The Salmonbellies pride had been trampled on by the Whitby Warriors on the first day of the Minto Cup at their own Queen’s Park Arena, so odds are that the team that played them on Day 2 was going to get a much more focused opponent, no matter who it was. Their rivals from Coquitlam drew the short straw on Sunday night. Head Coach of the ‘Bellies, Dan Perreault, said it best. “I thought we played sixty minutes of quality lacrosse tonight for this time of year. Our team was pretty solid, defence, goaltending, offence, we were solid in all areas.” The teams were tied 2-2 after the first period. New West did most of its damage in the second, outscoring the Adanacs 5-2 to give them a 7-4 lead, which was enough for them to hold on for the win. READ MORE »
Archive for the ‘Road to the Minto Cup’ Category
As Neil Doddridge, Head Coach of the Coquitlam Adanacs stated after Day 1 of the 2013 Minto Cup, “There is a lot to like about the Whitby Warriors.” Consistency is beginning to be one of them because for the second night in a row the Warriors came flying out of the gate catching their opponent off guard with their quick feet, quick sticks and quick, relentless transition from defence to attack mode.
Day 2 saw them jump out to a 3-0 on the Okotoks Raiders starting with Patrick McCrory’s first of two goals on the night only 43 seconds in followed by Dan Lintner’s first two, the second coming shorthanded just over three minutes into the first period. After that initial surge, the Raiders kept the Whitby offence at bay, mostly by showing better ball control offensively than they had in the first period the day before versus the Adanacs. Their starting goaltender, Akwesasne-born Kanathonson Horn-David, settled in after being given a quick breather and a moment to re-focus while back-up Dylan Bachmeier got his first taste of Minto Cup action. Horn-David’s strong play to finish the first period coupled with his team playing much better in front of him resulted in no scoring for either side for the final 16:55 of the opening frame. READ MORE »
Once the curtains close on the 2013 Minto Cup, the 10-year agreement that welcomed Alberta into the fold expires and the stakeholders from Alberta, B.C., and Ontario have to sit down at the bargaining table and hammer out a new agreement. The question I have is, will it be one that is best for the growth of Junior A lacrosse throughout Canada or one where each province protects its own interests and focuses on an agreement that gives their program the best chance to win in the short term? This agreement is far more complex than the debate about which tournament format produces the most compelling, competitive lacrosse. READ MORE »
If you hear someone mention the “lacrosse brotherhood” and you’re not quite sure that that means, just check out what’s going on at the Minto Cup. For example: The Whitby Warriors are coached by Derek Keenan, who also coaches the National Lacrosse League’s Edmonton Rush. Later today, Keenan and the Warriors play the Coquitlam Adanacs, whose assistant coaches include Curt Malawsky, who is coach of the NLL’s Calgary Roughnecks. And on the bench with Malawsky are Jon Harnett and Dane Dobbie, who are players for the Roughnecks. Oh, and the Coquitlam head coach? That’s Neil Doddridge, who also happens to be a scout for the NLL Roughnecks. Want more? When Whitby played the Okotoks Raiders on Sunday, Keenan went up against Okotoks coach Dave Pym, the former Roughnecks coach (who was replaced by Malawsky). And assisting Pym with coaching duties are Andrew McBride, who plays for the Roughnecks and Jimmy Quinlan, who plays for Keenan’s Rush. But for Keenan, it’s not about those matchups. “It’s not a two-team race,” he told The Province. “It’s four teams and you have to be prepared for every game.”
