Archive for the ‘Road to the Mann Cup’ Category


WLA Power Rankings: Victoria remains at No. 1, Langley makes big jump in Week 3

Out west things are starting to get interesting in the Western Lacrosse Association as we near the opening third of the season. The Victoria Shamrocks remain undefeated and atop the rankings for the third straight week as they continue their run for back to back Mann Cup appearances after missing the big dance for six straight years. The Shamrocks aren’t the only hot team going right now as the Langley Thunder have bounced back from an 0-3 start to get back to .500 and it’s neck and neck through the middle of the pack. READ MORE »


WLA Power Rankings

Cory Small has flown to the top of the WLA points standings early on. (Photo: Gary Woodburn)
Cory Small has flown to the top of the WLA points standings early on. (Photo: Gary Woodburn)

Consistency is the word of the week for the Western Lacrosse Association teams and players after two full weeks of games. It’s a long drawn out season for these guys and there’s no doubt that there is and will be some rust, growing pains and tired legs as the season rages on. For general managers and coaches alike, finding the right mix is crucial to ensure their team is on the right path come play-offs. But that’s a long ways away for now and right now, teams are just trying to juggle rosters as best they can and fill holes with whom they can.

There wasn’t much movement in the power-rankings this week, although we’re sure to hear from a few disgruntled fans/players/personnel about how we rate the seven WLA teams. In such a highly competitive league this year, it will be tough to predict winners and even tougher to pick who will come out on top at the end. So enjoy the games everyone cause it’s going to be a great week of lacrosse out in BC. READ MORE »


WLA Power Rankings- And they’re off like a herd of turtles

Colton Clark was traded to the Bellies for Ilija and Alex Gajic, the Lakers are the only WLA team still left without a game played (Photo: Dan Brodie)
Colton Clark was traded to the Bellies for Ilija and Alex Gajic, the Lakers are the only WLA team still left without a game played (Photo: Dan Brodie)

With the first full week of Western Lacrosse Associations games in the book, we can start to rank the seven teams as they battle for supremacy and the right to travel back east for the Mann Cup. As mentioned two weeks ago in our WLA preview, while many of the big name eastern talent has flown the coop back home, a plethora of young local BC talent is ready to take the stage and raise their game to the next level. Well in the handful of games that have been played so far this year, we’re no doubt in for a very intriguing year.

The Burnaby Lakers, who many feel are a real contender in the WLA this year, won’t play their first game of the year until Thursday while the Langley Thunder have already played and lost three games and the Nanaimo Timbermen have played four and gotten four different results. Its been a very odd opening week in the WLA and after the jump we’ll let you low where all seven teams stack up. READ MORE »


WLA Preview as the hunt for the Mann Cup begins Saturday in Coquitlam

Matt Flindell will be the Shamrocks' starting goalie as they get set to defend their WLA crown (Photo: Dan Brodie)
Matt Flindell will be the Shamrocks' starting goalie as they get set to defend their WLA crown (Photo: Dan Brodie)

Let’s all quote Rick Flair for a quick minute in one of the greatest and most overused sports cliches ever: to be the man you have to beat the man. In this case, to be the 2014 Western Lacrosse Association champions, six teams will be gunning for the Victoria Shamrocks who won the west in 2013. The even years always leave many questions for western clubs and most tend to not stack up on high priced talent in hopes of piecing together a roster that can compete with the clubs of the Major Series out east. In reality, it brings into question a moral construct of the Canadian summer leagues as players flip flop from league to league in hopes of capturing a Mann Cup title. But alas, we aren’t here to discuss politics, we’re here to get your set for the start of another season of WLA action and it all kicks off Saturday in Coquitlam as the Adanacs host the Langley Thunder.

There’s been quite a bit of turnover out west as teams begin the early jockeying for positioning atop the mountain as the journey for the cup begins. Each team has plenty of questions surrounding them from; can young goalies rise to the occasion, will draft picks pay-off, who will be here and not be here come August 1, and will the Mann Cup drought end this year? After the jump check out the early season rankings for the seven clubs out here in BC and also check out the opening day rosters as posted by the WLA Friday afternoon. Let the fun begin and may the best team win. READ MORE »


OTCB Podcast- Victoria Shamrocks HC Bob Heyes: throwbacks, hip surgeries and how he never wanted to coach

Bob Heyes in his heyday.
Bob Heyes in his heyday.

