September 1, 2014
by Anna Taylor
PETERBOROUGH - The Peterborough Lakers and Six Nations Chiefs were destined to meet in the 2014 playoffs. If it hadn’t been the final, it would have been the semi-final, and the Lakers might have faced a second consecutive early exit. Instead, the team nearly played into September and renewed hope for their future seasons.
Each team was in charge of its own destiny. When the Lakers were handed a three game forfeiture early in the season, fans panicked that it would mean the loss of a playoff berth. Not only did they make playoffs, they finished second only to the Brooklin Redmen. Even without those forfeited games, they would have finished second. Brooklin was just too good in the regular season. While the Chiefs had an average regular season, they are a team that is built for a long playoff run and are just as deep as the Lakers at every position.
It should have been a surprise to no one that the series went the full seven games. Perhaps there have never been two teams more evenly matched in both skill and determination.
After a thrilling game six overtime win that tied the series at three games each, the Lakers and their fans were amped up for an incredible game seven.
The sound system in the Memorial Centre died with nine minutes to go before the game on Sunday, allowing the crowd alone to provide the pre-game atmosphere. 3784 fans chatted loudly in anticipation, and when the Lakers took to the floor, the fans took to their feet and gave the team an unprompted standing ovation. There was no PA announcement publicizing their arrival – the only noise in the arena was the roar of the crowd. It was awe-inspiring.
“It makes you speechless,” said Andrew Suitor. “People don't understand how much this means to this town and unfortunately we came up a little short for them, but I can tell you that every single guy battled as hard as he could tonight.”
“I can’t say enough about the support we get all year,” said captain Scott Self. “It’s awesome. We knew it was going to be a packed house tonight and we feel very fortunate that we play here. It’s an honour and an awesome experience. We would have loved to have won for [the fans].”
Six Nations opened the scoring at the five minute mark of the first period as Craig Point picked off a Lakers' long pass attempt to beat Matt Vinc one on one. Their lead did not last long as the ball squirted free on a Chiefs' possession and the Self brothers raced down the floor two on none with Brad scoring a highlight-reel goal. Mark Steenhuis then picked up back to back goals that just blew through the Chiefs' defense. Self scored his second of the game on a shorthanded breakaway that chased starting goaltender Evan Kirk from the net. Brandon Miller replaced Kirk in goal. Some Lakers' fans may have been surprised that Miller stayed in net, as lacrosse teams have a tendency to switch goalies for only a few minutes to give a starter a break. Miller, however, did backstop the Chiefs to their 2013 Mann Cup, and together he and Kirk combined for the lowest goals against average this season.
“I had a little bit of nerves since it’s been so long since I’ve played, and I wasn't sure how my health would be,” Miller said. “I’ve had pneumonia; I didn't really feel healthy till game six so I wasn’t sure if I would run out of gas and was a little worried about that, but once I got through the first period and we were only down by two goals I thought if we could put a run together, give our offense some time to get going, and it seemed to work out all right.”
Miller allowed only one goal in 42:10 of play, that goal coming from John Grant on an unbelievable cross crease pass from Tracey Kelusky at 3:17 of the second period. The Lakers would not score again, although Brad Self hit a post, Cory Vitarelli hit two, and in the third, Miller made the save of the game, throwing out the right leg to block Vitarelli from hitting the empty net. Vinc made a similar spectacular save later, although by then it was too late to make a difference.
Six Nations narrowed the gap to 4-2 with a goal at 19:20 of the first period. Cody Jamieson put one past Vinc so fast the crowd didn't even know it had gone in. Both the Lakers and Chiefs only scored one goal in the second period, with Jamieson picking up his second.
The Chiefs outscored the Lakers 6-0 in the third period, going on one of their patented runs, which was the Lakers' downfall in the series. Point potted his second before Vaughn Harris deked around Scott Self to score. Roger Vyse also scored before Jeff Shattler picked up two in a row, the second making it 8-5 and coming as Vinc was distracted by Steven Keogh’s flying stick.
Defenseman Darryl Gibson gave a lot of credit to Six Nations.
“They’re as good as us in every capacity of the game,” he said. “They’re a good team. We just made more mistakes and they capitalized and we didn’t. Twenty years in this game I’ve never lost two games where we’ve been up 5-3 going into the third period. It’s tough to swallow as a D guy. We had the game in our hands and we let it go; but that’s the game of lacrosse, it’s all momentums and they had more than us.”
To add insult to injury, the Chiefs were awarded a goal with 19 seconds left in the game as the Lakers were called for too many men on the floor with their net empty. This call results in an automatic goal for the opposition. As time wound down, Miller tossed his helmet and gloves in the air and embraced his teammates.
“I feel amazing!” he said. “It’s the only reason we play. We start the season off trying to get to the Mann Cup. That’s the goal and right now we’ve accomplished that so we’ll start on Friday and it’s pretty exciting.”
Lakers' coach Joe Sullivan was contemplative in discussing the series.
“To be shut out for 35 minutes in game seven, that’s very unfortunate,” he said. “I think the guys showed a ton of character and played great, but you have to play better to get through a game seven and a series against the defending champions and we just didn't do it tonight.”
Cody Jamieson was named the MSL Playoff MVP, as voted by members of the media. Jamieson finished the playoffs with 25 goals and 25 assists to lead the league. Jamieson received the John "Shooter" Davis trophy, donated in 2013 by former Lakers' volunteer Wayne Dominick. Dominick passed away in November 2013.
Jamieson, arguably one of, if not the best player in lacrosse today, was humble when asked about his recent successes.
“My personal accomplishments are a testament to the great players that play around me,” Jamieson said. “You see it all the time, the best player on a crappy team doesn't always happen to win [these awards]. You just have to buy into a team concept. Lacrosse is a team game, and the players around you are what’s going to carry you through it.”
The Lakers received silver medals as the second place MSL finishers. The Chiefs were presented with gold medals and the Everett Coates Memorial Trophy. The Mann Cup begins on Friday at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena, where the Chiefs will host the WLA champions Victoria Shamrocks. Fans interested in the series can watch via pay per view at www.webcastsports.net.
The 50/50 draw was worth over $4000. It originally went unclaimed so a second number was drawn.
Scratched for the Lakers were Riley Quinlan (ineligible for playoffs), Matt Crough (school) Scott Evans (numbers), Eric Shewell (numbers), Nick Weiss (numbers), Alex Henderson (numbers), Davide DiRuscio (numbers), and Josh Gillam (knee).
Penalties were not a factor in games six and seven. While previous games were filled with penalties, and nobody would have been surprised had game seven been the same, only four penalties (two each) were taken in game six, and only five in game seven (two for the Lakers, three for the Chiefs, and all in the second period).
August 29, 2014
by Marla Taylor
OHSWEKEN - With eight seconds to go in regulation time Friday night in Ohsweken, Six Nations Chiefs tied the score at eight, but two goals by the Lakers' John Grant in the overtime frame has forced a game seven in Peterborough Sunday night.
It’s become a tradition that when the coach and general manager boards a fan bus at the end of an away playoff game and gives the entire bus his sincerest thanks for the loud support and calls us the 7th player on the floor, the bus responds in cheers, clapping and appreciative thanks back. That was the beginning of the end of a most incredible and wonderful night in Ohsweken Friday night.
When it began at 4 p.m. in the parking lot of the Memorial Centre, it was a quieter group that left the city. We were tentative and engaged mostly with our seat mates. The return trip back was merry indeed. Singing, jokes, dramatic recitations of some fondly-remembered poems, lots of laughter, treats to eat. High spirits all around. We were in celebration mode. What a game! As I boarded the bus, I asked Joe Sullivan for three words to end off tonight and this story. He was quick to respond: “Big Game Seven”. Wow. That says it all. It will be.
There were three noticeable areas of focus in the game - 1) goaltending, especially of a young man in Laker red white and blue, who has cheerfully waited his turn to play again this season, 2) goals goals goals, in bunches, and 3) restraint. These two teams continue to impress in the lowest penalty minute collections they’ve ever seen. There were two penalties each, that’s all, for four minutes total.
The tone of the game was established quite early when Jeff Shattler swooped in on the net, so close to scoring, but goalie Tyler Carlson stood resolute and stalwart and no goal went by him. However, Six Nations is a marvellous team and was not to be denied for long. Craig Point buried one over Carlson’s shoulder at 2:44 in the first period.
Shawn Evans responded at 8:52. That brought the 50+ Lakers’ fans to our feet. The period went back and forth, fast, determined, with a possible trophy on the line. Andrew Watt was caught for holding and sat until Kasey Beirnes sent a quick one past Carlson. 2-1 SN.
Brock Sorensen, so good to see him back in action, ran the floor on a breakaway, shot on Evan Kirk, but wasn’t quite able to put it past the efficient Chiefs’ goalie. Nonetheless, it gave an added shot to the visiting fans who were once again back on their feet applauding the solo effort.
With 1:09 left in the first, Andrew Suitor was the unassisted hero and tied the score at 2-all. At the very end of the frame, Jeff Shattler had three guys on him, but with super strength and determined work ethic, he managed to get a shot close in, but happily for Lakers’ fans, he shot over the net.
In the second period, Carlson continued his masterful presence in goal and took a shot off his mask. Had he not, it would have been in the net. Grant, with his patented backhand pass, lifted one over to Evans, who ran it past Kirk, giving the Lakers a lead for the first time. 3-2 Lakers.
Evans wasn’t finished as he ran his familiar chase behind the net, came out in front and fired past Kirk again. Lakers led 4-2.
Goals kept coming and going in the second. In all, eight were scored. As mentioned, Evans had the first two; Jeff Shattler had the next two; Lakers scored the following two-Corey Vitarelli, then Matt Crough; and rounding out the frame, the Chiefs scored the last two-Cody Jamieson and Stephen Keogh. Like the first, the second ended in a tie. six-all.
It must be mentioned that as loud as the Lakers’ fans were, and WE WERE, the Chiefs’ fans were very enthusiastic also and communicated their support with their traditional drumming. (Though it’s bad form to personalize a report, I can’t resist mentioning that we clapped so long and hard, I broke several blood vessels in my thumb and it’s purple, very sore and swollen! Badge of honor! Thanks Lakers. I mean that. Please make it worse Sunday night.)
The third period also ended in a tie, with the goal pattern slightly altered: Six Nations, Lakers, Lakers, Six Nations. Scoring were Cody Jamieson, Corey Vitarelli, Adam Jones and Jeff Shattler. Carlson deserves special mention in this frame also. All the players were in the Chiefs’ end at one point, but an unidentified Nations’ player (couldn’t see his number) captured the ball, ran the floor toward Carlson who stuck out his chest and hip to absorb the shot released on him, thus saving us yet again.
Victory seemed almost certain in the third for the Peterborough lads. They were eight seconds from winning 8-7 when Jeff Shattler tied it up. It was his third of the evening.
Thus to overtime, now known as the fourth period. John Grant released a rocket at 2:10 of the ten-minute period and advanced the score to 9-8. Would the pattern all through the game occur yet again? Sure enough, although Robert Hope was first sent to repent his high-sticking penalty, allowing Rocket Roger Vyse to score on the power play. Hey, any way you can get ‘em. nine-all.
I don’t think it was any pattern at this point that contributed to the next event. It was just Grant, doing what he does best. It helped that Rory Smith was assessed a high-sticking penalty, but whether a power play or not, Grant Jr. was ready. The overtime period was coming to a close, so he took control, received a perfect pass from Shawn Evans and loaded another past Kirk. 10-9 Lakers.
The Chiefs came oh so close to tying the game again in the last minute of overtime, but Andrew Suitor dove towards the ball sitting on the goal line and picked it up before it could cross. The Chiefs put up their arms to signal a goal, but referee Jason Wiswell was in perfect position to call it no-goal.
The team held on and at the ten minute mark, we had WON. ON TO GAME 7! Thank you so much Lakers. The Peterborough fans were so proud of the guys, and they, in return, gave us a great salute before leaving the floor.
It was of interest to watch John Grant emerge from the dressing room during the break between the third and last, to witness him hurling lacrosse balls at the boards in rapid succession for a few minutes. Though it appeared to be dogged determination to get the game won, and with him, it always is, but web reporter Anna Taylor learned that it was due partly to another reason. She also asked him what was going through his mind during the overtime period, since he had scored two goals, including the game winner?
“Oh, they’re the first two that their team didn’t block. I found myself in a good spot. Scottie Evans told me a good place to shoot on him after he watched what the goalie was doing. I actually switched sticks right before overtime, so I guess the one I just put on is the one I’ll use on Sunday. Our D played amazing and TC played an unbelievable game and kept us in that one and I figured we needed ten to win and it just took an extra period and we did it and now we’ve got a chance to play a game seven and pack the Memorial Centre. It’s going to be something special on Labor Day weekend.”
Is it ever! See you Sunday at 8 p.m.
Lakers MIA: Nick Weiss, Eric Shewell, Josh Gillam, Pete Rennie, Mark Steenhuis, Scott Evans, Matt Vinc
August 26, 2014
by Anna Taylor
PETERBOROUGH - The Peterborough Lakers are back in their MSL final series versus the Six Nations Chiefs after a 9-6 win Tuesday night over the defending Mann Cup champions. Six Nations leads the series three games to two and game six is Friday night at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena.
A breakout night from Shawn Evans paced the Lakers to the thrilling win in front of the loudest crowd the PMC has seen this season. Evans picked up four goals, two of them shorthanded. He was a large presence on the penalty kill in the absence of Mark Steenhuis. The offense had their best game since the series opener, with nine goals on 48 shots on Evan Kirk. They looked like the Lakers that Peterborough fans are used to seeing – tough, resilient, and talented.
The Lakers defense was bolstered by the return of Kyle and Brock Sorensen, and their presence made an immediate impact on a tired defense corps. The brothers both were returning from knee injuries suffered in the regular season. Matt Vinc also played his best game of the season, making 41 saves, many of them highlight reel. He was in perfect position all night long, catching balls and throwing out the stick or a leg to get a piece of the shot.
"We just wanted to come out and have a good first period because we hadn't done that the last two games,” Vinc said. “We really shot ourselves in the foot and got behind the 8 ball [in prior games]. Later in the games I think we played pretty well and we just wanted to carry that over into the first period tonight and I think it made the difference.”
Sorensen said that he felt pretty good in his return.
“I felt better than I thought I was going to feel!” he said. “The first few shifts [after returning], you're kind of iffy. It runs through your mind, being in and out of the lineup so often. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't, but once you get through those first few shifts and you get playing with everyone and you get talking and into the game and hearing the fans, it goes away pretty quick.”
Cory Vitarelli opened the scoring just thirty seconds into the game. The Lakers held the lead until Jeff Shattler tied it at seven minutes. After that, the Lakers looked very much like the Chiefs did in the previous two games, and went on a run. Vitarelli picked up his second, and John Grant and Shawn Evans also scored to give the Lakers a 4-1 lead after the first period. Evans scored shorthanded after picking up a loose ball in front on the Chiefs net and narrowly avoiding stepping in the crease. The opening frame was a parade to the penalty box as eleven penalties were called, resulting in three power plays apiece.
After letting the Chiefs take early leads, the Lakers were relieved at building up a first period lead.
Tracey Kelusky, who has only played in front of Vinc three games this season, effused praise for the goaltender.
“He's awesome. Vno is a proven number one guy in any league,” Kelusky said. “He's an awesome competitor and when you have him in net, he's going to give you a chance to win. Unfortunately you aren't going to win too many games only putting up five goals and we understand that as an offense. The defense and Vno have done their job and we just have to contribute offensively like we did tonight.”
Kelusky returned in game three after sitting out the season with a hand injury. The 38 year said he felt good about coming back.
“You take for granted that you played for so long,” he chuckled. “And you can get back out there, but the speed of the game is so much faster. We're fortunate that we dressed enough offensive guys the first games so that I could get my legs. The big thing is just timing and I think tonight was the best I felt thus far and maybe it had a little bit to do with the fact that we ran a nice offense, we got more touches and feels tonight and it was a fun game and it can only get better.”
Shawn Evans scored two goals to open the second period before Roger Vyse got one back for the Chiefs. Evans' first goal of the period came as he accepted a long pass from Andrew Suitor, all the way down the floor. Vitarelli scored his hat trick goal later in the period but Cody Jamieson added two goals to close out the second period 7-4 in favour of the Lakers.
Aaron Wilson scored at :37 of the third period. Steven Keogh attempted to start a Chiefs comeback just past the ten minute mark, but the Lakers defense shut down the Chiefs until 18:32 when Keogh picked up his second of the period, but it was too little, too late for the Chiefs. Evans picked up his fourth goal of the game into an empty net with ten seconds to go, with another huge assist to Suitor.
The Lakers are well aware that they will have to build on their momentum from game five in games six and potentially seven. While the Chiefs may be the defending Mann Cup champs, the Lakers are only two years removed from their own Mann Cup victory. They have the experience, the talent, and the drive to make it back there, but they need to work as a team to make it happen.
Sorensen said that whether a player is in the lineup or out of it, they all contribute to the team.
Speaking specifically of himself and brother Brock, Sorensen says that “we've been here and we know exactly what they can do, we know what their strengths are. If we're not playing, Brock and I have been travelling up to games throughout the whole series so we know what they're going to do out there, they're good all the way through their offense so we just gotta stick to our team defense, our team systems and we'll be fine.”
Vinc will worry only about making those necessary saves.
“We just want to prevent them from getting on their runs,” he said. “They have a few guys that can find the back of the net and we want to make it tougher on them. Tonight I think our D couldn't have played any better in front of them.”
Vinc is teammates with several of the Chiefs who also play for the Rochester Knighthawks, so he is familiar with their shooting styles.
“It's a double edged sword because they know me too,” he said. “You just try to make saves and don't want to think too much out there. When they are scoring I think you do [think], and for me it's just one save at a time and try not to think too much.”
