Yesterday we looked at the eight teams out west battling it out for supremacy and a shot at knocking off the Whitby Warriors as Canada’s top junior squad. Today, it’s time for big boys of the WLA. Even before the season started, many GMs, coaches, players and media types were talking about how close this season would be and over the first two weeks it seems as if it could be that way. Last year the Langley Thunder came out of nowhere to win their first ever WLA title and they’ve made some moves this year to try and retain that title. The other six teams won’t roll over easily and fans in the lower mainland and the island are in for some fantastic summer ball. Every Thursday, we’ll rank the squads as they battle it out to take on the East in hopes of bringing the first Mann Cup west since 2005. READ MORE »
Archive for May, 2012
Breaking: Boston Blazers in talks with potential buyer, could resume operations for 2014 National Lacrosse League season
ILIndoor has learned that the Boston Blazers, who announced a suspension of operations in late summer of 2011, are in discussions for a potential sale or partnership with a New England group that could resume operations for the team in the New England area. The suspension period for the team ends today, May 31, but the team has been granted an extension as discussions continue. GM and team president Doug Reffue says he is cautiously optimistic that a deal can be worked out. Reffue declined to name the parties involved with the talks, but did say the team could return to the National Lacrosse League for the 2014 season and field a team through an expansion draft. Reffue added that the team has remained active in the last year, courting a host of potential partners/buyers while continuing to pay league fees and consulting with attorneys, accountants, brokers and consultants. “We have invested millions of dollars into the NLL and believe, as we always have, that it is the best sport that has yet to hit the mainstream,” Reffue said in an e-mail. Stay tuned to ILIndoor.com for updates as this situation develops.
The Peterborough Lakers are a model franchise in Major Series Lacrosse, with four Mann Cups in the last eight years and greater attendance than the rest of the league’s teams put together. They’ve set another record for season ticket sales this year, with over 2,300 already on the books heading into tonight’s season opener against the visiting Ajax Rock. It wasn’t always thus, however. A decade ago the Lakers were a middling successful club on the floor and only handfuls of people were coming to watch them. It all began to change when owner Teddy Higgins brought in Jamie Batley to be Head Coach and General Manager for 2002. After a terrible flood in the summer of 2004, the city rallied around a team that looked like it might finally be ready to get back to the big stage. As CHEX TV’s Tyler Calver recounts, it’s been quite a ride since then.
The first step was making the trade for Cory Conway. The second step was getting him to report. The third step was finding a way for him to be a part of an offense that included Scott Ranger, Joel Henry, Kaleb Toth and hotshot rookie Cody Bremner. The fourth step has yet to come, but so far so good for Conway and the Timbermen, who are running with the leaders so far atop the Western Lacrosse Association loop with 4 points. “Anytime you’re with a different group of guys and there’s a different dynamic, you’re going to have different roles,” Conway told the Nanaimo News Bulletin. “I’m anticipating not carrying the ball as much and helping my teammates get open.” Conway came to Nanaimo following a trade with Coquitlam and his first game with Nanaimo was against his old mates, where he scored 1 goal and 2 assists in a 7-4 victory. READ MORE »
The story of the night was defence and goaltending as the Brampton Excelsiors eked out a 7-6 win over the Brooklin Redmen in the opening game of the 2012 Major Series Lacrosse season for both teams last night. Joe Resetarits led the way on the front end for Brampton, scoring four goals. Brendan Doran, pressed into service on offence because the Excelsiors had only three lefties in their lineup, had a strong game as well and chipped in a pair of assists. One in particular came on a gorgeous feed from the corner, somehow finding Resetarits cutting to the crease for a quick-release shot that snuck past Aaron Bold. READ MORE »
This goal is so good it’s almost surreal. Athan Iannucci proves that he could play with one hand. The only person who doesn’t like it is Nanaimo goalie Zach Boychuk. Watch this play and prepare to be awed.
Joel Matthews had an idea the “C” was coming his way for this season. And that feeling was right, but that doesn’t mean the veteran St. Catharines Athletics forward is taking anything for granted. That’s why he does not hesitate to say something if something needs to be said. “I’m in there loud and in their ears, getting them fired up,” Matthews told the St. Catharines Standard after scoring 2 goals and 4 assists in a 12-4 win last night over the Toronto Beaches. “I try to play the music and make sure everyone isn’t talking about the weekend or their girlfriends. I want to make sure they’re talking lacrosse.” So far, so good for the 5-1 A’s who are knotted with 4 other squads atop the Junior A loop with 10 points. But as good as that 10 points looks right now, St. Catharines is about to jump into the meat of its schedule. READ MORE »
The boys of summer are off and running out west and after just a few short weeks, there are some surprises and some things we expected to see. Taking a look at the early standings from the BC Jr. A League there’s not much surprise at the top as the defending west champs from Coquitlam sit comfortably upon their perch looking down at the other seven teams chasing them. The Nanaimo Timbermen are at the bottom of the table still searching for that first win of the year in hopes of building on their 5th place finish from last year. Every Wednesday we’ll give you the BCJALL power rankings as all eight teams look to be the sole rep from the left coast in Whitby this year for the 2012 Minto Cup. READ MORE »
The Clarington Green Gaels have been here before. Twelve games into their Ontario Junior B season, they’ve yet to lose a game although they do have a pair of draws. Last year, they were 12-0 at this point. The year before, 12-0. And in 2009, they were 12-0. But in each one of those seasons, the final game ended with disappointment as all that work of the regular season couldn’t quite culminate with a championship. “Obviously we’re in a pretty good spot, but you know what? For the past bunch of years we’ve been in pretty good spots too,” coach Jason Crosbie told DurhamRegion.com following a 2-win weekend that included handing Akwesasne its first loss. “We really have to focus and get better each game.” And why is that? READ MORE »
The Orangeville Northmen wanted to send a message in their road game against Whitby at Iroquois Park Sports Centre last night. That message was along the lines of, “Don’t hand the Minto Cup to the Warriors just yet.” Thanks to an excellent performance by Dillon Ward in net and four goals from the stick of Jordan Critch, the message was received loud and clear. Orangeville won 9-7 to improve their record on the season to 4-3 and pull within two points of the four teams tied atop the OLA Junior A points list. The loss was Whitby’s first of the season after five straight wins.
The teams met in a seven-game OLA finals last summer. Whitby won game seven by a single goal before going on to beat Coquitlam in a mild upset for the Minto Cup. They also played last week and the Warriors ran out to a big lead before holding on for a 13-10 win. “Coming off last year’s loss in the playoffs to them plus our first one to them this season we really wanted to come out firing,” Critch said. “We got down 8-1 last time, we didn’t want to have a bad start again. We came out flying, the dressing room was just great, everyone was ready to go. It was really great to get the win tonight, especially against these guys.” READ MORE »