The Six Nations Chiefs are Mann Cup champions for the first time since 1996. Six Nations scored the only 4 goals of the third period to pull away from the Victoria Shamrocks for an 8-5 win, giving them the series 4-2. Cody Jamieson had another big night, scoring 2 goals and 4 assists. He led the series in goals (12), assists (16) and points (28) and was presented with a well-deserved Mike Kelly Award for Mann Cup MVP. Kasey Beirnes contributed a hat trick. He opened the scoring when he finally connected on a quick stick after not quite finding the timing in the series. The goal came from the slot on a pass from Colin Doyle. Jamieson buried an outside shot through a screen to make it 2-0 for the Chiefs before the Shamrocks fought back with a pair from Cory Conway to make it 2-2 after the first period.
All the players on the floor got into a shoving match at the end of the period. Jamieson and Tyler Hass wound up with minors from the fracas, so the second period started out 4 on 4. As he has shown a predilection for throughout the series, Jamieson was involved in a scoring play almost immediately after being released from the penalty box. He set up Stephen Keogh for a goal at 2:19. Beirnes’ second made it 4-2 and the Chiefs appeared to have stretched their lead to 3 goals when Johnny Powless threw some hard fakes and tucked the ball behind Matt Vinc, but he was called in the crease and the goal was waved off.
The Shamrocks seemed buoyed by the no goal call and got back into the game when Nolan Heavenor in transition skipped a low shot past Brandon Miller. Scott Ranger ripped an overhand from just outside the dotted line that seemed to surprise Miller as it found a spot just inside the post. Jeff Shattler scored with two and a half minutes to go in the second and Victoria enjoyed its first lead of the game, taking the 5-4 edge into the second intermission.
Neither team could score for almost the first half of the third period. Then Beirnes completed his hat trick with a goal that was almost identical to his first of the night, this one at 9:48 of the third to tie the game 5-5.
What proved to be the winning goal came on a four-way passing play that had even Shamrocks’ fans admiring its beauty. Doyle had the last touch, a quick release into the top corner of the net from on top of the crease with 3:31 to play. Just 31 seconds later, Keogh drew two defenders as he fought his way down towards the net, then flipped an underhand pass back to Craig Point in the high slot. Point buried a hard overhand shot to give the Chiefs some insurance. Jamieson applied the coup de grace with the game’s final goal at 18:08 and Six Nations just ran out the clock from there.
In the jubilant post-game locker room, Head Coach Rich Kilgour said the win was all the sweeter because the team has run into road bumps along the way in his years back with the team. “I haven’t won one of these since 1996. It was a lot of hard work,” Kilgour said. “I’ve been here four years and we’ve had a lot of bitter disappointment up to this point. I think that makes it even sweeter, though, to have a lot of those tough losses along the way and basically with the same team. There’ve been a few coming in here and there but basically we’ve had the same 12 or 14 guys. I kept believing in them and I think they kept believing in me, and that’s what makes this championship so sweet.”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 email@example.com.
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