Turns out bears can’t swim in a lake after all.

Despite a Twitter promise to maul the Peterborough Century 21 Lakers earlier in the day, it was the Cobourg Kodiaks who ended up on the wrong end of the mauling, falling 18-9 to the defending Mann Cup champions at the Memorial Centre.

The Lakers took out some frustration on the Kodiaks, laying a whopping 18-9 beating on their geographic rivals. Peterborough had tied the Brooklin Redmen 8-8 the night before in an intense, defensive battle. They knew they let a point slip away. They knew on Thursday they were facing an upstart team that had something to prove.

So the entire game ended up being a statement, according to defenseman Jake Withers.

The Lakers may have scored 18 goals over 60 minutes, but the last two minutes of the game, in which four fights occurred, were just as important.

“You have to play every game like you’re in the Mann Cup,” said Withers, who took on Dylan Goddard. “We made a statement to Cobourg and the rest of the league that they can’t bully us around. It’s something that has to be done sometimes in the sport of lacrosse, especially when you’re a team that’s so close like a family. You have to stick up for your teammates. Your brothers.”

The teams combined for 183 penalty minutes, the majority of which came late in the third period, when the game was out of reach for the Kodiaks.

“The aggression came from their side when they were down 10 goals, throwing some whacks towards us,” said Shawn Evans. “Then they went out and jumped out our offensive players. We’re in our building and we’re not going to take that crap so we pushed back and let ‘em have it.”

Holden Cattoni fought Liam Patten with 2:11 left, but the real donnybrook started with 1:30 left when former Laker Pete Rennie and former Jr. Laker Riley Campbell jumped Cam Milligan and Kyle Buchanan. On the ensuing whistle, Bryce Sweeting dropped Luke Laszkiewicz, and Eric Shewell wrestled with Drake Smith.

Withers versus Goddard was the main event, with Withers landing several uppercuts with Goddard’s jersey over his head.

Even prior to the third period the game was rough, with Evans calling it a “whack-fest.” Though he managed to stay out of the late-game melee, he did rack up four minor penalties earlier in the game.

“We did what we needed to do,” he stated. “We held them off and put the ball in the net. Vno played great, the defense played great and we put up 18 goals today. When you put up 18 you’re going to win every game.”

Much like Wednesday’s game, the first few minutes were back-and-forth. Brandon Robinson picked a top corner to give the Kodiaks a 3-2 lead at 6:59, but Chad Tutton tied it, accepting a pass from Thomas Hoggarth who scooped the loose ball on Nick Weiss’ faceoff win. Josh Currier began the onslaught just past the 10-minute mark of the first, tiptoeing around the crease and reaching far to beat Kodiaks’ starter Kevin Orleman. Kyle Buchanan increased the lead to 5-3 just 25 seconds later. Matt Gilray then scored shorthanded, followed by a Cam Milligan marker through a crowd, which prompted the Kodiaks to replace Orleman with former Laker Davide DiRuscio. Corey Small scored his first of five in the game on the Lakers’ first shot on DiRuscio.

Kodiaks’ captain Joey Cupido ended the Lakers’ six-goal run, scoring on a three-on-three transition attempt. Cattoni and Small both scored their second goals of the game to mercifully end the first period.

“We always talk about breaking that 14-15 goal threshold and to do that we need some of our transition guys to chip in,” Withers said. “It’s a big part of our game, especially being a younger team. Tonight we took care of our end but at the same time we got up the floor and definitely made them pay in transition.”

Eric Shewell’s first regular season MSL goal (he scored in the 2015 Mann Cup) was the Lakers first goal in the second period.

“They’re few and far between so it’s always nice to feel like a goal scorer,” Shewell chuckled, and then described the goal. “I picked up a loose ball; we were in transition. I threw it to Bucky, he kinda got picked, so he threw it back to me. I was on my wrong side but I threw it back to the far side into the net.”

Peterborough native Colton Armstrong scored the Kodiaks only goal of the frame before the Lakers went on a four-goal run to take a 15-5 lead into the third period.

Kyle Killen, who leads the Kodiaks with 22 goals, scored twice in the third including an Evans-like backhand goal. Small scored back-to-back power play goals which put the Lakers up 18-6.

Despite the score, the Kodiaks outshot the Lakers 56-50.

“I thought we put a good two periods together and we were running the ball really well,” said defenseman Matt Gilray, whose first period goal exemplified the excellent game the transition put together. “Withers threw the ball up to me on the breakaway and I was lucky enough to put it away.”

“They got some guys back that they’d been waiting on and they’re a good team,” said Shewell of the Redmen. “We’re going to have to go through them if we want to be successful this year.”


This article appears on the MSL website with permission of Anna Taylor - Peterborough Lakers' Social Media Coordinator)