Peterborough Back-to-Back Mann Cup Champs

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    Peterborough Sweeps Maple Ridge to Win Back-to-Back Mann Cup Titles.Photo by @warriorlax (Twitter)
    The host Peterborough Lakers earned an 11-8 victory last night to complete a four-game sweep of the visiting Maple Ridge Burrards and win the 2018 Mann Cup, their second consecutive Canadian Senior A box lacrosse national championship title.
    The win gave the Peterborough franchise its 16th Mann Cup title, which includes ten under the Lakers moniker (2018, 2017, 2012, 2010, 2007, 2004, 1984, 1982, 1973 and 1966). The defending champion Lakers were hosting the best-of-seven series for the first time since 2012.
    The Burrards were competing in their second Mann Cup series in three years. They fell 4-1 to the Six Nations Chiefs in 2016.
    Hometown hero Shawn Evans’ led the series in scoring with 24 points (3g, 21a) on his way to winning his sixth Mann Cup. He was named the championship’s most valuable player, becoming only the fourth player to win the Mike Kelley Award three separate times (2018, 2017, 2010) and the first to do so with the same team.
    Evans’, who started this year’s series with 35 goals and 99 assists for 134 points, climbed his way up the Mann Cup record books with his MVP performance. By the time it was done, he had surpassed John Tavares (111) for first in all-time assists with 120 and jumped over Colin Doyle (137) and Dan Dawson (138) for fourth in all-time points, and now sits behind only Geordie Dean (161), John Grant Jr. (174) and Tavares (203).
    The opening game of the series was an absolute barn burner, with Peterborough’s Adam Jones scoring in sudden death double-overtime to give his team a 14-13 win and 1-0 series lead.
    Down 10-5 after the second period, Maple Ridge scored six unanswered goals to claw their way back and take an 11-10 lead, before Thomas Hoggarth tied things up for the Lakers at the 15:21 mark of the third period to force overtime. The Burrards scored the first two overtime goals, but the Lakers answered with two of their own to force a sudden death second overtime period. Jones scored at the 4:42 mark to put an end to a thrilling game.
    The Lakers won the second game of the series in lopsided fashion, defeating the Burrards 10-1 to take a 2-0 series lead.
    Mike Mallory scored the game’s opening goal for Maple Ridge, but it would be only one his team would score before being shut down by a strong Peterborough defense. Holden Cattoni (3g, 1a) and Turner Evans (2g, 2a) helped facilitate ten straight goals for the Lakers, while goaltender Matt Vinc stopped 30 of 31 shots, coming one save short of a shutout.
    The Burrards effort in the third game of the series was much better, but they were once again unable to solve a stingy Peterborough defense, falling 11-6 and giving the Lakers a commanding 3-0 series lead.
    Evans paced the offence with eight assists, while Kyle Buchanan (3g, 3a), Cory Vitarelli (4g, 0a) and Zach Currier (2g, 0a) were the top goal scorers. Former Laker Curtis Dickson (1g, 3a), who capture the 2017 Mann Cup with Peterborough last season, led Maple Ridge with four points.
    Maple Ridge put forth a tremendous effort with the series on the line in the fourth game, but three straight goals from Peterborough in the third period put the game out of reach and helped the hometown Lakers claim their second consecutive Mann Cup with an 11-8 win.
    Jean-Luc Chetner scored for the Burrards in the opening minutes of the final frame to tie the game at 8-8, but the Lakers responded with a pair of goals from Cattoni (2g, 1a) and a single from Jones (2g, 2a) to pull away. Peterborough captain Robert Hope scored an empty netter in the dying minutes to seal the deal and send the crown into a frenzy.
    Evans led the tournament with 24 points (3g, 21a), while teammate Kyle Buchanan wasn’t far behind with 22 points (4g, 18a) of his own. Peterborough’s Cory Vitarelli and Adam Jones were the top goal scorers, finding the back of the net nine and eight times, respectively. Meanwhile, Ben McIntosh (5g, 10a) and Curtis Dickson (6g, 8a) were the top scorers for Maple Ridge.
    Matt Vinc and Evan Kirk split time between the pipes for the Lakers, with both finishing with a 2-0 record. Vinc was the top goaltender statistically speaking, finishing with a 4.49 goals against average .888 save percentage.

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