Man oh Mann! Chiefs keep the cup

SIX NATIONS –Backed up by tournament MVP Brandon Miller in goal and a full house of fans at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena, the Six Nations Chiefs captured the Mann Cup for the second consecutive year on Friday night with a 9-4, Game #6 win.

It is the third time this lacrosse season that Six Nations lacrosse fans cheered a National Championship team. In late August, the Six Nations Jr. B Rebels won the Founders Cup for an unprecedented fourth year in a row, in Halifax, and the Jr. A Arrows Express hoisted the Minto Cup a few days later in Langley, British Columbia.

It was almost a four-league sweep as the Sr. B Rivermen, in only its second year of operation, lost a heart breaker at the Presidents Cup Championships, played in Coquitlam B.C.

All four Six Nations teams won Ontario Championships along the way, something no other community has ever done. But three out of four isn’t bad, as the Chiefs sent the huge Six Nations crowd home happy.

There was a large contingent of Victoria Shamrocks fans that made the trip east and who, when the buzzer ended the final game, cheered their team in appreciation of a fine series and season.

It is the second consecutive year Victoria players and fans had to watch the Six Nations Chiefs receive the most prestigious trophy in senior amateur lacrosse. Last year these same two teams met in Victoria where the Chiefs won it in six games as well.

Jeff Shattler was one of the Shamrocks watching the Chiefs celebrate last year, but this year, he won it as a Chief having been signed by Six Nations in the off season.

“It was a little awkward at times,” he said of playing against his former teammates. “But in the game of lacrosse it’s a small world and you play against your buddies lots of times. But for myself, the goal was to come out here and to win the Mann Cup.”

Shattler is from Toronto and said he really enjoyed playing in front of his family, who he has not seen for a while.

“It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “To win in front of them was even better.”

Craig Point had another solid series for the Chiefs, scoring 7 goals and 6 assists in six Mann Cup games against Victoria.

“It was a tough series of lacrosse like last year,” he said after the game. “We knew what we had to do, play smarter and we came out with better composure I think and stayed disciplined and thought about the next play.”

Comparing last year’s Mann Cup win with this one, Point said, “Our defense is definitely better this year I think. Victoria is still a good team, and everybody knows that and they have been pretty tough at times. We came out tonight knowing we did not want to play again. We knew they were going to come out strong and we had to come out stronger and play a full 60 [minutes].”

In games leading up to Friday night, the Chiefs seemed to only be able to put together 40 solid minutes and let large leads slip away. That was not the case in Game #6.

[images cols=”five” lightbox=”true”] [image link=”#” image=”10754″] [image link=”#” image=”10755″] [image link=”#” image=”10756″] [image link=”#” image=”10757″] [image link=”#” image=”10758″] [image link=”#” image=”10759″] [image link=”#” image=”10760″] [image link=”#” image=”10761″] [image link=”#” image=”10762″] [image link=”#” image=”10763″] [image link=”#” image=”10764″] [image link=”#” image=”10765″] [image link=”#” image=”10766″] [image link=”#” image=”10767″] [image link=”#” image=”10768″] [image link=”#” image=”10769″] [image link=”#” image=”10770″] [image link=”#” image=”10771″] [image link=”#” image=”10772″] [image link=”#” image=”10773″] [image link=”#” image=”10774″] [image link=”#” image=”10775″] [image link=”#” image=”10776″] [image link=”#” image=”10777″] [image link=”#” image=”10778″] [image link=”#” image=”10779″] [image link=”#” image=”10780″] [image link=”#” image=”10781″] [image link=”#” image=”10782″] [image link=”#” image=”10783″] [image link=”#” image=”10784″] [image link=”#” image=”10785″] [image link=”#” image=”10786″] [image link=”#” image=”10787″] [image link=”#” image=”10788″] [image link=”#” image=”10789″] [image link=”#” image=”10790″] [image link=”#” image=”10791″] [image link=”#” image=”10792″] [image link=”#” image=”10793″] [image link=”#” image=”10794″] [image link=”#” image=”10795″] [image link=”#” image=”10796″] [image link=”#” image=”10797″] [image link=”#” image=”10798″] [image link=”#” image=”10799″] [image link=”#” image=”10800″] [image link=”#” image=”10801″] [image link=”#” image=”10802″] [image link=”#” image=”10803″] [image link=”#” image=”10804″] [image link=”#” image=”10805″] [image link=”#” image=”10806″] [image link=”#” image=”10807″] [image link=”#” image=”10808″] [image link=”#” image=”10809″] [image link=”#” image=”10810″] [image link=”#” image=”10811″] [image link=”#” image=”10812″] [image link=”#” image=”10813″] [image link=”#” image=”10814″] [image link=”#” image=”10815″] [image link=”#” image=”10816″] [image link=”#” image=”10817″] [image link=”#” image=”10818″] [image link=”#” image=”10819″] [image link=”#” image=”10820″] [image link=”#” image=”10821″] [image link=”#” image=”10822″] [image link=”#” image=”10823″] [image link=”#” image=”10824″] [image link=”#” image=”10825″] [image link=”#” image=”10826″] [image link=”#” image=”10827″] [image link=”#” image=”10828″] [image link=”#” image=”10829″] [image link=”#” image=”10830″] [image link=”#” image=”10831″] [/images]

