Would they play, or wouldn’t they? That was the question the lacrosse world waited to have answered on Thursday after game two of the Minto Cup final was cancelled when the referees refused to officiate after the Canadian Lacrosse Association overturned a suspension to Brampton’s star player Jeff Teat stemming from an alleged abuse of official incident in game one on Tuesday night.
First the 3 p.m. deadline passed, then the 4 p.m. deadline. The parties involved talked for a long time to come to a resolution. With two hours until game time optimism was fading for hopes of an agreement. Then, a glimmer of hope. The Brampton Excelsiors’ bus pulled up to Max Bell Arena and the players started making their way to the dressing room. Finally, at 5:35 p.m. a press conference was called and Minto Cup Convenor Ron McQuarrie announced that the tournament would continue. The three-game suspension to head coach Dan Teat would be upheld, while captain Jeff Teat’s suspension was overturned. Referee-in-chief Greg Hart stated that the original four referees would no longer be used; rather, new officials were being brought in to ref the remainder of the series.
With all the off-floor drama subsequently dealt with, it was time for game two. Both teams were all business and it wasn’t until 10:32 of the first period that Coquitlam broke through with a goal from Dylan Foulds. They struck again three minutes later with a goal from William Clayton and exited the first period ahead 2-0.
Jeff Teat would get Brampton started four minutes into the second with a goal that cut the lead to one. The Adanacs, however, would seize momentum and go on a four-goal run capped with Clayton’s third goal of the game giving the Adanacs a 6-1 lead. The Excelsiors were able to score two crucial goals ending Coquitlam’s run and closing the gap to 6-3 at the end of two.
Brampton drew even closer as they opened the third with back-to-back goals from Teat making the score 6-5. The Adanacs replied with a huge goal from Dennon Armstrong giving them a two-goal advantage. The teams would exchange late goals, but it was the Adanacs emerging with the 8-6 victory. The win gives Coquitlam a 2-0 series lead and puts them within one game of capturing the Minto Cup.
Clayton led the Adanacs’ attack with three goals and an assist giving him four points on the night. Christian Del Bianco earned the win stopping 45 of 51 shots.
Brampton’s leading scorer was Clarke Petterson who scored once and assisted on four others while goaltender Steven Orleman stopped 28 of the 35 shots he faced.
Game 3 goes tonight from the Max Bell Centre at 7 p.m. MT.