This past weekend had everything for the lacrosse lover! Drama, excitement, athleticism, and intensity were on display all weekend long in two seperate championships. History was made at the Mann Cup, and the Premier Lacrosse League crowned a new champion.
The Mann Cup:
The Stanley Cup of Lacrosse was held in Peterborough, Ontario from September 9 to 17th. A grueling best of seven series was played in nine nights, with the Peterborough Lakers winning 4 games to 3 over the Langley Thunder, winning the championship. Langley had jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the series, winning the first two games (15-11, & 15-14 in double overtime).
Game two wasn’t without controversy. Since there isn’t video review in summer ball, whatever the call on the floor is, is FINAL. The controversy was on the tying goal scored by Langley which was deemed in the net at 0:00.1, but many claimed it had gone in just after time had expired. Langley was awarded the goal, and went on to win the game in overtime.
Peterborough stormed back with three convincing victories (12-6, 15-12, & 10-5). Game six seemed to be just a formality for the Lakers to win the series and the Cup. Langley had other ideas. From the midway point of the first period the Thunder took over the game, coasting to a 9-4 victory thus tying the best of seven series 3-3.
What was on the line? Peterborough was trying to win their fourth consecutive Mann Cup, which hadn’t been achieved since the Peterborough Timbermen did it from 1951-54. The Langley Thunder were trying to be the first western team to win the cup in the East in 36 years.
Peterborough jumped out to a 7-3 lead in the first period, and looking like they were going to run away with the game. However, the Thunder put together a strong second period, even briefly taking the lead. The game was tied 9-9 heading to the third period, everything came down to just twenty minutes of play. Peterborough stormed out scoring three times in five minutes to take a commanding lead. The Lakers defense, led by veterans Paul Dawson, Robert Hope, Chad Tutton, and Ian Llord were spectacular, not allowing Langley to get clear looks. They blocked passing lanes, and shooting lanes, blanking the Thunder the entire period.
Peterborough completed the four-peat, winning game seven 13-9, and the Mann Cup Series 4-3.
The Premier Lacrosse League (PLL) Championship:
On Sunday, September 18th at Subaru Park in Chester, Pennsylvania, the PLL held their championship with the Waterdogs vs. Chaos.
Chaos was the defending champions, even though their regular season was forgettable, everything seemed to come together for Chaos in the playoff rounds making them all but unbeatable. With stars like Dhane Smith, Josh Byrne, Chris Cloutier, Challen Rogers, as well as Blaze Riorden in net, this team had the horsepower to easily repeat as champions.
The Waterdogs were the league’s first expansion team, joining the league in 2020. Their first year was forgettable, but last year were able to make it as far as the semi-finals. Michael Sowers, Jake Withers, Kieran McArdle, Zach Currier, as well as Dillon Ward in net, were hungry to dethrone the champions.
To The Game:
Although Chaos jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first, the Waterdogs settled down to tie the game 5-5 by halftime. The third quarter had the Waterdogs jump out to a 9-5 lead never looking back. Led by Kieran McArdle (2g, 2a), Ryan Conrad (3g,0a), Michael Sowers (2g,1a), and Connor Kelly (2g,0a), the Waterdogs emerged victorious 11-9, winning the PLL Championship, thus crowning a new champion in their brief four year history.
Lacrosse fans were in their glory, with the best of Box, and Field lacrosse crowning champions in the same weekend, to finish off the summer season.
Now for the countdown to the National Lacrosse League (NLL) season, which starts December 2nd. Stay Tuned!
Don’t forget to check us out every Sunday night at 9pm (ET)
Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.
An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game 10 years ago. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob had an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.
Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.
In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.
Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).
Mr. Groob also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.
Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.