Monday, August 29, 2016

Jammer's return sparks Chiefs to Game 4 win

Photo by Darryl Smart

Billy Dee Smith didn’t want to call Sunday’s 8-1 victory over the Peterborough Lakers a comeback.

We showed up tonight,” said Smith, who was one of the defensive catalysts for the Six Nations Pro-fit Chiefs. “Down 3-0 we didn’t want to be swept.”

With the victory, the Chiefs staved off elimination, with the Lakers still leading the best-of-seven Major Series Lacrosse final 3-1.

“For whatever reason, the last three games we didn’t bring it… mentally, emotionally,” Smith said. “If someone did something good, nobody had their back. No excuses aside, they capitalized on their opportunities more than we did.”

But Sunday at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena was different.

“Tonight we had a goal, and we stuck to our game plan, did what we did all season, and what we’ve always done,” Smith said. “We played some really tight and we swung the ball instead of standing still. Those two or three things make a huge difference and it showed tonight.”

While the defence, led by goalie Dillon Ward di their part, Stephen Keogh got things going offensively midway through the period.

Late in the frame, Cory Vitarelli tied things up, scoring the only goal of the game for the Lakers.

For the next two 40 minutes, the Chiefs took charge.

Cody Jamieson, who was a late game-time decision to play, scored less than a minute into the second period, wearing a knee brace for the first time.

Keogh, Ryan Benesch added to the Chiefs scoring before the Staats brothers, Austin and Randy each netted power-play markers a minute apart.

Austin Staats hustled on a loose ball in the third period to score his second of the game early in the third period, with Benesch rounding out the scoring.

“Give props to Cody. Everybody knows what he’s gone through the last little bit,” Smith said. “For him to put on a brace and go out there really sparked us. He’s not the greatest player in the world for no reason.

“It’s huge,” he said. “I told him, I’ve been here the longest, but he’s the chief. He’s the leader of the team. Guys listen to him. I listen to him. You can’t say enough about the guy. Knowing what he’s gone through the last couple of weeks, and to suit up for a do or die Game 4 is amazing.”

Jamieson said his decision was a no brainer.

“I wanted to play,” Jamieson said. “Every extra day of rest you get, you can take it. I’m sure there are guys over there that are a bit banged up. But when you get a days rest you take it. Our backs are up against the wall and it’s do or die, so now it was time to strap them up.

“I’ve never been braced up before, so it was a work in progress,” he said. “I just wasn’t used to the brace. At the start I was a little tentative on it, but after a while it was ok.”

Jamieson and Smith said, to extend the series, they need the same effort on both end of the floor as there was on Sunday.

“Our backs are still up against the wall,” Jamieson said. “There’s a lot of pride in that dressing room and there are a lot of guys that aren’t ready for the season to be over yet. We want to win. We want to get back here and get back to the Mann Cup. The only way to do that is to win four games out of seven. It’s still there.”

Game 5 is in Peterborough Tuesday, with Game 6, if necessary, back at the ILA Thursday. Both games are at 8 p.m.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Chiefs have backs against the wall

Photo by Peterborough Examiner
It's a position the Six Nations Pro-Fit Chiefs aren't very used to. Nonetheless, their backs are against the wall.
Thursday night at the Peterborough Memorial Centre, the Chiefs got behind early and couldn't come back, losing 15-9 to the Peterborough Lakers.
The Lakers now lead the best-of-seven Major Series Lacrosse final 3-0.
"They came out flying and we could never erase that seven-goal deficit," Chiefs coach Rich Kilgour said during the post-game scrum. "We could never get over the hump and get it to a workable margin."
The Lakers came out with purpose, scoring seven unanswered goals in the first seven minutes of the game. Shawn Evans led the charge with a pair, while Cory Vitarelli, Brad Self, Mark Steenhuis, Holden Cattoni and Josh Currier added singles.
Ryan Benesch stopped the bleeding for a moment, before John Grant Jr. and Steenhuis added to the first-period pile.
Dhane Smith and Dan Dawson, breathed some life into the Chiefs late in the frame, with hopes of grabbing some momentum.
Dawson struck again early in the second period, before Steenhuis, Dawson and Self exchanged goals.
In a very chippy third period, the two teams exchanged goals again. Dawson, Austin Staats, Randy Staats and Craig Point scored for the Chiefs, while Steenhuis scored two more, with Jake Fox and Vitarelli scoring one each.
 Sandwiched between the goals, the bad blood flowed between the two rivals. It all started when Zack Currier labeled Austin Staats.
"To me that's at least a possession call and they didn't even call that,"Kilgour  said. "He banged up his shoulder pretty good. Of course everyone was a little upset. I'm not going to call it a cheap shot, but if Billy Dee got a five at the end it's tough as coach to stand and watch that on the bench."
 Game 4 of the series returns to the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena Sunday at 7 p.m.

