Archive for May, 2008


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Q&A with New Westminster enforcer Bubba Westwood

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It’s not easy for a first-year player to make his mark in the always-competitive Western Lacrosse Association. There are a few tried and true ways of getting over the rookie jitters, however. Scoring a first goal, or celebrating a first win, maybe dropping the gloves with Langley Thunder heavyweight Matt Green off the opening face-off in a pre-season game. Wait, what? Welcome to Bubba Westwood’s world. The New Westminster Salmonbellies’ defender discusses what goes on before a fight, what goes on after, and who the one player is that you’ll never see him square off with.

So why the name Bubba? Not a big Clint Eastwood fan?
No, my dad is though! READ MORE »


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Update: Portland Lumberjax coaching situation

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As NLL Insider reported earlier this week, the Portland Lumberjax are without former Assistant Coaches Jeremy Tallevi and Jeff McComb, but as Lumberjax’s Managing Partner Angela Batinovich stressed to NLL Insider today, the move was not made based on the two coach’s performances over the past three seasons with the club, but rather for other reasons.

The team is in the process of making their lacrosse operations more efficient and could no longer fly in their entire bench staff from throughout Ontario to Portland every week for games and practices.

Although current GM and Head Coach Derek Keenan also lives in the same province as his former assistants, the team is currently working on an offer that would keep Keenan in the same situation he is currently serving with the club. Keenan’s contract with the team expired after this season. He would remain a weekly fly-in if he stays with the franchise. READ MORE »


B.C. Junior A: Shamrocks’ Cayle Ratcliff breaks down the West

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Cayle Ratcliff
The season out west has been surprising to say the least! If you can’t figure out the reasoning behind the standings and scores, you’re not the only one.

This year, there is more parity in the league than ever before and on any given night any team can beat another. When you look at a team like New West, who lost to Poco twice and then beat Burnaby, Victoria and Coquitlam it’s crazy. Poco beat Victoria, New West and then turned around and beat South Frasier 6-5. Just goes to show it’s anyone’s year!

This season a lot of people counted Burnaby out early, which was an obvious mistake. Burnaby is a team that has what other teams don’t: knowing how to win, with a winner’s mentality. If you’ve been in the Minto Cup for the last 100 years straight, then you know how to win. Most teams lack that winning mentality, which can only come from dominating the league for so many seasons. For us it’s gut check time!

We have the core of our schedule coming up with Burnaby twice, Poco, Coquitlam and New West all within the next three weeks. We will definitely see if we’re going to be contenders or pretenders.

Things are starting to shape up for a good season of lacrosse. Teams are finally showing their full rosters and there should be some great games to watch around B.C. in the coming weeks.


National Junior Player of the Year

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Last night, Syracuse scoring machine Mike Leveille was awarded the Tweaaraton Trophy as the college game’s top stud.

For those not familiar with what the Tewaaraton is, checkout this link…

But in short, it’s the hardware that’s handed out to the best lacrosse player playing NCAA ball, for both the guys and the ladies.

Guys like Mikey Powell, Matt Ward, Kyle Harrison and former Albany Attack forward and Hofstra stud middie, Doug Shanahan, are past winners. The nod’s been handed out since 2001 and is definitely one of the game’s most anticipated announcements every year. So definitely big congrats to Mike for last night’s honour, and to Hannah Neilsen from Northwestern for being named top female in 08 too.

That brings me to us. What does our game have to honour our Junior level ballers?

In short, nuthin’. READ MORE »


Six Nations Jr. wins, Sr. loses, and KW tops Barrie

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Well, you can’t win ‘em all, so for now Stephen Keogh will have to settle for an NCAA National Championship as his Toronto Beaches fell to the Six Nations Arrows 9-2 last night in the lone Ontario Jr. A game. Keogh scored both of the Beaches goals, teaming up with Branden Collins each time.

For the first place and undefeated Six Nations Arrows, Mitch Nanticoke turned in a five goal two assist game and Cody Jamieson hit the back of the net twice while assisting on three. Angus Goodleaf stopped 41 of 43.

The Six Nations Chiefs weren’t so fortunate, dropping a 12-10 decision to the Brampton Excelsiors in Major Series Lacrosse action. Brampton capitalized on a strong second period, outscoring Six Nations 8-3 to rebound from a slow start and build the two goal lead they’d end the game with.

