The 2014 Canadian Junior A playoffs have been full of excitement and full scale action thus far. In the East, we have seen our Canadian defending champs Whitby Warriors pulling up their boot straps after dropping the first two games of the semifinal matchup with the upstart Brampton Excelsiors. Whitby has done a total 180, overtaking the series with 4 straight wins to finish out the semifinals in style. The Warriors are playing their best lacrosse when it matters the most. Six Nations awaits Whitby, but the road to Minto Cup glory has been bumpy so far after the first round, being pushed hard and surviving some close calls in the 6-game battle with Peterborough. A healthy Johnny Powless should emerge more and more as the playoffs roll along which means no one can take this team for granted. READ MORE »
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After a pair of tough six-game semifinal series, the OLA Jr A playoffs return to where they were last year: a best of seven finals between the Six Nations Arrows and the Whitby Warriors. Last year, Six Nations won the first two games but Whitby fought back to win the series in seven games. Both teams have lost significant players from last year’s team. Gone from Six Nations are Randy Staats, Vaughn Harris and Warren Hill. The Warriors are without graduates like Curtis Knight, Dan Lintner, Mitch DeSnoo, Chad Tutton, Graeme Hossack and Alexis Buque. But both teams are reloaded and refocused and desperately want to earn a trip to the west for the Minto Cup. There’s not much time for rest. After completing their six-game semis in just eight days, the teams will get right back at it Thursday night at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Six Nations Thursday night then return to Iroquois Park in Whitby Saturday for game two. READ MORE »
Suspensions and fines handed out to Adanacs and Salmonbellies following game four of the BCJALL Finals
Two nights ago the Coquitlam Adanacs and New Westminster Salmonbellies squared off in a very pivotal game four in their best of seven series to crown a BC Junior A champion. Leading two games to one, Coquitlam was hoping to put a strangle hold on the series heading into tonight’s game five but New Westminster wasn’t going to go quietly as they went on to a 13-8 win to even things up and give us a now best two of three finals.
However the bigger story was antics between the two clubs that saw a combined 228 penalty minutes in a fight filled final period that has left both squads depleted of many of their top players. As a result the BCJALL handed out 11 game suspensions between the two clubs and a $1500 fine to the Coquitlam Adanacs. The biggest hits were to the Adanacs who will be without their head coach Neil Doddridge for the remainder of the series after he was given three games as well as goalie Riley Camazzola who was given two games. James Rahe, Robin Lowenberger and Ray Banister were each handed one game bans by the league. Eric Penney, goalie for the Salmonbellies was give a one game suspension for his very high hit on Connor Stroup which really seemed to set things off. Johnny Pearson and Alex Bohl were give one game each for receiving their third game misconducts of the season.
Both teams will feel the effect of these suspensions heading into tonight’s game five but if we have learned anything from previous incidents like this, they’ll get back down to the business at hand and be ready to go for a crucial game five. These clubs were one one, but now they don’t get along and will have to refocus as two wins are all that’s needed to advance to the next round of the Road to the Minto Cup.
So here we are, a week away from the second season starting out west and we have our combatants set. The league leading Victoria Shamrocks are looking to defend their WLA title as they’ll take on the New Westminster Salmonbellies in the opening round best of seven. In the other series, the Burnaby Lakers will host the Maple Ridge Burrards is what should be an incredible series between two young and hungry teams.
