Peterborough Lakers
  • No rest for the champions
  • In their own words
  • Lakers win Mann Cup

No rest for the champions


November 7, 2017


by Anna Taylor


National Lacrosse League training camps are just around the corner, and that means no days off for our Mann Cup champion Peterborough Century 21 Lakers.


With the NLL season starting three weeks earlier than normal, training camps have also moved up on the calendar. That, plus playing into mid-September, means players won’t get much recuperation time before the grind of another lacrosse season starts.


Lacrosse is a physically demanding sport. The Mann Cup is a war. Don’t get me wrong - the boys loved it. They gave everything they had to win that trophy and none of them regret a second of it. And they all want to do it again next summer - and try for a Champion’s Cup in the meantime. But, none of them came out of British Columbia unscathed - least of all Bryce Sweeting, who had a contusion on the back of his leg so large, so black and purple, that it would make any mother cringe.



So what do our boys do to keep up with what is now - basically - a year-round sport? How do they keep their bodies healthy and ready to play?


They go hard at the gym every chance they get. Workouts include weight training, cardio and stretching.


Sweeting is one of the Lakers spending his “off-season” at Hybrid Fitness Health Performance, a local gym and training centre run by former Laker Josh Gillam.


As Hybrid’s reputation grows, so does its client base, and this fall counts both Currier brothers, Jake Withers, Mark Farthing, Thomas Hoggarth, Robert Hope, Eric Shewell and Cory Vitarelli among the elite athletes that use the facility in addition to Sweeting. Gillam also joined the Peterborough Petes staff as strength and conditioning coach and has the teenage Petes in the gym often to help their conditioning.



“This is my world now,” Gillam says of his business. “Getting the guys prepped for where I used to be is one of the most exciting feelings."


Also a former high-level hockey player, Gillam played eight seasons for the Lakers in addition to stints in the NLL with Minnesota and Rochester so he understands the demands on an athlete’s body.


He’s been able to build a training centre with equipment and programs that are specifically targeted to each individual’s needs.


For the Lakers, he says they start by “building a foundation base to build them back up and then try to get them back up to game speed, game strength and a little bit bigger and faster and stronger to get them to their NLL camps.”



Every player has an individual assessment done to see where their bodies are at after the long Mann Cup run and see where any soreness is coming from, Gillam explains.


Having Lakers’ head athletic therapist Josh Martin under the same roof is an added bonus. He and his Return to Function staff can work with the players year-round.


One of the ways Hybrid staff accomplishes helps their athletes is by focusing on fundamentals - namely, making sure the body is ready for exercise by stretching.


This is where Ally Sharpe comes in. Sharpe runs Peterborough Strength out of Hybrid and volunteers her time to work with athletes using the Kinstretch method, a “movement enhancement system born out of scientific research that helps people develop usable ranges of motion, as well as flexibility and control over their range of motion.”


Kinstretch is a unique way of stretching that isolates each joint individually, taking it through its full range of motion. Those stretches are called controlled articular rotations (CARs) and Sharpe says they should be done every day.


“There more you do your CARs the better the results will be. They call the routine that I do the morning routine because people spend so much time warming up in the gym yet nobody does any warming up for real life and usually that’s when people end up hurting themselves,” Sharpe explains. “Not many people will injure themselves during a deadlift but who knows what will happen if somebody drops a pencil and bends over the wrong way. A lot of injuries happen outside the gym so we’re trying to minimize that as much as we can.”



CARs are used as a self-assessment tool to help you see where there is a limited of range of motion, or lack of control or flexibility in your joints.


Sweeting says that Kinstretch has helped him with his range of motion and it can help others, too.


“Not just lacrosse players or hockey players,” he said. “Hockey, lacrosse, baseball or football, it doesn’t matter. I think stretching is something that everyone can work on and improve.”


Sharpe says that Sweeting, nicknamed the “tin man” for his inflexibility, has shown the most improvement of all the Lakers.


“I told him that I’m going to take him from tin man to Cirque du Soleil,” she jokes. “I’ve noticed huge improvements in his flexibility."


“Kinstretch is helping to loosen up my hips,” Sweeting says. “Moving laterally side to side is a big part of lacrosse so we’ve worked on my hip mobility and just opening them up.”