Kelusky has been in difficult series before. The Lakers were down 2-0 to the Langley Thunder in 2012 before storming back and taking the series in six games. This time the Lakers will have to do it in seven just to earn the right to host the Western team, but Kelusky, a Lakers veteran, believes the Peterborough boys can do it.
“At the end of the day, what we have to do is worry about the Peterborough Lakers,” Kelusky said. “We know what they have over there and they're a very good club, but when we come prepared and we play with energy and we do the little things like we did tonight, like sharing the ball on offense, a lot of it boils down to what we need to do and continue to be sharp at every little aspect of the game.”
Game six is Friday night in Hagersville. A fan bus is going to the game. To reserve your seat on the bus, call Karl McFadden at 705-741-1475 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost of the bus is $30 plus the cost of your game ticket, which will be purchased at the door.
⁃ Attendance was 2974
⁃ The 50/50 draw was worth over $3000 and was won by Lakers in game host, Carey Walker, who said he was donating his winnings to Corus Feeds Kids.
⁃ Prior to the game, the Lakers presented Five Counties Children's Centre with a cheque for $7500, which was raised during the annual Kids' Night game on July 10, and continuing sales of player trading cards.
⁃ The Pizza Factory Player of the Game was Matt Vinc.
⁃ Scratched for the Lakers were Josh Gillam, Alex Henderson, Matt Crough, Nick Weiss, Riley Quinlan, and Mark Steenhuis.
⁃ Scott Evans was re-inserted into the lineup for game five after being a healthy scratch in game four. Evans did not last long in the game, as he was ejected prior to the end of the first period for a high stick on Sid Smith while play was stopped. Evans was assessed a five minute major penalty and a game misconduct. Evans was also called earlier in the period for goaltender interference. Coach Joe Sullivan previously stated that undisciplined penalties would not be tolerated.
August 25, 2014
OHSWEKEN - The Six Nations Chiefs took a three games to one lead over the Peterborough Lakers Monday night with a 9-7 game four win at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Hagersville. The Chiefs, the defending Mann Cup Champions, can clinch the series Tuesday night.
As in their previous two games, the Chiefs jumped out to an early first period lead, up 5-1 after the opening frame. Jeff Shattler scored first for Six Nations before Andrew Suitor tied it for the Lakers. After that, the Chiefs went on one of their patented rushes, which Matt Vinc has been unable to put a stop on. Cody Jamieson scored two, Craig Point, and Tom Montour all scored within a three and a half-minute span.
The Chiefs took a 6-1 lead 7:25 into the second period, from Roger Vyse, before John Grant Jr. scored two in a row for the visitors. Vyse picked up his second of the game to give Six Nations a 7-3 lead after the second. Brad Self appeared to score for the Lakers at the buzzer into an empty net, but the goal was blown down as being after the buzzer.
The Lakers went on a short run of their own early in the third period, with goals from Grant, Adam Jones (although it was credited to Matt Crough), and Chad Culp to close the gap to 7-6. Craig Point and Kasey Beirnes stopped the Lakers momentum and restored a three goal lead for the Chiefs with the next two goals. Grant scored his 4th goal of the game at 17:30, but some bad luck for the Lakers on possession calls following the goal killed any chances of a further comeback.
The Chiefs were two for eight on the power play, one goal coming while the Lakers' Shawn Evans was in the box serving an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Brother Scott Evans was a healthy scratch for the game due to undisciplined play in game three. The Lakers were zero for six on the power play. Penalties in this game were fairly even, although the Lakers lost control at the end of the game, with Shawn Evans (roughing, slashing) and Tracey Kelusky (roughing) ending up serving minors in the last minute of play. Matt Crough was also assessed a two and ten for tossing a white towel onto the floor during the play.
In desperation, the Lakers called for an equipment check of Evan Kirk’s pads with :15 seconds left to play. If Kirk had been found to have illegal pads, he would have had to adjust to new ones prior to Tuesday’s game. However, Kirk was cleared to return to play and the Lakers were served with a delay of game penalty.
If the Lakers are to stop the Chiefs, they will need to prevent them from going on scoring runs. They have an experienced defense corps, which includes MSL defenseman of the year Scott Self.
Key players missing were Mark Steenhuis for the Lakers, who is on a family vacation, and face-off specialist Vaughn Harris for the Chiefs.
The voting is in and the league stats are complete for the 2014 season. Winners of league awards are:
Jim Murphy Award for the most valuable player in 2014 goes to Mark Steenhuis who led the league in scoring with 83 points, 26 points in front of the nearest player. He still killed penalties and played defense. Without a question his best MSL season. As a result he wins the Bucko MacDonald trophy for leading scorer.
The Merve McKenzie Trophy for the Most Valuable Defensive player in very close voting ended up in a tie between Kitchener-Waterloo’s Joey Cupido and Peterborough’s Scott Self. Both players led their team on the floor and inspired their teamates.
The Harry Lumley trophy for the goaltenders with the best defensive records goes to the Six Nations pair of Brandon Miller and Evan Kirk as they once again made sure that Six Nations would allow the least number of goals in the league.
The Gene Dopp trophy presented annually to the player voted as the most outstanding rookie went to Randy Staats for his great rookie season.
Manyplayers have shown themselves to be outstanding in this most competitive season so the above players have every right to be proud to be chosen as award winners.
August 21, 2014
by Anna Taylor
PETERBOROUGH - Four unanswered third period goals led the Six Nations Chiefs to a second straight victory over the Peterborough Lakers on Thursday night, 9-5. Tied at five early in the third period, the Chiefs rattled off four straight in a strong third period. The Chiefs now lead the best of seven MSL final series two games to one.
“Everything gets exploited a little bit when you lose,” head coach Joe Sullivan said. “Penalties were a problem, defense was a problem, and offense was a problem tonight.
“For two games in a row, our offense came out flat, and we've not experienced that all year, where we've generated five goals in a game and then back to back to boot,” he continued. “So your offense has got to score not only to get you on the board and get you hot, but also to take some pressure off your defense and our defense didn't get that chance tonight to really be able to breathe for too long to be able to make those little mistakes that all teams will make. So everything kind of got exposed in a bigger way, obviously when their offense did get hot in the third period and we just couldn't respond to it.”
The Lakers found themselves in an early hole, down 4-0 by ten minutes in, and eventually ending the first down 5-1. The Chiefs' first two goals were scored 46 seconds apart by Cody Jamieson and Jeff Shattler, and some fans were left wondering whether the Lakers had ever stopped playing game two. Steven Keogh, Jesse Gamble, and Roger Vyse had the other first period goals. Mark Steenhuis had the lone Lakers' goal of the period, a shot from Evan Kirk's doorstep.
Matt Vinc came out for the second period a changed man, and made some highlight reel saves through the second and early part of the third, before a team defensive breakdown. Vinc didn't allow a goal through the second period before letting in four in the third, including three in a span of three minutes.
“We tend to leave our goalies alone,” Sullivan said. “They're professional and they know how to carry themselves and handle themselves. We tried to get Matt the shots that he's asked us for and tonight just wasn't a good night for him, but I'm confident that he'll bounce back; that's what he's done; he's a winner and a champion in his own right so I look for him to come back and answer the bell for us.”
Evan Kirk was rock solid in goal for the Chiefs throughout the game.
Chiefs rookie Vaughn Harris says the team is relying on Kirk to make great saves.
“He's playing really well right now,” Harris said. “He's just playing at another level.”
The Lakers were outshot 42-37. The Chiefs led most of the game in shots but the Lakers did equal them on the shot clock through the second period.
Harris was 8 for 12 in the faceoff circle. The young rookie has had a spectacular series so far, factoring in on the scoring every game, including two assists tonight.
“It's just ball movement,” Harris said of his success. “It's working with guys, talking before we go out there and just playing harder, and staying out of penalty situations.”
And penalty situations there were. Scott Evans picked up six minutes at the end of the first period after cross checking Jesse Gamble to the ground and then throwing a solid punch to Gamble's head. Gamble left the floor trickling blood from a cut above his eye, but chances are it came from his helmet as he hit the floor. Yes, a six minute power play to the Chiefs! Jeff Shattler picked up four minutes and Mark Steenhuis two, early in the second period. Shattler was going alone for a high stick on Andrew Suitor, but Steenhuis picked up the equalizer and then was flattened from behind by Shattler. Steenhuis almost immediately picked up another penalty as he left the box. Shawn Evans was given a goaltender interference penalty after bowling over Kirk after Evans scored. Fans gave Evans a standing ovation for the move as he made his way to the penalty box. Chad Culp also picked up a questionable goaltender interference penalty for checking Kirk behind the net. John Grant was high sticked in the face in the first period with no call.
Both Evans picked up additional ill-timed penalties in the third, Scott for illegal cross checking, and Shawn for elbowing at 16:27, putting the Lakers down a man at a critical time. Overall, the Lakers did not take an inordinate number of penalties, but the penalties they did take were untimely and undisciplined, and could have been prevented with self-control.
Sullivan was not happy with the team's discipline, and while he did not name individual players, said that some decisions will be made regarding the lineup on Monday.
“[Some] guys I would say are probably going to not find themselves in the lineup on Monday,” Sullivan said. “We just can't afford to go down 3-1. You want to win with the guys that got you here, but we have to send a message to our team when every penalty we took tonight was from an offensive player. We have to address that it's not acceptable. It's not been an issue for us all year and now it is.”
Scoring for the Lakers in the second period were Shawn Evans, Steenhuis, and John Grant. Stephen Hoar tied the game at five under two minutes into the third period, but Gamble responded for the Chiefs three minutes later to score the winning goal. Craig Point, Colin Doyle, and Keogh had the other Chiefs goals.
Tracey Kelusky suited up for the Lakers for the first time this season after spending the regular season out with an injury. He took the place of Matt Crough, who was a healthy scratch.
“We just needed to make a change,” Sullivan said. “We only scored five goals up there on Tuesday so you take a veteran guy that's been through this before and hope that he'll be able to spark some offense.”
Kelusky only saw a few shifts during the game, but looked to be in his usual energetic form when he was on the floor, although he was held pointless.
“I'm sure he would have given us a spark if we could have gotten him some more floor time,” Sullivan said, “but we're in the penalty box, so really it wasn't a fair shake and assessment of what Tracey can do for our team because he just didn't get an opportunity to really get going.”
Game four goes Monday at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena. Game five is back in Peterborough on Tuesday night at 8:00 p.m.
⁃ Attendance was 3286
⁃ The 50/50 draw was worth $3095
⁃ Josh Gillam missed the game with a torn meniscus, suffered in game one. He will be out two to three weeks. Brock Sorensen is close to returning, as he took the floor with his teammates for a full warmup. Also out of the lineup were Riley Quinlan, Kyle Sorensen, Eric Shewell, Pete Rennie, Alex Henderson, Davide DiRusio, and Holden Cattoni.
⁃ THE FAN BUS WAS CANCELLED BECAUSE OF INSUFFICIENT NUMBERS. IF YOU DID SIGN UP, YOUR SUPPORT WAS APPRECIATED.
August 19, 2014
OHSWEKEN - Despite leading 5 -3 with about seven minutes left in the game, the Peterborough Lakers permitted five unanswered goals to allow the Six Nations Chiefs to tie the MSL Final Series 1-1 in Ohsweken Tuesday night.
The game was dominated by strong defence by both teams with both Matt Vinc and Evan Kirk starring in the first two periods.
The first period ended 2-2 and both teams had only 11 shots on goal. Scoring for the Lakers were Stephen Hoar on an end-to end rush and Shawn Evans from his usual spot.
Another hightlight goal was netted by John Grant who grabbed his own rebound and out-waited Evan Kirk to put the Lakers up 5-3 with two minutes left in the second.
The game was played at a high pace, but there was little scoring until the third period.
In the third period, despite good ball control by the Lakers, it was all Chiefs on the scoreboard with about seven minutes left as they potted five goals with Jesse Gamble scoring two. Three goals were scored within about a minute.
Penalties taken by the Lakers with a few minutes left precluded a last-mnute comeback.
Attendance was estimated at over 1000. The next game is Thursday August 21, 2014 in Peterborough at 8:00 p.m.
August 16, 2014
MISSISSAUGA - If you've been wondering where the Lakers' wrapped bus has been, you're not alone.
Apparently, the bus blew an engine and is in Mississauga being repaired. It is expected back in Peterborough this week and will be on the road after a good wash.
In unrelated news, more fans from Mississauga are making the drive to watch Lakers' games.
All city buses now have "Go Lakers Go" on their flasher signs!
"You're not in Brooklin anymore."
August 14, 2014
by Marla Taylor
PETERBOROUGH - The Peterborough Lakers defeated the Six Nations Chiefs in the first game of their best of seven MSL finals 9-7 Thursday night at the PMC. It was a physical game from start to finish with players on each side taking many liberties, although only one real tussle that produced penalties.
There was something in the air and 2915 fans at the PMC Thursday August 14 could sense it. It was electric. Well, almost. If we could manage to get the stands completely filled, say 3300 or more, it would be perfect. Whether Laker fan or Six Nations’ faithful, those people cheered and clapped, booed (who else? the refs), groaned, grinned, thrilled by sixty minutes of close-scoring, reined-in emotions, carefully-executed plays, and goaltending that was nothing short of phenomenal. In other words, game one of the MSL Finals was AWESOME.
Chiefs’ fans, though disappointed with the loss, are nowhere close to concern, at least, not yet. Six Nations kept the score close all the way, leading 2-1 til 12:59 of the first period, and after that, always catching up or only down by one, never farther away than that. This is the team that currently bears the title “Mann Cup Champions 2013”. Wear that around and there’s nothing to fear…not yet.
Peterborough fans have nothing to fear either, and we lead the series 1-0.
Shawn Evans opened the scoring, at 2:06 in the first, taking a feed from John Grant. When Shawn is near the net, you wait for one of his classic moves. Will he stay behind the net and pass to a waiting player who shoots and scores? Or will he run completely around from behind, worm his way through all sorts of guys, and score himself, directly in front of the goalie? Jesse Gamble helped make the decision by chasing Shawn, so feisty #88 ended up right where he needed to be and popped one in the top right corner past Evan Kirk.
A very tall, strong and fast transition player, Colin Boucher, mostly assigned in this game to impede, annoy, stop, etc. John Grant, combined with Gamble to score on a quick shot, while on a two on one, at 10:20. Fourteen seconds later, Vaughn Harris, from Jeff Shattler, scored his first of three, to give the Chiefs the lead 2-1. This was the only time Six Nations lead the game.
Magic was about to begin, but not before Josh Gillam suffered a serious-looking injury to his right knee. He stopped suddenly and may have caught his soles in the deep pile of the rug (Don Barrie, talking on Cogeco TV, supplied the information that Peterborough has one of the deeper-piled carpets in the league, throwing players down occasionally). Gillam was on his back, his hand on his forehead communicating the pain he was in. Trainer Josh Martin was by his side immediately and together with Andrew Suitor, who had hovered close by (he knows a thing or two about knee trouble) they got Josh to his feet and the three slowly made their way off the floor. Gillam did not return to action during the game. Best wishes to you Josh.
John Grant was knocked to the floor by Jon Sullivan and quite possibly was injured just enough to consider retaliation. Instead, he retreated to a corner, but held himself in check. He knew what was the smart thing to do. Next shift, he did it. He sent a one-hander past Kirk, as he flew toward the net, and scored before he hit the crease. Tied 2-2.
Mark Steenhuis was tripped up by Rory Smith, but managed to deliver the ball to #24 who took a bounce shot off the carpet and watched it slide past Kirk again. Smiles all around. Lakers led 3-2.
Remembering the seven goals this gallant man scored Monday night, fans may have been wondering if a repeat was possible. Cody Jamieson brought us back to the game by fighting his way through a maze of players and getting one past Matt Vinc, evening the score to 3-all.
However, Grant wasn’t finished. His next goal was one of the prettiest ever seen. For his hat trick, (and I really think we should give him a gold crown) he faked two backhand shots, turned around, switched his stick to his right hand, shot straight on and scored. 4-3 Lakers.
In the middle frame, it took only thirty seconds for the Chiefs to even the score again. Vaughn Harris, from Jamieson and Vyse, sent a screened rocket at Vinc who couldn’t possibly have seen it through all those guys in front. Score: 4-4.
Stephen Hoar was caught for holding and sent to the sin bin at 1:53. Suitor nicely intercepted a power play shot, passed over to Brad Self who scored, short-handed, at 2:46. Lakers inched up 5-4. It wasn’t going to last. Still on that power play, Cody Jamieson sent a hard overhand shot over Vinc’s shoulder and in the net it went. 5-5.
Twenty seconds later the Lakers prevailed, yet again. John Grant had the ball and was wise to Shawn Evans’ plot to run behind the net, pretending to anticipate a pass to him. That drew the attention of the Chiefs’ defenders and no one noticed Matt Crough perched on the right edge of the net. Grant saw it all, fired to Crough and Matt easily dumped it behind Kirk. 6-5. That goal was scored at 3:49 of the second and there were no more goals in the frame.
The third period was similar to the first two. Six Nations caught up, 6 all, then the Lakers, then the Chiefs, and finally the Lakers again, to render them an 8-7 lead at 12:12 of the third. Then it happened. The pattern changed. In our favor. At 15:11, Mark Steenhuis accepted a pass from Shawn and Crough and blasted an overhand shot past Kirk who just didn’t see it. It was too fast. Lakers led 9-7 and hung onto it. Meanwhile, in the next face-off, Steenhuis lined up beside Rory Smith, and without warning, pushed him over sideways. Payback, I guess, for Smith’s tripping of Mark in the first. It looked hilarious actually, because there was no indication of anything about to happen and then he reached out his arm and boom. Down went Rory.