NOTES: The list of injured Chiefs gets longer. With Cody Jamieson and Jordan Durston still out, Johnny Powless was not dressed because of his injury, while Dhane Smith left the game. He and the others will be assessed

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Chiefs drop Game 2

Photo by Vintage Lax
Another strong Six Nations Pro-Fit Chiefs start was spoiled.
This time it was a 7-6 loss at the hands of the Peterborough Lakers Tuesday night at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena.
After Brad Self opened the scoring, Dhane Smith scored twice in the first period and Ryan Benesch added one to give the Chiefs a two-goal advantage after 20 minutes.
But true to form, the defending Major Series Lacrosse champs came right back with three of their own in the second.
Holden Cattoni got things started, before Mark Steenhuis netted a pair of power-play goals.
Dan Dawson scored the lone goal for the Chiefs.
With things tied up heading to the third period, Dawson gave the Chiefs an early lead. But that was quickly extinguished thanks to a pair from Cory Vitarelli, and Cattoni's second of the night.
Brier Jonathan got the Chiefs back within a goal. But it was too little too late.
Dillon Ward had to again be on his game, making 40 saves in the loss, while it was Matt Vinc's turn between the pipes down at the other end. He made 37 stops.
The Lakers now hold a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven MSL final, with Game 3 back in Peterborough Thursday. Game 4 returns to the ILA Sunday. Games 5 and 6 are August 30 in Peterborough and September 1 at the ILA. All games are at 8 p.m. Game 7 is in Peterborough September 3 at 7 p.m.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Chiefs let Game 1 slip away

Photo by Peterborough Examiner
It may have been the one that got away.
With a five-goal lead midway through the third period, the Six Nations Pro-Fit Chiefs let minutely allowed the Peterborough Lakers in the doorway, later crashing it in to a 12-11 overtime win Sunday night at the Peterborough Memorial Centre.
The win gives the Lakers a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven  Major Series Lacrosse final.
“We had them in a bad spot and let them wiggle out of it,” Chiefs coach Rich Kilgour said in the post-game scrum after the loss. “That's the way it goes between these two teams. We've played 14 games (in the past two finals) and it was 7-7. Tonight they got 15. We'll regroup and learn from it.”
After junior A callup Austin Staats scored two more goal – his third and fourth of the night – to give the Chiefs an 11-6 lead, the Lakers fed off the home crowd and pecked away.
Adam Jones scored twice, whileJohn Grant Jr. added one, before Shawn Evans forced overtime with his goal with three minutes left in regulation.
In overtime, Jones was the hero, scoring twice, before Craig Point made it a one-goal game.
“I think lots of teams will say they'd rather win a game like that than a blowout,” Jones said. “It builds character and gives us confidence the rest of the series, that if we're down a few goals there is always hope.”
In the first period, Evans got the Lakers going four minutes in, but the Chiefs roared back with goals from Ryan Benesch, Staats and Dan Dawson.
The Chiefs got the better of the second-period scoring as well, with Dhane Smith adding two goals, while Dave Brock, Craig Point, and Staats scored one goal each.
Dillon Ward did what he could to keep the Lakers at bay, making 50 saves in the defeat, while Evan Kirk was forced to make 49 stops in the win.
The MSL final now shifts to the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena Tuesday, with Game 3 back at the PMC Thursday, and Game 4 Sunday at the ILA. All games are at 8 p.m.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

MSL final schedule is set

The Six Nations Pro-Fit Chiefs and Peterborough Lakers are set to go back at it for the Major Series Lacrosse title.
The two teams begin the quest to host this year's Mann Cup on Sunday in Peterborough at 7 p.m.
 Tickets for Game 2 at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena can be purchased at Sit N Bull Variety, Village Cafe and Hill's Snack Bar, or at the ILA.

