Peterborough Lakers
  • Kyle Buchanan
  • No rest for the champions
  • In their own words

Unexpectedly honoured: Buchanan's MVP season


December 19, 2017


by Anna Taylor


Nobody was more surprised about Kyle Buchanan’s 2017 Most Valuable Player award than Kyle Buchanan.


“So many guys on our team could get that award with the year we had,” said the first year Peterborough Century 21 Laker. “To give MVP to one guy doesn’t make sense to me. From goalies standing on their heads in the playoffs, to our defense shutting down New Westminster in the Mann Cup, to so many clutch goals on offense, I was honoured to even be considered.”


Most fans were, like the righty forward himself, initially surprised with the unexpected pick but very pleased after thinking it through. Buchanan made himself truly indispensable both on and off the floor. A heart and soul player, he finished second in team and league scoring with 94 points (32G/62A), also contributing five goals and 32 assists in the playoffs with four goals and 10 assists in the Mann Cup.


He likely also led the Lakers’ offense in loose balls. It’s impossible to know because Major Series Lacrosse doesn’t keep that statistic, but you can’t argue with the tenacity he showed every time he stepped on the floor. If the ball was free, he was right there chasing it. Playing without the ball is part of the game on which Buchanan prides himself.


“It’s something I focus on and have fit into my style of play due to the fact that I’m playing with so many skilled guys who do great things with the ball,” he said. “As I’ve moved up the ranks in lacrosse, I’ve had to find ways to be successful without the ball… I try and use my speed and anticipation to get to balls for possessions for our team.”


“The addition of Bucky made our right side and our team difficult to defend, as his ability to read and react and the speed that he is able to do it at creates havoc and creates space for himself and his teammates,” praised head coach Mike Hasen. “Extra possessions off the face-off and loose balls in the offensive end gave Dickson, Evans and Currier more time and space and is a big reason for our success this season.”


Buchanan demonstrated his leadership capabilities to the Lakers very quickly, filling in as captain during the July 13 game when Robert Hope was away.


“It was unexpected and an absolute honour. To even be considered a leader with the guys in our room is humbling,” he said. “I try and lead by example with hard work and by doing smaller things the right way.”


Serving as captain showed how much his Lakers’ teammates had welcomed him into their ranks.


“Coming to a new group takes some adjusting, but the lacrosse world is small enough for you to have either played with or against most of the guys. It took some time to get used to the dynamic, but I was welcomed with open arms and was able to focus on playing,” he explained. “There’s no team I’ve been around that pokes fun at each other so much, but when the whistle goes, is ready to go to war for each other. It certainly helped us when we got down in the series vs. Brooklin early, and then again in the Mann Cup. That trust and care for each other showed as we were so steady in the long runs of those series.”


The core of the Lakers’ team is from Peterborough, complemented by talented out-of-towners like Buchanan, who said that rides to and from games with his western GTA teammates were a highlight of the season and helped build comradery.


“Road trips with Vno, Steenhuis, Matthews, Dylan Evans and Ian Llord… driving 2 plus hours in a van both ways one or two nights a week can get tough. Having a good crew to do those drives with made it a lot easier and a ton of laughs were had,” he smiled. “And I enjoyed the nights I stuck around Peterborough. I loved seeing the boys in their element and experiencing summer life in the ‘Boro.” 


Buchanan said he was very fortunate to win the Mann Cup in his first year as a Laker and hopes to host the tournament next season.


“I had never won a Mann Cup, nor had I even competed for one,” he said.


However, as great as winning the Mann Cup was, it will not be the highlight of Buchanan’s year.


That highlight is still to come, as he and his fiancée Nat are expecting the arrival of their first child in a matter of days.


He’s excited to share his life and his lacrosse experiences with his child, and was happy to kick off that process with the Mann Cup.


“Winning was a dream come true,” he said. “To do it with my pregnant fiancée in the stands was a very special moment that I will cherish forever.”


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 can see where there is a limited of range of motion, or lack of control or flexibility.


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.”

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.












The Lakers are proud to announce an extension of their partnership with Century 21 United Realty Inc. as the Lakers’ major sponsor. The new deal will see Century 21 remain as the team’s title sponsor through 2022.


“Lacrosse is a great community and the Lakers’ following is so big that we’re just happy to be a part of that,” Century 21 leader Vanessa Oake-Hogan said. “Our team back at Century 21 likes the involvement as well so there is a marketing opportunity, but we enjoy the partnership between the team and our office.”


This past year, the Lakers supported Century 21 in fundraising efforts for the Peterborough Dragon Boat Festival and the annual Carl Oake Rotary Swimathon.



The Lakers are hosting an auction of their 2017 Mann Cup game-worn jerseys. All proceeds from the auction will be split between three different local charities: Kawartha Food Share, Five Counties Children’s Centre and Kawartha Komets hockey.


Key auction details:

  • ·       Start date: Wednesday, February 21 at 12:00 a.m. (midnight) (please note this is subject to change as we work out some final details – we will update you as soon as the auction site is accepting bids)
  • ·       End date: Sunday, April 1 at 12:00 a.m. (midnight)
  • ·       Bidding info: Starting bid is $150. Minimum bid increment is $5. HST will be added onto the final price.
  • ·       Auction address:
  • auctions/mann-cup-jersey-3966
  • ·       Additional info: Jerseys have been washed. Winning bidders may bring their jerseys to a 2018 game to have them signed.


In addition, the Lakers are auctioning off a game-worn John Grant Jr. jersey from 2016, which was his final MSL season. The proceeds from that auction will be donated to the Canadian Cancer Society in conjunction with the Peterborough Petes Pink in the Rink campaign.




The Lakers will open their defense of the Mann Cup on Monday, May 28 when they visit the Oakville Rock. The Lakers’ home opener will take place the same week, on Thursday, May 31versus the Brampton Excelsiors.


  • ·       All home games begin at 8 p.m.

Full schedule here




Season tickets are now on sale at the Memorial Centre box office. There have been no price increases from last year.


There remain four price points: adult, senior, student and child. Adult club tickets are $175.50 or $135 for regular bowl; senior tickets are $144 for club or $103.50 for regular bowl; students pay $130.50 for club or $90 for regular bowl; and children are a very reasonable $76 club or $36 regular bowl.






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