And that was the game. Advantage to Lakers. What will Tuesday bring? Please know, Lakers players, coaches and staff, though you’ll be away and most of us will be here, we’ll be watching on Stephen Stamp’s webcast (thank you a thousand times Stephen) and cheering you on as loudly as we can. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll hear a faint roar now and again, in the distance. That will be Lakerland. WE ARE WITH YOU.
Anna Taylor caught up with Robert Hope after the game and he was most gracious in chatting about the game. She inquired about his playing in the MSL finals. “For sure, it was the biggest playoff game for me. I had the jitters at the start, but we have a lot of veteran players on the team and they really helped us through it. It was good to get the first one under our belts and we’ll get prepared on the weekend and we’ll be ready for Tuesday.”
On limiting shots from the Chiefs: “Yeah, they did outshoot us there. They have a lot of great shooters (but) Vno played great in net. We have to get them turned down the side and get in their shooting lanes. That’s all we can do out there.”
On playing Tuesday in Six Nations: “It’s just getting mentally prepared before it. We have the best fans in lacrosse right now and always a couple make the trip up there, so it’s always good hearing the fans up there. I think if we keep the mindset we did in this game and just come out with all the fire we did in this game, we’ll be alright.” Go Lakers.
Pizza Factory Player of the Game: Darryl Gibson
Shots on Goal: Six Nations 56, Lakers 40
Faceoffs: Six Nations 12-20, Lakers 8-20
Only 5 penalties! Six Nations served 2, Lakers 3. Wow.
Game two of this series is Tuesday at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Ohsweken. The game can be viewed via pay per view at www.webcastsports.net for $7.00. Game three sees the Lakers return home on Thursday, August 21st at 8:00 p.m.
August 11, 2014
by Anna Taylor
PETERBOROUGH - Joe Sullivan challenged his club to play better, and they responded on Monday night with a 13-9 win over the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks. Despite a three games to one series lead after Friday night, Sullivan stated in the weekend Peterborough Examiner that he wasn't happy with how the Lakers had played in their previous three games, and publicly challenged his players to up the level of their game and be better.
The Lakers have won the series against KW, and will now face the Six Nations Chiefs in the MSL final for the right to host the Mann Cup. That series begins Thursday at the Memorial Centre.
Chad Culp said the players responded to Sullivan's call to arms.
“Joe says a lot about the little things like loose balls, hard work and stuff like that,” Culp said. “When the coach calls you out, you know you're not doing a good enough job so it makes you pick your game up a little.”
Sullivan was unapologetic for his comments to the Examiner.
“I try to call it like I see it,” he said. “If [the article] motivates them, great; if it offends them, that's just as effective. Really at the end of it all it was just about getting the guys to bring their A game and to take a little pride in the efforts they've put into this all year long. We've put a great team together and they have to play like that game in and game out.”
John Grant was the catalyst for the Lakers resurgence on Monday. He scored seven goals enroute to a ten point evening, most of which were highlight reel calibre, including several no look, behind-the-back shots, and a one armed behind the back shot! KW fans may be asking themselves “What happened to Dillon Ward, our gold medal winning netminder, who used to steal games for us?” We'll tell you. John Grant happened to him. The superstar's outburst was his best this season for the Lakeshow, and came at the perfect time.
Culp says that having a teammate like Grant is a huge advantage.
“Having John is great, especially when he scores highlight reel goals like tonight!” Culp enthused. “We almost sometimes get caught standing and watching him too often, but when you play with a good player like that, it's always better to have him on your team.”
While the Kodiaks have many up and coming players like Corey Fowler and Ryan Benesch, experience won out in this round. The Kodiaks gave the Lakers a scare with their win in game two, and fought hard in games three and four in Waterloo. While some had predicted a Lakers sweep, the Lakers themselves knew the series could be long.
“KW's got a good young team and they work hard and we knew it wasn't going to be easy, that it was going to be hard fought and we just had to keep up our intensity and work ethic,” said Culp. “I'm excited, we accomplished our first goal which was to win the first round and now we move on to the next.”
Mark Steenhuis joined in the offense, contributing three goals and five assists. Brad Self had a highlight reel goal, as he dove across the crease to beat Ward. Scott and Shawn Evans had a goal apiece.
Mitch Wilde led the Kodiaks with a hat trick, while Corey Fowler and Ryan Benesch had two goals each. Singles went to Glen Bryan and Mike Melnychenko.
Matt Vinc had a spectacular game in goal for the Lakers, letting in only four goals (two in the first, two in the third). He was replaced partway through the third period by Tyler Carlson to avoid potential injury before the next round. Sullivan noted that the last ten minutes of the game, in which the defense relaxed in front of Carlson to allow five goals, were not indicative of the whole game.
“We had to sit some guys out to make sure nobody came into injury or anything like that,” Sullivan said. John Grant spent the last six minutes of the game in the penalty box serving a misconduct to Andrew Suitor, and Shawn Evans sat the third period to avoid being drawn into any rough situations.
The second period featured two sets of fisticuffs, the first featuring Eric Shewell versus Craig England. For his first MSL fight, Shewell held his own against the super pest, but ultimately England got the best of him. Adam Jones then took on Joel Matthews and fared better, getting in at least one solid punch on Matthews that allowed Jones to get the take down.
In the third period, while Cody McMahon received four minutes, Andrew Suitor received a five minute roughing major plus two for slashing, and after ten seconds had ticked off on the score clock, a ten minute misconduct as KW scored. Suitor, one of the team's most dedicated and energetic players, spent most of the game sending profanities towards the KW bench.
Sullivan was pleased with the outcome of the game.
“I liked the physicality of the game,” he said. Along with the fights, “we out loose balled them, we even competed on the faceoffs and they have a great faceoff man (Jay Thorimbert). So all the little things that I've stressed to these guys all year long are what make the difference.”
Sullivan is confident that if the Lakers play their next series like they did tonight (last ten minutes not withstanding), they can prevail over the Chiefs. That said, the game is sixty minutes long, and the Lakers cannot sit back on their heels like they did tonight, even with a large lead.
“Its going to be a physical series, there's no love lost between [Peterborough and Six Nations],” he said. “They've got some great offensive players, they’ve got some great defensive players, they've got real good goaltending. They're the defending champs. We have to go through them to make anything happen and this is what we figured we would face at some point.”
Hopefully we're ready.
Game one is this Thursday, August 11, at 8:00 p.m. at the Memorial Centre. The rest of the scheduled is to be determined, but games 3, 5, and 7 (5 and 7 if necessary) will be held here at home.
⁃ attendance was 2559
⁃ John Grant was named the Pizza Factory Player of the Game
August 8, 2014
WATERLOO - Shawn Evans broke a 7-7 tie halfway through the third period and Scott Evans guaranteed the Lakers win with five minutes to go on Friday in game four of the Lakers and Kodiaks semi-final series.
The Lakers took the game 9-7 and now lead the series three games to one. They can wrap up the series with a win on Monday at home.
Peterborough outshot KW for the fourth game in a row; Matt Vinc took the win while Steve Fryer suffered the loss in Dillon Ward’s absence. Mark Steenhuis led the Lakers with four points.
Scoring for the Lakers were:
Mark Steenhuis (2-2)
Shawn Evans (2-1)
Adam Jones (1-2)
Scott Evans (1-0)
Chad Culp (1-0)
Brad Self (1-0)
Andrew Watt (1-0)
Josh Gillam (0-2)
Stephen Hoar (0-1)
Aaron Wilson (0-1)
Robert Hope (0-1)
Andrew Suitor (0-1)
Holden Cattoni (0-1)
The Lakers are next in action on Monday at 8:00 p.m. when they host game five of the series, a game that is in support of Kawartha Food Share. Fans are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to the game with them.
August 6, 2014
WATERLOO - The Peterborough Lakers have taken a two games to one lead in their MSL semi- final, defeating the KW Kodiaks 10-6 at the Waterloo Rec Complex.
Following a disappointing game two loss, the Lakers regrouped and refocused on their goal, holding the Kodiaks to 37 shots and just six goals.
Matt Vinc picked up the win for the Lakers, who held off a second period surge by the Kodiaks. The Lakers were down 1-0 early in the game, but Mark Steenhuis tied it with a shorthanded goal. Shortly after, they took the lead and did not relinquish it.
Scoring goals for the Lakers were:
Mark Steenhuis (2)
Shawn Evans (2)
Nick Weiss (2)
The Lakers are next in action on Friday when the play game versus KW at the Waterloo Rec Centre, before returning home for game five on Monday at 8:00 p.m., a game that is in support of Kawartha Food Share. Fans are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to the game with them.
Tuesday August 5, 2014
by Anna Taylor
PETERBOROUGH - The pressure was all on the KW Kodiaks Tuesday night in game two, and they faced it like professionals, soundly defeating the Lakers 13-7. The Kodiaks and Lakers now sit tied at one win each in their best of seven series. Game three goes Wednesday night at the Waterloo Rec Complex.
The Kodiaks were everything the Lakers were during game one, and vice versa. KW had confidence; the Lakers appeared out witted, out lasted, and out played. Dillon Ward shone in the KW net, while Matt Vinc had a tough night for the Lakeshow. The two were gold medal winning teammates at the World Championships, but it was Ward who was the winning goaltender then, and tonight. Jay Thorimbert dominated in the face-off circle, winning 17 of 23 draws. Peterborough's defense just had no answer for KW's young guns.
“We laid an egg in front of our own fans tonight,” said Lakers' defenseman Mark Farthing. “We just gotta be better. That's the nice thing about seven game series, we're back up there tomorrow, and hopefully we're back here Monday up three to one.”
Farthing played against Ward in junior.
“I grew up playing against Dillon. He was good in there tonight but our offense is good too and we'll get him. We have the players to do it in the dressing room and we just gotta go out there and play.”
KW opened the scoring just over a minute into the game, with Joey Cupido accepting the long pass from Dillon Ward. Goals from Corey Fowler and Ryan Benesch followed soon after. The Lakers had their best chances of the period on a powerplay with Craig England in the box for interference. Ward was too strong for the Lakers on that man advantage, throwing out the pads to stop Mark Steenhuis, Shawn Evans twice, and John Grant, all in a row. Andrew Watt received a large bout of applause after recovering the ball at the centre line to extend the Lakers advantage. Grant finally got the Lakers on the board, but Fowler picked up his second of the game to extend the Kodiaks lead. Steenhuis scored his first of the night with just 0:13 left after Shawn Evans heard the coaches on the bench holler at him to find Steenhuis; this coming after a Grant goal was blown down as a crease ball, a call with which the crowd vehemently disagreed. If John Grant flies through the air, you don't call him for a crease ball.
Any hope for a comeback in the second period was dashed, as the Kodiaks tallied five goals to the Lakers two. Vinc was pulled in favour of Tyler Carlson after the eighth goal. Adam Jones left the floor at the end of the period shouting at the Kodiaks – nobody in particular, just whomever was in earshot. No time to be picky in the playoffs.
Ryan Benesch, the Kodiaks regular season leading scorer picked up two goals in the period. Junior call-up Chris Cloutier also had two in the period. Jamie Rooney scored his first of the night in the period. Steenhuis scored his second for the Lakers on a give and go with Brad Self, while Scott Evans also scored off the Lakers first face-off win of the evening. Good things happen when you win face-offs!
Mike Melnychenko had five assists for the Kodiaks. Melnychenko started the season with Brooklin, but was traded at the deadline in the deal that brought Mike Poulin to Brooklin. Melnychenko only picked up two points in five regular season games with KW, but typically plays well against the Lakers.
“The crowd fires me up,” Melynchenko said with a grin. “It's always fun shutting the opposing fans up. It's really fun playing here, this is the biggest crowd I've ever played in front of.”
Melnychenko says being traded from Brooklin to Kitchener was a good thing.
“It was a big change,” he said. “It's a lot different team. Brooklin is a little bit older with the vets they have, they instil a lot of knowledge in you. KW is a closer team, and it's nice getting to know a bunch of new guys. We have great leaders, and I'm glad I'm here.”
Things almost got silly in the third period, as they tend to do in lacrosse when one team is dominating the other. Scott Evans and Chad Cummings went to the box early in the period, with Cummings receiving an extra two for the shot on Scotty. Evans then ended up right back in the box after his penalty expired, but made up for it by drawing a cross check that earned the Lakers a powerplay. Halfway through the third, Craig England cross checked Aaron Wilson in the face. England received a five minute major penalty, while Chad Culp received two for roughing after he tackled England and wrestled him to the ground in defence of Wilson. It was the most emotion shown in the game.
The Lakers were once again outscored in the period; KW picked up four goals to the Lakers three. Rooney scored his second of the night, with Cloutier adding his third. Thorimbert and Cupido picked up late goals scored into an empty net. Shawn Evans had two goals for the Lakers and Grant picked up his second. Nick Weiss stepped in the crease on a breakaway attempt.
Melnychenko says KW will attempt to take the lead in the series tomorrow.
“We'll stick to the game plan we had today and hopefully we can play the same way tomorrow with a lot of energy. We didn't give up a lot of transition goals which was key. We had a lot of hustle today compared to other games.”
Farthing admitted that the team made mistakes.
“We have to be better on all sides of the ball,” he said. “We just gotta be better.”
Farthing missed much of the regular season while recovering from a concussion, and he is glad to be back for the playoffs, although the coaches have been easing him back in.
“It's always nice to be out there,” he said. I'm just trying to do my part and do whatever I can do to help this team win and hopefully we get that result on Wednesday.”
Game three and four of the series are in KW on Wednesday and Friday night. The Lakers return home next Monday, August 11 for game five.
⁃ Attendance was 2408.
⁃ Scratches included Brock Sorensen, Riley Quinlan, Kyle Sorensen, Eric Shewell, Cory Vitarelli, Matt Crough, and Alex Henderson.
⁃ John Grant switched jerseys between the second and third period, going from 24 to 71.
⁃ Peterborough outshot KW 54-37.
- Chad Culp was the Pizza Factory Player of the Game
- Monday’s game is sponsored by No Frills in support of Kawartha Food Share. Lakers fans are asked to bring a non-perishable food donation to the game. Fans who donate will be given a ticket for a draw to win an autographed Lakers jersey. Cash donations are also welcomed.
Sunday August 3, 2014
by Marla Taylor
PETERBOROUGH - If you look at the regular season final standings, you see the Peterborough Lakers sitting in a most respectable second place, with ten wins, eight losses, twenty points total. (There are those three games we forfeited…thirteen wins, five losses etc……) With Sunday’s huge win over Kitchener-Waterloo 14-4, it’s easy to understand why some are suggesting a possible short series—Lakers in four, or maybe five.
Go back to those standings and look at third place. It’s the same as second. KW Kodiaks with ten wins, eight losses, twenty points total. Both teams' winning percentage was .556. KW shot up to those stats in the final few games and we only differ in goals scored. Lakers had 199. KW managed 153. For those efforts, we obtained home advantage.
The Kodiaks are feisty and fast. They like to run a lot. They maintained an even pace and 0-0 score for the first eight minutes of the game. Each goaltender, Matt Vinc and Dillon Ward, faced a bevy of shots and one could tell that two of the very best goaltenders anywhere were in those nets. They used any and every part of themselves to stop any goals being scored for those eight minutes.
The fast pace couldn’t continue. There was a great deal of whacking and shoving. Wears a guy down. Maybe the Kodiaks long bus trip did it. Or, maybe the Lakers’ experience and sheer talent got to work.
Whatever the reason, the game changed at 8:24 of the first period. John Grant fed a pass to Shawn Evans who was parked behind the net. Scott Arnold of Cogeco Television remarked that this was a problem for opposing players. If they don’t go after Shawn, he runs around behind the net and comes out and scores. If they chase him behind the net, he flips a pass to whomever is camped at the edge of the crease and that player scores. Evvie chose the latter, passed to Mark Steenhuis and he scored the first playoff goal of the semi-finals in 2014.
Chad Culp scored almost in similar fashion less than a minute later, with Aaron Wilson and Steenhuis assisting.
Corey Fowler blasted a sidearm shot past Vinc at 11:46 to move the Kodiaks within one goal of the Lakers.
Both teams traded one more goal each before the period ended, with the Lakers holding a slim lead at 3-2. The Lakers’ goal had some interesting bits to note. Three Kodiaks barrelled into Scott Evans, knocking him to the ground. Wilson was alone on the edge of the crease and scored the goal on a nice pass from Shawn Evans. Pointstreak gave the assist to Scott, but he wasn’t available. It was Wilson’s second consecutive shot on net, done in exactly similar fashion. Wilson was a former Kodiak and was their leading scorer last year.
Coach Bobby Keast assumed the headship during the first period, as Joe Sullivan was mysteriously absent from the bench. All sorts of reasons were offered, but he arrived to take over in the second frame. Work commitments had delayed his arrival, but finding the Lakers in the lead was a great way to get to work!
Fans in the stands, watching Cogeco TV or Steven Stamp’s webcast were lavished with an abundance of goals throughout the middle period. In fact, the Lakers outscored KW 8-1. Culp started the barrage, stretching the lead to 4-2. Transition took over on the next goal. Brad Self picked off a pass not intended for any Laker, and flipped it to Nick Weiss. Andrew Suitor joined them and the three took off down the floor. Ward had to wonder who was going to take the shot, and it probably was a little unnerving with three guys coming right at him. Just at the right moment, Weiss returned the ball to Self and he deftly flipped it past the dazed net minder.
Steenhuis wove himself in and out of three Kodiaks to position himself centre net and fired for all he was worth. Another goal, his second, and the Lakers' sixth. Scott Arnold on Cogeco described Mark’s shot “like a laser bomb” and his movements “like a ping pong ball bouncing off several Kodiaks.” Josh Gillam and Grant assisted. That goal, or maybe the way he made it happen, seemed to please Mark personally a great deal. He assumed a half-crouch pose, holding it for a moment. It was picture-perfect.