Last year’s Mann Cup MVP, Cody Jamieson, was happy to win it at home.

“It feels great to be out here on the floor at home celebrating with our family and friends,” he said. “You know life on the rez and it’s a way bigger family here than your immediate family and it’s good to celebrate with everybody.”
Jamieson was full of admiration for the Shamrocks after being pushed so hard throughout the series.

“They kinda ran all over the west,” said Jamieson. “They are a great team. They never quit and they are young and fast and we expect to see them in the Mann Cup [hunt] for a while.”

Brandon Miller, this year’s MVP, was nothing short of spectacular throughout the season and the playoffs, and Jamieson is well aware of how important goaltending is to any championship.

“When you are a goalie at this level and you can hold a team to under six goals, that is something special and he really deserved that award,” Jamieson said.

Miller allowed 4 goals in Game#1, 6 in Game #2, 12 in the Game #3 OT loss, 6 in Game #4, 6 in Game #5 and 4 in Game #6.

“This series produced great defensive plays,” OLA Major Series Commissioner Jim Brady said after the game. “I hoped that doesn’t get overlooked. The west, in one game, was able to get over 10 goals. The same happened with Peterborough. This Chiefs team is the best defensive team I have seen since I have been commissioner.”

Six Nations scored first with Shattler stinging his former mates at 7:16 with a hard shot from the centre slot.

Victoria’s Derek Lowe evened the score at 10:25 from Scott Rogers and Ethan Garland.

Defender Colin Boucher picked off a Victoria pass about 20 feet in front of his own goal and had clear sailing all the way to the Shamrocks net where he buried it high, to regain the Six Nations lead.

Kasey Beirnes and Colin Doyle combined perfectly when Doyle drew Shamrocks defenders towards himself before lobbing a pass over the Shamrocks defense to Beirnes who had broken in behind them. With a quick shot, it was 3-1.

Victoria came out stronger in the second period but Brandon Miller was on his game to keep the Shamrocks to two goals in the second period, even though they outshot the Chiefs. The Chiefs intercepted a number of errant Victoria passes to break up plays in the Chiefs defensive zone.

Doyle and Johnny Powless added second period goals before Corey Small took a bite out of the Chiefs lead at 5-2.

In a real heads-up play at 13:45, defensemen Rob Marshall plucked off a Victoria pass during a Shamrocks powerplay and spotted Jamieson coming off the bench. He delivered a pass on a rope to the breaking Jamieson who netted Six Nations’ 6th goal, shorthanded.

Gregg Harnett made it 6-3 at 15:42, but Craig Point took a great cross-crease pass from Jamieson and one-timed it in behind Cody Hagedorn at 19:51 to close the second period with Six Nations in charge of a 7-3 lead.

The Chiefs did not let up in the third as Miller disheartened Victoria shooters with some fine saves.

Shattler made it 8-3 after the Shamrocks call for an equipment measure on Miller backfired. When Sid Smith was assessed a slashing call at 5:02, the Victoria bench gambled on the measurement to possibly take a two man advantage to get back into the game. But the gamble backfired as the ‘Rocks were assessed a mandatory delay of game penalty when the equipment proved to be legal.

With the teams 4 on 4, Shattler made it 8-3. Thirty seconds later it was 9-3 after Beirnes scored at 6:36.

The Chiefs played down the clock and Miller held his ground until Chris Wardle scored a meaningless short hander at 18:26 for the 9-4 final score.

Related Posts