Archive for July, 2007


A Monday fix of lacrosse news

A Monday hat trick of news items to check out, plus one pretty random YouTube link that’s worth a look:

• The MLL has a new assist king. And guess what — it ain’t Conor Gill or Ryan Boyle. Check out the latest on the amazing season L.A.’s Spencer Ford is putting together.

• In case you haven’t seen this yet, it’s a story that certainly registers on the “Wow Factor” Scale. I know I was a little surprised to hear it. Gary Gait, the sport’s biggest legend who has A LOT going on between coaching the NLL’s Colorado Mammoth, running his club venture NDP and working with STX, among other things, is apparently considering becoming head coach of the Syracuse women’s team. The Syracuse legend helped lead the Maryland women to seven-straight national titles as an assistant coach, and he’s apparently considering returning to the college ranks for his alma mater.

• In equipment news, we knew this was coming, but it just became official. Another major equipment manufacturer has entered the lacrosse ranks. Adidas will release its first lacrosse products this fall. So, that means adidas stands for: “All Day I Dream About … Shooting … Sliding … Scooping … Slashing … Saving … Swim-Dodging?” I guess it depends on what position you play.

• And, it wouldn’t be a real blog entry without an absurd, useless YouTube link. Check out Mikey Powell’s flip in the ’06 All-Star Game. Then, imagine the same setting, but this time, his flip ends up like this flip-gone-bad. Watching Mikey P try to shoot as he stumbles towards the goal would probably be funny enough for him to win the contest again.


Mann and Minto Cup analysis from Ted Jenner

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This week I want to update you with the action out west. Both the Mann Cup and the Minto will be played in British Columbia this year. The Junior A New Westminster Salmonbellies are the predetermined hosts of the Minto Cup while the host of the Mann Cup will be the winner of the Senior BC playoffs (New Westminster looks like the favorite). Since BC is about 2000 miles away from me, I’ve asked Ted Jenner of Victoria BC do my work. Ted plays for the Edmonton Rush of the NLL and also had stops in Rochester, Anaheim, and Minnesota. He has also played for the Victoria Shamrock for the last 6 years, going to the Mann Cup 5 times – winning it twice.

Here’s Ted’s analysis:

Hey Shanny,
In Junior A right now Victoria and Port Coquitlam (POCO) are headed to game 5 on Saturday. The home team has won every game and I don’t see that changing, so look for the Jr. Rocks to meet their long time nemesis in the Burnaby Lakers. The Lakers are 11 time BCLA champs, ELEVEN TIMES!! That’s just all around impressive if you ask me. I really don’t see anyone knocking them off. They finished the season with the top three scorers in the league, and finished atop the standings with a 19-2 record. Curt Malawsky (NLL’s Arizona Sting) has gone from being one of the top players in the league, to the ultimate coach. He knows how to motivate his team and get them ready for the big games. Look for the Lakers to make it to the finals again!

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Canadian box report: Gearing up for the playoffs

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With less than a week left in the Ontario Major Series Lacrosse regular season it’s shaping up to be quite the finish as only two of seven positions are decided. In a week the playoffs begin and the winner of the Ontario Major Series playoffs gets the right to travel across the country to fight for the Mann Cup against the BC champs. Unlike the NLL’s one-game playoff eliminations, the Canadian lacrosse playoffs are a marathon. Depending on where you finish in the standings, a team has to win a three out of five and two four out of seven series just to get to the Mann Cup, which is another four out of seven series.

In the current Ontario Lacrosse Association’s format, the first and second place teams get a “bye” through the first preliminary round series. That’s why the dogfight between the Peterborough Lakers, Brampton Excelsiors and the Barrie Lakeshores for those two positions is so important. The longest route to the Mann Cup championship is 26 games, but the shortest can be 12 straight victories (if a team skips the preliminary round). I am not going out on a limb by predicting that the Ontario champs will be one of the two top teams, so these last few regular season games will have a huge bearing on who wins the Mann Cup.

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Ince, MacDougall stay busy on and off the field

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Virginia-bound Garett Ince (right), with Dylan
MacDougall (left) and Devlin Shanahan.

When Inside Lacrosse asked me to do a blog on the Canadian summer league they reminded that the majority of their readers are interested in either NLL stars or NCAA players. I could probably tell you almost every single Canadian Senior player that is playing in the NLL but other than some high profile NCAA players (Zack Greer, Garrett Billings, Daryl Veltman) I couldn’t tell you how many Junior A Canadians are playing in (or heading to) the NCAA. I knew I would have to do my homework. As a start IL editor John Jiloty mentioned a number NCAA recruits that he knew were Canadians including Garett Ince, the incoming freshman for Virginia. “Garett Ince,” I thought, “that name rings a bell.” I run a lacrosse camp in Toronto (www.shannylacrosse.com) and I’m sure that Rob MacDougall, one of my lead instructors, mentioned that his son Dylan MacDougall would be helping along with Garett Ince. Well it was the same Garett and after this week I might have to change the name of my camp to the Ince – MacDougall lacrosse school. Not only have they helped many young lacrosse players this week – they have also educated me.

Of course Ince will be going to Virginia next year. Dylan MacDougall will be entering his second year at Bellarmine. Both have been teammates since they started lacrosse at seven years of age in the town of Oakville (just outside of Toronto). Now they are opponents as Garrett is playing for the Brampton Excelsiors and Dylan plays for the Burlington Chiefs of the Ontario Junior A league. With one game left in the season it looks like Brampton may enter the playoffs with the league’s third best record and Burlington has a good chance at a playoff spot as well in the 13-team league.

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Scouring the Canadian summer ranks

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John Grant, Dan Dawson, Lewis Ratcliff, John Tavares, Shawn Williams, Gavin Prout, Tracy Kelusky, Scott Evans, Josh Sanderson and Pat Maddalena. These box lacrosse stars were the top 10 scorers in the NLL this past season. What do they all have in common? Six of them won a World Indoor championship for Canada in May. Three of them won a World field lacrosse championship last July for Canada. A few of them are in the MLL this summer. Yes, all of them are Canadian but that’s still not what I’m talking about. Every one of them is playing summer box lacrosse in Canada’s Senior league. We’re talking about the quest for the Mann Cup here – the ultimate amateur lacrosse trophy in Canada. Some will say that the Minto Cup – the trophy given to Canada’s best Junior lacrosse team is even harder to attain since the duration of a Junior career (5 years) is much shorter than the potential length of a Senior career – and I wouldn’t argue with them. But, in a nutshell, the Canadian Senior league features most of the best indoor lacrosse players in the world (current NLL stars), while the Junior league features many future NLL stars as well as many NCAA stars (Zack Greer, Garrett Billings).

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