Adam Jones kept it going with a pass from Scott Evans and that EverReady bunny Steenhuis, extending the lead to 7-3. Corey Fowler had scored his second for the Kodiaks just prior to the Jones goal.
Brad Self, sandwiched between two Kodiaks, managed to score his second before hitting the floor, and Scott Evans went top shelf past Ward to stretch the lead to 9-3. That was enough for him. Ward was removed and Steve Fryer replaced him. Fryer had played well in Laker Land on July 17, so was he the answer to stop the flood? Yes, and no. He was fooled twice before the frame ended, but only twice!
Steenhuis scored a hat trick, from Shawn Evans and Weiss. It was a quick flip, hardly noticed by anyone, especially the goalie. The 50-50 draw numbers were being recited at that moment and many fans were checking their tickets for the lucky numbers, so few responded. This time, Steenhuis quietly walked back to the bench, with no reaction to the goal.
The eleventh goal and the final one of the period had many hands making it happen. Scott Evans had a hold of the ball at one point, passed to Jones and he flipped to Shawn Evans in the corner. Poor Shawn had three Kodiaks surrounding him so he sent the busy ball to Steenhuis who then fired at Fryer, with Wilson picking up the rebound and sending it behind the embattled goalie.
Dillon Ward returned in net in the third period. Kodiaks captain Jay Thorimbert wound up and fired a bomb at Vinc. He scored, although the shot either hit Suitor’s stick or shoulder, or may simply have been screened, but it never slowed down. It was KW’s only goal of the period, giving them a stingy four goals total. Vinc stopped all the rest; he faced 41 shots and stopped 37. Awesome job. He was chosen as the Pizza Factory Player of the game.
Josh Gillam, Grant and finally Shawn Evans scored in the frame, giving the Lakers a 14-4 win and the first game in the series. Craig England tried to spark KW by going fist to fist with Andrew Suitor in the dying seconds of the game. They tugged, pulled, danced a little, threw few punches, really seemed content to remove pieces of clothing and protection. When it ended, Suitor was seen to briefly pat the head of England (good fight mate?) but the Kodiak didn’t respond. Not yet.
That’s it. That was the first game. We won! Kodiaks didn’t. It was an incredible well-deserved win. The guys, and I mean every guy, including those who rarely get mentioned (the defense) did everything right and earned the W honourably. Thank you Lakers. Will you come back and do it again Tuesday night? We’ll be in the stands to cheer you on.
After the game, Anna Taylor chatted with Shawn Evans and Bobby Keast. On the win, Shawn said “It felt good. Playoff time, you’d better bring your A game and be ready to play all the time. So to come in here and have a game like that, with everyone ready and moving the ball and the defense playing well, and the goaltender making the stops he needed to make, it was a good game all around, and we’d better continue to bring that.”
On the physicality of the game, he responded “It’s playoff time! You don’t want to let teams come through the middle easily or get loose balls on you. You want to play hard. Let them know this is a series and we’re here to play and we didn’t back down one bit tonight."
Bobby offered “we’re built for the playoffs. We’re an experienced team in the playoffs and we’re going to rely on our experience and continue to play to our strengths and flex our muscle when we need to. We put in a new defensive system at the start of the year and we’ve focussed on it all season and this is when we want it to be perfect. Game one, it was.”
Cory Vitarelli is day to day with an upper body injury.
Mark Farthing will be playing in game two. Bobby Keast said “We want to get him back in the swing of things slowly and take our time with him.”
Back to back goals (one for each team) were waved off due to crease violations.
Scott Self celebrated his birthday with the win and by sending a long pass to Shawn Evans who was being double-teamed, but managed to spin, fire and fool Ward for the 14th goal.
Attendance was 2315
July 31, 2104
BRAMPTON - The Peterborough Lakers ended the 2014 regular season with an 11-8 loss to the Brampton Excelsiors. The loss does not affect the final standings; the Lakers retain second place and will face the KW Kodiaks in the first round of the playoffs. The Excelsiors played spoiler in their last game of a dismal 2014, while the Lakers rested some players to gear up for the second season.
Scoring for the Lakers were:
Andrew Suitor (2)
Matt Crough (2)
The Lakers are next in action on Sunday when they open the playoffs at home versus the KW Kodiaks. Game time is 7:00 p.m. Ticket packages are currently on sale at the PMC box office. Single game tickets will be available on the day of the game.
July 28, 2014
PETERBOROUGH - Playoff tickets for the Peterborough Lakers Major Series Lacrosse 2014 Semi-Final & Final playoff round bundles go on sale on Tuesday, July 29, 2014 at 9:30 a.m. via phone and in person at the Memorial Centre Box Office. Online sales for single game tickets will be available on the day of the first game of each round beginning at 9:30 a.m. Playoff tickets will increase $2.00 per ticket each round, a league standard for teams entering playoff rounds.
The Lakers final regular season game is Thursday, July 31st when they are on the road for a final match up versus the Brampton Excelsiors at 8 p.m. With the possibility of movement in the standings, the Semi-Final series opponent and game dates are to be determined.
Current season-ticket holders have until 5 p.m. the business day before the first playoff home game to purchase their seats before the tickets are released to the general public for re-sale. Playoff tickets are being sold in four (4) game bundles both for the Semi-Final and Final rounds; a convenience for Lakers' fans. Game tickets for playoff games not played will be eligible for a full refund.
Lakers' fans will see exciting lacrosse action in the playoffs as the Lakers attempt to bring the Championship Series to Peterborough and reclaim the Mann Cup in 2014.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
by Anna Taylor
PETERBOROUGH - The Lakers didn't quite beat up on the Brampton Excelsiors as much as some fans hoped they would on Thursday night, letting the Excels off with only a 13-8 loss. The Excels came into the game mathematically eliminated from the playoffs and eager to play spoiler to the powerhouse Lakers. Unfortunately, a depleted Brampton lineup did not reach their goal; indeed, the players that were left on the bench showed little emotion, even when they were only down by two goals after the first period. Stars Joe Resetarits, Mike Burke, and Kyle Rubisch were missing from the game; Anthony Cosmo didn't make the trip; and their missing leadership left goaltender Tyler Belanger, a Peterborough native, out to dry once again.
On Fan Appreciation night, the Lakers showed their love for the 3246 faithful fans in attendance, scoring some highlight reel goals and then sticking around after the game to say thank you in person, signing autographs and taking pictures with fans. It was a grand celebration; an excellent end to the regular season for the Lakers and their fans.
With one more game to go before the playoffs begin, any combination of a Kitchener-Waterloo loss or a Lakers win will clinch second place, and home floor advantage through the first round, for Peterborough. KW has two games remaining, while Peterborough has one, a return visit to Brampton next Thursday. KW faces off against Brooklin and Six Nations. Six Nations sits two points behind KW, and has three games left. Conceivably, if the Chiefs won their remaining games and Peterborough lost, the two teams would be tied. Suffice it to say - with 10 days left in the regular season, there are still several playoff scenarios possible. Oakville could also still sneak up into fourth place.
Cory Vitarelli led the offence on Thursday, scoring four highlight reel goals. Shawn Evans provided on-point passes on three of them, to a waiting Vitarelli, always parked right on Belanger’s doorstep. Mark Steenhuis picked up seven points to increase his league leading total to 83. With only one game left, he has 43 goals and 40 assists - we’re rooting for him to hit 50 goals - he’s certainly capable of it.
Vitarelli was modest when asked about his personal performance.
“It’s nice,” was all he said about his four goals, before steering the topic to the team. “We wanted to get the win to bring us closer to clinching second place. It wasn't our best game tonight, but we’ll take the W.”
John Grant, fresh off his first medal as a coach at the World Field Lacrosse Championship, scored the game’s first goal less than a minute in. Brampton tied it before the Lakers took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission. It was a sleepy period, with the teams feeling each other out before deciding on a plan of attack.
Peterborough outscored Brampton 6-4 in the middle frame, the highlight of which was an over the shoulder goal by Shawn Evans, who spun around and shot over his own right shoulder to beat Belanger. It was a 9-5 lead after the second period, although closer than perhaps some expected, given the Excel’s record.
Peterborough won the third period as well, 4-3. Cory Vitarelli had a had trick in the period to lead the Lakers to the win. Matt Vinc was solid in his return to the goal, letting in five goals through three periods. The three goals allowed in the third period were just to make Brampton feel a little better about their effort on the night - Vinc could have stopped them if he wanted to, but he’s a nice guy.
Vitarelli said knowing that Brampton was out of the playoffs provided a little motivation for the Lakers to pile it on.
“They have no pressure on them,” he said of Brampton. “They’re done for this season, but it’s not like they’re going to come in and quit playing, so we tried to take them seriously. We just said if we could get on them early, maybe they’ll quit, but it was a tight game all the way to the end.”
The Lakers know they can’t count on KW and Six Nations to lose their last games, so will take Brampton seriously again on Thursday in a tune up for the playoffs.
“We’re looking forward to getting the playoffs started,” said Vitarelli. “We’ve got one more game that we want to win next week, to get into some good habits and get into the rhythm of things and carry it over into playoffs and hope we can go far and go all the way to the finals.”
After the game, the players showered (well, some of them did) and then returned to the floor for their annual fan appreciation night. Laker memorabilia was signed, along with player cards and photos, both of which were available for $5. Proceeds from the cards were to benefit Five Counties Children’s Centre. Players also posed for photos with fans.
Riley Quinlan, a Lakers rookie, was excited for his first fan appreciation.
“First fan appreciation event, first ever autograph session!” he said with a smile. “I was at a table with Scott Self so it was a little overwhelming, but I had a lot of fun. The fans here are great. That’s one thing you look forward to every night you come out and you play here, playing in front of a great crowd, it’s a lot of fun. The atmosphere, you cant beat it.”
Mark Steenhuis, Shawn Evans, and John Grant Jr. faced the longest lineups, but took the time to make sure that every fan went away happy. Steenhuis, who faces the longest drive to and from games, stayed until the very end, chatting with fans.
Quinlan didn't sign as many autographs as Steenhuis, but still had a great time mingling with fans.
“I finally got my autograph down,” he said proudly. “As a little kid you always think growing up you’re going to have to sign your autograph when you’re older, that’s what you dream of. I’ve gone through my fair share of different autographs but I’ve finally got one down.”
Captain Scott Self didn't provide much help to the rookie during his first fan appreciation.
“He just told me to sit down and let the kids come to me and see what happens. He didn't give me much advice, he was more so making fun of my lack of experience, but that happens,” Quinlan laughed.
Laker player away jerseys were also auctioned off during the event. Jerseys were displayed around the floor and bids began at $50. The jerseys are auctioned each year. Some professional game worn jerseys can go for extreme prices; this a great way to own a part of the Lakers’ history at an affordable price.
Tickets for playoff games go on sale Tuesday morning at the Memorial Centre box office - dates and opponent have yet to be determined.
the 50/50 draw was worth $2654
Mark Steenhuis was named the Pizza Factory Player of the Game
Adam Jones, also recently returned from the World Championship, had two assists. Matt Vinc, who played defense for Canada, had one.
With the return of Grant and Jones, Alex Henderson was scratched from the offensive lineup. Mark Farthing returned from a concussion to join the defense. Riley Quinlan sat in his place. Brock and Kyle Sorensen remain out of the lineup with knee injuries. Andrew Suitor and Andrew Watt were also missing. Tyler Carlson backed up Vinc, while Davide DiRuscio had the night off.
Gary Holbrook won the raffle of a Lakers' bar fridge, provided by game night sponsor Peterborough Appliances. All money raised from ticket sales for the raffle were to be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society.
Commissioner Jim Brady took the floor prior to the game to present Shawn Evans with a plaque for winning the 2013 MSL scoring race. Brady was greeted with a hearty chorus.
Voting for the 2014 Fan Favourite is now open. Vote here. Be fair to the players - only one vote per person. The award will be presented at the 2014 Lakers' Banquet in October.
July 17, 2014
by Marla Taylor
PETERBOROUGH - Coming off a come-from-behind win last night, the Peterborough Lakers fell to the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks 11-8 at the PMC Thursday night.
Camp Moshava kids had a great time!
At this point, it’s neither here nor there why the loss occurred. It just did. Were the Lakers tired from three games in four nights? Maybe. According to Josh Gillam, “You never want to use fatigue as an excuse. We pride ourselves as being strong athletes and tonight we didn’t come out with energy and the game plan we wanted to do; we didn’t execute it and that’s where we fell short.”
Kitchener-Waterloo Coach John Lovell felt that their arrival time determined some of his team’s success. “We got up here right before game time. Maybe the best thing for us was that nobody had time to think. We just got here and didn’t have to warm up in front of the crowd. The guys just got out here and played. We don’t have a lot of guys with NLL experience, so this might be, or will be, the biggest thing they’ve played in front of. So the guys just got here, showed up, played, and we came out on top.”
Each team had a little help from the evening’s special guests - the Kids from Camp Moshava, near Ennismore. For several years, the campers have set aside one night to visit the PMC and cheer on the Lakers and opposing teams too. They are often three hundred strong and throng the upper galleries of sections 17, 18 and 19. They sing, clap, dance and cheer, no, that’s CHEEEEER. (View the video above) It rocks up there and both teams feel the energy. As in other years, a group of them sang the National Anthem before the game.
K-W Coach Lovell said the Kodiaks “talked about (the campers) coming up because we played here last year with the same thing, so we said it was going to be a great crowd here and just a whole bunch of kids who are really loud and excited.”
Indeed, it was the Kodiaks who joined us in 2013 on Camp Moshava Night, Thursday July 18. K-W also won that night, 13-12 in overtime.
Though the Lakers “couldn’t get the win for them” noted Josh Gillam, “we love playing for those kids.” He went on to speak of all Laker fans: “Peterborough has the best fans in the league and across the country as far as I’m concerned, and to travel to away games and have fans like that, brings the energy and emotion into the building, especially (Wednesday July 16) when we had trouble at the start of the (Brooklin) game. They picked us up and we were able to get the win.”
Notes of Interest:
Josh Gillam was Pizza Factory Player of the Game
Mark Steenhuis started the game leading the scoring race with 74 points and added one goal and one assist
Lakers have averaged 3132 fans per game this year, giving us 23000 so far this year and will exceed 25000 next Thursday, our last home game in the regular season. (Stats from Mike Lord and Pete Dalliday)
According to Bobby Keast via Cogeco TV, Kyle Sorensen may be ready to play in two weeks and Brock in possibly four. Fingers crossed.
Craig England shoved Scott Evans off his feet and as he sailed toward K-W goalie Steve Fryer, he sidearmed a shot into the net. Upside down, sideways or plain old right side up, this guy can shoot! It was his second of the game.
Next Thursday July 24, is Fan Appreciation Night. The players will return to the floor after the game and sign autographs, and pose for pics. This is always so much fun. Jerseys will be auctioned as well.
July 16, 2014
by Anna Taylor
WHITBY - The Lakers travelled to Whitby on Wednesday to face the first place Brooklin Redmen. A strong relief effort from Davide DiRuscio over Mike Poulin in the Redmen goal led the Lake Show to a 12-9 come from behind win.
A win would have clinched the top spot in the MSL for the Redmen, but instead the Lakers inched closer to their competition in the standings. While it is unlikely the Lakers will catch the Redmen (if the Lakers won their remaining three games and the Redmen lost their remaining four, this would happen), with this team, anything is possible. Tonight’s victory showed the Redmen the Lakers will be a formidable opponent come playoff time, at the very least.
The game was chippy to the end, as one would expect it to be, with the referees not letting anything go. At the tail end of the game, the Redmen lost their composure, with Shawn Williams cross checking Andrew Suitor to the floor giving away an important possession to the Lakers. With under twenty seconds to go, Dan Ball intentionally got his stick into Mark Steenhuis’ face, which left the Redmen shorthanded to the end of the game.
The Lakers were without Shawn Evans, serving the second of his three game suspension for a match penalty obtained last week versus Oakville; Adam Jones, John Grant, and Matt Vinc at the World Championships; Mark Farthing, who continues to recover from a concussion; Brock and Kyle Sorensen, both with lower-body injuries; and Riley Quinlan.
In their absence, both Alex Henderson and Darryl Gibson scored their first goals of the season. Scott Evans paced the offence with a hat trick; Mark Steenhuis added two more goals to his league leading total of 39. Brad Self scored on a shorthanded breakaway. Cory Vitarelli, Josh Gillam, and Aaron Wilson also scored.
Down 8-7 to start the third period, Chad Culp scored at the five minute mark to tie the game. The Lakers then kept scoring on a rattled Poulin, with two from Evans and two from Steenhuis, and kept up the defense, outscoring the Redmen in the final frame 5-1. Dan Lintner’s diving effort with just over ten minutes left for the Redmen, while flashy, proved futile in the losing cause.
Tyler Carlson started the game in net for the Lakers, but was replaced after five first period goals gave the Redmen a large advantage. DiRuscio was solid in relief, shutting out the Redmen in the second half of the period, and only allowing four more goals along the way.
The Lakers are back at home on Thursday when they host the KW Kodiaks for the only time this season. Game time is 8:00 p.m. at the Memorial Centre.
July 14, 2014
BRAMPTON - Mark Steenhuis had six goals (a sock trick) and three assists in a 16-7 victory over the Brampton Excelsiors Monday night at the Powerade Centre in Brampton.
Scoring for the Lakers were:
Mark Steenhuis (6-3)
Scott Evans (3-0)
Aaron Wilson (2-3)
Andrew Suitor (2-1)
Matt Crough (1-1)
Josh Gillam (1-1)
Brad Self (1-3)
Chad Culp (0-3)
Alex Henderson (0-2)
Nick Weiss (0-2)
Stephen Hoar (0-1)
Robert Hope (0-1)
Tyler Carlson and the defence played well.
The Lakers are next in action on Wednesday when they visit the Iroquois Park Sports Centre in Whitby to face the Brooklin Redmen, before returning home on Thursday to host the KW Kodiaks.
