SIX NATIONS — The Six Nations Arrows won their second consecutive Minto Cup, 9-4, in game #6, Saturday night before a sell-out crowd at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena. It is the first time the Cup has been awarded on a reserve.
The Coquitlam Adanacs lost their bid for the Cup to the Arrows Express for the second straight year, this time in front of a large and loud Six Nations crowd augmented by dozens of Adanacs fans who made the trip with their team from BC.
“It was a hard fought battle,” said Austin Staats about the series. “We had to work for every goal we got. Their goaltender (Christian Del Bianco) was much better than we expected.”
Defensive specialist Keegan LeTourneau came to the Arrows on the trade deadline from the Mimico Mountaineers, where he was captain, and is happy he did. The Mountaineers finished the regular season well out of contention with only 5 wins.
“I was trying to keep an open mind going into the series, because I have never played against a western team before,” said LeTourneau. “I didn’t want to think too high or too low. They were fighting to the very end not giving us much of anything (to shoot at). It feels great to beat them for the title.”
“Once we get into the swing of things, it’s pretty hard to stop us. We faced some adversity when we lost those two games, but we are the type of team to use that to our benefit and come out stronger.”
Young Jerry Staats watched game #6 from the stands, but as an observer, believes the Arrows played their best lacrosse of the year in Saturday’s game.
“These guys really went to battle with whatever it took,” he said.
Jordan Durston made a huge contribution in this, his last year of Jr. eligibility and has been a serious threat whenever he had the ball.
“We all tried to just keep a level head, but we were pretty pumped up before that game. Coquitlam is a good team, so were focused on going out there, a shift at a time and try and get it done,” he said.
Durston will wear his second Minto Cup ring and although both were championship teams, he found this year’s Arrows to have a little different feel from last year’s edition.
“It’s the little things with this team,” reflected Durston. “I don’t think other teams do some of the stuff that we do and that’s why last year and this year we have won the Minto Cup.”
Austin Staats, who will be returning next season for his third Minto Cup ring, agrees with Durston.
“As long as we are doing the little things right it is more than likely we will come out on top, and we have done that all season,” he says.
Having a new coaching staff behind the bench this year led by Patrick Merrill, took some adjustment at first.
“That’s where the veterans on the team helped out talking with the coaches about things done last year that worked and they added other stuff on top of that,” said Durston. “We bought into their system and that’s how we came out on top.”
The Arrows, wearing their throw-back black jerseys, dominated the game from the starting faceoff.
Austin Staats brought the Arrows Express faithful into the game at 4:16 from Adam Bomberry and Jordan Durston. Brendan Bomberry turned up the decibel level a minute later from James Rahe and Staats. Chase MacIntyre cut the Arrows lead in half at 8:10, but Durston cut the Coquitlam celebration short at 9:51 from Haodais Maracle and Brendan Bomberry. Josh Johnson closed the first period at 4-1 Six Nations, from Staats and Leo Stouros. Ryan Fournier and Staats added to the Arrows lead in the second period.
Down 6-1 with 20 minutes left, Coquitlam pulled out all the stops in the third. Jean-Luc Chetner scored on game Doug Jamieson at 5:13 and Cole Shafer chipped away at the Arrows lead more at 7:54, but there was still a long way to go. Ryan Lee scored for the Arrows at 8:27 and again at 9:25 pretty will putting the game in the bag at 8-3, before Jordan Magnuson scored an unassisted goal for the Adanacs. Durston put the cherry on top at 17:24 from Greg Sawih Longboat and goalie Jamieson.
Durston and Staats each scored two and assisted on three while Jamieson earned the game’s MVP for the Arrows stopping 42 of 46 shots. Christian Del Bianco faced 60 Six Nations shots and was at times sensational throughout the playoffs.
Gloria Skye awarded each goaltender with a wooden stick for their play through out the Minto Cup series.
Minto Cup MVP honours went to Six Nations’ captain, Brendan Bomberry who, along with his leadership on and off the floor, tallied nine goals and eight assists. He was also selected for the Jim Bishop Award, presented to the player deemed to have the highest qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and outstanding play.
Game MVP awards went to Cole Shafer of the Adanacs and Doug Jamieson for the Arrows Express.
Coquitlam stayed alive in game #5 with a tightly played and close checking game #5, played Wednesday night at the ILA.
Staats and James Rahe scored for the Arrows in the first period and Chase MacIntyre got one for Coquitlam.
Cole Shafer brought his team to a 2-2 tie early in the second but Arrow’s Ryan Lee restored the one goal edge with 16 seconds remaining in the second period.
Bomberry scored a powerplay goal at 6:33 but the Adanacs kept coming, scoring the final three goals of the game by Matt Symes, Andy Campbell and Jean-Luc Chatner for the Coquitlam win.
In an extremely close checking Game #4 of the Minto Cup Championships being played at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena, the Coquitlam Adanacs fought back from a 3-2 second period deficit to defeat the Arrows 5-4 and once again even the series two games apiece.
Austin Staats and James Rahe gave the Arrows Express an early 2-0 lead before Chase MacIntyre checked the Adanacs into the game at 12:16, from Mike Rybka and Chris Cloutier.
Cole Shafer scored the tying goal on a Coquitlam powerplay but Ryan Lee scored for Six Nations with 16 seconds left in the period.
Brendan Bomberry cushioned the lead on an Arrows powerplay at 6:33 but the Adanacs were not ready to concede and turned it on with goals by Matt Symes, Andy Campbell and the game winner, by Jean-Luc Chetner.