Chiefs Take Commanding Lead on Lakers

The Six Nations Chiefs took a three games to one lead over the Peterborough Lakers Monday night with a 9-7 Game Four win at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Hagersville. The Chiefs, the defending Mann Cup Champions, can clinch the series Tuesday night.

As in their previous two games, the Chiefs jumped out to an early first period lead, up 5-1 after the opening frame. Jeff Shattler scored first for Six Nations before Andrew Suitor tied it for the Lakers. After that, the Chiefs went on one of their patented rushes, which Matt Vinc has been unable to put a stop on. Cody Jamieson (twice), Craig Point and Tom Montour all scored within a three and a half minute span.

The Chiefs took a 6-1 lead 7:25 into the second period, from Roger Vyse, before John Grant Jr. scored two in a row for the visitors. Vyse picked up his second of the game to give Six Nations a 7-3 lead after the second. Brad Self appeared to score for the Lakers at the buzzer into an empty net, but the goal was blown down as being after the buzzer.

The Lakers went on a short run of their own early in the third period, with goals from Grant, Adam Jones (although it was credited to Matt Crough), and Chad Culp to close the gap to 7-6. Craig Point and Kasey Beirnes stopped the Lakers momentum and restored a three-goal lead for the Chiefs with the next two goals. Grant scored his fourth goal of the game at 17:30, but some bad luck for the Lakers on possession calls following the goal killed any chances of a further comeback.

The Chiefs were 2-for-8 on the power play, one goal coming while the Lakers Shawn Evans was in the box serving an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Brother Scott Evans was a healthy scratch for the game due to undisciplined play in game three. The Lakers were 0-for-6 on the power play. Penalties in this game were fairly even, although the Lakers lost control at the end of the game, with Shawn Evans (roughing, slashing) and Tracey Kelusky (roughing) ending up serving minors in the last minute of play. Matt Crough was also assessed a two and 10 for tossing a white towel onto the floor during the play.

In desperation, the Lakers called for an equipment check of Evan Kirk’s pads with :15 seconds left to play. If Kirk had been found to have illegal pads, he would have had to adjust to new ones prior to Tuesday’s game. However, Kirk was cleared to return to play and the Lakers were served with a delay of game penalty.

If the Lakers are to stop the Chiefs, they will need to prevent them from going on scoring runs. They have an experienced defense corps, which includes MSL defenseman of the year Scott Self.

Key players missing were Mark Steenhuis for the Lakers, who is on a family vacation, and faceoff specialist Vaughn Harris for the Chiefs.