Brodie Merrill and Dan Dawson had four points apiece for the Excelsiors, while Colin Doyle popped in three goals. Anthony Cosmo earned the win in net. For the Chiefs, Casey Powell had two goals and two assists and Cody Jacobs had one and three.

Elsewhere in Sr. A, the K-W Kodiaks beat the Barrie Lakeshores 7-6.


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Six-goal first period gives New West fourth win

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The Sr. A New Westminster Salmonbellies stayed perfect with a convincing 8-3 win over the Nanaimo Timbermen last night, inching into the shared top spot in the WLA. Both the Bellies and the Victoria Shamrocks currently boast a record of 4-0.

The Bellies got the early jump on the Timbermen, slipping six goals past goaltender Matt King to go up 6-1 in the first and then maintaining that five goal lead for the next forty minutes. Tyler Crompton and Chris Gill had two goals apiece while Darren McEwan added one goal and two helpers and Tyler Richards made 35 saves. Mike Morrison had one goal and two assists for the Timbermen. King made 30 saves in the loss, with half of those saves coming in the first period where he faced a total of 21 shots.


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Portland Lumberjax fire assistant coaches

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NLL Insider has learned from numerous sources that the Portland Lumberjax have fired Assistant Coaches Jeremy Tallevi and Jeff McComb.

It appears that those are the only two firings from the current staff, leaving Derek Keenan as both the team’s Gerenal Manager and Heach Coach.

The three coaches had been together since taking over the bench with the Anaheim Storm in 2005, before making the move to Portland a year later, where Kenann was named both the NLL’s GM and Coach of the year. A season later, the team struggled and failed to make the post-season but rebounded in 2008, finding their way to the Champion’s Cup final, but lossing to the Buffalo Bandits 14-13.

It’s expected an official announcement from the Lumberjax will be made soon, although it’s unknown who Tallevi and McComb’s replacements might be.


The Money Ballers: JR A Edition

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Word to the wise, when you sign yourself up to tackle a project like The Money Ballers, do not wait for something like 75 games to be played before you start sifting through the digits, unless you have like seven straight hours to kill.

Anyways, my back might look like Quasimodo’s hump and my vision is about as blurred as you can get, but not to worry, the first edition of the Junior A Money Ballers is complete… every God damn game included, even last night’s trio. READ MORE »


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Is the East taking over Canadian lacrosse?

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Talk about an all out defection. People always used to say there was something in the west coast water that attracted eastern players to pack an overnight bag and shack up on the left coast for a few months. Maybe it was lack of humidity during the late summer months that attracted the players. Or was it the fact that instead of a 6 hour bus ride in rush hour traffic through downtown Toronto to the ‘Borough, the longest trip was a 15 minute flight and 30 minute bus ride. Regardless, in years past the West Coast has seen the likes of JT, Jim Veltman, Colin Doyle, Tracy Kelusky, Dan Dawson, Anthony Cosmo, Ryan Cousins and the list goes on, but for some reason this season there are no big name Eastern Studs calling BC home this summer.

What’s worse, is the East is now rumored to be drawing some of the West’s home grown talent. With Mr. Saturday Night Rob Van Beek already suiting up for St. Regis and the gossip mill swirling that NLL Scoring Champ Athan Iannucci is following suit, the WLA has lost two of its top young guns to a Major Series league that is dominating the name game.
READ MORE »


CLA Power Rankings

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Ok, ranking the Canadian Lacrosse Association (CLA) Senior lacrosse teams is not quite as easy as the NLL. (Come to think of it, ranking the NLL teams is not so easy either. Look at where I had the New York Titans at the beginning of the season). There is no interlocking schedule between east and west and we only get to see the best of the East against the best of the West at Mann Cup time in September. You can argue till your blue in the face that the second best team in Ontario is better than the best of the West but you’ll never get a chance to prove it.

Last NLL season I was able to see every team play live at least once and many teams a handful of times. I traveled to the West Coast 8 times so I got a pretty good feel for both Divisions. I don’t think I’ll be making any trips to BC this summer so I’ll be relying heavily on my Western sources during the season. I’ll also be getting a lot of opinions from players and coaches in the East. I doubt any of them will want to go on record so it will be up to me to piss people off. To start off you WLA fans might as well get used to it now. The East is dominant in 2008. Check out the top 15 scorers in the NLL, other than Lewis Ratcliff they all play in the East. READ MORE »