Last Night: Brooklin stuns Peterborough in Game 7 to advance to MSL finals; Whitby, New Westminster post wins at Minto Cup
The winds of change brought the Six Nations Chiefs to last year’s Major Series finals, giving fans a matchup other than Brampton and Peterborough for the first time in years. The winds of change are at it again, and this year’s edition of the finals will feature the Chiefs again, but this time they’ll be playing the Brooklin Redmen. The Redmen defeated the Peterborough Lakers 13-8 last night, putting the Redmen into the MSL finals for the first time since 2002. “That was a hell of a game tonight. It was a great series,” Brooklin coach Wayne Colley told The Peterborough Examiner. But the 13 goals scored wasn’t really the story for Brooklin. It was the 8 goals allowed, anchored by goalie Zach Higgins and his 49 saves. READ MORE »
The game started out as a back and forth affair but the adjustments that the Adanacs made in the first intermission changed the face of the first game for each team as they added to their 3-2 lead with a run of three straight. The Raiders weren’t able to get a streak of their own going and could only trade goals with the Coquitlam the rest of the way. Okotoks defensive coach Andrew McBride was happy with his players despite the loss. “From the defensive perspective, I thought we played really well in our five-on-five systems. You can’t come flying right out against a good, skilled team like this. They have smart players who understand that defence, especially from being coached that style of defence.” McBride cited that the Raiders’ transition had to be better moving forward, but felt that he and fellow Raiders coaches Dave Pym, Jesse Fehr and Jimmy Quinlan have a lot of positives to work with. READ MORE »
Whitby came out of the gates hard, attacked in every facet of the game and caught the Salmonbellies off guard, finishing the first period with a 6-2 lead and then exploding in the second with five unanswered goals to enter the third with an 11-2 cushion. Salmonbellies’ Assistant Coach Clayton Richardson said, “We knew they were a strong transition team but I didn’t realize and I don’t think our team realized how quick their entire roster is. There wasn’t a guy out there that didn’t have a quick first step. That surprised us.” The first step factor benefited Whitby on offence when they were a man down as they finished with four shorties. Richardson also talked about the ‘Bellies being surprised by the Warriors in other areas. “You knew coming from the east they were going to be talented with their sticks, but words can’t describe how quick of a release some of those players have,” he said. “That was surprising, and again we heard their goaltender was strong but that was a surprise how solid he was in net.” READ MORE »
With the high-scoring Wes Berg sidelined with a broken foot, the Coquitlam Adanacs need someone to fill that big role. Steven Neufeld should do just fine, thank you very much. At 6-foot-8, 270 pounds, this right-hander can do many things and he showed that in the B.C. playoffs with a circuit-leading 29 points (14-15) to earn MVP honors of the finals against New Westminster. “I’ve never seen a big man with better hands than Neufeld,” Coquitlam coach Neil Doddridge told The Province. “I really think he could play at the next level.” So as the Adanacs prepare for the Minto Cup in New West that kicks off this weekend, Neufeld understands completely the need for someone to take on the scoring load that Berg provided. Whether or not Neufeld is that player remains to be seen. “I wouldn’t say I have felt a lot more pressure,” he said. “I know that everybody has to step up now.”
Alexis Buque is quite comfortable in Whitby and really, can you blame him? “This is where I grew up. This is where I’ve played since I was little,” the Whitby Warriors goalie told DurhamRegion.com. “This is the place to be. It’s hometown lacrosse.” But once the Minto Cup tournament is finished, win or lose, Buque’s graduation from junior lacrosse means his time with the Warriors is done. The prospect of finality has crossed his mind from time to time, and it’s been a motivating factor for his play. “After the game, you always feel it,” he said. “You always understand this could be my last game.” And his play is a big reason the Warriors are returning to the Minto Cup for a third straight season. The Warriors won it all in 2011 as Buque shared time with Zack Higgins. But it’s been Buque’s show this summer and his numbers — .793 save percentage, 8.26 goals-against — are proof enough he’s a big-time stopper. But all the numbers in the world don’t mean a thing if he doesn’t come home from New Westminster with another Minto Cup.
The Okotoks Raiders are not making their first trip to the Minto Cup, but there’s a lot at stake this weekend. For the 8 graduating Raiders, the stakes are obvious. But they’re even bigger for Alberta lacrosse as a whole in this, the final year of the format that gives Alberta an automatic berth. Starting next season, Alberta and B.C. will have a series to determine a Minto rep to play the Ontario champ, so doing something special this season is on the minds of many at Okotoks. “Our work ethic needs to be even better than it has been,” Okotoks’ Kevin Pym told The Western Wheel. “Going out there playing against these teams from Ontario and B.C., our mindset has got to be that we’re going to compete, we want to win games and take that cup home. We want to make that statement that Alberta has improved.” The Raiders will get the chance to prove that, starting this weekend.