For the third year in a row, the Century 21 Lakers have a date with the Six Nations Chiefs in the MSL final.
The Lakers defeated the Oakville Rock Monday night 6-4 to win their semi-final series four games to two. The Chiefs defeated the Brooklin Redmen also in six games.
“It seems like we can’t get away from playing them,” said Lakers goaltender Matt Vinc.
Each of the past two series between the Lakers and Chiefs have gone the full seven games. In 2014, the Chiefs defeated the Lakers at the Memorial Centre in game seven. They subsequently hosted and won the Mann Cup. Last year, the Lakers beat the Chiefs at the ILA in game seven with Turner Evans breaking a 5-5 tie in the third period. The Lakers won the right to visit the Victoria Shamrocks in British Columbia where they lost the Mann Cup in six games.
The Lakers finished first in the MSL and the Chiefs second, so the Lakers hold home floor advantage for the final. Games 1, 3, 5, and 7 will be at the Mem Centre. Game one is Sunday, August 21, so the Lakers have a few days off to rest and recoup themselves from their hard fought Oakville series.
“We’re expecting this series to go the distance,” Mark Steenhuis said. “We’re going to prepare ourselves. We have to prepare our bodies, have to prepare our minds and get on the right track.
Definitely the last couple games we played against Oakville really helped us getting our mindset where it needs to be.”
The Lakers were 2-1-1 against the Chiefs this season, winning both games at the Memorial Centre. They lost once and tied once at the ILA.
“They’re [in the final] for a reason, they’ve got star power top to bottom,” Vinc said. “We’ve played them tough, we’ve tied them, we’ve had one goal games throughout the regular season. They’re going to be a good team, they’re going to be playing hard and we can’t give them good looks like we did with Oakville and let them get on runs because they have experience. They have a lot of championship guys on their team looking to get another ring on their finger.”
While Oakville was tough, the semi-final was nothing like the final will be. The Chiefs are deeper and more experienced than the Rock were and have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to talent.
“They’re an all star team in any league whether it’s the MSL or NLL,” Steenhuis said. “They have a boatload of talent. They have so much talent, all star guys are sitting in their lineup. It’s going to be physical, it’s going to be rough, its going to be dirty, you know how Lakers against Nations goes.”
Game 1 – Sunday, August 21 7:00pm Peterborough Memorial Centre
Game 2 – Tuesday, August 23 8:00pm Iroquois Lacrosse Arena
Game 3 – Thursday, August 25 8:00pm Peterborough Memorial Centre
Game 4 – Sunday, August 28 7:00pm Iroquois Lacrosse Arena
Game 5 – Tuesday, August 30 8:00pm Peterborough Memorial Centre**
Game 6 – Thursday, September 1 8:00pm Iroquois Lacrosse Arena**
Game 7 – Saturday, September 3 7:00pm Peterborough Memorial Centre**