Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Lakers and Kodiaks complete four-player trade

Matt Crough is one of 3 Peterborough players headed to Cobourg in
exchange for Joel Matthews. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
The Cobourg Kodiaks have completed their first Major Series Lacrosse trade just days after moving from Kitchener-Waterloo. Cobourg sent righty forward Joel Matthews to their new Highway 28 rivals the Peterborough Lakers in exchange for a trio of young players. Right forward Matt Crough, lefty forward Dylan Goddard and defender Pete Rennie are headed to the Kodiaks. Peterborough had acquired Goddard recently from the Brampton Excelsiors for goalie Don Alton, whom they drafted last year but who never played for the team.

The trade gives the Lakers some size up front. Peterborough GM Paul Day is also a coach with the National Lacrosse League's Rochester Knighthawks, where Matthews plays in the winter. “We saw him play in Buffalo two years ago. He drove us nuts one night so as soon as he became available we grabbed him,” Day said of the KHawks acquiring Matthews.

Day has been impressed with how Matthews adapted to what was needed of him in the NLL and believes he will capably fill a similar role for the Lakers. “He's 24, you know he's just ready to make the next step, he works so hard on his fitness and his game,” Day said. “In junior he was a guy who carried the ball. Now he's a guy who words hard inside like a Cory Vitarelli for us, works off ball. Not many goal scorers will change their game. He's completely morphed his game. We need someone to open up some space for some of our O guys.”

While Day was unwilling to trade local players to KW where they would have to travel across the province for all their games, that barrier disappeared when the Kodiaks relocated. “With KW moving to Cobourg it made the deal a little easier for everybody. At the end of the day, we want guys that can play, playing,” he said. “A, it'll help Cobourg and B, it'll help a couple of pretty good kids coming out of Peterborough to take the next step if they play every night and play a lot every night.”

Matthews had back to back 100+-point seasons for the St. Catharines Athletics in Junior A and has played 10 MSL games between Brooklin and KW. He is 6'3” and weighs about 215 pounds.

Crough, 24, was a junior standout and a solid depth contributor for the Senior Lakers but didn't get a lot of playing time because of the Lakers depth at his position. He should have a chance for plenty of touches with the Kodiaks. In three seasons with Peterborough, Crough played 49 games, scoring 36 goals and 41 assists.

Goddard, 23, is a teammate of both Crough and Rennie with the Durham Turfdogs of CLax. He was a superstar in Junior B, three times scoring at least 120 points with the Clarington Green Gaels. He has averaged almost 5 points per game in two seasons in CLax and finished second in the OLA Senior B league last summer.

Rennie is on the New England Black Wolves practice roster and has developed into one of the best defenders in CLax. He has gotten into 34 games over four-plus seasons with the Lakers but just wasn't able to crack a very deep lineup for regular playing time. With Andrew Suitor and Ian Llord returning from injury and a trio of junior graduates being protected by the team from the MSL draft, the logjam is only getting thicker. The 25-year-old Rennie should be a regular with the Kodiaks, giving him a chance to establish himself in the league and gain more experience which will help in his battle for NLL playing time.