July 10, 2014
by Anna Taylor
PETERBOROUGH - Brad Self said it was the best game of the season. The fans agreed.
The Oakville Rock rolled into Peterborough on Thursday on a one game winning streak (their first legitimate win of the season), which the Lakers handily snapped by a score of 13-5. Despite being badly outshot in the first 10 minutes of the game, the Lakers led 6-2 at the end of the first and 11-2 at the end of the second. The Rock got three past Tyler Carlson in the final frame, a period that was also marred by a number of roughing and unsportsmanlike penalties, as well as a match penalty to Shawn Evans, who will miss at least the next three games for his infraction.
Sometimes, you just need to blow out your opponent to make yourselves feel better. The Lakers snapped a two home game losing streak in spectacular fashion, in a game that had highlight reel goal after highlight reel goal, and just enough feistiness to keep the fans on their feet. It was a fun game, one that was needed after the Lakers learned they would not win their appeal to get back three wins.
“Yeah, you’re bang on there. It did feel like the best game of the season,” Self said. “We knew obviously that once the appeal came down that it would be over and done with and now we’re able to turn the page. Whether we said it was on our minds or not I think it kind of affected our game and tonight was nice. Whether we won the appeal or lost the appeal now we’re going to move on and try to get home floor advantage so we can come back here and play in front of our fans.”
Mark Steenhuis picked up seven points on the night to increase his total to 62 on the season. Nick Rose and Craig Wende, who split duties in the Oakville net, had no answer for Steenhuis who slipped five goals past them.
Carlson was beyond excellent in goal for the Lakers, allowing only two goals through the first 50 minutes of play. The defense played well in front of him, intercepting passes and blocking shots. When Oakville did get quality shots through the defense, Carlson was in position every time, square to the ball, to stop them.
Joe Sullivan was pleased with Carlson’s performance, and is comfortable with the team’s goaltending roster.
“Tyler was our starter up until we got an opportunity to get Matt Vinc,” Sullivan said. “We weren't in a panic to get Vinc but that we got him was incredible. Tyler’s more than capable, he’s led our team before in net and to a Mann Cup berth so it’s just another opportunity he gets. If Tyler needs a rest then we’ve got Davide DiRuscio too and he’s very up for the challenge and he’s played great when we’ve asked him to.”
Oakville has not had a great season. They sit with six points, tied for last place in the MSL. Their first win came from a Lakers forfeit, they lost to two teams in overtime, and defeated Brampton, their competition for last place, on Monday. The Lakers scored 11 goals on the Rock in the first 30 minutes of the game, and only two in the back half as the Rock’s defense settled down, and things became rougher.
“They’ve played us hard all year,” Self said. “They’re a hard working team with some great coaches. Oakville competes hard every night so it’s good for us to be given a push and it’s nice to see that any team in the league can beat anyone on any give night. They've pushed the best teams to the brink so we have to be ready for them every time.”
Sullivan didn't think that the appeal factored into the Lakers’ offensive explosion tonight.
“We still talk to ourselves as being 10-3 although we can’t talk about that within the league,” he said. “We’ve had three losses on ten wins; it’s an incredible start, we feel great about it. That’s going to be our rallying cry, and it’s not one that I’ve put to the guys, it’s one the players have put to themselves. They're going to dig down and play hard each and every game no matter who the opponent is.”
In the third period, Oakville’s tempers boiled over with frustration and a lot of pushing and shoving took place. By halfway through the period, there were five Lakers in the penalty box serving various roughing and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties. Most of the penalties were off-setting and a good chunk of the third period was played three on three. Towards the end of the period, Scott Evans got into a scrap with super-pest Billy Hostrawser. The two tumbled to the floor as Shawn Evans jumped in between them. Hostrawser’s helmet fell off and Shawn Evans managed to grab it and attempted to hit Hostrawser with it, earning him the match penalty. Hostrawser, who leads the Rock in penalty minutes, also received a match penalty.
Kids’ Night in support of Five Counties Children’s Centre was a giant success. Approximately 400 parents and children attended the tailgate party at the Morrow Building between 5:30 and 7:30pm. There was a charity barbecue outside, with games inside for kids. There were large bouncy castles and and obstacle courses, giant slides and gladiator games. Free mint chocolate chip and birthday cake ice cream from Kawartha Dairy was available, and the lineup for free face painting by Faces by 2 was almost out the door. Player cards were sold for $5 per set and will continue to be available until the limited edition set is sold out.
During the game, a silent auction was held as well as a ball toss. During the second intermission, balls were tossed from the stands into a moving Honda car. The grand prize was $400 in Canadian Tire gift certificates, with several runner up prizes. It took great skill (or luck) to hit the target, but several balls made it in through the sunroof
Cory Vitarelli and Brad and Scott Self brought the NLL Champions Cup to the pre-game festivities and signed autographs and took pictures with fans.
Brad Self said that sharing the Cup with his Peterborough friends and family was special.
“It’s really cool,” he enthused. “Obviously in Rochester a lot of friends and family are there but home is Peterborough. Now that we’re doing camps (with Nationwide Lacrosse) we’re out seeing the kids there who are coming to the game and it’s nice to be able to share with them and give them something to look forward to one day when they’re playing in the NLL.”
The Lakers are next in action on Monday when they travel to Brampton to face the Excelsiors. They are also in Whitby on Wednesday to face the Brooklin Redmen, before returning home next Thursday to welcome the KW Kodiaks for the only time this season.
-Tonight’s attendance was 3271.
-The national anthem was sung by Yasmine Ezway, who also works as a bartender in the Memorial Centre’s East lobby.
-Tyler Carlson was named the Pizza Factory Player of the Game
-A media ice cream eating contest took place during the tailgate party. The second annual event, featuring ice cream from Kawartha Dairy, featured 10 participants who were cheered on by the crowd and both Leo and Roger, who wished they could compete. David Koski of Spanky’s, a Jr. Lakers representative and sponsor of the team, took home the prize. Carey Walker, the Lakers in game host from the Wolf/KRUZ, was second place, tearing open the ice cream cup to give him an advantage. Koski and Walker beat out Scott Cherwaty of Peterborough Sports Express, the reigning champion. Lakers media representative Anna Taylor came in dead last. Taylor was quoted as saying “I don’t mind. Once I knew I wasn’t going to win I threw my support to Carey Walker. I’m happy with just the giant bowl of free ice cream.”
July 6, 2014
KITCHENER-WATERLOO - The Peterborough Lakers travelled to Kitchener on Sunday and picked up a 15-7 win over the Kodiaks.
The Lakers, who were missing several regulars from the lineup, fell behind 1-0 early, but ended the first period 5-1, a lead they never relinquished.
Mark Steenhuis led the way offensively with six points and Tyler Carlson picked up the win in goal.
Scoring for the Lakers were:
Cory Vitarelli (3-1)
Aaron Wilson (2-2)
Scott Evans (2-2)
Holden Cattoni (2-2)
Shawn Evans (2-2)
Chad Culp (2-1)
Mark Steenhuis (1-5)
Matt Crough (1-3)
Robert Hope (0-1)
Brad Self (0-1)
Tyler Carlson (0-1)
Alex Henderson (0-1)
Stephen Hoar (0-1)
The Lakers are next in action on Thursday when the Oakville Rock visit the Memorial Centre on Kids Night. A free tailgate party featuring a bouncy castle, kids games, and free ice cream begins at 5:30 in the Morrow Building. Special edition 2014 Lakers player cards will also be on sale. The set of 28 cards costs $5 with proceeds towards Five Counties Children’s Centre.
July 3, 2014
by Anna Taylor
PETERBOROUGH - The Brooklin Redmen walked into the PMC on Thursday with swagger, and walked out with all the confidence in the world after beating the Lakers 11-9. The Lakers built an early 3-0 lead in the first period only to watch it quickly slip away. Brooklin had an answer for everything the Lakers tossed their way and took advantage of every mistake.
“Good teams will do that,” Joe Sullivan said after the game. “Every mistake we made they seemed to capitalize on.”
Mark Steenhuis added five points tonight to bring his league leading total to 49. He is well on his way to eclipsing his 2011 total of 54 points, his highest point totals in his time with the Lakers. Steenhuis scored 91 points in 2004 with St. Catharines, good enough for third in the league that season.
Unfortunately, neither Steenhuis’ five points nor Adam Jones’ three goals were enough to motivate the Lakers to great heights on Thursday. Redmen rookies Dan Lintner (3 points) and Curtis Knight (4 points) have been tearing up the MSL this season and are proving almost unstoppable to opposing goaltenders, while Shawn Williams and Shayne Jackson continue to dominate in the league.
Lakers transition man Stephen Hoar recognizes that the Redmen are a formidable force, a team that has continue to be stronger as the season has matured.
“They’re young and fast and we need to be a lot smarter to play against them,” he said. “We created some opportunities for them tonight and it seemed like every mental lapse we made they scored on, and that’s what good teams do.”
“When our offence is moving the ball around we’re really effective,” Hoar continued. “But that’s a really good defense out there. They make you do things you don’t necessarily want to do and sometimes we get forced into quick decisions or quick passes. We’re still trying to find our way here, with a lot of guys in and out of the lineup. Finding chemistry and finding systems takes a little bit of time, but we’ll figure it out.”
The Redmen made a splash this week acquiring goaltender Mike Poulin from the KW Kodiaks, an answer to Lakers’ Matt Vinc. While the Poulin Wall did not play in Thursday’s game (he and Zack Higgins will split duties), the Lakers should expect to see a lot of him later in the season.
“Yeah Poulie’s good,” Hoar said. “But we’re not worried about too many goalies. We have really good shooters on this team. He’s a high end goalie, but we have high end shooters. As long as we get quality scoring chances and are moving the ball and getting the shots that we want to get, we’ll be okay.”
Fans are used to seeing a careful, patient, talented Lakers team. The team that was on the floor looked almost nothing like what they should have. Passes were dropped, forwards were taking poor shots, and the defense… well, the defense had no answer at all for the Brooklin offence. At one point, just to add insult to injury, Andrew Suitor and Brad Self crashed into each other in the defensive end while trying to start a rush. That was the kind of night it was.
Tied at six after the second period, the Lakers took an early third period lead before the Redmen rattled off four goals in a row, a deficit from which the Lakers couldn't recover.
“We made too many mistakes tonight,” Sullivan said. “We got away from our game plan of trying to posses the ball, trying to own the clock a little bit better than we did and when we don’t do that, we give them the same opportunity and consequently they came up with a couple more goals than we did. I think guys were taking it upon themselves to go to the net and do it themselves instead of using our five man system. I sound like a broken record because last Thursday I said the very same thing, guys are just trying to do it themselves as opposed to playing as a group.”
Hoar did all he could to contribute in the face-off circle, winning 15 of 23 draws for the Lakeshow.
“We need to just play smarter,” Hoar said. “Play to our strengths and give up the shots that we want to give up. When they get good quality shots they're going to score so we need to limit those shots.”
In addition to the loss, the Lakers also got some bad news on the injury front. With Mark Farthing still out nursing a concussion, both Brock and Kyle Sorensen are now battling lower body injuries. The brothers have had the same injuries in the past.
Sullivan isn’t worried about his defense corps.
“Those injuries aren’t going to affect us moving ahead,” he said, “but it’s definitely going to slow us down a little bit so we’ll have to adjust a little bit on how we play. With two guys going down it gives an opportunity to two other guys, like Pete Rennie and Eric Shewell, who might not have had as many opportunities before.”
Also scoring for the Lakers on Thursday were Matt Crough, Aaron Wilson, Andrew Suitor, and Chad Culp. Shawn Evans had four assists.
The Lakers are next in action on Sunday when they travel to Kitchener to take on the KW Kodiaks for the first time this summer, before returning home to host the Oakville Rock on Thursday. July 10 is Kids' Night with the Lakers, a night that features a pre-game tailgate party in the Morrow Building beginning at 5:30 p.m., with kids activities like a bouncy castle, ring toss, bean bag toss, and lacrosse nets. Kawartha Dairy will provide free ice cream while supplies last, and Faces by 2 will be providing free face painting. Canadian Tire will offer a prize during the second intermission ball toss.
- Attendance was 3170
- The 50/50 draw was worth just over $2100
- Scratches for the Lakers included both Sorensen brothers, Mark Farthing, Riley Quinlan, Cory Vitarelli, John Grant, Alex Henderson
- Derek Hopcroft left the game in the first period after twisting his leg near the boards. Suitor was the first one to the injured Hopcroft and called for the Brooklin trainer right away. Lakers trainer Josh Martin also attended to Hopcroft, who did not return to the game. Later in the game, Suitor blocked a hard shot and left the game for a short while, but returned.
Special edition Peterborough Lakers player cards will be available next Thursday. The set of 28 full colour player cards is $5 and all proceeds go to Five Counties Children’s Centre.
June 30, 2014
OAKVILLE - The Peterborough Lakers picked up their second win in three days, beating the Oakville Rock 11-6 at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre.
A slow start for the Lakers had the Rock leading 3-1 midway through the game, but the more experienced Lakers took over in the second half.
Mark Steenhuis and John Grant led the attack with six points each. Matt Vinc picked up the win in goal. The Lakers record now stands at 5-5 (pending the forfeiture appeal).
Scoring for the Lakers were:
Mark Steenhuis (3-3)
John Grant Jr . (3-3)
Shawn Evans (2-2)
Aaron Wilson (2-0)
Josh Gillam (1-3)
Adam Jones (0-2)
Matt Vinc (0-2)
Brad Self (0-1)
Pete Rennie (0-1)
Nick Weiss (0-1)
Eric Shewell (0-1)
The Lakers are next in action on Thursday when they face off against the Brooklin Redmen at the Peterborough Memorial Centre.
June 28, 2014
by Anna Taylor
OHSWEKEN - The Peterborough Lakers got back in the win column on Saturday with their 9-7 defeat of the Six Nations Chiefs at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena. Davide DiRuscio picked up his first MSL win in net for the Lakers. Josh Gillam and Shawn Evans led the way offensively with four points each.
Nick Weiss and Wayne VanEvery engaged in a scrap behind the Lakers net at the very end of the second period.
Andrew Suitor took on David Brock before a face-off during the third period. It was a short but rough fight with Suitor getting the knockout punch on Brock, who had to be helped to the dressing room by both the Chiefs and Lakers training staff.
Randy Staats, who had six points versus the Lakers on Thursday, left the game early due to injury.
Evan Kirk, who knocked down Chad Culp on Thursday with a large hit behind his net, came out of his net again to body slam Shawn Evans to the ground. Scott Evans and Billy Dee Smith were involved in the resulting fracas but only Kirk was given a penalty, two minutes for interference. Josh Gillam scored the game winning goal on the ensuing power play.
Regulars missing from the Lakers lineup were Matt Vinc, Adam Jones, Cory Vitarelli, Mark Farthing, and Chad Culp.
Andrew Watt left the game in the second period after blocking a shot with his head.
Other Lakers goals were scored by Scott Evans (2), Aaron Wilson, Shawn Evans, Brad Self, John Grant, and Brock Sorensen.
Jeff Shattler had four points for Six Nations. Cody Jameison, Roger Vyse, and Craig Point all had three.
There are always highlights
June 26, 2014
by Marla Taylor
When you're down and out and need a friend, there's nothing like talking to a Peterborough Laker to erase all those negative feelings and get you going again. That's what happened after the Lakers lost to Six Nations Chiefs Thursday June 26 at the Memorial Center. The score was 10-8 in the Chiefs' favor, pulling them even further ahead in the standings.
Darryl Gibson didn’t seem as down as some fans:
"We'll be fine, we know we have a seven game series coming down the road this summer so we'll be more focused on that, but we definitely need to get a win here and get back on track. Same as always, you forget it, you move on, you can't go back and you just keep working to build. The regular season in this league is all about building for playoffs, getting fine tuned, guys working out their kinks and figuring each other out and that’s what it is; you can’t stress about a regular season loss. When we've won regular season titles, we've lost in playoffs, and when we finish fourth, we win Mann Cups, so we're more concerned with getting the team ready for August."
That's good medicine, something to remember every day. Especially if the record reversal stands, and our appeal fails.
The Chiefs deserve a lot of credit for their game on Thursday. Chastened by last week's 15-9 loss, they set about to reverse that outcome and did everything right. Their bus arrived quite early at the Memorial Center, allowing them plenty of warmup and reflection time. They were composed and focused. Yet the end of the first period told a different tale: Lakers led 4-2. Until 16:57, they led 4-0.
Our guys were well rested, at least from lacrosse, having a whole week between games. SN had played two games, both wins, in the interim. Is it better to be rested, or active? Don't know. Scoring in the first for the Peterborough lads were Cory Vitarelli (assist Shawn Evans); Mark Steenhuis unloaded a rocket at Evan Kirk (Mark's 19th of the season); Chad Culp (assist Matt Crough) on a backhand shot fooling Kirk completely; Aaron Wilson, from ever-ready Steenhuis, who drew two of the D toward him, allowing Wilson to blast one past Kirk.
Jeff Shattler and 'Rocket' Roger Vyse both got by Vinc and that's where we sat during the first period break.
Of note in the first, the game was delayed at the beginning, with the officials sending John Grant Jr. to the dressing room to switch helmets-his pro noggin-protector was not CSA approved. As well, Shawn Evans had a small fracas with David Brock in front of the SN bench. Both players headed toward the sin bin, but not before feisty Andrew Suitor pushed Brock and they had a brief tussle. When they were separated, Shawn stepped in again to re-engage Brock. When they were all safely locked away, the Lakers ended up short-handed, but Brock was assessed four minutes, giving the hometown side a power play. No goals were scored during that time.
Regarding penalties, Darryl Gibson offered his opinion: 'We gotta be more disciplined, we took a lot of retaliatory penalties and we just can't do that, a lot of four on four stuff and I think that plays into their game and not to our strengths.'
