SIX NATIONS — The ILA and the Gaylord Powless Arena are starting to get very busy as the Ontario Lacrosse Association’s 2018 regular Jr. A, B, and C’s, and Major Series and Sr. B seasons draw to a close.
Anticipations run high again this year with the Major Series Six Nations Chiefs, Sr. B Six Nations Rivermen, Jr. A Arrows, Jr. B Rebels and Six Nations Jr. C Warriors all jockeying for playoff positioning and home floor advantage.
They will have to clear a lot of obstacles between now and then to get to the big prize, a National championship cup.
Jr. C WARRIORS — MEREDETH CUP
There is no National Cup in Jr. C, and so, the Warriors will be the first Six Nations OLA team to contend for the pinnacle of Jr. C lacrosse. This year the Warriors will try to pull the Meredith Cup from the hands of the Brantford Warriors who won it last season.
In 2015, the Six Nations Warriors finished with 16 wins and no losses to close out the regular season. It was soon brought to the attention of the Ontario Lacrosse Association that the Warriors had multiple roster violations.
In turn, the Warriors forfeited 13 of their wins and dropped from first place in the West Division to seventh. The Warriors would sweep the first two rounds of the playoffs and would not lose a game on the floor until Game 3 of the West Division Finals against the Fergus Thistles.
In the 2015 Meredith Cup Finals, the Six Nations Warriors would meet East Division champion Peterborough Lakers, who swept the series in three-games: 10-7, 10-3 and 9-4.
Jr. B REBELS — FOUNDERS CUP
The Six Nations Jr. B Rebels have already finished the regular season in first place overall and will hope to seek redemption in Nanaimo BC by returning the Founders Cup to Six Nations. The Rebels strung four Cups together in 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014, and they were also Cup winners in 2007 and 2008. The Orangeville Northmen have won it the past two seasons.
The Rebels are the odds-on favourites to win the trip to the August 13 to 19, Founders Cup Championship series held on the Allegheny Territory of the Seneca Nation in Salamanca, New York this year.
- A ARROWS — MINTO CUP
The Minto Cup is already in the hands of the Six Nations Jr. A Arrows after defeating the Coquitlam Adanacs in three straight games last year. It will not be given up without a fight if it is given up at all. But it is a much younger and inexperienced Arrows this year having lost many stars to overage at the end of last season. With a much younger team this year, the Arrows have to work a little harder this year, but is up to the task.
SR. B RIVERMEN — PRESIDENTS CUP
The Sr. B Presidents Cup slipped out of the hands of the Six Nations Rivermen after winning the award in 2015. The Rivermen would love to turn last season’s silver medal performance into gold for 2018. What the Rivermen may lack in speed, is more than made up for with experience and raw talent. The St. Albert Miners have captured the Cup the last two seasons.
MAJOR SERIES CHIEFS — MANN CUP
The Six Nations Chiefs bring their history and their power to this year’s campaign and should they win the league championship will get with it a berth in the 2018 Mann Cup playoffs. The Chiefs last won the Cup in 2016 by defeating the Maple Ridge Barrards, four games to one. They also lifted the Cup in 2013 and 2014. Last season the Peterborough Lakers won it.
The Six Nations Pro-Fit Chiefs have not had an auspicious start to the Major Series Lacrosse season but have shown signs of life as of late, taking back-to-back wins from Cobourg and Brooklin. But this is the Chiefs and even with a 3-4-0 record going into Tuesday night’s game, the Chiefs will be a factor by playoff time, guaranteed.
This year’s Chiefs are one year older and some of their brightest stars may have faded a bit since the 2016 Mann Cup season, but if experience means anything, the Chiefs will only get stronger as the regular season unfolds.