By Todd Vandonk
If the first three games of the Mann Cup are any indication of how the series is going to play out, the
Peterborough Lakers and Langley Thunder appear to be going the distance.
The Lakers got back into the best-of-seven series Monday (Sept. 10) with a 14-10 victory at the Memorial Centre. The Thunder lead the series 2-1 with game four scheduled for Wednesday (Sept. 12) at the Memorial Centre. The Thunder appeared to be on their way to a commanding 3-0 series advantage after breaking a 7-7 tie to open the final stanza, but the Lakers had an answer, scoring six-straight goals, including three
goals within 20 seconds, on their way to victory.
“We were waiting for them to bust out and they did. Their whole team elevated their game,” says Thunder head coach Rod Jensen.
“They have a lot of forces and power to get it done.”
For the first time in the series, the Thunder took a lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes, as they opened the affair with three goals on their first seven shots, forcing Lakers head coach Jamie Batley
to pull Tyler Carlson in goal and replace him with Mike Thompson.
“Mike played a great game and we got good goaltending tonight,” explains Batley.
Thompson was solid in relief, making 23 saves in the contest, in which the Lakers outshot the Thunder 53-37. Batley says the outcome was
different because of better defence and goaltending.
“We didn’t really change much,” he explains.
“I just think we rallied as a team and played better defensively.”
Both coaches agree that all three games could have gone either way with game’s one and two decided by one goal and game three tied headed into the third period. Jensen says his club might have got ahead of
themselves with the chance to go up 3-0.
“Maybe we got thinking that we were going to be up 3-0 and we didn’t get
it done but hats off to them because they out played us,” he says.
Shawn Evans paced the Lakers in game three with a goal and five helpers, while John Grant jr. and Jordan MacIntosh each had hat tricks. Mark Steenhuis had a pair for the Lakers, while Tracey Kelusky, Corey Vitarelli, Brad Self, John Tavares and Scott Evans had one goal apiece. Athan Iannucci had four goals for the Thunder, while Tor Reinholdt and Alex Turner had two goals apiece. Lewis Ratcliff and Matt Leveque rounded out the Thunder scoring with one goal each.
The Langley Thunder have taken a commanding lead on the best-of-seven Mann Cup series after an exciting 15-14 overtime victory against the Peterborough Lakers in game two on Sunday at Memorial Centre in Peterborough, Ont.
The Thunder came out on top to take a 2-0 series lead that puts the senior lacrosse team closer to winning the coveted cup.
Coming into the best-of-seven Mann Cup series, not many people gave the Thunder a chance at winning its first senior A title in franchise history.
Up against a veteran Peterborough Lakers squad, that’s trying to win its fifth Mann Cup in 10 years, even Thunder’s coach Rod Jensen played down his club, making the Thunder’s game one 13-12 victory at the Memorial Centre (Sept. 7) somewhat of a surprise.
Thunder’s Garrett Billings led all scorers with a 10-point night in the second game on Sunday, including three goals and seven assists, while Athan Ianucci chipped in with a seven-point performance for the Thunder. Joel McCready had a three-goal night.
The Lakers looked liked they were in command of the game, building a four goal lead with five minutes to play in the second period, but the Thunder scored four unanswered goals before the period ended and tied the game 8-8 after 40 minutes.
“When Peterborough gets up on four goals on anyone it is usually over, so I am pretty proud of the guys for battling back,” explained Thunder head coach Rod Jensen.
The Lakers tried to pull away from the Thunder again at the start of the third period, scoring three straight goals to open the final stanza, but yet again the Thunder showed that they’re a relentless bunch, erasing the deficit again with three-straight goals of their own.
The Thunder finally saw their fist lead of the game in overtime, outscoring the Lakers 3-2 in extra time to earn the victory.
“They have a pack of wolves mentality and keep battling through. Could you ever face more adversity than being down to Peterborough in the Mann Cup?,” Jensen asks.
In the second game, the Lakers best player John Grant Jr. had to be helped off the floor after a leg injury. It’s unknown if he will play in game three. Next game went Monday night after press deadline.Files from reporter Todd Vandonk of Peterborough This Week