Six Nations vs. Oakville - Statistically = A Pick ‘Em Series

It can be suggested, if you ask an MSL fan - who will win the semi-final series between the Six Nations Chiefs versus the Oakville Rock, there is a good chance, many would respond – Six Nations.  However, if you take a closer look at the numbers, it is equally fair to suggest that this series could be won by Oakville.

These teams met in the semi-final round in 2018.  Falling behind 2 games to 1, Oakville rebounded winning three consecutive games to take the series in six games.

In the 2019 regular season, Six Nations finished with a record of 11 wins and 7 losses, placing the Chiefs second overall.  Oakville won 10 and lost 8 games finishing in third place, two points behind Six Nations.

Head to head in the four games against each other, the Chiefs won 10-7, lost 12-5, won 11-10 and won 10-8.  Although Six Nations won three of the four games, Oakville actually outscored the Chiefs 37-36 over the four games.

With MSL/NLL experienced Head Coaches in Matt Sawyer for Oakville and Rich Kilgour for Six Nations – you know there is plenty of brainpower making critical adjustments as required.

Both teams have plenty of firepower on offence.  During the regular season, Six Nations were led by Cody Jamieson with 26 goals and 40 assists; Randy Staats with 25 goals and 32 assists and Lyle Thompson with 20 goals and 21 assists (in only 11 games played).  Other offensively skilled Chiefs not to be ignored include Dhane Smith, Jordan Durston and Brendan Bomberry.

For Oakville, top offensive players are Andrew Kew with 29 goals and 28 assists; Ryan Smith with 22 goals and 27 assists; Challen Rogers with 18 goals and 28 assists and Brandon Slade with 18 goals and 27 assists.  Acquired mid-season in a trade with the Brooklin Lacrosse Club, Dan Litner could also be a pivotal playoff goal scorer for the Rock.

On the defensive side of the floor, Six Nations have a solid core with names such as Tyson Bell, Jon Harnett, Dan Coates and Kevin Brownell.  Oakville also has plenty of skilled defenders including Bill Hostrawser, Jason Noble, James Barclay and Luke Van Schepen.

As is often the situation in playoff lacrosse, goaltending could decide the series.  Six Nations’ Doug Jamieson was top in the MSL leading all goalies with 10 wins and a 7.45 goals against average and a .738 save percentage.  For the Rock - Nick Rose’s numbers were equally impressive as he was a close second to Jamieson.  Rose recorded 9 wins; had a 7.95 goals against average and a slightly better save percentage than Jamieson of .749.

What might surprise most MSL fans is at the completion of the 2019 regular season, Oakville scored more goals than Six Nations (180 vs. 172).  In addition, the Rock give up less goals against, than the Chiefs (145 vs. 153).

The beginning of the series will be tough on both teams as the first three games are played over a four-day period.  Home advantage could be a factor if the series is a long one, given a seventh game would be played in Six Nations.

Prediction for the series = Both teams have veteran coaches; plenty of offensive stars; a core of talented defensive players; along with the MSL’s top two goalies (statistically).  This should be a series of spectacular skill and entertainment for lacrosse fans.  Game 1 is tonight in Six Nations beginning at 8:00 p.m.

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