Provincial playoffs are well underway in Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta for the privilege to play in the 2013 Minto Cup. The Cup will be contested in New Westminster, hosted by the BCJALL, but the Salmonbellies don’t get an automatic ticket, as reported when this story first popped up. Instead, the 2 B.C. finalists will be Minto participants this summer, a departure from formats of the past. There’s plenty to keep your eyes on as these playoffs advance, so to make it easier, ILIndoor has what you need with our Minto outlook, which tracks the progress of all 3 provinces. We’ll start with a mixture of regular-season and playoff stats and that’ll obviously shift into playoffs-only as we get deeper into the postseason. We’ll also continue to have our in-depth looks, like we did yesterday with B.C. and earlier today with Alberta, so take a look and we’ll see who is left standing with the tournament gets underway on Aug. 17.
What’s to like? Brampton was 7-6 on June 21, but has played consistent lacrosse down the stretch with some quality late-season wins over Orangeville, Burlington and Whitby … Excels came into playoffs winners of winners of 5 straight and hold a 2-1 series lead on the defending Minto Cup champs. Can clinch series with win tonight at Orangeville … Offense has many options with 4 players topping 50 points in regular season … Lead playoff teams with 3 short-handed goals.
What’s not to like? Excels have not advanced out of the first round since 2009, when they were in the Ontario finals … Defense is a bit leaky as the 195 goals-against are the most of any playoff team, but they’ve held Northmen to single digits in 2 of 3 playoff games … G Ryan Kelly played a league-high 1,139 minutes and gave up a league-high 186 goals. His 12 wins were second-most for any goalie in the regular season, but the runners in front of him have to give him more support if the Excels are going to go anywhere … Penalty killers were at 67% for the regular season, third-worst in Ontario.
What’s to like? Leads playoff series with Peterborough 2-1 after sweeping regular-season series, 2-0, and can clinch tonight … 14 wins in regular season is most since winning 17 in 2009 season … Nice 1-2 punch on offense with Jacob Ruest (38-46, 84) and Danny Lomas (36-45, 81), both whom finished in Top 10 in scoring in regular season … Ruest has 19 points (6-13) in 3 playoff games … Lomas has 12 playoff goals, most in Ontario … G Doug Buchan is a workhorse as 1 of 3 Ontario keepers to play more than 1,000 minutes in regular season. Even with all that time, his save percentage of .793 ranks No. 2 in league … Power play in regular season at 29.5% was third-best in Ontario.
What’s not to like? Even though the Chiefs have an 8-5-1 record against this season’s playoff teams, they were 2-2 in their final 4 games, with losses to Whitby and Brampton … Road record was 6-3-1 … Allowed 11 short-handed goals.
What’s to like? Won playoff opener against top-seeded Six Nations … Dhane Smith … Braves were 5-5 on the road in regular season … Versatility of Smith lets him play anywhere on the floor with effectiveness … Smith won his second straight OLA scoring title with 112 points (61-51) … F Chris Cloutier is an underrated contributor who had 65 points (35-30).
What’s not to like? Braves are only team in playoffs with a losing record in the regular season … 184 goals scored is fewest among playoff teams … After Smith and Cloutier, the offensive production drops dramatically, leaving the depth out the front door questionable … Braves need much more from the back end as G Eric McLaren saw the bulk of the work in cage this summer and his save percentage of .634 is third-worst in Ontario.
What’s to like? Steady production of F Rob Hellyer, whose 38 goals in the regular season gave him a third straight summer with 30 or more … Solid secondary scoring from the likes of Brandon Benn and Cody McMahon … Surprise production from Dallas Bridle, who leads Hornheads with 7 playoff goals after scoring 14 goals in 19 regular-season games … 6-game win streak midseason shows the Hornheads have the ability to maintain momentum, but can they regain that form? … Allowed just 8 short-handed goals all season, second-best in Ontario.
