The Brampton Excelsiors have done this before, just last week as a matter of fact. But today, there’s a bit more urgency. Staring a 3-2 deficit in the face against the Whitby Warriors, the Excelsiors understand that in order to play more lacrosse past this week, they need 2 consecutive wins against the defending Minto Cup champions. That, or the gear is packed for the offseason and no one in Brampton is ready for that just yet. “They are the defending champions for a reason. They get better as the playoffs go on,” coach Dan Teat told the Brampton Guardian in regard to Whitby. The Excelsiors opened a 2-0 series lead on the Warriors before the Warriors did exactly what just about everyone knew they could do. But Teat and the Excelsiors believe they can do the same, it’s just a matter of polishing an aspect here and finding some focus there as the series resumes with Game 6 Tuesday at Whitby. “In the first two games we were a lot smarter in a lot of ways,” said Teat.
Archive for the ‘Road to the Minto Cup’ Category
We’ve seen some interesting developments in the Junior A playoff scene over the last few days. Whitby has won 3 straight to take a 3-2 series lead over Brampton in 1 Ontario semifinal. In the other, Six Nations has rallied for a 3-2 lead in its series with Peterborough, even though the Arrows are an astoundingly ineffective 1-for-34 on the power play against the Lakers. Out West, Coquitlam isn’t ready to let go of its hold in B.C. as the Adanacs have won 2 straight against New Westminster to take a 2-1 lead in the B.C. finals, while the Junior Mounties are off to a 2-0 start against the Junior Raiders in the Alberta finals. For a closer look at each series and updated schedules and stats, read on after the jump. READ MORE »
Who were those guys? Just like the posse in the iconic Western movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, it took a while to figure out who was who for the Six Nations Arrows Friday night, but they sure were effective. Wearing yellow Peterborough Petes’ Ontario Hockey League practice sweaters and old senior Lakers’ shorts because they didn’t have their regular uniforms available at the game, the Six Nations Arrows dominated the junior Peterborough Lakers 15-7 to even their best-of-seven OLA Jr A semifinals at two games each. Johnny Powless, wearing number 9 instead of his usual 93, made himself known with a goal and 6 assists to lead the Arrows, who took absolute control of the game with a 7-0 second period that game them a 12-3 lead heading into the final 20 minutes. READ MORE »
The Junior A playoffs are in beast mode with each semifinal series through 3 games. Brampton’s got a 2-1 lead on Whitby, the defending Minto Cup champion, and Peterborough’s overtime win last night gave the Lakers a 2-1 series lead on No. 1 seed Six Nations. Out West, the top-seeded New Westminster Salmonbellies opened with a Game 1 win over Coquitlam and with 2 games scheduled for this weekend, the ‘Bellies will find out if they can take complete control or if they’ll have a fight on their hands with the Adanacs. And in Alberta, the finals kick off with Game 1 tonight. The Junior Mounties, who are playing for the first time since July 6, take on the Junior Raiders for Alberta supremacy. READ MORE »
Eli McLaughlin scored 28 points in 9 B.C. playoff games last summer for the New Westminster Salmonbellies. Tonight, the ‘Bellies will see McLaughlin on the floor in Game 1 of the B.C. finals. But he’ll be wearing the purple and gold of Coquitlam, not the red and white of New West. “We’re well aware of what Eli can do,” Salmonbellies coach Dan Perreault told The Province. “He’s a very strong player. We know that we have to try to limit his quality chances.” This is the way it goes at times in B.C. Last year, New West got the services of McLaughlin, who then returned to Delta for most of the 2014 season. Among this year’s late-season deals saw McLaughlin shipped to Coquitlam and that adds his lethal stick to that of Wes Berg, providing a big test for the New West defense. But that doesn’t worry Perreault and New West, who have a very capable offense themselves as these teams continue their quest for the Minto Cup.
And so we’re off to the semifinals in Ontario, while B.C. and Alberta are gearing up for their finals. All went as expected in B.C. with New Westminster and Coquitlam advancing to the finals for the fourth time in 5 seasons. In Alberta, the Okotoks Raiders will play the well-rested Junior Mounties, who haven’t played a game since their July 6 season finale because of a bye in the first round. And in Ontario, the scene shook out according to seeds with the exception of No. 5 Peterborough knocking out No. 4 Kitchener-Waterloo in 5 games. So before the next rounds get started, let’s take a look at what’s going on in each province. READ MORE »
There’s still plenty to be decided, but 3 teams are a step closer to their ultimate goal. In Ontario, Brampton and Six Nations are through the first round with sweeps of their opponents, while New Westminster in B.C. is through after dispatching Delta. A few more series will be decided this weekend, including the other B.C. semifinal where Coquitlam has a 2-0 lead on Victoria. A Coquitlam win on Saturday sends the Adanacs to the B.C. finals, where they’d play the Salmonbellies for all the marbles for the fifth time in 6 seasons. READ MORE »
Opening a series with a 13-5 loss, against the No. 1 seed, is not ideal. But it’s not the end, either. That’s the view of the No. 8 St. Catharines Athletics, who believe they can play with the Arrows after close contests (10-5 and 8-6 losses) during the regular season. “I know we can play with these guys. We just have to come to arena knowing we can play with them and have the confidence we can play with them,” coach Ian Rubel told the Welland Tribune. Speaking of confidence, that’s a big weapon for the Arrows, who pieced together several in-game runs in the series opener, runs the A’s need to avoid if they’re to have a chance, said Rubel. “We hung with them for a bit and then let them get four and then we played catch up from there and playing catch up with Six Nations is a difficult task for us, for anybody,” he said. Game 2 of the series is tonight in St. Catharines at 8 p.m.
Johnny Powless made his much anticipated return to the floor Sunday night, scoring three goals to lead the Six Nations Arrows to a 13-5 victory over the St. Catharines Athletics in Game One of the Ontario Junior “A” Quarterfinals. The game was his first since raising the National Lacrosse League’s Champion’s Cup with the Rochester Knighthawks on May 31. Powless was itching to get back in the lineup after taking six weeks off following the conclusion of the NLL season. Six Nations was also eager to welcome back one of the Arrows’ top point producers. “It’s like making a blockbuster trade for the playoffs. Adding, in my opinion, the best junior-aged player in the country is huge,” said Six Nations general manager Landon Miller, who also serves as the assistant GM of the Knighthawks. “He is a quiet leader who leads on the floor.” READ MORE »
How do you choose among Whitby, Kitchener-Waterloo, Peterborough and Orangeville? The four teams all finished 12-8 in the regular season. The ties were broken through a series of tiebreakers that left them in the order they’re listed above, meaning Whitby and Orangeville squared off in one quarter final while Peterborough and KW face off in the other. Both series continued the trend by having their first two games split. Meanwhile, the Six Nation Arrows finished first in the regular season and now they add Johnny Powless—last year’s IL Indoor Canadian junior player of the year and a three-time Champions Cup winner—to the roster for the playoffs. As the Power Rankings went to press last week, it wasn’t certain who Brampton would play. This week, the Excelsiors have already dispatched Burlington in three straight games and are just waiting to see what happens in the other series. READ MORE »