Even with the Shamrocks running away with the regular season title, it’s been one of the best season out west as all the teams had some sort of hope heading into the final few weeks of the season. However, only four make it and if the BC Junior A final is any indication, we could be in for some dandy lacrosse. Victoria won the season series with New West with three straight victories while Maple Ridge took two from Burnaby in three very tightly contested games. From here on out, it’s going to take 12 wins to capture the Mann Cup and for the four play-off bound teams they just have to get through one more game each before things get underway in a week. Let the fun begin as the Road to the Mann Cup hits another gear. READ MORE »
It’s tied 2-2, this isn’t just any B.C. playoff series. It’s the finals, and it’s New Westminster against Coquitlam. The Salmonbellies knotted the series with Sunday’s win in Game 4, but the rivalry added some color with some PIMs. Actually, lots of PIMs in the third period. Check it out as the rage boils over and the result is fists of fury — lots of them — flying. Game 4 is tonight at New Westminster. READ MORE »
When the Langley Thunder were 6-5 back on June 25, life was good. Considering the Thunder broke from the gate with a 0-3 start, it meant they were 6-2 since that point. But those good feelings evaporated over the course of a 6-game losing streak and the capper was last Thursday’s loss to New Westminster, which officially booted the Thunder from the Western Lacrosse Association playoffs for the first time since 2011. Coach Rod Jensen is discouraged, but not flattened. “Its been really tough,” Jensen told the Langley Advance. “When you have a young team with players who haven’t played too much at this level you have to keep yourself thick-skinned, and we were vulnerable. It wasn’t for a lack of effort: it’s just that the guys didn’t execute well and didn’t do the basics.” And so the Thunder will close their season tonight at home against Nanaimo and head into the offseason knowing they’ll come back next summer a year old and, hopefully, a year wiser. “This was an enjoyable team to coach, even though we didn’t get results,” said Jensen.
The Six Nations Arrows and Whitby Warriors get the OLA Junior A finals started this week with Game 1 on Thursday night at Six Nations. It’s the second straight season these squads will play for a berth in the Minto Cup finals in Langley, B.C. As the No. 1 seed, the Arrows have the home-floor advantage for this season, but will that really matter? The teams split their 2-game regular-season series with the visiting team winning each game. And in the playoffs this summer, Six Nations is 4-0 on the road and Whitby is 4-1. But there is one other X-factor heading into this series, and that’s the presence of forward Johnny Powless for Six Nations. In his final year of Junior A, Powless missed the entire regular season with a hand injury but returned for the playoffs and is the team’s leading scorer this postseason with 42 points (15-27) in 9 games. For the complete Junior A finals schedule, make the jump. READ MORE »
What a week for one goal decisions; including two game winners for first place Brooklin Redmen in the final seconds of Monday’s and Wednesday’s games. In the only game that wasn’t decided by one goal, the Peterborough Lakers – playing their lone game of the week – breezed past the Brampton Excelsiors. In a quest to finish in the middle of the playoff pack, the KW Kodiaks were victorious in both of their one goal decisions last week. Rounding out current postseason quartet, the Six Nations Chiefs lost early in the week to the Redmen before adding two points to their standings with a win against the Oakville Rock on Saturday. Despite close finishes in three of four games, the Rock and Excelsiors lost all week 9 games they played. READ MORE »
When you’re hot, you’re hot. That’s right where Casey Jackson finds himself these days and the Burnaby Lakers couldn’t be happier with the timing. Jackson was a third star last week for the Western Lacrosse Association, and his work this past week to help the Lakers lock up the No. 2 seed in the WLA playoffs earns him the top spot as ILIndoor’s No. 1 star. He’s joined by veteran teammates Dane Stevens, who is this week’s third star and in between them is New Westminster’s Jordan McBride, who came through big time in the clutch to help the Salmonbellies clinch their first playoff berth since the 2011 season. READ MORE »
Old school vs. new school. Offense vs. defense. Tim Soudan vs. Chris O’Dougherty. This is a juicy matchup that’d be worth the price of a ticket, no matter which era we’re talking about. Soudan is the former Rochester Knighthawks forward to didn’t just rely on his hometown connections to win over fans in Rochester. His hard work and feisty approach put him over the top in the hearts of Knighthawks faithful. O’Dougherty doesn’t have the lengthy NLL resume of Soudan, but he can’t help the chronological order of events, like birth. But given the way this young defenseman works himself so he can work over opponents, it’s no stretch to include him in the discussion of best Americans to ever play in the NLL. And that’s why he’s here today in this poll, leaving it up to you to help decide as ILIndoor continues its pursuit of the best American-born NLL player. READ MORE »