Major Series Lacrosse in 2013 is shaping up as an exciting, competitive league with a real mix of young speed and veteran wile. Both can be found on the league-leading Brooklin Redmen in spades. The back door features guys who can get the ball up the floor and know what to do with it like Cam Holding, John Lafontaine and Steve Priolo. The Redmen D comes at you in waves, making it hard to create good scoring opportunities and forcing the opposing O to be aware of their ability to break away and score. Then there’s Shawn Williams and Gavin Prout leading an offence that’s loaded with talent. No surprise that the Redmen are #1 in the Power Rankings and have everyone gunning for them.
1 (1) Brooklin Redmen 4-0
Last week: W7-6 KW
This week: @ Peterborough, vs Brampton
Williams is scoring almost 6 points per game, reminding everyone that he can score goals as well as setting them up, and still playing the smart, efficient game that has made him one of the all-time greats. Prout is back as his running mate and it looks like old times in the Brooklin red and black, harking back to 2000, when the club last won the Mann Cup and Williams and Prout were their one-two punch. The offence is potent but the defence may be even better. This is a club put together with one goal: getting the Redmen back to the promised land.
2 (2) Six Nations Chiefs 3-1
Last week: W12-9 Peterborough
This week: vs Brampton, @ KW
The Chiefs are deep, solid and have gained valuable experience over the last few years of coming up short in the playoffs. It’s been even longer between Mann Cups for them than for Brooklin—the last time they won was 1996—and they’re hungry to prove they have the chemistry to win in the post season. They also have Jesse Gamble on the way to bolster the defence and give the transition game a huge shot in the arm.
3 (3) Peterborough Lakers 2-2
Last week: W13-8 Brampton, L12-9 Six Nations
This week: vs Brooklin, @ KW (First Capital Cup in Kingston), @ Oakville
Last year, the Lakers were the most dangerous running team in the league. This year, with no Andrew Suitor or Andrew Watt and not much Jimmy Purves (Purves has played only one game and will suit up mostly for road tilts this year), the Lakers have had trouble getting their transition game rolling. It hasn’t helped that Brad Self, who had 16 goals in 13 regular-season games last year and was outstanding in the playoffs and Mann Cup as well, has yet to connect despite creating plenty of chances.
4 (4) Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks 1-3
Last week: W7-6 Oakville, L7-6 Brooklin
This week: vs Peterborough (First Capital Cup in Kingston), vs Six Nations
They’re young, they’re fast and they’re getting better every game. The Kodiaks play a sound defensive game in front of Mike Poulin and generate scoring chances out of their own end, especially now that Jason Noble has joined the team after missing the first couple of games. Now they just need to figure out how to squeeze a little more scoring out of the set offence and they’ll be a real threat to win any game they’re in.
5 (5) Oakville Rock 1-2
Last week: L7-6 KW
This week: vs Brampton, vs Peterborough
The Rock are very young, but you can already see that they are taking strides to become competitive. Kyle Aquin is a talented addition to the left side of the offence and Stephan Leblanc is quarterbacking the club like an old pro. The defence is aggressive and backed by one of the best young goalies in the game in Tye Belanger. The problem at this point is they still make the painfully apparent mistakes that young team’s make, and when you do that against MSL talent the ball winds up in your net.
6 (6) Brampton Excelsiors 0-3
Last week: L13-8 Peterborough
This week: @ Oakville, @ Six Nations, @ Brooklin
They’re in tough to win games with the roster they’ve been able to pull together, but Clem D’Orazio has his charges working hard and showing that they won’t give up. The Excelsiors looked down and out when they trailed Peterborough 6-2 after the first period last week, but they kept battling and were only outscored 7-6 the rest of the way. They run into trouble because they drop too many passes and throw the ball away too frequently.
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