Archive for the ‘WLA’ Category


WLA Power Rankings: All seven teams set to dance in the final week of the regular season

Corey Small is a man on a mission trying to get his Victoria Shamrocks back to the Mann Cup. (Photo: Bruce Sototesbury)
Corey Small is a man on a mission trying to get his Victoria Shamrocks back to the Mann Cup. (Photo: Bruce Sototesbury)

So here we are, a week away from the second season starting out west and we have our combatants set. The league leading Victoria Shamrocks are looking to defend their WLA title as they’ll take on the New Westminster Salmonbellies in the opening round best of seven. In the other series, the Burnaby Lakers will host the Maple Ridge Burrards is what should be an incredible series between two young and hungry teams.

Even with the Shamrocks running away with the regular season title, it’s been one of the best season out west as all the teams had some sort of hope heading into the final few weeks of the season. However, only four make it and if the BC Junior A final is any indication, we could be in for some dandy lacrosse. Victoria won the season series with New West with three straight victories while Maple Ridge took two from Burnaby in three very tightly contested games. From here on out, it’s going to take 12 wins to capture the Mann Cup and for the four play-off bound teams they just have to get through one more game each before things get underway in a week. Let the fun begin as the Road to the Mann Cup hits another gear. READ MORE »


Young Langley Thunder hope trials, tests of 2014 pay off for future seasons

Langley coach Rod Jensen said youth and lack of experience kept the Thunder from the playoffs. (Photo: Dan Brodie)
Langley coach Rod Jensen said youth and lack of experience kept the Thunder from the playoffs. (Photo: Dan Brodie)

When the Langley Thunder were 6-5 back on June 25, life was good. Considering the Thunder broke from the gate with a 0-3 start, it meant they were 6-2 since that point. But those good feelings evaporated over the course of a 6-game losing streak and the capper was last Thursday’s loss to New Westminster, which officially booted the Thunder from the Western Lacrosse Association playoffs for the first time since 2011. Coach Rod Jensen is discouraged, but not flattened. “Its been really tough,” Jensen told the Langley Advance. “When you have a young team with players who haven’t played too much at this level you have to keep yourself thick-skinned, and we were vulnerable. It wasn’t for a lack of effort: it’s just that the guys didn’t execute well and didn’t do the basics.” And so the Thunder will close their season tonight at home against Nanaimo and head into the offseason knowing they’ll come back next summer a year old and, hopefully, a year wiser. “This was an enjoyable team to coach, even though we didn’t get results,” said Jensen.


WLA 3 Stars: Jackson, McBride and Stevens outshine field under pressure

Casey Jackson's big week helped Burnaby score 2 big WLA victories. (Photo: Dan Brodie)
Casey Jackson's big week helped Burnaby score 2 big WLA victories. (Photo: Dan Brodie)

When you’re hot, you’re hot. That’s right where Casey Jackson finds himself these days and the Burnaby Lakers couldn’t be happier with the timing. Jackson was a third star last week for the Western Lacrosse Association, and his work this past week to help the Lakers lock up the No. 2 seed in the WLA playoffs earns him the top spot as ILIndoor’s No. 1 star. He’s joined by veteran teammates Dane Stevens, who is this week’s third star and in between them is New Westminster’s Jordan McBride, who came through big time in the clutch to help the Salmonbellies clinch their first playoff berth since the 2011 season. READ MORE »


Nanaimo Timbermen heading into another offseason without a WLA playoff berth

Cayle Ratcliff, left, scored his 100th career WLA goal this season, but he'd much rather be a playoff participant with the Nanaimo Timbermen. (Photo: Dan Brodie)
Cayle Ratcliff, left, scored his 100th career WLA goal this season, but he'd much rather be a playoff participant with the Nanaimo Timbermen. (Photo: Dan Brodie)

The Nanaimo Timbermen lost 11 games this summer and 5 of those losses were by 2 goals. That’s how close they were, but it’s also a sign of how far they have to go to become a winning team again. The Timbermen will miss the Western Lacrosse Association playoffs for the seventh straight season, the official cut coming in Saturday’s 12-5 loss to Burnaby. “The work ethic is there. Guys want to win; it’s not like they’re not trying,” coach Kaleb Toth told the Nanaimo Bulletin. “It’s just we’re not playing a full 60 minutes. We’re making too many small mistakes.” With a 4-11-1 record heading into their final 2 games of the season, Nanaimo’s youth will get good look because Toth believes that it’s the young legs that will turn this franchise around. But for at least 1 more season, the T-men are heading into the offseason with a familiar gnawing in their gut. “We gave it everything we can but fell short,” captain Graham Palmer said. “It seems like I’m here talking to you about the same thing after every season. It’s getting frustrating. It’s tough.”


