2007 Field / Box Lacrosse Review

Well a couple of nights ago, the 2007 season officially came to a close with Peterborough’s Lakers capturing the Mann Cup. This capped off a great season here in Ontario that I’d like to capture a few memories of:

Minor Field Lacrosse

Five consecutive weeks right out of the gate saw Novice, Peewee, Bantam and Midget teams across the province competing on various fields each Saturday and/or Sunday. This culminated into the Provincial Finals where the top six teams, three each from the East and West descended on Kitchener, Ontario. Without trying to remember each winner in each division and each level, I will summarize the weekend by two comments. It was a great weekend of lacrosse, but the torrential downpour on Sunday afternoon was the worst I’ve ever been in. It was disgustingly wet, and the only ones that didn’t seem to mind……the kids!

Minor Box Lacrosse

Teams at the Field Provincial Finals had all of four days rest prior to switching cleats to indoor running shoes, with the first tournament of the year the following weekend. The most storied tournament that weekend? The Laker Classic in historic Peterborough, Ontario. What followed was over 60 tournaments over the course of 3 months. Wow, what a summer. The summer lacrosse season was highlighted by the “Ontario Lacrosse Festival” held right here in my hometown in August. The Festival included Provincial Championships for Tyke, Novice, and Peewee as well as a Paperweight Shootout.

I caught pretty much all of these games and was so impressed at the quality of the game across our Province. A very often used term in Pro sports today is “parity”, where any given team can beat any other team on any given day. This is really the case in Minor Lacrosse too folks. At every level I witnessed games that were a real treat and watched calculators get burned out, trying to figure out who went on and who was eliminated.

The Festival also included some National notoriety, with the Peewee and Bantam Canadian Championships. Teams from across Canada came to Whitby to represent their provinces, and represent they did. You know 3 years ago this tournament was somewhat uneventful with Ontario and British Columbia playing in both finals. But fast forward to 2007 where we saw Team Iroquois winning the Bantam, and Team Alberta coming within a game of the final. All the other provinces are vastly improving their game which is great to see for the sport. While many can and will debate the discrepancy between the hotbeds of lacrosse Provinces, and playing others that are not as developed, I have to disagree. I’ve seen this tournament every year of its existence, and can see the improvement across the country. We really are going to see a day when all Provinces have a legitimate shot at winning.

After the Festival the Minor season closed out with the Final Six Championships in Guelph, Ontario, along with the Bantam, Midget, and Intermediate Finals in other locations.

Junior Lacrosse

The Junior lacrosse loop in Ontario was a very interesting one, with the Junior “B” Green Gaels of Clarington going undefeated leaving many to believe that their walk to a Founders Cup was inevitable. However, the Rebels of Six Nations had a little something to say about it and when they ultimately met in the Ontario Final, The Gales not only lost their first game of the season, they did not win one and were swept. Six Nations went on to win the Founders Cup in British Columbia defeating Coquitlam in the final by an 8-2 score.

In Junior “A”, while all teams came into the season with optimism, there were very high hopes in Whitby, Orangeville, and of course Six Nations. The surprise team of the season I would have to say was the Burlington Chiefs, having gone from a team at the bottom of the standings to a playoff team. They played the eventual Minto Cup Champions in the first round, and while they did not win a game, they played them hard and were definitely left with extreme optimism for next season. Whitby did not advance, losing to Six Nations in the semi-finals, and Orangeville played Six Nations after defeating Brampton. Six Nations won the Eastern finals in six games and went West.

In British Columbia, the Arrows made a highly anticipated final against Burnaby Lakers (having lost to them in round robin play). The final was not a real highly entertaining one, unless you are a Six Nations fan, as they dominated and came away with the Minto Cup by a final score of 19-8.

Major Lacrosse

In the 2007 Major Series lacrosse season the perennial power houses were expected to be there in the end and they did not disappoint. In the Eastern finals the Lakers of Peterborough ousted the Brampton Excelsior’s in an exciting six games. Out West, Peterborough continued their dominance winning their 3rd Mann Cup in the past four seasons by defeating the Coquitlam Adanacs in six games.

National Lacrosse League

The 2006-2007 edition of the NLL started our lacrosse season way back in in January.  The Pro’s season completed in May (12th) when the Rochester Knighthawk’s won their second (thanks Shuster) Champions Cup 13-11 against the Arizona Sting. What made this win more impressive was that it was in front of Arizona’s home fans at Jobing.com arena.

So now we sit and wait for December 27th, 2007.  What is that you say?  Game one of the 2007-2008 NLL Season, and many of us are already counting the days.

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4 Comments

  1. Just wanted to let you know that it was Rochester’s 2nd NLL title. The first came in 1997.

    I have been counting down to the NLL season since May 12; however, with the Redmen’s poor performance this summer in MSL, I am now looking forward to their season next year. They will be hungry to erase all memories (except for Williams record breaking effort) from this season.

  2. What about U16 and U19 Marksy? Can’t leave out the boys that play in the snow and hail during the fall season, or the annual trip to Ithica, NY by most U19 teams. Or the growing number of Winter U19 houseleagues and such running either box or field.

  3. Hey Marksy!

    No word on our National Champions from Labour Day weekend? Both the U19 and U16 teams won their National titles respectfully. Congrats to the boys!!!

  4. Sorry that would be the Oshawa Blue Knights teams!!


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