What’s not to like? Trailing 2-1 in playoff series with Brampton. If the Northmen don’t win tonight at home, the season for the defending Minto Cup champions is finished … Eight losses in regular season is most since they lost 10 in 2006 … 5 of the 8 losses came in the final 7 regular-season games … The 187 goals-allowed is the most given up by an Orangeville team since the 1998 season, a team that included Brodie Merrill, Brandon Miller and Jon Harasym … The play of G Michael Fournier is right in the middle of the pack, and that’s not what you want from a goalie. His 10 wins were third-most in the loop, but the Northmen need more than his 9.11 GAA and .750 save percentage … Penalty killers were just 64%, second-worst in Ontario.
What’s to like? The 229 goals-scored were second-most in Ontario in the regular season … Balance is the name of the game in Peterborough out the front door as 5 players scored 20 or more goals … Leading scorer Turner Evans (28-58, 86) is a smart feeder with plenty of finishers to choose from in Dan Michel (36 goals), Cam Milligan (25), Josh Currier (20) and Zac Currier (21) … Penalty killers, at 84%, were second-best in Ontario.
What’s not to like? Trail 2-1 in playoff series with Burlington, giving up 15 goals in Game 1 and 20 goals in Game 2 … G Donovan Fleischer did well in spots, but struggled with consistency. He won back-to-back games just 2 times all season … Power play converted at just 25%, second-worst among all playoff teams.
What’s to like? Leads playoff series, 2-1, over Kitchener-Waterloo and can clinch tonight … Arrows led Ontario in goals scored (243) and fewest goals allowed (141) … G tandem of Don Alton and Warren Hill, who rank No. 1 and 3, respectively, in goals-against … Offensive leadership and production of Johnny Powless, Ontario’s second-leading scorer 104 points (47-57) … Offensive balance with 5 players scoring more than 20 goals, 3 of them with more than 30 … Power play, at 36%, was best in Ontario … Transition D allowed just 4 short-handed goals, fewest in Ontario … Penalty killers, at 84%, were best in Ontario … Transition offense scored a league-high 23 short-handed goals, 7 more than No. 2 K-W … Return last night of Randy Staats, who had 2-1 in his first game since June 19.
What’s not to like?: Losing playoff opener in OT, a game in which they blew a 6-2 lead. But maybe beating the Braves twice in the final 4 games of the regular season led to a bit too much confidence.
What’s to like? Swept Barrie 3-0 in first round with win last night … F Ryan Keenan had 37 points in his final 9 regular-season games … Offensive balance in Curtis Knight, Dan Lintner, Reilly O’Connor and Keenan … G Alexis Buque, No. 2 in goals-against average (7.50) and No. 4 in save percentage (.762) in regular season and allowed just 11 goals in 3 playoff games for a goals-against of 3.98 … Won final 8 games of regular season and hasn’t lost a game since June 16, to Brampton.
What’s not to like? Warriors were just 6-4 away from Whitby, but they did win a playoff game already at Barrie.
What’s to like? The Adanacs are regular-season champs, again, showing the strength of their development system … Scored a league-high 19 short-handed goals … The 151 goals allowed were fewest in the league … Very balanced offense with 7 players scoring 20 or more goals … G David DiRuscio was solid with a league-best save percentage of 82.18% among regulars, and backup Giulio Del Bianco also had a tidy save percentage to give the Adanacs a nice 1-2 punch in cage.
What’s not to like? The 242 goals-scored was Coquitlam’s fewest since scoring just 199 in the 2008 season … Good or bad? That the As were able to win the league’s regular season title with just 1 player in the league’s Top 10 in scoring is impressive. It’s balance, yes, but will they have a go-to guy emerge? Of course, it’s Wes Berg, who scored 41 points (21-20) in the 8 regular-season games he played.
What’s to like? The Thunder are in the semifinal round for the second straight summer, just 3 seasons removed from a last-place finish in the league … The 228 goals scored are most in franchise history for a season … Plenty of offensive options in Brett Dobray (46-48, 94), Sean Lundstrom (29-38, 67), Johnny Pearson (29-24, 53) and Brandon Bull (27-20, 47).
