Monday, January 9, 2017

MSL draft to be held January 29 in Whitby

John St John was taken by the Cobourg Kodiaks with the first overall pick in last year's MSL draft. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
The 2017 Major Series Lacrosse draft of graduating junior players will be held on Sunday, January 29 at 1 pm and will be hosted in Whitby by the Brooklin Redmen. 

MSL teams can protect up to four players from their Jr A affiliate. For each player they protect, they must drop a player from their existing protected list. 

The MSL teams' Jr A affiliates are:
Brampton Excelsiors--Brampton Excelsiors
Brooklin Redmen--Whitby Warriors
Cobourg Kodiaks--Toronto Beaches
Oakville Rock--Burlington Chiefs
Peterborough Lakers--Peterborough Lakers
Six Nations Chiefs--Six Nations Arrows

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Chiefs dominate Game 5 to win third Mann Cup title in four years

The Chiefs enjoy their Mann Cup victory. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
by Stephen Stamp

The Six Nations Chiefs have won their third Mann Cup in four years, beating the Maple Ridge Burrards 14-6 Wednesday night to take the Canadian senior lacrosse championship four games to one.

In the end, the depth and experience of the Chiefs was simply too much for the Burrards, who put up a game fight before falling short.

Dan Dawson had another exceptional effort, scoring 2 goals and adding 5 assists for the Chiefs. That gave him 30 for the series to lead all scorers in the series. Dawson, who was named the Mike Kelly Award winner as series MVP, also passed Colin Doyle for fourth place in all-time Mann Cup scoring.

Early on, the game looked like it would be a third straight hotly contested battle. Maple Ridge's Daniel Amesbury opened the scoring when he tucked home a rebound 7:35 into the game. As they have made a habit of doing, though, the Chiefs responded quickly. Randy Staats scored 19 seconds after Amesbury to tie things up.

Another habit the Chiefs carried into Game 5 was scoring late and early in periods. Wednesday night, Staats got his third of the game with 11 seconds to play in the first. It was a dispiriting goal that arose when Frankie Scigliano tried to play the ball behind his net and seemed to have a momentary lapse of judgment that saw him stand still while Staats snagged the ball as it rolled outside the crease, took a couple of steps so he could reach around the post and tucked it in to the unguarded net. That made the score 3-2 for Six Nations, the third straight game they held a one-goal lead after 20 minutes.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Chiefs win 9-7 again, take 3-1 lead in increasingly intense Mann Cup finals

Ben McIntosh (left) and Billy Dee Smith were central figures in Game 4, which Six Nations won 9-7 to take a 3-1 lead in the 2016 Mann Cup. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
For the second straight game the Maple Ridge Burrards held a 7-6 lead in the third period and for the second straight game the Six Nations Chiefs scored the final three goals to win 9-7. Now the Chiefs have the Burrards on the ropes, leading 3-1 in the 2016 Mann Cup and with a chance to close out the championship in Wednesday's Game 5.

After a blowout in each direction in the first two games, a pair of tight matches have resulted in the intensity ramping up as you'd expect in a best of seven series. That intensity resulted in some chirping between the teams across the centre line before each team headed off to its own dressing room after the game.

The teams have a good hate on for each other. As Chiefs defender Billy Dee Smith, one of the central characters in the post-game drama, said, “Just chatting it up, sharing some unpleasantries,” Smith said with a smile. “Guys are starting to get sick of each other. That's the way it should be. I don't like them right now.”

Not surprisingly, Maple Ridge head coach Rob Williams wasn't quite as lighthearted about the squabbling. “I will say there were some classless things said, we'll leave it at that. I'm sure it can be said both ways. That's what happens in a seven-game series played this tight and this tough,” said Williams.

The teams clearly don't like each other much, but they also clearly respect each other on the floor. Smith missed the first two games but has been a critical component of the Chiefs ability to limit the Burrards potent offence to seven goals in each of the last two games. He said keeping up with the Maple Ridge forwards has been a demanding challenge.

