Archive for the ‘Road to the Minto Cup’ Category


Junior Salmonbellies swing deal with St. Catharines for rights to goalie Eric Penney

Goalie Eric Penney will take be taking his talents to New Westminster, from St. Catharines. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
Goalie Eric Penney will take be taking his talents to New Westminster, from St. Catharines. (Photo: Tim Prothero)

They’re 17-1 and have won 12 straight, but the New Westminster Junior Salmonbellies just got a bit better. ILIndoor has learned that the Junior A Salmonbellies have obtained the rights to St. Catharines goalie Eric Penney. New Westminster GM Jamie Stewart confirmed the transaction on Friday and said he’s not certain as to when Penney will make his debut with the Salmonbellies, but the goalie is expected to be on the team’s bench for Sunday’s game at Burnaby. Penney has been a stalwart in goal for St. Kitts the last 3 summers but the team doesn’t have much to show for it with regard to postseason success. St. Catharines made a first-round exit in 2012 and didn’t qualify last summer. READ MORE »


BCJALL Power Rankings: the rich getting richer at the deadline as play-offs creep closer

It’s trade-deadline time out in BC as we now know the four teams that will compete for a shot at becoming the one team that will represent the province and compete for the 2014 Minto Cup. And that’s when the entire landscape of the BC Jr A loop changed. It’s common practice that teams in the top leagues often move players at the deadline to acquire that needed piece of the puzzle or stock pile for the future. But it’s quite rare to see a team that’s in the play-offs trading away their best players at the deadline to a team ahead of them in the standings.

Delta shipped off their leading scorer Eli McLaughlin and one of their top defenders Taylor Northway to the Coquitlam Adanacs in exchange for a 2015 first round pick, Spencer Stevens and future considerations. Speaking of futures; the league leading New Westminster Salmonbellies acquired Brett Dorbay from the Langley Thunder as part of a deal from earlier in the year. Meanwhile, the Victoria Shamrocks have sat there and watched the mainland teams load up as we get set for the play-offs to begin in a couple weeks.

So check out the rankings this week and keep a close eye on IL Indoor as we get closer and closer to crowing a BC champion READ MORE »


OLA Jr A Power Rankings: Arrows remain in a class by themselves

Daniel Craig is second in OLA Jr A with 5.86 points per game. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
Daniel Craig is second in OLA Jr A with 5.86 points per game. (Photo: Tim Prothero)

The middle of the pack is incredibly tightly bunched in OLA Jr A this year. When you get past Six Nations (who showed they are clearly the class of the loop by handling second-place Brampton fairly easily), any of the next nine teams seem capable of beating any of the others on a given night. The Excelsiors’ 11-game winning streak, which came to a close with their 11-4 loss to the Arrows, has given them a little breathing room ahead of the rest of the pack. Then you have six seven teams, from Whitby at 18 points to St. Catharines at 12, in a cluster fighting for playoff spots and positioning. With three weeks to play in the regular season, there’s still lots to be decided and there’s sure to be lots of movement in the IL Indoor Power Rankings. There certainly has been this week. Make the jump to see how it all plays out. READ MORE »


BCJALL Power Rankings- Salmonbellies take second game from Adanacs and take over first place

The New Westminster Salmonbellies have finally taken a season series from the Coquitlam Adanacs and they find themselves on top of the BC Junior A lacrosse Standings, with visions of a regular season crown slowly creeping into their minds. But there’s still plenty of lacrosse remaining and as we’ve seen so far this year all across Canada, anything can happen and in the blink of an eye you can go from league leaders to scratching your head in an instant. The top four teams are pretty much set out west, with New West and Coquitlam likely to finish 1-2 while Delta and Victoria battle for the 3-4 spot. The Timbermen and Thunder grasping to their play-off hopes with a death-grip as they are both nearing win or go home territory.
The big four clubs have been battling all year as there is indeed a line in the sand between the top and middle ranked teams but the gap seems to get larger every year from top to bottom clubs. Burnaby and Poco had down years this year and while their minor systems are booming with youth, playing in the shadows of the more notable associations really handicap those them. Check out this week’s BCJALL power rankings as the teams get set to play the second to last week of the regular season. READ MORE »


OLA Jr A Power Rankings: Excelsiors and Arrows on collision course this week

Brendan Bomberry and the Arrows continue to rule the roost in OLA Jr A, with a showdown against number 2 Brampton coming this week. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
Brendan Bomberry and the Arrows continue to rule the roost in OLA Jr A, with a showdown against number 2 Brampton coming this week. (Photo: Tim Prothero)

