Peterborough Lakers ramp up transition game with addition of Purves, Watt and Lincoln, plus the links
The Peterborough Lakers are hoping to get back to their old winning ways by adding some young legs. The Lakers won the Mann Cup in 2010 at home and are aiming to have the Canadian senior box lacrosse championship on the Memorial Centre carpet again this summer. Last year, when they lost to the Brampton Excelsiors in a six-game Major Series Lacrosse final series, the Lakers appeared to have some trouble keeping up with Brampton’s youthful speed and energy. The rigorous and draining seven-game semi-final series Peterborough had to fight through to get there was a factor, but that only underscores the need for fresh legs.
The Lakers have addressed the issue by trading for lefty transition players Jimmy Purves from the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks and Andrew Watt from the Six Nations Chiefs in a three-team trade also involving the Kodiaks. The Lakers also announced that they have re-signed former Laker and Colorado Mammoth rookie star Jamie Lincoln, 25-year-old who was part of their 2010 championship team but has played three of the last four seasons with Langley of the WLA.
Lincoln played forward with the Mammoth but was a transition player for Peterborough and will likely fill that role again. The Lakers are already deep in lefty forwards with John Grant, Jr., Cory Vitarelli, Chad Culp, Josh Gillam and John Tavares, if he comes back for another shot at the Mann this summer. Kyle Clancy is available, as well. Dan Carey will not be suiting up for the Lakers this summer.
Purves, a 21-year-old native of Sarnia, Ontario, has been on Buffalo’s NLL roster the past two seasons. He got into only one game in 2011 but dressed for 12 regular-season games this year as well as the Bandits’ playoff game. Purves scored four goals and three assists, along with 41 loose balls and 10 forced turnovers. He was a bit of a surprise inclusion on the Bandits roster, given that many quality players were released with only nine teams in the league this year. He proved his worth, though, with solid play and contributions at both ends of the floor.
In return for Purves, the Kodiaks receive Sean Thomson and a 2013 second-round draft pick. Thomson is primarily a forward and won Mann Cups with the Lakers in 2007 and 2010. He is a strong faceoff man, having fared well for Peterborough at the ‘07 Mann when he was facing off against Coquitlam’s Geoff Snider. The 27-year-old from Guelph, Ontario was captain of the Peel Avengers and finished 10th in scoring in the inaugural CLax season.
Watt has established himself as one of the top transition players in the NLL. The 28-year-old Kitchener native has played four years for the Minnesota Swarm and made the NLL All-Star Game in 2011. He was fifth in the league this year in forced turnovers, with 21. Watt spent his first four years of senior lacrosse with the Kodiaks, didn’t play in 2010, then played seven games with the Chiefs last summer.
Six Nations receives Colorado Mammoth rookie defender Dan Coates from KW in the three-way deal. The Kodiaks get second round picks in 2013 and 2014.
Peterborough’s team speed and athleticism should be substantially increased this summer. Purves and Watt join fellow new Laker Andrew Suitor, the NLL’s Transition Player of the Year, on the team’s back end. Suitor, who just turned 23, is a product of the Orangeville lacrosse system and the youngest team captain in the NLL. He is an excellent defender and has scored 36 points in 29 career NLL games. He’s also known for his toughness and led the pro league in penalty minutes this year.
Watt and Suitor are teammates on the Swarm, where Lakers defence coach Bob Keast serves the same role. Swarm head coach and NLL Coach of the Year Joe Sullivan is also an assistant for Peterborough, so the Lakers staff is familiar with the players they are adding. Interestingly, Suitor and Watt will probably be joined by another young, athletic transition player from the Lakers in 2013. Brock Sorensen is widely touted to be the second overall pick in the 2012 NLL Entry Draft by the Swarm.
Plus the Links
Johnny Powless took Sunday to enjoy the Rochester Knighthawks Champions Cup triumph then got back on the floor Monday, leading the Six Nations Arrows to a 14-6 win over the Barrie Lakeshores in OLA Junior A play. Why did he return to the Arrows so quickly? “I was a bit sore and tired, but it was great to be back,” Powless said. “I really like playing with these guys. They’re my friends and I’ve played with a lot of them much of my life.” (Brantford Expositor)…The Oakville Buzz are feeling pretty good after earning a win and a tie in the two games their GM had identified as the two toughest on their schedule. Included in their successful week was the feat of taking a point from the Green Gaels in Clarington, the first time any team had done so in 32 games. (Inside Halton)…The Welland Warlords beat Hamilton 11-8 by scoring the last three goals after the Bengals had come back to tie the game up in the third period. The win prevented the Bengals from catching the Warlords in the OLA Jr B South West Division standings. (Local Sport Report)…The Vermont Voyageurs rode five goals each from Greg Rogowski and Matt Vozzollo to a 16-6 win over the Montreal Phoenix in Quebec Senior Lacrosse League action Sunday. Trevor Wagar’s eight assists moved him atop the league scoring table even though he has played only eight games, half as many as his closest pursuers. (Burlington Free Press)Stamp is a TV sports announcer and lacrosse lover whose skill set made him a defender but who always dreamed of being a goal-scorer. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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