Arrows win Minto Cup
BRAMPTON – The Six Nations Arrows won the 2017 Minto Cup Thursday night in Brampton with a sweep of the Coquitlam Adanacs, defeating them 8-3.
The Arrows were sharp for the entire series, as they breezed through all obstacles along the way.
In Game 1, the Arrows took the best of a 12-7 score last Tuesday, Aug. 22. That was followed by a 9-4 win in Game 2 leading into last Thursday’s 8-3 Minto Cup win.
Coach Pat Merrill could summon up one word to reflect his feeling after the Minto Cup win.
“Relieved” he said.
But he pointed to goalie Doug Jamieson as a major reason for his team’s success all season and through the playoffs.
“Jamieson is the heart and soul of our team this year,” he told the media. “The sky is the limit for him.”
Jamieson was increasingly outstanding as the games became more important, especially in the playoffs.
“It’s good to go out on top,” Jamieson said of his last season in junior lacrosse. “This is one of the best teams I have ever played for.”
He and most of this year’s Minto Cup Arrows mates will not be back next year due to age. Generally, that makes for a building season to get new younger players comfortable with the speed of Jr. A and the coaching style. But at Six Nations, the talent pool is never shallow so finding a contending team to defend the Minto next year maybe won’t be as big of a problem as it is with other OLA teams.
The Arrows hedged their bets on this year’s championship by adding a few major off-reserve contributors like Cory Highfield who worked most of the season alongside Austin Staats in one of the most respected lines in the league.
Highfield finished the regular season with 22 goals ad 30 assists, most of them to or from Staats. In the playoffs Highfield went 12-25 for 37 points in eight games.
It was a very close first period in Game 3, which began with Holden Garlent and Cody Ward taking the spotlight for the Arrows to put the Adanacs behind 2-0 and bringing the large Six Nations crowd into the game. Coquitlam pushed back in the second half of the period to take a 3-2 first period lead. Keenan Koswin, John Hofseth and Ethan Ticehurst scored for Coquitlam.
With both Adanacs’ goalie Christian Del Bianco, and Arrows Doug Jamieson, on top of their games, it was not going to be an easy game to win. The only goal of the second period was scored by Six Nations’ Austin Staats, assisted by Owen S. Hill.
Del Bianco was standout in the early third period but the Arrows exploded with three goals in three minutes to break the hearts and the hopes of the B.C. squad. Owen S. Hill, game MVP, started the onslaught with an outside rocket at 6:18 assisted by Travis Longboat. Russ Oaks scored another outside goal at 7:15 from Tahoke Nanticoke and Austin Staats which Hill followed with his second of the game from Cory Highfield and Ward, catching a pass on the edge of the crease, twisting his body and letting it go in one motion.
Jamieson was unbeatable against some very good B.C. scoring chances and by 17:48 it became clear there would be a party at Six Nations. Holden Garlent put a clearing pass over to Jeremy Bomberry on the right side. Suddenly, Staats burst through the Adanacs defense and began calling for the ball. Bomberry obliged and Staats made it 7-3.
The last goal of the game was a strange one. Coquitlam was called for too many men, with less than two minutes remaining. After a conference of officials along the boards, the referee signalled an automatic goal, as the rulebook states. It was awarded to the last Arrows player to have the ball, which was Tyson Bomberry, at 19:16, completing he scoring at 8-3.
Many of this year’s Arrows are either already spoken for at the NLL level or will higher on the pick list that they maybe were before their OLA Jr. A playoffs and Minto Cup performances.