OTTAWA, ON (July 11, 2016) – The hometown Six Nations Chiefs used a strong second half to pull away from the visiting Maple Ridge Burrards and win the opening game of the 2016 Mann Cup by a score of 15-8. They now lead the best-of-seven series 1-0.
A Chiefs squad decimated with injuries, missing leading scorers Cody Jamieson and Johnny Powless among others, showed they had enough firepower on the offensive side of the ball to score at will, which they displayed with a 9-0 run spanning the second and third periods.
With the exception of a second period surge, they were able to take advantage of the somewhat sluggish Maple Ridge group, who were no doubt still adjusting to their hostile surroundings after a long and oft-delayed day of travel to Ontario.
“Getting the first win is probably the most important thing you can do in a series,” said Chiefs forward Ethan O’Connor. “The first couple of periods you’re figuring the other team out since you’ve never played them before and it’s a different style of lacrosse out west, so we couldn’t ask for a better start to get the win with all of those unknowns.”
Six Nations built a 5-1 lead after the first period, led by two goals from 18-year-old Austin Staats, who is looking to capture his fourth consecutive Canadian national championships after winning the Founders’ Cup and two Minto Cup’s at the junior level.
“It was a bit of a slow start, not really how we planned,” admitted Burrards forward Mike Mallory in an interview during the first intermission. But his team found their grove to start the middle frame, notching four unanswered goals to tie the game up 5-5.
Lacrosse is after all a game of runs, and the Chiefs illustrated that perfectly in the second half of the frame, scoring four straight goals to get back on top. They continued their offensive output with another five in-a-row to open the final period, giving them a commanding 14-5 lead.
NLL veterans Dan Dawson (4 G), Ryan Benesch (3 G) and Dhane Smith (1 G, 5 A) led the way, while brother’s Randy and Austin Staats’ each contributed with a pair of goals.
With the win, the Chiefs took their first step towards winning their third Mann Cup in four years.
- Players of the Game
- Dan Dawson (Six Nations), Dan Taylor (Maple Ridge)
- JVI Sports Network Three Stars
- 3rd Star: Ryan Benesch, 2nd Star: Dhane Smith, 1st Star: Dan Dawson
All games will be played at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena (3201 Line 2, Ohsweken, ON).
- Game 1: September 9 (Six Nations 15, Maple Ridge 8)
- Game 2: Saturday, September 10 at 8:00PM EST
- Game 3: Monday, September 12 at 8:00PM EST
- Game 4: Tuesday, September 13 at 8:00PM EST
- Game 5: Wednesday, September 14 at 8:00PM EST (*if necessary)
- Game 6: Friday September, 16 at 8:00PM EST (*if necessary)
- Game 7: Saturday September, 17 at 8:00PM EST (*if necessary)