Peterborough Lakers (1) vs Six Nations Pro-Fit Chiefs (3)
best-of-seven Major Series Lacrosse final
Game 1  Sunday August 21 at Peterborough 7 p..m
Game 2 Tuesday August 23 at ILA 8 p..m
Game 3 Thursday August 25 Peterborough 8 pm
Game 4 Sunday August 28 at ILA 7 p.m.
Game 5 Tuesday August 30 Peterborough 8 pm
Game 6 Thursday Sept 1 at ILA 8 pm
Game 7  Saturday Sept 3 Peterborough 7 pm

Monday, August 15, 2016

Chiefs back in MSL final

Although it doesn’t show up on the scoresheet, Brodie Merril has been an impact player for the Six Nations Pro-Fit Chiefs. And on Saturday night at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena, he was at it again.
Collecting loose balls, playing tough at both ends of the floor and setting up one goal, Merril helped lead the Chiefs to a 9-6 win over the Brooklin Redmen.
With the win, the Chiefs win the best-of-seven Major Series Lacrosse semifinal series in six games.
“That was a tough series,” Merril said. “Not a lot separated both teams. In Game 5 we got some really timely goals that were key in a game that went back and forth, so we knew we wanted to finish them off tonight at home.
“Tonight we played a good, solid game,” he said. “We’re happy to move on.”
The Redmen got off to the start they needed in the elimination game, with Dan Lintner and Ryan MacSpayden scoring in the game’s first six minutes.
Vaughn Harris and Dhane Smith quickly responded, before Mark Matthews and Dan Dawson exchanged goals to finish off the first period scoring.
The Chiefs got rolling in the second period, when Brier Jonathan opened the scoring. Vaughn Harris then added two more goals and Smith added one during a four-goal run.
Austin Shanks and Kevin Brownell cut the lead to a pair before the second period ended.
In the third period, the Chiefs looked to close out the series with a stellar defensive effort, bolstered by goals from Smith, Ryan Benesch and an empty-netter from Dan Coates.
Curtis Knight scored the lone goal for the Redmen in a period Chiefs goalie Dillon Ward was forced to make 14 of his 41 saves.
“Some of our guys just made big plays tonight,” Merril said. “Dhane Smith, Dan Dawson, and Vaughn Harris, who really broke out for us tonight. It was good to see the O players have great games.”
Coach Rich Kilgour couldn’t help but beam about Merril in his post-game talk with the team.
“This is a guy that did a little bit of everything for us tonight,” Kilgour said. “His play shows that you don’t need to be on the scoresheet all the time to be an impact. He worked hard and set a tone for us.”
Merril said it was a great team victory, and as the series went on, he and the Chiefs had to make small adjustments
“It was subtle things,” he said. “We tried to keep it tight, play good lacrosse and try to avoid swinging the ball because they have quick sticks and good transition. We just wanted to play a solid team game and play in front of us and make them earn their chances.”
Now the Chiefs wait for the winner of the semifinal series between the Peterborough Lakers and Oakville Rock. The Lakers lead the series 3-2, with Game 6 Monday.
“We have to stay the course. We’re not looking too far ahead,” Merril said. “We’re just going to get ourselves ready for Game 1, whoever it is. We want to play our game and keep it simple.”

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Redmen tie MSL semifinal up 2-2

Photo by Darryl Smart
The Brooklin Redmen took command of Game 4 of the
Major Series Lacrosse semifinal and didn't look back.
Goals by Dan Lintner and Shayne Jackson five minutes into the first period gave the Redmen the base they needed to never give back the lead in a 10-6 win over the Six Nations Pro-Fit Chiefs at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena.
The best-of-seven semifinal series is now tied 2-2.
Six Nations Arrows star Austin Staats scored his first MSL goal in response to the Redmen start. Mark Matthews and Dhane Smith exchanged goals to round out the scoring.
The Redmen bookended the second period scoring, with Kiel Matisz, Graeme Hossack and Curtis Knight adding to the cause, with Staats scoring his second goal and third point of the game.
Ethan O'Connor opened the scoring for the Chiefs in the third period, but like they did the entire game, the Redmen had a response.
Austin Shanks and Knight, quickly responded, while Chris Corbeil, Matthews and Lintner added to the lead. Cody Jamieson and Dan Dawson scored for the Chiefs.
Dillon Ward made 25 saves in the loss while Mike Poulin stopped 29.
Game 5 of the series returns to Whitby Friday at 8 p.m., with Game 6 back at the ILA Saturday at 7 p.m.