The second period belonged to Six Nations. They scored three in a row, taking the lead at 5-4. Brock Sorenson tied it up, but SN rookie sensation Randy Staats (pronounced Stawts) scored his second, ending the frame at 6-5 SN.
The third went to the Chiefs as well. Staats netted a hat trick, with a pass from Cody Jamieson, and the youngster unloaded a very crafty underhand shot. Those are hard to stop, and Vinc was unable to do so.
Jamieson wasn't done assisting his teammates, as he sent another toward Vyse who scored in tight on our net minder. Roger "Miami" Vyse appeared in the stats yet again, scoring to take the tally to 9-6.
Though Steenhuis (assist Matt Vinc) and Cory Vitarelli (with Vinc pulled) advanced the local cause, it wasn't quite enough as Jeff Shattler shot past Vinc to end the game at 10-8 SN. Actually, Shattler’s goal may have been a crease violation, as the Cogeco replay suggested (it was really hard to be sure) but the MSL doesn’t employ video replay so the goal stood.
There were certainly highlights, even amongst the loss. John Grant Jr. will miss the MLL Field Lacrosse All-Star game this weekend as he has committed to play three consecutive games for us. Shawn Evans had four assists; Cory Vitarelli scored a hat trick; Matt Vinc stopped 31 of 41 shots. Peterborough lobbed 55 rockets at Evan Kirk (that's a lot of shots) but he stopped 47.
Kirk obviously played well. Staats commented "Kirky’s been playing well all season and that’s what we need from him and he's been doing it."
Six Nations had their highlights too. Jeff Shattler went two and five for seven points. Both Roger Vyse and Randy Staats netted hat tricks. The latter was effusive in his praise for his teammates' help: "I think it was just the shots I got were open and I was happy to find the back of the net. My teammates got me open a lot so it worked out."
John Grant was held to one assist. Staats observed "the defense just played well and every time he got close to the net the sliders were right there and they didn't give him much room to breathe and it worked out well for us."
Darryl Gibson was asked his opinion of defending in front of Matt Vinc. "It actually is a big adjustment for us to make. I know we'll get there, we're making adjustments to get there. If I were going to make any comparison, Vno plays a very identical style to Paddy O'Toole, so it's a big adjustment. Paddy and Vinc like to stay in their nets so where we give up shots and where we're trying to direct traffic is a lot different from what we've done in the past, so it is an adjustment but we’ll get there."
As a last light-hearted comment, ever trying to see highlights despite the score, Gibson explained his whacking of teammates during warmup: "I do that every game with the guys just to get them going!"
Well Darryl, please keep firing them up. Saturday night, for starters. The Lakers meet Six Nations in their barn for another try. Go Lakers!
June 20, 2014
by Marla Taylor
PETERBOROUGH - The Peterborough Lakers defeated Six Nations Chiefs Thursday June 19 at the Memorial Centre 15-9 in a high scoring, entertaining game. Mark Steenhuis and Aaron Wilson led the way with four goals each. Shawn Evans broke out offensively with one goal and nine assists. Matt Vinc had his best game in net yet for the Lakers who are quickly gaining ground on the other MSL teams to make up the points they were stripped of this week. The Lakers record, although the appeal is still pending, now sits at 3-4. It could read 6-1.
There were outstanding individual efforts from everyone on the floor. Each player seemed determined to overcome the devastating record reversal by the OLA. Shawn Evans was named Pizza Factory Player of the Game, partly for his nine assists and one goal, and possibly for his dedication to the team-he had been up for hours as his beautiful twin daughters were born that morning and he had decided to play that evening. Where did he find the strength? Somewhere deep inside.
Mark Steenhuis lined up on the offence, looking every bit a perfect stand-in for John Grant. Netting four goals, he led many plays, and handled the power play effectively. On the first face-off of the second period, he lined up beside Dan Coates, and for whatever reason, began a little dance, hopping from one foot to the other. Brother-in-law Billy Dee tapped him on the shoulder, to remind him he was right behind him. He whacked him again, later in the second, after Mark had twice been double-teamed into the boards, held for minutes by Marshall and Brock. Once freed, he trotted to the centre shooter position, receiving the whack on the way.
Aaron Wilson put on a show of his own, with a little help from teammates along the way. A spin pass, just a beautiful sight, from Shawn Evans to Wilson allowed the latter to dump pass one behind goalie Evan Kirk. I think Shawn twirled around twice! Cogeco announcer Pete Dalliday deemed the action “highlight-reel material.” Aaron also scored his other three goals with Shawn setting him up each time, allowing him to launch rockets, short quick explosions and completely fool Kirk. The Aaron and Shawn Show really went to work on one-Shawn originally shot a blast at Kirk which hit his helmet and bounced toward Aaron. He grabbed the rebound and hey presto! In it went. Incidentally, near the five minute mark of the third period, Kirk was hit a second time on the helmet, and may have been somewhat dazed, and was immediately replaced by Brandon Miller.
Shawn’s one goal was an almost sidearm blast at Kirk who probably never saw it coming. As the Laker defence was leaving the floor, Evans charged from the bench and launched the shot. When it scored, Evvie jumped halfway up the glass! His emotions were pumped.
There were additional goals scored by Josh Gillam who had two; Brad Self with a beautiful fake pass and then fooled Kirk with an underarm shot; Matt Crough who tied the score at 7-7; Adam Jones who started the whole thing with a fooler that trickled in under Kirk’s stick. The poor goalie, who had no idea of what was to come, thought he had stopped it!
Certainly there were awesome goals scored on Matt Vinc, by Roger Vyse, Casey Beirnes, Craig Point, Steven Keogh, Jeff Shattler (2) and rookie Randy Staats. It’s just that the Lakers had to play hard, had to win, had to rebound from the controversy earlier in the week. And, as fans, we were concentrating on them doing those things, which they did so well, so that opposition goals were noted but not of concern. It’s going to be this way for awhile.
There were a few penalties, but mostly concentration on the win. Chad Culp and Cody Jamieson met in the second period with an entertaining scrap near the Chiefs’ bench. Not sure why it occurred, but both were ejected from the game, effectively shutting down the explosive threat Cody can be. Indeed. Jamieson, along with Garret Billings and our own Matt Vinc are the top three nominees for MVP in the NLL this year.
Were the Lakers concerned with Jamieson? Probably, but Aaron Wilson, in an interview after the game, said the team “didn’t really talk about him, although the defense might have. Everybody knows what Cody can do. The key is just getting on his hands and pressuring him and not giving him much space and hoping he has an off night and he did, so it worked in our favour!”
Wilson was asked about the chemistry with newcomer Adam Jones. It “took us a couple of games to get the flow going on offence, and get some confidence as we work together. The last three or four games, we’ve really found a groove offensively, and we’re just having fun. We’ve all been playing the game a long time and we’re just going out there having fun winning games. It’s been great so far.”
Finally, on Thursday’s game and the rivalry between Six Nations and Peterborough: “Tonight was fun. These two teams go at it hard year after year, and I’m just happy to be a part of it. Playing in front of these great fans and how they cheer for this team with so much passion; I’m just taking advantage of every game and having a lot of fun while doing it.”
A nice young man. He may be having fun, but his four goals tell the serious side of his game too, and he and all the fabulous Lakers deserve and need our support through every game. There may be a mountain to climb, pending the outcome of the appeal, but if we’re all willing, climb aboard the Lakeshow bus and join the team in reaching the top. We’re with you boys. All the way.
The Lakers return to action next Thursday June 26 at the Memorial Centre to face the same Six Nations Chiefs before visiting the Chiefs next Saturday June 28 at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena.
June 19, 2014
by Anna Taylor
WHITBY - The Peterborough Lakers exorcised some demons Wednesday night, although it wasn't without some adversity against the Brooklin Redmen. The Lakers picked up an 11-10 win over their rivals, with Mark Steenhuis scoring the game-winning goal with under two minutes left in the game.
Earlier this week the team learned that the MSL was stripping of them of their first three wins of the season due to Scott Evans playing while under suspension. The Lakers are appealing the sanction, but the outcome of the appeal may not be known for two weeks. In the meantime, the Lakers have to play not knowing whether every game, if a loss, could knock them out of the playoffs. In a short season of 18 games, every win counts. The Lakers, if the appeal is lost, would lose six points in the standings.
As reported on durhamregion.com, it was Brooklin coach Wayne Colley who reported to the MSL that the Lakers were playing an ineligible Scott Evans.
Assistant coach Jason Clark said that news didn't really provide any extra motivation for the Lakers on Wednesday.
“No, our guys are professionals,” Clark said. “They’ve won plenty of Mann Cups and OLA championships and seen it all throughout their careers. It’s kind of a disappointing move if Brooklin wants to win that way, but at the end of the day, if that’s the only way they can win that’s how they’ll have to do it. I thought our guys were composed tonight and there was no extra fire.”
Steenhuis was unaware that Brooklin’s bench boss was behind the brou-ha-ha.
“Those guys like to do weird things like that,” he said. “Last year or two years ago they called me for no ear pieces. I don’t think that really has too much outcome on the game, things like that. If they want to be cheap and do things like this we’ll let our play on the floor do the talking.”
And their play certainly did the talking tonight, as the first period was all Lakers, despite Brooklin opening the scoring. The Lakers took it to the Redmen early, taking advantage of every mistake, including three breakaways, two of which led to goals by Brad Self and Nick Weiss. Self caused a turnover in the defensive zone and ran uncontested down the floor where he deked Zack Higgins several times before putting it over the starter’s right shoulder. The period ended 5-2 in favour of the Lakers.
Where Peterborough excelled in the first, the Redmen took over in the second period, stripping the Lakers of their lead to tie the game first at 8, and then 9 before the end of the period. The Lakers did manage to chase starting netminder Higgins in favour of Steve Fryer after the Lakers seventh goal.
Steenhuis had two goals in the second frame. His totals tonight put him tied for second place in MSL scoring with 13 goals and 11 assists.
“The biggest thing is me playing offense right now,” Steenhuis said of his impressive point total. “I’ve been playing transition the last few years, but with the new personnel things have changed and they’ve bumped me to the O side. Guys are getting used to playing with me, and I’m learning to feel how they play. It seems pretty good right now, and we can only get better which is great for us. Once we fit this puzzle together we can be pretty dangerous.”
Clark, the offensive coach, is happy with Steenhuis’ play.
“Mark’s one of the best ball players in the world” he said. “He gets ahold of that ball and it’s very tough to get it off him. He played a bit of defence for us tonight and he gets loose balls for us. He’s an all around player and his passing part of the game has improved immensely. As long as he keeps playing the way he has been he’s going to be very hard to stop.”
While offense was the name of the game through 40 minutes, each team’s defense picked it up in the third. Curtis Knight scored his second of the game, giving Brooklin a short 10-9 lead before Aaron Wilson, with his second, tied it at 10. Steenhuis’ hat trick goal at the 18:10 mark of the third was the difference. Matt Vinc’s right post made a nice save in the dying seconds to preserve the lead and get the win.
Vinc picked up his second win in the Lakers net.
“Vinc made some huge saves early in the game and stood tall,” Clark praised. “He’s the best goalie in the world right now and that’s why we acquired him and that’s what we expect of him.”
Steenhuis and the offense faced familiar foes in the Brooklin net in Higgins and Fryer.
“They played spectacular against us last year,” he acknowledged. “Obviously that’s our motivation going into this year, with Brooklin putting us out last year with those guys in net. We definitely want to get them early, get their confidence off and we were able to do that tonight, with them pulling Higgins halfway through.”
Also scoring for the Lakers in the game were Aaron Wilson (2), Adam Jones (2), Cory Vitarelli, and Stephen Hoar.
The Lakers are next in action on Thursday night when the Six Nations Chiefs, defending Mann Cup champions, visit the Peterborough Memorial Centre.
Players and coaches are hoping to put their appeal process out of their minds while they battle the Chiefs.
Steenhuis says that “everyone’s eager to get the situation out of the way. Hopefully we don’t lose all our wins. If we’re gong to be punished one game is severe enough, obviously taking 3 or 4 wins can do a lot of damage in an 18 game schedule. Them not picking it up until 4 games in seems kind of odd.”
Clark is sure that the players won't be worrying about the outcome of Evans situation.
“We've still got an appeal process to go through,” he says. “Our players are all professionals and they're going to worry about themselves and we’ll let the executive and lawyers take care of the rest.”
- The Lakers were without assistant coach Bobby Keast, Shawn Evans (whose wife Kayla is expecting twins any day), Scott Evans (suspension), Mark Farthing (concussion), Alex Henderson, John Grant, Riley Quinlan, Pete Rennie, and Tracey Kelusky
- Josh Gillam returned to the lineup following a lower body injury
- While there is no love between teams during the game, during the handshakes all the Lakers had hugs for Brooklin’s Shawn Williams. Williams’ son Tucker, 8, is currently battling a second round of Burkitt’s Lymphoma at Sick Kids Hospital after beating the cancer once already this year. The lacrosse community is a small one and everyone, team allegiances aside, is rooting for Tucker. For more information and to find out how to help, visit http://braverthanbrave.com.
June 18, 2014
by Marla Taylor
Crash! Oomph! Lacrosse players collide; a Laker is down and the team bench gate opens. Head Trainer Josh Martin flies across the floor to the injured player to assess the situation and administer immediate aid. If bandages or ice is the only requirement, the player is easily repaired on the bench. If more is needed, a cycle of assessment, treatment and recovery begins.
This is a behind-the-scenes look at some very important, but not always noticed, essential Lakers’ personnel. There’s a lot going on, long before the fans arrive, and long after they leave. Among the dedicated workers, are the trainers and the medical assistants.
Prior to the start of the season, trainers Josh Martin, Scott Robertson, Steve Hynes and Roger Fowler meet to assess equipment purchases required- among them, helmets, shafts, gloves, pads, and jerseys. They replenish first-aid kits, and also important, hydration supplies. They discuss locker room organization. All of these items ensure a smooth operation. They must never run out of the essentials.
Josh says “Game day is a little different! Both Scott Robertson and Steve Hynes are responsible for ALL equipment needs of the players.” All trainers “arrive 2-3 hours before the game to ensure that everything is looked after for players and coaches. Roger Fowler is probably the busiest guy there (and is usually at the rink before the sun rises on game day), making sure the dressing room is ready, jerseys are ready, laundry is done, fridges and ice are stocked, away team dressing room and water are clean and ready…the man doesn’t stop pre or post game. The team couldn’t run without Roger, Scott and Steve!”
The role Josh plays is very different and he says he feels as if he plays “a small part”. He is "the first-aid, athletic taping, injury assessment and treatment guy.” He arrives “2-3 hours before the game, getting the guys taped and ready” to play. During the game, Josh is on the bench and, as earlier mentioned, is first on the floor examining a downed player. He has even taken to the stands “for the random out-of-play ball that (has) become intimate with a fan!”
As Head Trainer, Josh carries impressive credentials. RMT (Registered Massage Therapist), SMT(cc), CKTP (Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner), CMAG (Certified Medical Acupuncturist), Dynamic Taping Instructor.
Standing along the aisle next to the Lakers’ bench, are the physiotherapists, massage therapist, chiropractor and kinesiologist. This is a very dedicated team of trained professionals who also participate in the activities Josh outlined. According to Adam Summers, physiotherapist, their activities begin when the “players arrive for their pre-game routine. It’s time spent stretching, treating, taping and assessing new injuries. It continues during the game, watching for and assessing new injuries. (They) attempt to determine severity, and hopefully, keep the guys playing whenever possible. If injuries are too severe, (they) try to protect the players from themselves, as these guys love the game and try to play through anything. After the game, (they) usually give out many ice bags and advice on how to care for current injuries. As needed, players attend traditional physio sessions at Total Physiotherapy", either at the McDonnell and Reid Street site or at the Peterborough Clinic office on Hospital Drive in Peterborough. “Physiotherapy services are provided by Adam Summers, Connor Massimo, and Kevin Hickey, and Massage Therapy by Brent Miller RMT”.
Doctor Jeff Bolton, B.Sc, BPHE, D.C., Acupuncture Certified, provides chiropractic assessment and treatment. Where he differs from the physiotherapists is in the areas he works on. He deals mostly with joints (where two bones meet), whereas the other therapists work with soft tissue and muscles. Often, Brent Miller will refer someone to Jeff and the two will combine treatment for rehabilitation. Jeff added that lower back injuries are very common.
New this year is a recent kinesiology grad, Becca Watson. Her field of expertise covers motion through position and weight and is mediated by nervous receptors in tendons, muscles and joints.
Unfortunately, the situation on the road is completely dissimilar to the picture just indicated. Josh is “all by my lonesome for road games! All the equipment guys go on the road” but no other medical personnel.
And let's not forget our new team doctor, Adena Gutstein.
This is a very highly skilled and well-educated medical team. The Lakers are proud to have every one of them working with us.
June 16, 2014
PETERBOROUGH - The MSL ruled today that the Peterborough Lakers will forfeit their first three wins of the 2014 season, due to the participation of an ineligible player.
The Lakers respect both the MSL and the OLA and would not knowingly disregard their rules. The Lakers will be appealing the decision.
At the end of game seven versus Brooklin in 2013, Scott Evans was involved in a skirmish that caused him to be ejected from the game.
The Lakers claim is that they were not informed that there was any supplemental discipline coming to Evans. The Lakers would not knowingly play an ineligible player as they are absolutely aware of the consequences for doing so.
In their 2010 Mann Cup run, the Lakers were ahead 2-0 in their semi final series against the Redmen when they were informed that Kyle Laverty was under suspension for the first two games of the series and should not have played, forcing the Lakers to forfeit those two games. That put the Redmen up 2-0 instead. However, the Lakers came back and won that series in seven games.