What’s not to like? The 0-1 hole they’re in to New West in the semifinals … Health of stud sniper Reegan Comeault. He played just 8 games after arriving late and then dealing with injury issues. The Thunder will need all the offense they can get against New Westminster, so Comeault’s health and ability to produce will be key … It’s a high-scoring league to begin with, but the defense will really need to shine against a high-flying New West squad, and that falls on the shoulders of Spencer England and Tyler Glebe, who was acquired in a late-season trade. Which of the 2 will rise to the occasion? Neither had numbers that sparkled in the regular season with save percentages right around 78%. If the Thunder are to advance, 1 or both will need to be better than they were in the regular season.
What’s to like? Came out of gates flying to take 2-0 series lead on Langley. The ‘Bellies can clinch the series with a home win on Tuesday … The ‘Bellies were second in goals scored (285), goals allowed (164) and short-handed goals scored (17) … Most of those numbers were put up before acquiring Cody Nass (league-leading 125 points) and Eli McLaughlin (103) in a trade with Delta … Add rookie Josh Byrne (112 points) to that mix and New West has BCJALL’s top 2 scorers and 3 of the top 4 … Those 3 forwards finished the regular season with 40 or more goals, with McLaughlin’s 60 leading the entire loop … 6 players scored 8 or more power-play goals … McLaughlin led the league with 8 short-handed goals.
What’s not to like?As strong as the defense was, veteran G Frankie Scigliano did not post his best numbers. He didn’t exactly suck, but his save percentage of 79.77% and goals-against average of 7.60 was slightly off of last year’s form (82.76% and 6.82). He didn’t do well in the playoffs last year, but the ‘Bellies are counting on his experience to know that now’s the time to crank it all up a notch.
What’s to like?The Shamrocks set the standard for offense this summer, scoring an amazing 308 goals … 11 players have scored double-digit goals this season, with 6 scoring 20 or more and 4 scoring more than 30 … Jesse King (111 points), Chris Wardle (90 points) and Brody Eastwood (64 points) are the leaders up front with plenty of help around and behind them.
What’s not to like? The big question mark is defense. The ‘Rocks gave up 220 goals in the regular season, most among the remaining playoff teams and fourth-most in the league among all teams … Goaltending is an issue. Cody Hagedorn played the most minutes (906), but his goals-against (11.06) and save percentage (77.19%) leave a lot to be desired. The numbers for Charles Claxton and Derek Anderson are much better, but they played far fewer minutes, suggesting that even with his inflated numbers, Hagedorn is the best of the bunch. That, or the defense is giving up way too many easy looks that’d be tough for any keeper to stop. Either way, that’s a problem and the Shamrocks need to find away to address that if they want to advance to the finals for the first time since 2008.
What’s to like? Lead their best-of-5 playoff series against the Miners, 2-0, and can clinch on Saturday … Finished a league-best 12-4 … Led the RMLL with 188 goals and a goal differential of 75, best in the loop … Had the loops’ top 2 individual scorers in Dan Taylor (72 points) and Cam Gardner (60) … Taylor’s 37 goals were tied for most in the league this summer and he leads all playoff scorers with 7 goals.
What’s not to like? Not much has gone against the Mounties this summer and they’re rolling with some solid momentum for an inevitable finals clash against the rival Raiders.
What’s to like? G Scott Kavalinas led league with a save percentage at 83% and was tied for best goals-against average at 9.15 … Came into playoffs as winners in 2 of their final 3 regular-season games.
What’s not to like? Gave up a league-high 168 goals … Won just 2 games this summer … Spencer Gelinas led the Miners with 18 goals this summer but has just 2 in 2 playoff games.
What’s to like? Lead their best-of-5 playoff series against the Titans, 2-0, and can clinch on Saturday … Holden Cattoni tied for league lead with 37 goals, which included a league-high 13 power-play goals … Have given up just 4 goals in 2 playoff games … Cole Sheen has 6 playoff goals, second-most in Alberta, after coming over from the Titans.
What’s not to like? Finished second in league with 9-6-1 record after winning regular-season title the last 2 seasons.
What’s to like? The Titans lost several key names before the playoffs and the players left behind are taking their lumps, but the pain now could be beneficial in the long term if perspective is maintained.
What’s not to like? Scored a league-low 116 goals … Have scored just 4 playoff goals in 2 games … G Michael DeGirolamo did well with a goals-against of 9.15 and a save percentage of 80.4%, but he’s no longer with team after he was traded to the Raiders.
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