Six Nations Chiefs and Peterborough Lakers Face-Off in MSL Championship Series
The top two teams during regular season play during 2019 will meet in the MSL Final Series. The Peterborough Lakers finished first with a record of 14-4, followed in second place by the Six Nations Chiefs with a record of 11-7.
Lakers’ General Manager Paul Day expects fans to watch a “Great series”. He was quick to note, “Both teams have exceptional goaltending having two good goalies”. Certainly, the four goalies (Doug Jamieson and Dillon Ward for Six Nations and Matt Vinc and Mike Poulin for Peterborough) are among the best in Canada with numerous Mann Cup victories. The Chiefs Jamieson led the MSL this year in wins collecting 10 victories.
Six Nations Head Coach Rich Kilgour looks forward to the challenge ahead of his team. He enthusiastically stated, “We are really excited about playing this series. It will be a true test of how good we can play. The challenge of rising to the caliber necessary to win this series will be the ultimate test for our team. I feel confident, but know we are playing two-time defending Mann cup champions and respect them accordingly. The Chiefs team Mantra all season has been “Respect Everyone – Fear No One”.
In expanding upon his thoughts, Peterborough GM Day assessed, “Both teams havehigh powered offences”. Hard to argue that. The Chiefs have the always dangerous Cody Jamieson 26 goals and 40 assists; sniper Randy Staats 25 goals and 32 assists; the multi-talented Lyle Thompson 20 goals and 21 assists; along with Dhane Smith, Jordan Durston, Chris Cloutier, Brendan Bomberry and Shayne Jackson.
The Lakers are also loaded with offensive talent. Kyle Buchanan – second in league scoring led the league in assists with 52 and added 17 goals. Future Hall of Famer Shawn Evans collected 62 points and placed fourth in MSL scoring in 2019. Other dangerous offensive players include Holden Cattoni – 23 goals and 24 assists; Corey Small – 19 goals and 21 assists; Cory Vitarelli who led the league in power play goals netting 8 on the man advantage. Along with the emerging talent of Thomas Hoggarth. And of course, the ever present – Mark Matthews (leading the league in playoff scoring with 18 points in 3 games).
Both teams have continued to improve and adapt as the season progressed. Coach Kilgour specifically cited, “The dynamics of our team has changed with the addition of Lyle Thompsonand Shayne Jackson. The more we play together, we have improved”. Lakers’ GM Paul Day commented, “I hope our depth can be the difference as we have plenty of depth at both ends of the floor. We have added Mark Matthews, Joe Resetarits, Kiel Matisz and Mike Poulin. These are players who are great leaders with championship pedigree”. The Chiefs' Rich Kilgour has similar sentiments about his team leaders, commenting “Cody Jamieson, Randy Staats, Jeremy Thompson and in particular, Dan Coates on defence, are leaders on the floor and in the dressing room”.
The Lakers swept the Chiefs winning all four times they played during the regular season outscoring Six Nations 46-29 winning by scores of 12-8, 15-10, 7-5, 12-6. Put those results aside. It is hard to imagine that this series will not go six or seven games. A 4-0 sweep by either team is almost unimaginable
With this incredible talent of offense, both teams’ defensive corps will be challenged to minimize the offensive power. The Lakers are led by team Captain Robert Hope, along with veteran Brock Sorensen and capable defenders Eric Shewell, Bryce Sweeting and Chad Tutton among others. The Chiefs can respond with Dan Coates, Tyson Bell, Kevin Brownell, and Jon Harnett. They also have Leland Powless who led the MSL in short-handed goals scoring three of them.
Specialty teams often decide the outcome of who wins a series. During the regular season, the Chiefs had a success rate of 42% on the power play compared to 38% for the Lakers. On the penalty kill, Six Nations had a success rate of 67% compared to 59% for Peterborough.
After one round of playoff success, the Chiefs power play success has slipped to 33% success, whereas the Lakers is 50%. The Six Nations penalty kill is operating at an impressive 87% compared to 77% for Peterborough. (These numbers likely reflect the more intense defensive play in the playoffs).
Both teams are Ontario Championship playoff experienced. They played each other in the Finals in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. The Chiefs won in 2014 and 2016. The Lakers won in 2015 and 2017. Each of the series in 2014, 2015, and 2016 went the full seven games. We know lacrosse fans will be watching superb MSL championship lacrosse action. Of the past 5 Mann Cup championships, the Chiefs have won two – in 2014 and 2016. Peterborough have also won two – 2017 and 2018.
The winner of this MSL Championship series earns the right to play the Western Lacrosse Association champion for the 2019 Mann Cup. The Western Lacrosse Association Championship series is currently ongoing. The Victoria Shamrocks lead the Maple Ridge Burrards 1-0 winning Game 1 in a thrilling 7-6 overtime contest.
The Schedule for the MSL Championship Final series is:
Game 1 - Sunday, Aug. 18 at Peterborough 7:00 p.m.
Game 2 -Tuesday, August 20 at Six Nations – 8:00 p.m.
Game 3 - Thursday, August 22 at Peterborough – 8:00 p.m.
Game 4 - Friday, August 23 at Six Nations – 7:00 p.m.
Game 5 - Tuesday, August 27 at Peterborough – 8:00 p.m.
Game 6 - Thursday, August 29 at Six Nations – 8:00 p.m.
Game 7 - Monday, September 2 at Peterborough – 5:00 p.m.
Do not miss a minute of the action. With playerss that are super skilled and equally athletic, this series is projected to be the very best lacrosse of the 2019 MSL season.
You can enjoy all games by going to: