Sunday, July 27, 2014

Chiefs edge Rock 7-6 to strengthen playoff positioning

By Darryl Smart

The push to the Major Series Lacrosse playoffs continued for the Six Nations Pro-Fit Chiefs.
In front of a good crowd at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena, the defending Mann Cup champs came away with a 7-6 win over the Oakville Rock.
With the Rock ahead for much of the game, Kasey Beirnes tied things up for the fifth time, seven minutes into the third period, before Cody Jamieson scored his third goal of the game with just over six minutes remaining to give the Chiefs the victory. For photos from the game CLICK HERE 
With the win, the Chiefs improve to 8-8 and sit in a two-way tie for third with the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks.
"Every game is like a playoff game now," Chiefs coach Rich Kilgour said before the game. "We thought we'd be battling for top spot at this time of year. Right now we're battling to get in."
Danny Lomas led the Rock in the first period, scoring three times. Colin Doyle and Jamieson responded for the Chiefs.
Jamieson continued to heat up in the second period, while Randy Staats added one, and St. Catharines junior A call-up Eric Fanell netted his first MSL goal.
Patrick Corbett, Rob Hellyer and Brenden Thenhaus scored for the Rock.
Brandon Miller was at times outstanding between the Chiefs pipes, stopping 32 shots, while his Toronto Rock teammate, Nick Rose was tagged with the loss in a 29-save effort.
The Chiefs' playoff push continues Monday, when they go to Oakville, before wrapping things up Wednesday at the ILA, when they host the Kodiaks. Both games are at 8 p.m.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Redmen master late-game heroics in pair of wins

Zack Higgins and the Redmen, here facing Peterborough,
won a pair of games with late goals this week.
(Photo: Tim Prothero)
The Brooklin Redmen made the most of their late opportunities, scoring goals in the last five seconds to win back-to-back games over the Oakville Rock and Six Nations Chiefs Monday and Wednesday. Against Oakville, the Redmen trailed 3-1 after the first period but rebounded to be tied 6-6 after 40 minutes. They led 8-7 but the Rock tied it up when Rob Hellyer connected with 44 seconds to play in regulation time. Brooklin got the ball with just over 30 seconds to play and called a timeout in which they pulled the goalie and drew up a play to get the ball to Kiel Matisz in the slot. They managed to get it to him and he buried a behind the back shot with just three seconds on the clock for the winner and the 9-8 final. Redmen Head Coach Wayne Colley said his team was a bit lucky to pull out the win but they're pleased to have done so. "It clinches first place overall which is one of the destinations we wanted to achieve along the way. That's only one; we've got a couple more to go," Colley said. "We played hard. In the first period we didn't play very well. Second and third we played not too bad at all so things turned around."

Kodiaks win back to back games, improve to .500

Steve Fryer, here against Oakville, won both games as KW
swept a home and home with Brampton. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
The Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks swept a home and home series with the Brampton Excelsiors Sunday and Tuesday, improving their record to 8-8 and moving into third place while eliminating the Excelsiors from the playoff race. KW won 10-5 on Sunday in Waterloo behind a pair of goals each from Ryan Benesch, Luke Laszkiewicz and Jay Thorimbert. They led 4-1 after the first period, 6-3 after the second then scored the first two goals of the third to pull away.

On Tuesday, things were much closer in Brampton. KW led just 5-4 after two periods and, while they again scored the first two goals of the third, the Excelsiors refused to go away. Brampton fought back to within a goal thanks to four third-period goals from Joe Resetarits, who also had an assist for a 5-point night. Defender and captain Chris Corbeil helped on the offensive end with two goals and an assist. Benesch led the Kodiaks again with three goals and two assists. Jamie Rooney chipped in with two and two as the Kodiaks passed the Six Nations Chiefs for third and moved closer to clinching a playoff spot. Steve Fryer earned both wins in goal for KW.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Major Series Lacrosse players win medals at world field lacrosse championships

Dillon Ward, of the KW Kodiaks, was the all-star goalie and
MVP as Canada won the world field lacrosse championships.
It was a big Saturday for 18 Major Series Lacrosse players at the World Field Lacrosse Championships in Denver. Eleven MSL player were with the Team Canada side that won the gold medal, beating the USA 8-5 with a brilliantly designed and executed game plan. Seven other MSL players were members of the Iroquois Nationals, who won their first ever medal at the worlds, beating Australia 16-5 to capture the bronze.