“It's definitely a grind. It's what you like to think the Mann Cup is about. No team's blowing out another team, every shift means something,” Smith said. “I think it shows at the end of the game, both teams are exhausted.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Mann Cup is a family affair

Zack Porter checks Brier Jonathan in the background while Dan Dawson tangles with DJ Saari. (Photo: Tim Prothero)

by Stephen Stamp

The 2016 Mann Cup features a sibling rivalry, although not the kind the term usually denotes.

Each team has a pair of brother acts taking part, so in this case it is a case of siblings banding together against other siblings.

Dan Dawson is leading the series in scoring with 19 points through three games, moving him into fifth in all-time Mann Cup points and leaving him just 10 behind Colin Doyle for fourth. Paul Dawson is a defender for the Chiefs who has played a key role in Six Nations limiting the Maple Ridge Burrards to 28 goals through the first three games.

Six Nations' other pair of brothers are both helping boost the Chiefs offence. Austin Staats has garnered plenty of attention for his clutch scoring and exuberant celebrations, as well as his propensity for getting knocked down but getting back up again. Austin rolled his ankle, separated his shoulder twice and generally seemed to be sprawled on the floor through much of the MSL finals against Peterborough. He returned every time, though, to help fill the gap left by injuries to a trio of Chiefs lefty forwards.

Chiefs win 9-7 overtime thriller to take 2-1 Mann Cup series lead over Burrards

Austin Staats celebrates his game-winning overtime goal in Game 3. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
by Darryl Smart

Cody Jamieson has made a habit of, well, just being Cody Jamieson.

After sitting out the first two games of the Mann Cup nursing a knee injury, Jammer returned to the lineup and was one of the best players on the floor, scoring three goals and four assists to lead the Six Nations Chiefs to a 9-7 overtime win over the Maple Ridge Burrards. 
The Chiefs now lead the best-of-seven Canadian senior A men's lacrosse championship series 2-1.

"I always want to be in there," Jamieson said. "It's tough to watch. I wasn't able to be on the bench Saturday night, so I had to sit in the stands. I didn't like that at all. I wanted to play."

Jamieson gave the Chiefs some insurance in the extra frame, scoring midway through after Austin Staats continued to impress, netting the game-winner 26 seconds into overtime.

"This was a big win for us," Jamieson said. "We were disappointed in our effort Saturday. We wanted to bounce back. Everyone punched in and worked hard."

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Maple Ridge Burrards bounce back with 13-9 win over Six Nations Chiefs to even Mann Cup at one win each

Luke Gillespie injected energy and 3 goals into the Maple Ridge lineup when he was inserted for Game 2. Here he scores a shorthanded goal in the first period. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
The Maple Ridge Burrards regrouped after a tough loss in the opening game of the 2016 Mann Cup and scored an impressive 13-9 victory over the Six Nations Chiefs in Game 2, giving the franchise its first win at the national championship since 1977. The best-of-seven series is now tied 1-1.
After looking somewhat overpowered in the series opener, a much improved Burrards' squad took the floor on Saturday night and showed the boisterous crowd that a Six Nations sweep was not in the cards. The visitors made some adjustments on both sides of the ball, showing much more patience in the offensive zone, while also tightened up their coverage on defense and battling much harder for loose balls.
"I think we just outworked them tonight," said Maple Ridge captain Aaron Davis. "In the first game, for whatever reason, they were the harder working team. They beat us to loose balls and got a lot of second chances, but tonight we really changed the momentum in those areas."

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Mann Cup 2016: Dawson climbing the career points ladder

Dan Dawson scoring one of his 44 career Mann Cup goals. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
Dan Dawson doesn't like to talk about it, but he's climbing the list of all-time Mann Cup scorers. Friday night, he shot up two places to sit seventh in the storied history of the Canadian national senior championship.

Dawson's 8-point performance leapfrogged him past Josh Sanderson (36 goals, 77 assists, 113 points in 28 games) and Bill Wilson (83/32/115 in 33 games). In his 36th Mann Cup contest, Dawson had 3 goals and 5 assists to push his totals to 44, 72 and 116. Dawson also, with his sixth point of Friday's game, reached the one thousand point plateau for his senior career including regular season, playoffs and Mann Cup games.

When you ask Dawson about it, he will answer your question politely and interestingly, but will shift the focus to the team almost immediately. He is truly humble and uncomfortable talking too much about his own accomplishments.