Evans’ suspension came to light after he was suspended following the fourth game of the current season for a slashing major received at the end of the game vs Brooklin. The MSL then informed the Lakers of both the current and earlier suspension. Evans’ 2013 suspension was for one game.
To start 2014, the Lakers defeated Brampton 11-4, Brooklin 14-10, and Oakville 13-12. Those three wins will now reflect as losses. The Lakers also lost 10-5 to Six Nations.
June 12, 2014
by Anna Taylor
PETERBOROUGH - Matt Vinc admitted he was nervous. The veteran goaltender played in his first game as a Peterborough Laker on Thursday night, and picked up his first win too, in a 12-11 overtime victory against the Oakville Rock.
“Yeah, absolutely,” he chuckled. “There were nerves. It doesn't matter how long you’ve been in the league or how many lacrosse games you've played. Any time you play with a new team you want to make a good impression. It didn't really go the way I wanted it to early in the game, but it was definitely what I wanted at the end with the win. It’s nice to get that first win, especially at home.”
Vinc’s arrival had been highly anticipated for weeks, since it was announced the team had acquired his rights from Brampton for Pat Saunders and Jim Purves. An upgrade to the goaltending position is always welcomed by the fans, and Vinc, a three time NLL goaltender of the year and three time Champions Cup winner, comes to the Lakers with a high pedigree and the expectation of immediate excellence.
“He did well tonight,” teammate Brock Sorensen said. “I’m sure there are some goals he’d like back, but he did a good job, especially when we needed it in the third period and overtime. We’ll need some time for him to understand how our defense systems work, and we’ll need to learn how he works, so we’ll have to come together as a group and figure that out.”
The Lakers were down by a goal with less than a minute left in the game. With Vinc on the bench, Mark Steenhuis lept toward the Oakville net and put the ball past Nick Rose to send the game to overtime. Both teams took penalties in the extra frame; neither team took advantage. It was Nick Weiss and Sorensen who scooped up an Oakville fumble and ran two on one down the floor. Sorensen was looking for the hat trick goal, but as an experienced Laker, saw that Weiss had the best chance to score, so he passed to the rookie. Weiss now has three goals on the season, all of them highlight-reel material.
“Generally my goal was to score with the best option possible,” Sorensen said with a smile. “Weisser did a fantastic job of finishing that final one for us.”
Sorensen was the star of the first period, with two breakaway goals. The first was amazing in itself, but when he picked off that second pass and streaked down the floor again, the crowd was on their feet.
“The first two goals I just picked off the pass with the goal of getting past their last line of defense. I just did my best to put the ball in the back of the net,” he said. “I guess I’m supposed to be labeled as a transition player, but I’m still trying to find my role in that. I’m trying to find my stride and my confidence now that my knee is completely healed and my mindset is better. I just keep trying to push the ball as much as possible and create some offence.”
Oakville scored first, but the Lakers quickly took the lead in the first period before letting it slip away, and allowing the Rock to take a lead into the second period. The Lakers didn't lead the game again until the winning goal.
Vinc spoke highly of his competition in net, Nick Rose, the starting goaltender for the NLL’s Toronto Rock.
The acquisition of Rose was as important to the Rock as Vinc’s arrival was to Peterborough. Oakville struggled in their first year in the league, and the franchise did not see much success in their former home in Ajax. With Rose in net, the Rock took down the defending Mann Cup champion Six Nations Chiefs on Monday, and narrowly missed beating the perennial powerhouse Lakers Thursday.
“Nick’s a good goalie and he played really well tonight,” Vinc said with praise. “He gives his team a chance to win. It seems like you always play against the same type of guys and for the most part, I’ve played against Nick for a few years now and played against him last summer out west. He did exactly what he usually does and played really well. I’m just happy that our team found a way to get a few by him to claw our way back in it.”
In a sport where the phrase “last goal wins” is usually said with a wry expression, Thursday’s game was a goaltender’s battle to the end. The phrase “last save wins,” would have been more apt. While 23 goals were scored, only two were scored in the last fifteen minutes, as both goaltenders settled in, determined to win.
“I’m just looking to battle with the guys and I think today is a good indication that we’re not gonna give up, especially when things aren’t going our way,” Vinc said. “We fell down early and we just kind of showed our resiliency and clawed our way back and gave our team a chance. I think we really played our best lacrosse in the last 20 minutes, and that’s what you need, you need to finish off games and we did that tonight.”
Cory Vitarelli had a hat trick for the Lakers. Mark Steenhuis added two goals to his league leading total of 12 and sits tied for first in total points. Adam Jones also had two, while Aaron Wilson and junior call up Holden Cattoni had singles. Brendan Thenhaus led the way for Oakville with six points, while Shayne Adams and Stephan Leblanc had five each.
The Lakers next action is on Wednesday when they travel to Whitby to face the Brooklin Redmen, before returning home next Thursday to host the Six Nations Chiefs.
- the attendance was 2758
- the 50/50 draw was worth over $1900
- Nick Weiss was the Pizza Factory Player of the Game
- Scott Evans missed the game to serve a suspension for his slash at the end of last week’s game
- Josh Gillam and Mark Farthing sat out to nurse injuries
June 5, 2014
by Anna Taylor
PETERBOROUGH - The Peterborough Lakers were looking for a little revenge on Thursday night, and a solid team effort helped them get it. The Lakers defeated the Brooklin Redmen 14-10 in their first meeting since the Redmen eliminated the Lakers from the 2013 playoffs.
That playoff loss left a bitter taste in Peterborough’s collective mouth, and the players and coaches were eager to avenge their loss. The game was a test, if you will, for everyone involved - to determine whether the right steps were taken over the winter to “right the ship,” as it were.
“We had some blood boiling,” said Matt Crough, who scored two goals in the first period. “Everyone started the game with a little hatred, we were playing with a little extra aggression, and I think that fuelled us.”
The Lakers took an early lead, going up 5-1 by the halfway mark of the first period, before Brooklin fought their way back to end the first 5-4.
“We let them battle back which was tough,” Crough admitted. “But we stuck with it though which is what we have to do to beat them.”
Fans got their first glimpses of some familiar faces during the game, as they welcomed the Self brothers back to Peterborough. Brad had a shorthanded breakaway goal, and Scott was steady on defense and chipped in an assist. Shawn Evans, also returning to the city, had four assists.
John Grant Jr played his second game of the season but first in Peterborough for the year, and delighted the crowd with a goal and eight assists.
Cory Vitarelli also made his 2014 Lakers debut, despite earlier media reports that he planned to take some time off after the long NLL season. Vitarelli will play the season with the Lakers, and started it off right with two goals in the third period, including the game winner.
Mark Steenhuis continued his scoresheet domination, adding two goals to his league leading total of eight.
Also scoring for the Lakers were Aaron Wilson (2), Scott Evans, Chad Culp, and Adam Jones.
The game was close to the very end. The second period ended tied at 7. Shots, an area where the Lakers normally dominate the competition, were close, with final totals of 48 for Peterborough and 46 for Brooklin. The teams even took four sets of offsetting penalties.
“It was a little roller coaster, up and down tonight,” said Crough. “We proved that we were the better team on the night, as we were.”
Brooklin got as close as 12-10 in the third period before the Lakers defense kicked into high gear and shut the door, killing off a four minute penalty to Shawn Evans to end the game.
Assistant coach Bobby Keast was pleased with his players effort. He said that the Lakers were able to win because of their commitment to the plan.
“It’s the attention to detail,” he said. “It’s the loose ball at the end of the game, and not throwing it away after you get it. It's the commitment to go get that loose ball or it’s the commitment to not offensively take that shot in the first 10 seconds, and maybe take it in the last 25 seconds. We were able to put some youth in there tonight. The youth made the difference, players like Crough, Weiss, Jones. We just made the commitment to all the little things, getting off the floor, getting on the floor.”
Tyler Carlson got his fourth consecutive start and is now 3-1 on the season, even getting in on the offence with two assists. His competition in the Brooklin net was Zack Higgins, his teammate in Minnesota and the bane of the 2013 Lakers existence.
Keast coaches both goaltenders in Minnesota.
“I saw what Higgins did to us in the playoffs last year,” he said. “We’ve made changes to our offence and we know where to shoot on him. The offence just has to buy in to where to shoot, and they did that tonight.”
Crough agreed that careful shooting is the key to beating the Redmen.
“Take the right shots,” he said. “We’re all good shooters up front, so if we put those in and take the right shots, it’s a different game and it will come out in our favour.”
Fans may have expected some fights in retribution for last year, but the game was fairly, and maybe disappointingly, tame. Andrew Suitor and Gavin Prout did exchange some pleasantries (read: screamed unpleasantries at each other) at the end of the first period, after Prout took down Kyle Sorensen at the buzzer.
In the third, Shawn Evans was cross checked hard into the boards on a breakaway by Jordan Houtby. Sorensen tried to get to his fallen teammate, but was pushed back by Redmen captain Derek Suddons, a move that brought everyone together. Nick Weiss and Mike Cudmore received offsetting roughing minors after trading some punches.
The end of the game also featured an almost-melee, as Scott Evans was given a five minute slashing major as time expired and the teams piled onto the floor, with Suitor dropping his gloves, looking to jump in where needed. The refs were able to get the situation under control although Weiss exchanged some punches with Wes McDonald. Neither was penalized.
Shane Jackson led the way offensively for Brooklin with two goals and four assists. Rookie Dan Linter had two goals and two assists. Shawn Williams added five assists.
So, did we pass the test? Did we make the right decisions? Tonight’s hard fought win says we did. As long as the players buy into their coaches advice tomorrow, and next week, and all season, we could be back on top of the MSL again. Look out, Brooklin. It won’t be an easy road to get past us this year.
The Lakers are next in action when they travel to Brampton on Sunday to face the Excelsiors, before returning home next Thursday to host the Oakville Rock.
- Lakers fans who were excited to get their first glimpse of Matt Vinc will have to wait another week. Vinc is a high school field lacrosse coach in St. Catharines, and he is with his team is at the OFSAA championships this week in Brampton.
- Attendance was 2915
- The 50/50 draw was worth $2006
- John Grant Jr was the Pizza Factory Player of the Game
May 16, 2014
by Anna Taylor
PETERBOROUGH - The Peterborough Lakers opened their season on Thursday night, with a traditional never quit effort. Tied after the first period, the Lakers turned on the heat and never looked back, beating the Brampton Excelsiors 11-4 at the Peterborough Memorial Centre.
Members of the Peterborough Minor Lacrosse Association lined the carpet prior to the game to salute their heroes onto the floor. Longtime Lakers' volunteer and board member Ron Keast was honoured prior to the game for work with the team. Keast retired from his full time position on the board this year, but will continue to volunteer on game days. Keast is the father of Lakers’ assistant coach Bobby Keast.
All three Lakers captains (Scott Self, Shawn Evans, and Brad Self) were absent from the game, leaving a moment of confusion for the team when the team captains were called to the ceremonial face-off, performed by Keast. Andrew Suitor stepped in to perform the task and act as leader for the Lakers. Suitor, captain of the Minnesota Swarm, is used to being a leader on the floor.
“All three of our captains here are unbelievable leaders, some of the best leaders in the world,” Suitor acknowledged, “and obviously to not have them is terrible, but we’re wishing them all the luck playing against each other [in this weekend’s NLL final].”
“We have a room full of leaders,” he continued. “If you go through our room tonight, Kyle Sorensen is a captain down in Vancouver, Gibby [Darryl Gibson] is a veteran captain leader so we have tons of captains in that room. Even Nick Weiss was the captain of last year’s Junior Lakers. Everyone in our room is a leader, and is capable of holding the position of captain.”
Suitor, Chad Culp, and Andrew Watt all played their first MSL games since game six of the 2012 Mann Cup, and each made an immediate impact. Suitor picked up a goal and three assists, and Culp added two goals and an assist. Watt made his presence known physically, knocking at least two Excelsiors to the floor with memorable hits.
On what motivated him to his impactful start tonight, Suitor mentioned the fans.
“We don’t want to lose at home. We want to be perfect at home,” he said. “This crowd deserves it, the way they come out and support us, they deserve to see our best every time we’re here, and that’s what we plan on bringing for them all year.”
“It was a good start. We were obviously missing a lot of guys,” Suitor said with a chuckle, “but like I said, we got started here and there are obviously things we can build on. We’ll continue to get stronger every game.”
Despite treating their fans to 11 goals, Thursday’s home openers for the Lakers was almost more about who wasn’t playing than who was. With veteran stars Brad and Scott Self, Cory Vitarelli, Shawn Evans, and Matt Vinc out of the lineup due to NLL commitments, tonights game was an out of the frying pan into the fire audition for several junior graduates and Sr. B players.
Joe Wasson has seen action with the Lakers before, while brother Josh and Aaron Grayson have been regulars in the lineup in the past. All are hoping to prove they have what it takes to stick with the club again this season. Tyler Carlson was excellent in net, showing the coaching staff that he is still a starter, despite the acquisition of Vinc.
Junior graduates Riley Quinlan and Nick Weiss both played solid games, with Weiss chipping in a goal.
New assistant coach Jason Clark spoke of the decisions that will have to be made once the NLL final has been awarded.
“It definitely gets tougher when the NLL season is over,” he said. “We’ll have some tough lineup decisions to make and the way the guys played tonight made our decision even harder. “You want that on a championship team, you know you want to have tough decision to make and a lot of guys showed well tonight and we’re looking forward to having the other guys back.”
“Our offense put up 11 goals with 8 different goal scorers tonight,” Clark continued. “We were getting the ball around to everybody which was a positive. If you get only four goals against every game you're going to win too. Our defence was lights outs and our offence was great, so the coaching staff definitely have some things to talk over.”
Mark Steenhuis led the way offensively with three fantastic shorthanded goals and three assists. Also scoring for the Lakers were newcomer Aaron Wilson, Scott Evans, Matt Crough, and Josh Wasson. Josh Gillam added three assists. Adam Jones, acquired this season from Oakville, picked up one assist and one penalty.
Former Laker Pat Saunders had a goal and two assists for Brampton. Other Brampton goals were scored by Matt Holman (2) and Dylan Webster.
Peterborough native Tye Belanger, acquired by Brampton from Oakville, suffered the loss in net.
The Lakers are next in action on Saturday when they pay their first visit to the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena to face the Six Nations Chiefs. They are also away on Monday in Oakville, before returning home to face the Brooklin Redmen next Thursday.
- Attendance was 3216
- Brianna Keast sang the national anthem
- David DiRuscio backed up Tyler Carlson. It had originally been reported that DiRuscio had been traded to Kitchener-Waterloo in the Aaron Wilson acquisition. Players cannot be traded in the same year that they have been drafted, so DiRuscio’s rights will transfer to KW in 2015.
- Pizza Factory Player of the Game was Mark Steenhuis
June 2, 2014
OAKVILLE - John Grant Jr netted a hat trick in his first game as the Peterborough Lakers downed the Oakville Rock 9 - 7 in Oakville Monday night.
Tyler Carlson faced 49 shots and was solid in the win.
In addition to John Grant Jr., players returning from the NLL finals included captain Scott Self, Brad Self, Shawn Evans and Matt Vinc, who looked good in Lakers' colours while opening and closing the players' bench door.
In addition to Grant's hat trick , the goal scoring was as follows:
Adam Jones (1-3), Mark Steenhuis (1-2) , Matt Crough (1-1), Brock Sorensen (1-0), Nick Weiss (1-0), Scott Evans (1-0), Shawn Evans (0-2), Andrew Suitor (0-1), Chad Culp (0-1), Josh Gillam (0-1).
The Lakers are next in action this coming Thursday, June 5, when they face the Brooklin Redmen and look for redemption for last years playoff loss.
OHSWEKEN - The Peterborough Lakers fell to the Six Nations Chiefs on Saturday at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena by a score of 10-5.
Both teams featured depleted line ups due to the NLL final (won by Rochester), with the Lakers even asking assistant coach Jason Clark to suit up and play.
Tyler Carlson suffered the loss in net, allowing 10 goals before being replaced by David DiRuscio in the third.
Scoring goals for the Lakers were Mark Steenhuis (2) Jason Clark (1) Scott Evans (1) and Adam Jones (1).
The Lakers next game is Monday in Oakville, before returning home Thursday to face the Brooklin Redmen.
May 16, 2014
by Anna Taylor
Young lacrosse players don't grow up with any unrealistic expectations. The National Lacrosse League, for as much as we fans love it and wish it would grow, is still only a part-time professional league. Players earn only a fraction of what their hockey playing counterparts do, and most have full time jobs outside of lacrosse. NLL games are played Friday-Sunday to allow for players to live their lives and earn a living at a second passion.
One man who is taking full advantage of the opportunities that lacrosse gives is the Lakers' Alex Henderson. His drive and thirst for knowledge has taken him through three different post secondary schools, while perfecting his lacrosse skills by playing both field and box. Now, Henderson has a diploma in police foundations, and degrees in sociology and psychology, as well as an impressive lacrosse resume. His options are endless. He doesn't have to limit himself to one passion for the rest of his life, and he is well prepared for life after his lacrosse playing days are over.
Henderson grew up playing both competitive hockey and lacrosse, and at one point was considered for the OHL draft. However, when he was passed over in the draft at age 15, he knew that the dream of professional hockey was over. Some kids would be devastated by that. We put so much pressure on our kids to succeed, and that is amplified for those who seek elite level athletic positions. Henderson, however, instead of feeling sorry for himself, chose instead to focus his development on lacrosse skills and try for another dream.
"I played hockey the whole way up," Henderson says. "AAA every year. When I wasn't drafted into the OHL, I figured it was time to move on and focus on lacrosse full time."
"My dad started me in lacrosse at age four or five," he says. "I spent my whole life playing in the Whitby minor lacrosse system, then in junior I played for the Clarington Green Gaels and Whitby Warriors before the Lakers took me in the draft."