WLA playoff set to start Aug. 6

The New Westminster Salmonbellies are part of the 2014 playoff party in the WLA. (Photo: Dan Brodie)
The New Westminster Salmonbellies are part of the 2014 playoff party in the WLA. (Photo: Dan Brodie)

The rest of the Western Lacrosse Association regular season for 2014 is but a formality, and the top 4 teams are getting ready for the playoffs. The Victoria Shamrocks locked up the No. 1 seed a while back, but the field wasn’t set until this past weekend with New Westminster’s win over Coquitlam on Saturday pretty much determining what we’ll see in the postseason. As such, the rest of the field shapes up with Burnaby at No. 2, Maple Ridge at No. 3 and New West at No. 4. The schedule for the semifinal rounds have been established so to help you make your travel plans for the games you know you can’t resist attending, make the jump and check out the finalized playoff schedule for 2014. READ MORE »


Last night: Chiefs edge Rock 7-6 to strengthen playoff position

Cody Jamieson had 6 points in Six Nations' 7-6 win over Oakville. (Photo: Darryl Smart)
Cody Jamieson had 6 points in Six Nations' 7-6 win over Oakville. (Photo: Darryl Smart)

In a game with major playoff implications, the Six Nations Chiefs scored the only two goals of the third period to edge the Oakville Rock 7-6 in Major Series Lacrosse play Saturday night. The win moves the Chiefs into a third-place tie with the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks; both teams are 8-8 with a pair of games remaining, including the season-ending game for each team against each other next Wednesday. Oakville missed a chance to pull into a tie with Six Nations for fourth. They have another shot at the Chiefs Monday in Oakville. With almost their full roster together for one of the few times this season, Six Nations got plenty of production from their veteran leaders. Cody Jamieson, last year’s playoff and Mann Cup MVP, scored 3 goals and 3 assists. Colin Doyle and Kasey Beirnes each scored 1 goal and 3 assists. Brandon Miller stepped in between the pipes and bested his Toronto Rock teammate Nick Rose, making 32 saves to earn the win. Oakville, playing without leading scorer Stephan Leblanc, got big games from a pair of youngsters. Junior callup Danny Lomas had a hat trick and rookie Jacob Ruest added 4 assists. READ MORE »


Last night: Oddly dressed Arrows even series with Lakers

Doug Jamieson wears a senior Peterborough Lakers goalie jersey and Tyson Bomberry an OHL practice shirt for the Six Nations Arrows, who overcame their odd apparel to win big over the junior Lakers. (Photo: Ward Laforme Jr.)
Doug Jamieson wears a senior Peterborough Lakers goalie jersey and Tyson Bomberry an OHL practice shirt for the Six Nations Arrows, who overcame their odd apparel to win big over the junior Lakers. (Photo: Ward Laforme Jr.)

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 »


WLA Notebook: Key matchup for playoff picture is Saturday in Coquitlam

Coach Bob Salt and the Adanacs are in a tight race for a WLA playoff berth. (Photo: Dan Brodie)
Coach Bob Salt and the Adanacs are in a tight race for a WLA playoff berth. (Photo: Dan Brodie)

The playoff picture for the Western Lacrosse Association got a bit clearer last night, but by no means is it settled. New Westminster rode the result of a solid defensive effort in a 10-6 win over the Langley Thunder, which puts the Salmonbellies in fourth place all alone with 14 points. At least for now. All that does is keep 6 teams grouped within 10 points, and 5 of those teams are within 7 points. So what we know today is that the Victoria Shamrocks have first place locked up, and Maple Ridge (19 points) and Burnaby (18) are in, we just don’t know where. We also know that Langley has been eliminated because of last night’s loss. So the fight for the final playoff berth is still up for grabs and before it’s all said and done, there are plenty of teams with something to say. “We need some help but it’s our own fault,” Bob Salt, coach of a Coquitlam team that’s still alive, told The Now News. READ MORE »


Weekend Watch: Six Nations heads into big MSL matchup against Oakville

Randy Staats, right, and Six Nations have some winning to do if they want to be a playoff team. (Photo: Tim Prothero)
Randy Staats, right, and Six Nations have some winning to do if they want to be a playoff team. (Photo: Tim Prothero)

As the final week of the regular season of the Major Series kicks in, here’s what we know: Brooklin can’t be caught, and Brampton can’t catch anyone. As for everyone else in between, there’s a lot to be decided and there’s a game this week that will have a lot to say about that. The Redmen have a league-best 26 points and although second-place Peterborough (20) can’t overtake the top spot, they’ve got some pursuit from Kitchener-Waterloo (16) and Six Nations (14). Those are the top 4 teams and would be the playoff field if the season ended today, but the season does not end, so let’s see what all the fuss is about the weekend matchup. READ MORE »


Last Night: Whitby avoids 0-3 deficit, while Peterborough tops Six Nations in OT

Dan Michel, left, and Peterborough have Greg Longboat and Six Nations in a tight spot. (Photo: Ward Laforme Jr.)
Dan Michel, left, and Peterborough have Greg Longboat and Six Nations in a tight spot. (Photo: Ward Laforme Jr.)

One step forward, one step back. That’s how it went down in the Ontario Junior A playoff scene last night. The Whitby Warriors took the step forward, posting a 14-9 win over the Brampton Excelsiors to avoid a 0-3 deficit in the series. The Excels still hold a 2-1 lead, but if they’re to knock out the defending Minto Cup champs, at least they know now it won’t happen quietly. As for the step back, the No. 1 seed Six Nations Arrows did that as the Peterborough Lakers took a 2-1 series lead with last night’s 12-11 overtime win. It’s a bit of a surprise to see the Arrows in this situation, and that’s not a knock on the Lakers, who have been playing some of the best lacrosse in the province in the last half of the season. But when an Arrows team starts a season 14-0, it looked as though there were few challengers. The Lakers certainly are letting the Arrows know otherwise. READ MORE »