The MSL players who were part of Team Canada's win were Matt Vinc, Adam Jones and John Grant Jr. (Peterborough Lakers), Cam Holding (Brooklin Redmen), Dillon Ward (Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks), Dan Coates and Jesse Gamble (Six Nations Chiefs), Jeremy Noble, Jason Noble and Jordan MacIntosh (Oakville Rock) and Kyle Rubisch (Brampton Excelsiors). Ward was named the tournament's all-star goalie and the Most Valuable Player.

The Iroquois players, all coming from the Six Nations Chiefs, were Craig Point, Roger Vyse, Cody Jamieson, Vaughan Harris, Sid Smith, Jeff Shattler and Randy Staats.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Kodiaks beat Lakers 11-8, Rock take out Excelsiors 12-5

Craig England (left), here against Oakville, had 2 goals Thursday as KW
downed Peterborough 11-8. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
The Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks made a statement Thursday night: that they can play with anybody in Major Series Lacrosse. The Kodiaks went into Peterborough, the home of the Lakers who were rated first in the latest IL Indoor MSL Power Rankings, and won 11-8 to keep their playoff hopes moving forward. The win allowed KW to keep pace with Oakville at 6-8. The Rock downed Brampton 12-5 in Thursday night's other game.

“We've got a good team here. Everyone thinks that we're cellar dwellars and everything else, but we can compete with anybody and be in any game,” said Kodiaks assistant coach Jamie Dubrick. “We had a rough week last week with the two losses against Oakville, two games we should have won, I think. Our guys just didn't show up to play. This is a big game for us, to come up here and beat a team like this that has won a couple of games the last little bit. [Peterborough's] a strong squad, that's a Mann Cup contending team right there. So I think we can compete with anyone. I think this is going to be good for the week coming up. We've got two big games Sunday and Tuesday [against Brampton] and we'll see what happens.”

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Peterborough Lakers down Brooklin Redmen 12-9

Scott Evans had a hat trick to lead
Peterborough over Brooklin. 
(Photo: Tim Prothero)
In a battle between the top two teams in Major Series Lacrosse Wednesday night, the Peterborough Lakers had to overcome a slow start to take away a 12-9 win over the Brooklin Redmen. Brooklin jumped out to a 5-1 lead, largely because they outworked the Lakers and won pretty much every loose ball battle all over the floor in the first half of the first period. After John Lafontaine scored back to back transition goals for Brooklin, the second at 11:40, Peterborough pulled starter Tyler Carlson and put in Davide DiRuscio. The change seemed to awaken the Lakers, who played much better defence and worked harder in both ends in front of the replacement.

Redmen captain Shawn Williams, who led all scorers with a goal and 5 assists, acknowledged that it wasn't the goalie's fault that Brooklin took an early lead, but making the change made a big difference. “I think once we got Carlson out of the game they woke up and said 'That's on us, that's not on him.' Good teams battle back through that and they did,” Williams said.

Kiel Matisz scored 3 goals and 2 assists for Brooklin. Scott Evans led the Lakers with a hat trick and an assist. Mark Steenhuis had 2 goals for Peterborough, which got 2 or more points from 11 different players. The Lakers turned the momentum around after falling behind thanks to some hard work from Robert Hope, Nick Weiss and Chad Culp, all of whom led the charge. The whole team seemed to respond in the second half of the first period and throughout the rest of the game. Peterborough was particularly strong in the third period, in which they outscored the Redmen 5-1 to pull away for the win.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Rock sweep home-and-home by downing Kodiaks 9-7 in Oakville Monday night

Mike Mawdsley and the Oakville Rock beat KW 9-7, pulling into a tie with the Kodiaks for fourth in MSL.
(Photo: Tim Prothero)
The Oakville Rock stepped to the plate and hit big double, taking a 9-7 win over the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks Monday night to finish off a home-and-home sweep of the Kodiaks on consecutive nights. Rob Hellyer's hat trick and Stephan Leblanc's 4 assists were key components as the Rock's offensive leaders stepped up to help the team pull into a tie with KW for the fourth and final playoff spot in Major Series Lacrosse.

Oakville Head Coach Phil Sanderson was happy with his team's teams efforts all over the floor. “Both ends. Robbie was our leader out there on offence along with Steph. I thought Ethan O'Connor had a hell of a game for us, too. I thought he took control for us in the back end. Brad Gillies has been really good for us too lately. Those guys have been stepping up for us big time.”