stew about the situation and consider alternatives. Buying tickets for Kerry (my girlfriend) and I wasn't an option because the price had risen to over a thousand dollars. First, a brief history of my relationship with Kerry so that you'll understand how important it was for us to get out to Victoria this week.

We became friends almost two decades ago when we were both rowing in Victoria and we eventually dated for a while. After going our separate ways, we kept in touch over the years (thanks, Facebook), so when I was heading to the coast for the 2013 Mann Cup I messaged her. We met up and things just naturally rekindled. To make a long story short, after talking on the phone daily for months and Kerry coming to visit me in Peterborough the next February, we agreed that she would move from Victoria to the Boro and we would live together.

Kerry became a lacrosse fan watching the '13 Mann and getting to know the Chiefs players, with whom we ate breakfast every morning. Being a Victoria girl, she's also naturally a Shamrocks fan. And now a Lakers fan.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Lakers fans: want to go to Victoria for the Mann Cup?

A letter from Peterborough Lakers President Ted Higgins to fans

Dear Fans,
Last trip to the Mann Cup, Rosemary and I put together a travel package for our Fans. We plan to do this again this year.
We would leave on Friday September 4 and return on Sunday September 13. Should the series not go seven games and you wish to return home early, it will be your responsibility to make your own arrangements.
Games are played on Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Sunday and Thursday are off days.
Our estimated price of $2000.00 per person (double occupancy in rooms) will cover, airfare to Vancouver (one bag per person), transportation to and from Toronto, transportation to and from Vancouver to Victoria, room with double occupancy, transportation to and from games, post game gathering at hotel for comradery, some sightseeing excursions. This price does not include game tickets and meals. This is not a ‘for profit’ deal I am putting together.
We would be looking for drivers for the vehicles we plan to rent. Please bring your pink insurance slip should you wish to volunteer.
If you are interested in this package, please send your name, address, age, e-mail address and phone number to me. I can be reached at:
Home - 705-743-8314
Cell - 705-768-9755
Email -
Please note, we would need 50 people to take advantage of this package.
Ted Higgins,
Peterborough Century 21 Lakers

Peterborough Lakers pull off 6-5 comeback win to take MSL championship 4-3 over Six Nations Chiefs

Turner Evans scores the winning goal in Game 7 of the MSL finals. (Photo: Tim Prothero)

What a way to turn things around from last year. In the 2014 Major Series Lacrosse finals, the Six Nations Chiefs shut out the Peterborough Lakers over the last 36:43 of Game 7 to win the series and head to the Mann Cup, which they won for the second straight year over the Victoria Shamrocks.

Monday night, one year to the day later, the Lakers shut out the Chiefs over the last 30:16 of Game 7 to win the MSL finals and head to the Mann Cup, where they will play the Shamrocks in Victoria starting Friday night.

Even more oddly, the Lakers at one point trailed by the exact same 5-3 score by which the Chiefs had trailed last year. They didn't match the Chiefs 7-0 run to close out the game, but goals by Chad Tutton, Shawn Evans and Turner Evans were enough to give them a 6-5 win and their seventh MSL championship in 12 years. They'll be looking for their sixth Mann Cup title in that stretch.

Chiefs Head Coach Rich Kilgour said before the game he was thinking about putting Craig Point back into the lineup in large part because of his big shot. He followed through and Point made him look brilliant by scoring a pair of goals on low to high rockets, including the opening goal 35 seconds in that meant Six Nations scored first in each of the seven games.