It’s been a while since the Off the Crossebar Podcasts have graced this page and that’s totally Rob Ford’s fault (everything is these days, right?) but we’re back and kicking things off with a bit of a throwback. For those that are social media savvy and even more so on Facebook, I suggest you become friends with Victoria Shamrocks Head Coach, Bob Heyes. He’s not giving anything away, trying to gain likes to cure cancer or raising a million dollars to try and convince the Gait brothers for one last tour of duty with the Rocks.  What he is doing, though, is giving an incredible trip down memory lane with some outstanding pictures and video footage from his playing days as a member of the Esquimalt Legion (BC JrA), the Victoria Payless, the Victoria Shamrocks and even his cup of coffee with the Pittsburgh Bulls. READ MORE »


WLA Draft 2014: Grading the teams

Tyler Garrison
Tyler Garrison

The dust has settled on the 2014 Western Lacrosse Association Draft, and the teams and scouts will now start to figure out where their draftees can fit into their roster before the season starts in May. We learned that old habits do indeed die hard and that there is a body of water called the Georgia Straight that makes things really hard to predict on draft day. All in all, 64 graduating juniors were drafted and will try to crack WLA rosters. Each team at the Langley Events Centre last Thursday night improved their club in some way shape or form, and each should be happy with the quality of lacrosse players that continue to pour out of the province. But there had to be winners and losers, and ILIndoor hands out a one letter report card to the 7 WLA teams. READ MORE »


WLA Draft preview: Talent is deep on both sides of ball, so who goes with No. 1 pick?

If Jesse King's Junior numbers weren't impressive enough, his Mann Cup performance was. (Photo: Victoria Shamrocks)
If Jesse King's Junior numbers weren't impressive enough, his Mann Cup performance was. (Photo: Victoria Shamrocks)

After last weekend’s B.C. Jr. A Lacrosse League draft, the eight junior teams stacked up their rosters for the 2014 season and started the process of moving on without their graduating players. Now it’s time to see where many of those 1992 born players will end up for the upcoming Western Lacrosse Association season as the WLA draft will take place at Langley Events Centre on Thursday, February 6. The Coquitlam Adanacs hold the first overall pick in this years draft and they have numerous options moving forward into 2014. The A’s also hold the fourth overall pick so they will be adding two top level rookies to the roster. The talent pool is very top heavy with this year’s draft class but with 2014 being an eastern Mann Cup year, it could very well be a year for some of these top prospects to make a real impact. READ MORE »


OTCB Podcast: A cavalier both on and off floor, Dane Stevens a man of many talents

Dane Stevens
Dane Stevens

Ever since the early days of the Eagle Pro Box league and professional lacrosse became an actual thing, it’s always labeled itself as the league of weekend warriors who play for the love of the game while holding down a steady 9-5 job Monday through Friday. National Lacrosse League players today have a wide range of professions that allow them continue to play the game they love, while at the same time making sure the bills don’t pile up like John Grant Jr highlight real goals (don’t ever stop Jr.). Well Dane Stevens, who was recently acquired by the Minnesota Swarm from the Edmonton Rush, may just take the cake as one of the most interesting men away from the turf. He may not have his own line of Memes quite yet but moonlighting as the bassist for the Vancouver indie rock group, Tough Lovers has allowed him to grow some underground groupie love status but that’s not the coolest job description on his resume. READ MORE »


WLA: Bellies trade Richards to Lakers for 2 first round picks

Tyler Richards went to three Mann Cups with New Westminster, including 2010 in Peterborough. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
Tyler Richards went to three Mann Cups with New Westminster, including 2010 in Peterborough. (Photo: Tim Prothero)

While the National Lacrosse League is a few weeks away from kicking off, other teams and leagues continue to make waves and late Wednesday night was no different. After sitting out most of the 2013 season to weigh his lacrosse options, Tyler Richards now finds himself with a new home for the 2014 Western Lacrosse Association season and beyond. The 27-year-old Coquitlam, BC native has spent his entire WLA career with the New Westminster Salmonbellies but will now head on over the bog and join the Burnaby Lakers.

WLA Commissioner Casey Cook confirmed on twitter tonight that the long-time rivals had completed a trade for the two-time WLA goalie of the year and all-star in exchange for two first round picks coming in 2014 and 2015. Richards, who was getting in a workout with the Vancouver Stealth, was very appreciative of the opportunity afforded to him by the Salmonbellies upon hearing of the trade. READ MORE »


Ian Llord won Champions Cup, Presidents Cup and Mann Cup in 2013

Ian Llord
Ian Llord

Ian Llord was looking forward to a pretty quiet summer after having won the Champions Cup with the Rochester Knighthawks. He was going to play some Senior B lacrosse with his hometown St. Catharines Saints and spend time at home with his family. Then he got a call from the Six Nations Chiefs of Major Series Lacrosse. Suddenly, his quiet summer became a steady series of games leading to a chance to win an exceedingly rare triple. By the time the dust settled, the quiet, hard-working defender had also won a Presidents Cup and a Mann Cup.

“It was never supposed to be like that. It was supposed to be a pretty relaxed, laid-back summer,” Llord told IL Indoor. “I was supposed to be working on my house, playing with my kids, stuff like that. But I’ve got a really understanding and loving wife and a really close family. It was good. It was a lot of lacrosse.” READ MORE »