WINNIPEG, The Canadian Jr. B lacrosse title, the Founders Cup is starting to feel quite at home at Six Nations. The amazing Rebels swept away all comers at the National Championships played in Winnipeg this past week to become the first team in Founders Cup history to win the coveted cup three years in a row. They have now won it six times since 1997 – an amazing feat.
The Rebels secured their place in history with a 17-12 win over the western champs, the Calgary Mountaineers Sunday evening in Winnipeg with Doug Jamieson between the pipes.
The Rebel offense was driven by Zach Williams (2G, 5A), who was selected to the Tournament All-Star Team, and Frank Brown who won the Gold Medal Game’s MVP for his four goals and two assists. Mitch Green also had a fine game with three goals and two assists. Dallas John (2G, 2A) and captain Ian Martin (2G, 2A) also contributed greatly to the Rebels win.
It was not a walk-over as Jamieson had to show his stuff many times making 35 saves to hold off the Mountaineers. He was coming off a rare shutout as the Rebels crushed Quebec 21-0 in the Tournament Quarter Finals at the Norbert Community Centre, Friday.
Around 150 devoted Rebels fans – who have adopted the moniker Rebels Nation – waited patiently in the Six Nations Community Hall parking lot for two hours to welcome the three-time Founders Cup Champions home. A transportation mix up at the airport delayed their planned arrival time to Six Nations, but the fans didn’t seem to mind.
Finally, the sound of Six Nations Fire trucks sirens and flashing lights broke the night to announce that the Rebels were home.
Fans began cheering as two pick up trucks loaded down with Rebel’s players followed close behind.
Patents and loved ones welcomed their champions home with bear hugs and kisses.
Everyone then filed into the Community hall for the official welcome party.
Rookie Rebel’s head coach Murray Porter was ecstatic and proud of his team’s class and discipline throughout the series, but stood aside and let his assistant coaches players and staff have the limelight.
“The players really gelled this year and performed beyond belief,” said team General Manager Wray Maracle. “They never wavered from our game plan.
“It’s really great to see the fan support tonight. They’ve waited two hours to see these guys.”
He then gave thanks to the Six Nations Fire Services for welcoming the team back home by escorting the players’ motorcade.
He also thanked what he called, “The greatest fans anyone could have.”
“Don’t forget these guys,” said goaltending coach Derek General. “They really worked their asses off. They are a part of history now and they will work that much harder to make it four in a row.”
Assistant coach Cam Bomberry took a longer look at what is in store for many of this team as they graduate to higher levels of the game.
“This team will always be competitive,” he said. “I think this team could beat a lot of Jr. A teams and its because of how much hard work these guys do. It’s good to see them come together the way they did. But the majority of these guys grew up playing on the same teams anyhow. That’s how we build the program.”
He anticipates many of his players would eventually be moving on to the Sr. levels and some to the pros.
“That speaks volumes right there,” said Bomberry.
Team president Scott Maracle was emotional as he considered the accomplishment his team has achieved.
“They are a dynasty,” he said. “They worked their buts off for this one. This is history and they really are a great team.”
In the Gold Medal, Championship Game played Sunday evening in Winnipeg, the Rebels methodically built up a two-goal lead in the first period beginning with
Austin Staats’ goal at 4:23, assisted by Ian Martin and Jesse Johnson. Martin made it 2-0 at 8:44 from Jacob Bomberry and Frank Brown.
Calgary’s Luke Trimble brought the Mountaineers into the game at 10:56 but Mitch Green restored the two-goal lead at 13:21.
Zach Williams responded with his first goal of the game from Zed Williams and Brown, 18 seconds later, and Kyle Isaccs added another less than a minute after that from Staats and Rhys Tansley. Mountaineers’ Austin Rockwell closed the period with the Rebels leading 5-3.
Defense was cast to the wind for both teams in the second period as both teams contributed to an 11 goal period.
The Mountaineers came out strong in the second scoring twice to tie the game early in the period, but Six Nations sprung back with three unanswered goals by Zed Williams and two by Frank Brown.
Calgary responded with two before Brown netted his third of the period from
Bo Henhawk at 14:01. Henhawk followed with a goal of his own at 18:03, unassisted. Calgary scored at 18:51 but the Rebels, with possession of the ball in the last seconds of the period put an extra man on the floor which paid off with Dallas John’s goal scored with four seconds remaining to complete 40 minutes of play with the Rebels ahead 11-8.
Calgary goalie Adam Virgo was excellent as the Rebels exploded with 33 shots on the Mountaineer’s goalie in the second period alone. Calgary was out shot 72-42 in the game.
The wild action continued in the third period. After Brett Davis surprised the Rebels 27 seconds into the final frame, unassisted, John reduced the emotional impact of the early goal by responding 23 seconds later from Kessler Doolittle and Jamieson.
Zach Williams recorded what would stand up as the game-winning goal at 2:50 assisted by Green and Doolittle.
The Mountaineers were desperate and pulled out all the stops, scoring at 5:06 and 8:04 to make it a 13-11 game and get them selves into striking distance. But once again, the Rebels showed dominance with goals by Kyle Isaacs and Brown.
Calgary’s last gasp came from Sean Tyrrell who scored at 14:44 to bring the score to 15-12.
Mitch Green put two cherries on top with goals at 19:01 and 19:45. Fifteen seconds later it was party time as sticks and gloves flew in the air and the Rebels proud orange uniforms came together as one in a team victory hug. For the third time in thee years, the Rebels hoisted the Founders Cup for their victory lap and then gathered for their traditional championship picture.
The tournament began and ended with the Calgary Mountaineers.
The Six Nations Jr. B lacrosse dynasty continued to overwhelm opponents as the Six Nations Rebels walked over the Calgary Mountaineers 16-7 in their opening game of the series played Tuesday, August 20
The game was over after the first 20 minutes. Calgary scored first but the Rebels rebounded with six unanswered goals to end the first period leading 6-1. Scoring for Six Nations were
Austin Staats, Mitch Green (2G), Zed Williams, Frank Brown, and Dalton Miller.
The Mountaineers came back with three but Ian Martin notched the final goal of the frame to make it an 11-4 heading into the final session.
It was more of the same in the first half of the second period when the Rebels’ charge continued with goals scored by Dallas John, Jesse Johnson and a pair by Frank Brown. Calgary faced a 10-1 mountain to climb, but that is what the Mountaineers do. Calgary fought back with three consecutive goals before Ian Martin scored from Jacob Bomberry and Austin Staats to end the period leading 11-4.
Calgary continued to chip away at the lead in the third scoring the first three goals of the period. But then the Rebels Dallas John stopped the Calgary attack with a pair of goals. More from Jacob Bomberry, Zed Williams and Austin Staats followed them, for the 16-7 final score.
Game #2 was not a pretty sight for anyone as the Rebels dissected Nova Scotia 23-4. Pretty well everyone except the trainer scored at least one goal in that one.
Thursday night, the Rebels did the same to the Manitoba Selects, trouncing them 18-4 in Game #3.
That set up Game #4 against Quebec in the cross-over round played Friday night, when Six Nations crushed Quebec 21-0 and earned their third shutout in franchise history and first ever at the Founders Cup.
Saturday’s games were to determine who would face whom in Sunday’s Medal Round and the Rebels’ power continued to brush aside all opponents as they hammered the ILA, 22-8, all leading to Sunday’s Gold Medal Game against the Calgary mountaineers.