Archive for the ‘Road to the Minto Cup’ Category

Road to the Minto Cup: Semifinals in Ontario heat up, finals in B.C. and Alberta kick off

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 »

Jr. Salmonbellies will see a familiar face in Game 1 of B.C. finals against Coquitlam

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.

Road to the Minto Cup: B.C., Alberta set to kick off finals, Ontario enters semifinals

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 »

Road to the Minto Cup: New Westminster, Brampton and Six Nations advance

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 »

St. Catharines eager to prove it can run with top-seeded Six Nations Arrows

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 returns to Six Nations lineup in pursuit of his first Minto Cup

Johnny Powless (93) has won Champion's and Mann cups, but the Minto Cup has eluded him. (Photo: Ward Laforme Jr.)
Johnny Powless (93) has won Champion's and Mann cups, but the Minto Cup has eluded him. (Photo: Ward Laforme Jr.)

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 »

OLA Jr A Power Rankings: Six Nations finishes on top, adds Johnny Powless

Brampton is already through its quarter final series and waiting for a semi final opponent. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
Brampton is already through its quarter final series and waiting for a semi final opponent. (Photo: Tim Prothero)

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 »

Road to the Minto Cup: First round of playoffs in Ontario, B.C., Alberta in full gear

And so, the pursuit of the 2014 Minto Cup begins. This year’s event is in Langley, B.C., at Langley Events Centre and the participants will take a bit of a different route to get there. At least for B.C. and Alberta. Nothing’s changed for Ontario, but the playoff champs in B.C. and Alberta will square off to determine the Western rep this year. It’s a change from the familiar 4-team format of years past that had the 3 provincial champions, along with the host team, vying for the coveted trophy. The first round of playoffs in Ontario, B.C. and Alberta kicked off this week, so check out the results and status of each series after the jump. READ MORE »

OLA Jr A Power Rankings: A congested pack battles for playoff positioning

Ryan Keenan and the Warriors caught Peterborough in the standings and held them off in the Power Rankings with a big win Tuesday. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
Ryan Keenan and the Warriors caught Peterborough in the standings and held them off in the Power Rankings with a big win Tuesday. (Photo: Tim Prothero)

The Six Nations Arrows will finish first in the OLA Jr A league and the Brampton Excelsiors will finish second. That much we know. After that things are still very murky. Right now the Peterborough Lakers and Whitby Warriors are tied for third. With just a handful of games left in the regular season, there is a scenario in which the Kitchener-Waterloo Braves and Orangeville Northmen could join them to create a four-way tie for third. That’s how close things are in the middle of the pack. Needless to say, the Power Rankings have a series of teams that are almost too close to call as well. Meanwhile, the battle for the final two playoff spots is heated as well. Barrie receiving two points for a forfeit win over Six Nations gives them a bit of an edge over St. Catharines, but the Athletics would have needed to beat Barrie in the final game of the season to be part of the playoff picture anyway. Make the jump for more on the exciting final stretch. READ MORE »

BCJALL Power Rankings: New West claims regular season crown as Victoria and Delta battle it out for third

It’s the final week in the BCJALL and the only left to decide is who will finish third and fourth between the Victoria Shamrocks and Delta Islanders. Wednesday night, the New Westminster Salmonbellies captured their first regular season title in over a decade defeating the Coquitlam Adanacs to sweep the season series and give themselves home floor advantage throughout the post-season. Those four teams have been in the top four for much of the season and always looked to be on a collision course in the play-offs.

The divide in the BCJALL from top to bottom is getting close but there still doesn’t seem to be any teams that can compete with the big guns from New West and Coquitlam. Only the Adanacs have finished their regular season schedule with the Shamrocks still to play two games and holding this place in their grasp. But really who wold you rather play? Both Delta and Victoria are in unenviable positions of having to take on the top two teams starting on the road.  Just a handful of games remain in the season then the fun really begins as we get closer and closer to the Minto Cup. READ MORE »