Brampton has won 10 games in a row, putting them in the company of Six Nations at the top of the OLA Junior A standings and in the IL Indoor Power Rankings. The teams will meet in a head-to-head showdown this week at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in a game that is looking more and more like a preview of this year’s league finals. The teams are a study in contrasts. Six Nations can score but their success is built on a smothering defence led by the likes of Leo Stouros and Wenster Green. They’ve allowed only 72 goals (20 fewer than anyone else in the league) in 11 games and have a pair of goalies who can get the job done in Don Alton and Doug Jamieson. Brampton leads the league in scoring at 13.2 goals per game and they’re only going to get better, as most of their leadings scorers have at least two years left in junior. So, the classic matchup of offence vs defence occurs again this Sunday in Six Nations. A potential undefeated season for the Arrows, not to mention top spot in the Power Rankings, hangs in the balance. READ MORE »


BCJALL Power Rankings: Coquitlam and New West on another collision course

As we near the end of the 2014 BC Junior A Lacrosse League regular season, it’s easy to start looking toward the postseason for the top four clubs but there’s still plenty to play for out west. The BCJALL will only send four, instead of six, to the next round so points become all the more important down the home stretch. Coquitlam and New Westminster continue to be the class of the BCJ with Delta and Victoria lurking in the background while Nanaimo and Langley claw for hope in the distance.

The gap of top and bottom clubs continues to show as PoCo and Burnaby continue to struggle but if there is to be hope for those two clubs they need to look no further than the Timbermen who were second to last a season ago and in 2014 have managed to find themselves with a glimmer of hope for a 4th place finish. Down to the wire we go here in BC and there are some great games ahead. So check out this week’s power rankings as we creep closer and closer to the second season. READ MORE »


OLA Jr A Power Rankings: Arrows stay on top, Warriors step up one rung

Reilly O'Connor is a playmaking force for the rising Warriors. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
Reilly O'Connor is a playmaking force for the rising Warriors. (Photo: Tim Prothero)

The Six Nations Arrows have finished either first or second in each of the last four OLA Junior A regular seasons, winning at least 17 games each time. They’ve reached the finals three of those four years but failed to advance to the Minto Cup in each of them, losing twice to Orangeville and once to Whitby. So you’ll have to forgive the Arrows and their fans if they temper their excitement over the team’s unbeaten record as we reach the halfway point of the 2014 season with the thought that it all only means so much if they don’t follow it up with a playoff run that culminates in a trip out west for the Minto. But so far so good for a Six Nations team that is second in the league in scoring and has a big lead for fewest goals allowed. The Arrows remain atop the IL Indoor OLA Jr A Power Rankings this week, but there is movement below them. Make the jump to see the standings. READ MORE »


BC Jr A Power Rankings

Much like the Ontario Jr A loop, our west in BC the teams have rounded the halfway poll and are heading home. The Salmonbellies and Adanacs continue to lead the race but the Islanders are hot on their heels. Only two teams, Delta and New Westminster have yet to play to a tie ball-game showing just how close the West is this year.

While there still may be a gap between the top four and bottom four, that separation is slowly closing and it’s starting to be shown on the scoreboard. The Adanacs dropped their first of the year then had two very close games with teams outside of a play-off spot. Teams shuffle for spots as we move closer and closer to the trade deadline and the aforementioned playoffs. Four teams make it and only one will have the right to represent BC in the BC versus Alberta West championship series. READ MORE »


OLA Jr A Power Rankings

The power rankings remain a slugfest, like this Peterborough/Barrie game. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
The power rankings remain a slugfest, like this Peterborough/Barrie game. (Photo: Tim Prothero)

This is how quickly the OLA Jr A season goes by: Mississauga is already halfway through their schedule, having played their tenth game this week. Things in the power rankings are changing just as quickly because the middle of the pack is so volatile. It’s hard to predict who will win on any given night. Even the first-place and undefeated Six Nations Arrows are being challenged. It all makes for some exciting lacrosse and an interesting chase for playoff positioning. The traditional powers are still winning plenty of games: Six Nations, Orangeville and Whitby have 15 wins between them. There are few pushover games, though. Just witness the 10th-ranked Toronto Beaches losing only 10-7 to the Arrows. Make the jump to see what it all means to the power rankings. READ MORE »


OLA Notebook: Whitby Warriors not unlike other teams in searching for groove

Derek Keenan hasn't been happy with Whitby's play lately, even after victories. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
Derek Keenan hasn't been happy with Whitby's play lately, even after victories. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

Slow starts are a bit of a misnomer in summer lacrosse. Squads often are not complete for the first few weeks as they wait for players to return from school and other duties. And that’s why we take “upsets” with a grain of salt because they’re often in name only. By the end of the summer, the cream usually rises to the top and a prime example of that is the Whitby Warriors. They’re a humble 4-2 so far this summer and last year, they were 3-3 after 6 games. But they’ve also won 2 of the last 3 Minto Cups, and that has an ability to render “slow starts” as a distant memory. Still, there’s something different about this 4-2 record and to hear coach Derek Keenan talk about the Warriors, there’s no need to ask for clarification. “We were terrible,” Keenan told DurhamRegion.com last week. “It’s not acceptable, it’s not our style of lacrosse and we have a lot of work to do.” Thing is, Keenan was talking about his team after a win. READ MORE »