Also improved are Josh Currier, Jake Withers and Mark Farthing, says Sharpe.



“Farthing just recently recovered from a knee injury. A part of anyone’s post surgery routine is usually some type of stretching, mobility and strengthening series. The other day I posted a photo of him on Instagram and his physiotherapist commented that they were happy he was dong his hip mobility.”


Sweeting has high praise for the program Gillam has built.


“He makes everyone feel welcome when they step foot into the gym. He’s got a great space here and there is a good and energized squad here during athletes hours,” he says.


Sharpe believes the good atmosphere in the gym comes from the shared goals of the trainers and players.


“We care about mobility for athletes to help them with prevention of injuries and to keep their joints healthy and moving during both the season and off-season,” she says. “We train for real life here.”


Photos courtesy of Ally Sharpe

Mann Cup 2017: In Their Own Words

by Anna Taylor

Monday, September 25, 2017

We did a lot of interviews over the 10 days we were in BC for the Mann Cup from September 7 to September 17. It was an emotional week. First the Lakers went down 2-0 to the New Westminster Salmonbellies, but then they stormed back to take the series four games to two. Here’s a look back at the championship, in the players’ own words.



“It’s a little different; it’s quick. You can tell the ball is moving faster especially with bounce-passes and bounce-shots, you have to get used to the bounces off the boards and everything else.” – Curtis Dickson on the (gorgeous) hardwood floor at Queen’s Park Arena.


“It’s a tough, hard-fought game. Everyone’s leaving everything on the floor.” – Matt Vinc, who, despite the game one loss, was a star in goal.


“We’re down 2-0 but we were down 2-0 the last time we won the Mann Cup too. We trust each other and we’re going to be giving them hell on Monday.” – Mark Farthing, who played his first game for the Lakers since the 2015 Mann Cup in Victoria.


“Sure there’s a learning curve but we’re going into game three now so the learning curve is done. You adapt and you get better. – assistant coach Bobby Keast, after the Lakers went down 2-0.


“I think they made a mistake by giving us one win because I don’t think we’re going to look back now.” – Joel Matthews, after the Lakers won game three to get back in the series.


“A win’s a win. We’re bringing the same thing tomorrow if not more. We’re bringing some energy so were looking forward to every game we’re not going to shy away from anything right now.” – Turner Evans, on the confidence the Lakers found after winning game three.

"We let the first two slip away but we played a little better in game three. Team wise we need to smarten up and stay out of the box. We need to be a little better discipline wise." - Bryce Sweeting, prior to game four. Once the Lakers got used to the CLA rules, they ended up in the box less than the 'Bellies in game five, which was a huge momentum swing.

"Just going to roll off last night's momentum, start by working on our first five minutes and go from there." - Kyle Buchanan on game four's plan.


“I don’t know what the big stink was, I wasn’t even going to go for it this time. They tried to set the tone early.” – Robert Hope on game four’s ceremonial face-off.


“We’ve got one goal. We’ve invested everything. Invested in our bodies, our time, our trip here - just to win. If being here means we’re beat up and banged up, then that’s what we have to do.” – Adam Jones after game four.


“It’s a real family environment. Everyone looks after one another. It’s always fun and light in the room but when it’s time to punch in for game time, we can do that also.” – Captain Robert Hope on the team’s comradery. 


“We were able to play with one less guy and sometimes that stuff comes back and bites the other team in the ass.” – Paul Day on the gamesmanship from the ‘Bellies, who had Holden Cattoni ejected in game four for wearing a gold chain around his neck.


“Mann Cup or bust.” – Robert Hope after the Lakers tied the series at two.

"The games only get bigger as we go and we have to show up with the same intensity we showed up with for the last two games." - Brad Self on the plan for game five. 


“It’s tough being taken out of a game that way. Tough not having the opportunity to compete with the guys that I’ve done it with all year.” – Holden Cattoni on his game four ejection.


“I don’t want to say we’re celebrating but we have a huge opportunity in front of us.” – Eric Shewell on the loud music and general excitement in the dressing room after game five.


“Treat it like a game seven.” – Holden Cattoni on game six.

"It's a little anxious feeling but we're ready to go. We're treating this like game seven, we want to get this done with tonight." - Curtis Dickson before game six.