Coaches took notice of Henderson's skill and work ethic, and twice selected him to play for the Green Gaels in the Ales Hrebesky Memorial tournament, held annually in Prague. Not all lacrosse players get to experience international lacrosse and suiting up for a team representing your country is a big deal.
"We were the first Canadian team to participate in the tournament," Henderson says proudly.
"Despite not technically being "Team Canada," we were still representing our country. The people treated us so well. We got to meet with politicians, take tours of Prague, and we were given time to run a skills clinic for youth in the town where the tournament takes place. Both times I went we were lucky enough to win the tournament."
Henderson impressed the Lakers' management with his play in the tournaments and his dedication to the sport, and as a result, drafted him 26th overall in 2009. He played 11 games that season (and nine playoff games) and earned the Lakers' Rookie of the Year award. In 2010, when the Ajax Rock joined the MSL, Henderson was left off the Lakers protected list and picked up by the Rock in the dispersal draft. He was incredibly happy to learn in 2013 that he had been traded back to the Lakers.
During his time away from the Lakers, Henderson chose to re-focus on his education, and follow in his parents' footsteps of working hard for a living and helping others.
Henderson's mother works as an ultrasound technician, and his father was a Durham Regional police officer for almost thirty years, and Henderson says his dad worked for everything. After he retired, he started his own company and has felt success with that. As most children do, Henderson looked up to his parents and looked to the example they set for him on how to live life well.
"My parents have always pushed me to work hard at whatever I am trying to accomplish," he says. "They’ve told me that nothing comes to those who wait. If you want something you’ve got to work for it, and put in the time and effort."
Over the past three years, Henderson has had to work harder than ever, balancing lacrosse with the demands of a double major. Despite the large workload, he twice led the CUFLA East in scoring. All the work and dedicated paid off, as Henderson recently graduated with degrees in sociology and psychology.
"Balancing lacrosse and school is a challenge," he says emphatically. "It's a challenge that I wasn't always successful with. I definitely learned that it's important to be organized, know your deadlines and be able to multi-task while managing your time. I took extra classes each semester because I wanted to be done school early, so it involved a lot of late nights, and reading on the bus."
You would think that two degrees would be enough for most people, right? Not for Henderson. Prior to attending Bishops, he spent some time at Sacred Heart University (Connecticut) on a field lacrosse scholarship, taking business classes. While his time at Sacred Heart was short, he then went on to Durham College in Oshawa and took the physically and mentally demanding police foundations program.
At that point in his life, just into his twenties, Henderson wasn't sure what he wanted out of a career.
"I didn't have any real direction in my life at that time," he says. "I thought maybe I could follow in my dad's footsteps. I've always respected what he did as a police officer."
Henderson successfully completed the police foundations program, and then spent a year working before he realized there was more out there for him, as long as he was willing to take a risk. That was when the move to Quebec came.
"I speak absolutely zero French beyond the pleasantries," Henderson says sheepishly. "I went to Bishop's because I was looking to get away, and I knew a buddy up there. Anybody I ever talked to spoke very highly of their time in Lennoxville, and as a bonus they had a pretty good lacrosse team."
"Going to school in Quebec was challenging," he continues. "Whenever we ventured beyond Lennoxville, which is an English speaking town, there were more difficulties because of the language barrier. That area is a beautiful part of the country to go to school in."
Henderson has finally decided on the career he wants and, like his parents, he wants to work in service of others. Right now, he's applying for internships to get his foot in the door, but of course would be happier to just jump right in with a full time job. He's looking for a job in his field, but if something doesn't pan out by the fall, he'll go back to school to continue his education.
"I've applied for my Masters Degree in Public Policy or Public Administration," he says. "I'd really like to get into a position where I can create policy or study current policies to improve them."
Henderson loves being a student and learning, but is well aware of the fact that specializing in one field may earn him more opportunities than if he were to study another, new field. Public policy is a good leap for someone who has studied sociology and psychology, learning the inner workings of what motivates people and what our human needs are.
Johns Hopkins Institute defines public policy as "the action taken by government to address a particular public issue. Local, [provincial], federal, and international government organizations all craft and implement public policy to protect and benefit their populations." (http://ips.jhu.edu/pub/public-policy). Some of the areas public policy makers are needed are justice, education, healthcare, economics, and the environment, although there are a myriad of other departments to choose from.
Henderson wants to be one of these law-makers. To do good things in the world that will benefit Canada's population and make our world an easier place in which to live. To create effective policies that are in tune with what people both want and need. It's an admirable goal.
Henderson, so far, hasn't had any contact from Major League Lacrosse teams (MLL), the pro field lacrosse circuit based in the United States. He has spoken with some NLL teams, but teams have recently moved to smaller rosters and contracts are harder to come by. Henderson's focus right now is the Lakers.
Many out of town players never quite comprehend the thrill that comes with playing in front of the Lakers' fans like our hometown boys do, but Henderson understands it just like a native of Peterborough, although he hails from Durham Region. Despite his love for the city of Peterborough, he hasn’t quite been able to bring himself to cheer for the Petes over the Generals yet.
"Peterborough is a great place," he enthuses. "It's the right mix of country and city. You can drive 15 minutes one way and be at your office and go 20 the other way and be on the lake with friends. The city is just a fun place. Lakers' fans are absolutely amazing night in and night out. The organization treats the players so well, and getting to play with some of the best players in the world makes it easy to enjoy being in Peterborough."
There was some doubt about whether Henderson's nagging knee injury would need surgery this summer, rendering him unable to play. That surgery has been postponed until fall, so Henderson is excited to start the season with his teammates.
"I expect my role to be the same as it has been, play a little out the front door and a little out the back door," Henderson says. "It all depends on what the team needs. I'll do anything I can do to help the team win. Once the season gets closer everyone's roles will be more defined."
Henderson and the Lakers open their season on Thursday, May 29 when the Brampton Excelsiors come to visit the Peterborough Memorial Centre.
May 27, 2014
PETERBOROUGH - The Peterborough Lakers are happy to announce that they have acquired Aaron Wilson from the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks. In exchange for Wilson, the Lakers give up the rights to recently drafted western goaltender David DiRuscio. The teams have also swapped 2015 second round picks in the MSL draft.
The Lakers add great scoring depth to their right side in Wilson, who in past years served as a power play specialist with the Brampton Excelsiors before joining the Kodiaks in 2011. Last season Wilson scored 80 regular season points and added 12 points in 4 playoff games. The 33 year old Wilson is a Kitchener native who plays for the Buffalo Bandits in the NLL.
May 15, 2014
by Marla Taylor
PETERBOROUGH - It was with excitement and anticipation that Lakers’ Officials, Volunteers, and a smattering of fans met Thursday May 15, 2014, at the PMC Pub and Grill, to welcome back Lakers' General Manager and Head Coach Joe Sullivan and a few returning players, Brad Self, Scott Evans and Corey Vitarelli.
Before Joe began his introductions and announcements, Director of Media and Public Relations Karl McFadden told of the recent passing of long time dedicated volunteer Deb Herr. A moment of reflection was held in her honor and sympathies were expressed to her family. We shall miss her friendly face and demeanor as she sold programs before each game and had a smile and welcoming comment for everyone.
Joe then began his address with the statement that the Lakers will be bringing the Mann Cup back to Peterborough this year. Though he warned that “fans will have to be patient with the eighteen game series” and new young players being groomed to play the Lakers' style of lacrosse, he smiled slightly when he said he has (and we should) “set aside September for celebrating.” Well, okay coach, we can certainly do that!
Then he turned to the gentlemen sitting with him at the head table and began with introductions of the two new coaches. First up was Jason Clark, former Lakers' player and Mann Cup winner, as the new offense coach. Mark Crough was next, providing support to all the coaches and assisting in communications between them. Bobby Keast, concentrating on defense, waved from the back of the room. (We’ve seen him before!)
Flanking either end of the table were two other players. Adam Jones, acquired in a trade with Oakville Rock for Jordan MacIntosh, will provide scoring power and speed. Andrew Suitor, fully recovered from injuries, will ably replace MacIntosh taking and winning face-offs.
Welcome to the new coaches and players!
Sullivan then began a list of other business, noting that Steve Ellis will return as video and stats analyst. He spent some time on the Matt Vinc acquisition, commenting that he is a two-time World Cup Lacrosse Champion and MVP. He added that the Lakers have received more than a six-game minimum commitment from the goalie. Tyler Carlson will provide some backup, and some starts, with Sullivan noting that Tyler would really benefit from the arrangement. Kurtis Wagar was included as a possible backstopper, and the new draft pick David DiRuscio, a 6’4” goalie from the Coquitlam Adanacs.
Possible returning Lakers are Andrew Watt, and Chad Culp. Tracey Kelusky “has an open door” but Sullivan warned that #71 is very busy with the Junior Lakers and his summer training camps. Mac Allen is very welcome, if he can commit, and so is John Tavares, again if he can make a minimum commitment.
Coach was asked about Chris White, and replied that he is currently injured and could not predict if White will return early, or at all.
Sullivan then spoke about the Lakers’ young draft acquisitions. Mentioned above was goaltender David DiRuscio, as well as Junior Lakers' grad Nick Weiss, who spent time this winter with the NLL's Vancouver Stealth. Further junior tryouts are Jeff Swift, Riley Quinlan (who was in attendance at the meeting), Brad Baker and Eric Schule. All are “in their first year of senior eligibility.” Joe added that the Lakers have “made a commitment to our young players to make sure that they get fair and equitable opportunity” to make the senior team.
Extras from the meeting
Carpet Sponsor: There remains one prime carpet sponsor spot unfilled. This is a very visible means of advertising your business. Three thousand Lakers' fans usually fill the Memorial Centre every game and we fully expect to extend the season well into the summer. Who can’t resist this kind of exposure? If interested, please contact Doug Peacock at email@example.com or (705) 741-5435.
Kids’ Night: July 10, 2014. Fundraiser for Five Counties Children’s Centre. A fun-filled pre-game tailgate party for kids of all ages. Included: Bouncy Castle, Ring Toss, Bean Bag Toss, Lacrosse Net to shoot at, and more. Free face painting by "faces by 2”. Players’ cards on sale beginning that night.
Face Painting: Faces by 2 will be at every game to offer face painting. Cost: $5.00, except free on Kids’ Night. See their website. Their work is fabulous!
Fridge Magnets: The first 1000 guests on Opening Night, May 29, will receive schedule fridge magnets.
Meeting adjourned. See you in the stands again fans!
May 9, 2014
by Anna Taylor
PETERBOROUGH – The Peterborough Lakers have acquired the rights to goaltender Matt Vinc from the Brampton Excelsiors, the MSL club announced today. In exchange for Vinc, the Lakers give up Pat Saunders, Jim Purves, two second round picks in future MSL drafts, and an undisclosed amount of cash. With an abundance of forwards expected to try out for the Lakers this season, the moves help solidify the team in goal.
Vinc, 32, a St. Catharines native, plays for the NLL’s Rochester Knighthawks. After coming off a 2010 season that saw him win NLL goaltender of the year with Orlando, he landed in Rochester through the dispersal draft in the deal that sent John Grant Jr. and Mac Allen to Colorado. Through his time with the Knighthawks, he has twice more been named the NLL goaltender of the year (2011, 2013), and won back to back Champions Cups (2012, 2013).
A winner of two Minto Cups, Vinc is still looking for his first taste of Mann Cup victory. He has played nine of the last ten years in the MSL with St. Catharines, Six Nations, and Brampton. He spent 2013 with the Victoria Shamrocks, who were defeated by Six Nations in last year’s Mann Cup.
Saunders was acquired by the Lakers in 2013 to add some firepower to the forward core, but played only three games before being sidelined with an injury.
Purves’ rights were acquired from the KW Kodiaks in 2012, where he had yet to play a game. After a good rookie campaign with the Lakers, Purves played most of 2013 with his hometown Sr. B Sarnia Beavers. Purves was the Lakers Rookie of the Year in 2012.
The Lakers would like to welcome Vinc to the fold, while also wishing best of luck to Saunders and Purves and thank them for their time with the team.
The Lakers will be holding a major press conference next week to introduce Vinc and address more player signings. The press conference will display the intent of Joe Sullivan and the Lakers organization to make impactful roster changes to help the Lakers return as serious contenders for the MSL crown in 2014. Further details will be forthcoming.
The Lakers open their season on Thursday, May 29, at home to the Brampton Excelsiors. For tickets, please contact the Peterborough Memorial Centre box office or visit peterboroughlakers.ca.
April 25, 2014
PETERBOROUGH - Peterborough Lakers’ GM & Head Coach, Joe Sullivan, has announced that two local coaches, Jason Clark and Mark Crough, have been selected to complete the Peterborough Lakers’ coaching staff for the 2014 season.
Clark will be the offensive coach for the team and is well known in Peterborough for his various lacrosse roles. He played for the Lakers from 2002 to 2009 and was a hard worker and talented scorer and playmaker. He was the captain on two Lakers’ Mann Cup teams. Following his playing days, Clark coached the Jr. A Lakers for two years.
He said, “ I am very appreciative to the Lakers’ organization and Joe Sullivan for this opportunity. I know that I can work well with the other coaches and players and I hope to help the Lakers be real contenders for the Major Series Lacrosse crown this year.”
Sullivan stated that, “ Jason is a real student of the game and is very eager to help contribute to his former team in a new role.”
Crough has been the assistant coach with the Jr. C Lakers for the past two years. He will be an assistant coach with the Lakers and will fill in any needed capacity as determined by Sullivan and his staff. Crough has worked extensively with the Canadian National Box Lacrosse team in the past, coaching many provincial winners in both girls and boys divisions.
Crough sees this appointment as, “an incredible opportunity to work with the Lakers’ coaching staff and entire organization. A dream come true. I am so anxious to get out there and help this great organization.”
Sullivan stated that, “this is a beginning phase for Mark. His enthusiasm will be great for us.”
March 27, 2014
PETERBOROUGH - Leo the Laker, with five other mascots, entertained Petes' fans on Thursday night at the PMC in an excitng mascot race.
While Leo aquitted himself quite well, and for a short time led the race, some liberal interpretation of the rules by Roger (the Petes' mascot), ended Leo's chance for victory.
February 12, 2014
by Anna Taylor
PETERBOROUGH - Peterborough Lakers new Head Coach and General Manager Joe Sullivan made his first mark on the 2014 team Tuesday, as he announced that the Lakers have acquired forward Adam Jones from the Oakville Rock in exchange for face-off man Jordan MacIntosh.
While the Lakers are giving up the reigning NLL Transition Player of the Year in MacIntosh, they are gaining the current NLL leading goal scorer in Jones, who also sits fourth in total points. Sullivan is confident that the returning Andrew Suitor will be able to step up in the face-off circle to replace MacIntosh. Jones will help round out the left side with Cory Vitarelli, Josh Gillam, and potentially John Grant. Grant and Jones are teammates and line mates in Colorado.
According to a press release, Sullivan stated that “this is a deal that trades quality for quality. We had to make a major sacrifice in moving Jordan to get Adam… We dealt Jordan also because he stated that he could only commit to half the regular season games this year, whereas Adam is confident he will be available for all games.”
Jones played in Langley last summer acquiring 15 points in 7 regular season games and 17 points in 10 playoff games. Jones, from Owen Sound, has previously played in the MSL for Brooklin. Jones’ father Brian played with the Lakers in the 1970s and helped the team win a Mann Cup.
Sullivan stated that he has other deals in the works to help strengthen the Lakers for the upcoming season.
The Lakers would like to wish MacIntosh the best of luck with Oakville, and thank him for his time as a member of the team. We look forward to welcoming Adam into the fold this summer.
— with files from Karl McFadden
January 21, 2014
by Anna Taylor
WHITBY - The MSL held its annual draft in Whitby this past weekend in conjunction with the league’s general meetings. The Lakers were represented by Ted Higgins and Ron Nolan. Head coach and General Manager Joe Sullivan, as well as assistant coach Bobby Keast, were unavailable due to commitments with the Minnesota Swarm.
The Lakers had two picks in the five round draft.
With their first pick, in the fourth round, the Lakers chose David DiRuscio from the Jr. A Coquitlam Adanacs. DiRuscio is a goaltender who hails from Oakville, where he played Jr. B in 2009 before spending time at the Jr. A level with Six Nations and Burlington. In 2013 he appeared in 18 regular season games with the Adanacs, earning an 82.18 save percentage and 7.55 goals against average. DiRuscio was voted to the first All Star team and received the award for most outstanding goaltending in the BCLA Junior A Series in both 2012 and 2013.
Then in the fifth round, the Lakers stayed local, drafting Jr. Lakers grad Riley Quinlan. Quinlan is a skilled transition player who is currently attending Onondoga Community College on a field lacrosse scholarship.
Quinlan was ecstatic to be picked by his hometown team, and says he wouldn't have wanted to go anywhere else.
“Growing up in Peterborough, it is every young lacrosse player’s dream to play for the Sr. Lakers,” he says. “Some of my greatest memories come from way back when the team used to play out of the Kinsmen. My brother and I would be at almost every game. I can count on my hands how many Sr. games I have missed.”
Quinlan is excited at the prospect of playing with some of his sports heroes.
“All the guys that play there now, I have idolized my whole life,” he says. “My favourite player has to be Brad Self. He's such an exciting person to watch play. He's always all over the floor making big plays. To finally be given the opportunity to be to earn a spot and play along side him is surreal.”
Each team was also allowed to protect two graduating players from their Jr. A affiliates. The Lakers opted to protect Nick Weiss and Jeff Swift. Weiss is a transition player who is currently playing for the NLL’s Vancouver Stealth, where he picked up his first professional goal over the weekend. Swift, who also played parts of two seasons for the Peterborough Petes, plays offence but helps out at both ends of the floor. Swift has scored 177 points in 68 Jr. A games, and this year is part of the Toronto Rock practice roster.
— with files from Karl McFadden
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