Peterborough Lakers Look to Defend Mann Cup Title at Home Against Maple Ridge Burrards
Canadian Lacrosse Association – OTTAWA, ON – The 2018 Mann Cup, Canada’s Senior A box lacrosse national championship, will feature a best-of-seven series between the host Peterborough Lakers and visiting Maple Ridge Burrards. The defending champion Lakers will host the event, from September 7-15 at the Peterborough Memorial Centre, for the first time since 2012.
The chance to win hoist the prestigious trophy in front of their hometown crowd is something the Lakers and their players, including 2018 Canadian national team silver medalist Zach Currier, are excited about.
“This is one of the things I’ve been looking forward to my whole life,” Currier told the Peterborough Examiner’s Mike Davies. “Growing up seeing Peterborough legends like John Grant Jr., Shawn Evans, Dan Carey, who played in Mann Cups in Peterborough, I’m really excited to be part of one and on the floor to try to protect that Cup and keep it where it belongs.”
Peterborough advanced to its second consecutive Mann Cup thanks to a hard-fought 4-2 series win over the upstart Oakville Rock in the Major Series Lacrossechampionship final. They had previously earned a 4-3 series win over the Brooklin Redmen in the league semi-finals. The team ended the regular season with a 12-3-1 record, netting 172 goals and only letting 130 past them. Their powerplay has been deadly so far this post-season, operating at a league best 62.00% efficiency.
Over on the west coast, Maple Ridge advanced to its second Mann Cup in three years after winning the best-of-seven Western Lacrosse Association championship series in five games over the Victoria Shamrocks. They earned a spot in the league finals thanks to a four game sweep in the semi-finals of last year’s champion New Westminster Salmonbellies. The team finished the regular season with a 15-3 record, scoring 225 goals and allowing only 158 against. Their 72.41% penalty kill percentage was a league best during the regular season.
Both teams are riddled with offensive firepower, which should make for a highly entertaining series.
Kyle Buchanan (23g, 45a) led the Lakers in regular season scoring, with teammates Shawn Evans (14g, 46a), Corey Small (30g, 29a) and Holden Cattoni (29g, 25a) not too far behind. Evans stepped up his game in the playoffs by scoring 53 points (13g, 40a) in 13 games, while Cattoni and Adam Jones found the back of the with ease, contributing with 19 and 16 goals, respectively.
Curtis Dickson (28g, 14a) and Ben McIntosh (20g, 21a), silver medalists with the Canadian national team at this summer’s field lacrosse world championship in Israel, led the Burrards in scoring during their nine game post-season run. Dickson also led the team in regular season scoring despite only playing 11 games, contributing 37 goals and 24 assists. Riley Lowen (18g, 25a) and Mike Mallory (12g, 30a) picked up the slack while Dickson and McIntosh were away in Netanya during the month of July, finishing the regular season with 42 and 41 points, respectively.
While the offenses will surely get the most attention, Dickson, a member of the 2017 Mann Cup champion Lakers, feels that both defenses should be equally recognized.
“I think we’re pretty similar play styles, to be honest,” Dickson told John Chidley-Hill of The Canadian Press. “Peterborough has always been really good defensively, but we pride ourselves on our defense too. If you look at the (WLA) playoffs, how we got here, especially in the final series against Victoria, I don’t think we scored over 10 goals in any of the games but, obviously, we won four of the five games.”
A group of world-class netminders will be called upon to try and shut down these high-powered offenses.
Peterborough’s goaltending trio of Doug Buchan, Matt Vinc and Evan Kirk compiled an 8.13 goals against average and .805 save percentage in the regular season, with Buchan (8-1) and Vinc (4-2) getting the majority of the minutes. Vinc has seen the most playoff action so far, going 5-4 with a 8.09 GAA and .822 SV%.
Meanwhile, Frank Scigliano posted an 8-1 record in the playoffs for Maple Ridge. His 7.02 GAA and .843 SV% post-season marks are substantial improvements over his 8.13 GAA and .830 SV% regular season numbers.