“That’s the life of a goalie. You have to rebound. You have to put yourself in those situations, you have to be willing to lose.” – Evan Kirk on his game two loss and subsequent mind-blowing rebound in games four and six.


“There’s nothing good in life if it comes easy, and this wasn’t easy.” – Adam Jones, who won his first Mann Cup.


“I think the experience will do everyone some good. It’s the standard, it’s the goal and they’ve had a taste and let’s go get more.” – head coach Mike Hasen, who led the Lakers to their first Mann Cup since 2012 in just his third year at the helm.


“My ankle feels terrible. It used to feel better and hopefully a month from now it will feel better again.” – Dylan Evans, who was injured in the semi-finals against Brooklin, but came back to play five Mann Cup games.


“We’re the 2017 Mann Cup champs and we’re bringing the Mann Cup home to Peterborough.” – Shawn Evans, who won his fifth Mann Cup with the Lakers.


“We expected to be here, we wanted to be here, and we want to keep this going for years to come.” – Robert Hope, first-year captain of the Lakers.

Lakers win Mann Cup!


September 15, 2017


NEW WESTMINSTER, BC – The Peterborough Century 21 Lakers are the Canadian champions after a 14-10 win in New Westminster on Friday night at Queen's Park Arena. The Lakers captured the Mann Cup in four straight after giving up the first two to a skilled Salmonbellies squad.


The win is the sixth in 13 years for the Lakers.


Shawn Evans was awarded the Mike Kelly trophy as the Mann Cup’s MVP. Evans previously won the award during the 2010 series, also against the Salmonbellies, which the Lakers also won in six games.


Robert Hope was named the team’s own player of the game, or which he was awarded the game ball.


The Lakers and Salmonbellies traded the first six goals of the game. Zach Currier put the Lakers up 4-3 with a transition goal. Shawn Evans gave the Lakers a two-goal cushion to end the period. Evans had a first-period hat trick.


Three consecutive goals to start the second gave the Lakers an 8-3 lead. The Salmonbellies fought back but the Lakers led 10-5 after 40 minutes.


New Westminster once again shone in the third period, scoring five times including a hat trick from Logan Schuss. The Lakers stayed ahead of the ‘Bellies. Adam Jones scored twice, Evans once and Hope put the icing on the Cup with an empty-net goal.

Evan Kirk made 47 saves in a second strong outing as he split games in the series with Matt Vinc.


The Lakers finish the 2017 season with a record of 29-6.


Scoring for the Lakers:


Shawn Evans (5-3)

Adam Jones (3-4)

Zach Currier (2-2)

Curtis Dickson (2-1)

Kyle Buchanan (1-2)

Robert Hope (1-1)

Holden Cattoni (0-4)

Turner Evans (0-3)

Thomas Hoggarth (0-1)










Lakers' individual award winners


PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – The Peterborough Century 21 Lakers celebrated their Mann Cup win on Saturday with an afternoon parade and evening banquet and dance.


About 1500 people took in the parade, which stretched from City Hall, where mayor Darryl Bennett praised the Lakers, to Del Crary Park, where fans mingled with players for autographs and photos with the Mann Cup.


The banquet, held at the Evinrude Centre, was attended by about 250 people and featured a buffet dinner from Franz’s, awards ceremony and dance.


Captain Robert Hope and general manager Paul Day spoke at the banquet, recognizing and honouring everyone who was a part of the 2017 season including the players, training staff, executive, volunteers, family members and fans. Hope spoke especially fondly of his teammates, calling them “warriors, competitors and winners.”


The Lakers won the Mann Cup, their 15th, on September 15, 2017 after defeating the New Westminster Salmonbellies four games to two in British Columbia.


2017 Lakers’ award winners:


MVP: Kyle Buchanan

Most Improved: Eric Shewell

Most Dedicated: Mark Steenhuis

Most Sportsmanlike: Turner Evans

Rookie of the Year: Matt Gilray and Thomas Hoggarth

Top Defenseman: Robert Hope

Top Transition: Zach Currier

Leading Scorer: Shawn Evans

Fan Favourite: Shawn Evans

Bobby Allan Legacy Award: John Grant Sr.





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