2009 OLA Final Six A Great Display Of Lacrosse

It was a long three days with all teams starting out Friday morning, but on Sunday afternoon and early evening three new Gold medal Champions were crowned to cap off another Minor Lacrosse Season in Ontario.  So what I will do is comment on each division and winners.

Peewee

I think I said or at least implied in my predictions that they were the “most sure” of the contenders to come through, and the Whitby Warriors # 1 team did not disapppoint. But what I did not mention is that they would get the scare of their lives in the Final against Mimico. Whitby won 4-1, but it was anything but a 4-1 game. The high powered offense that the Warriors showed all season, was held scoreless for the first period of the final, and it wasn’t until almost six minutes into the second period that they got their first. Mimico played a very inspired game and were not simply pleased to be there; they played to win. Up 2-1 about halfway through the 3rd period, Whitby took a 4 minute penalty, but was able to kill it off, thanks in part to some very aggressive man short play and great goaltending. They added a 3rd goal shortly after the penalty expired and added their fourth into an empty net. Kudos to Mimico on a great effort beating Brampton in the semi final and then their showing in the final. And of course, to the young Warriors, hats off to a perfect ending to their great season.

I also have to congratulate Brampton on winning the Bronze. They got by Whitby # 2 5-4 in another thriller (I was running between the two pads as the games were on at almost the exact same time). I am sure they were not pleased being ousted from the final by Mimico, but they re-grouped and got by a stubborn Whitby # 2. Speaking if the # 2 kids from Whitby, what can you say. They can hold their heads high, knowing that they are the # 2 team from a center, and are also the 4th best team in the Province for their age bracket. An absolutely huge accomplishment for these kids. I also thought it was a true show of support seeing one of the brightest stars from Whitby # 2 come running up into the stands, his face and body still soaked from the game he just played to watch the last five or so minutes of the “A” final, cheering on his mates from his same home town.

Bantam

Okay, so I was completely wrong in my predictions (but I am still living at home….happily). However, I will take credit for saying that the calculator would be needed (Right Here – read right before my predictions) as it was. Guelph, Halton Hills, Whitby and West Durham on Saturday night were all looking at who had to do what for their team to advance. Whitby was sitting pretty with a huge win over Guelph in the afternoon. They had to beat Mimico and they had a first place finish and would head straight to the final. But they followed that great effort up with a 7-4 loss to Mimico (Mimico`s only win of the weekend), thus putting them down in fourth based on the formula. West Durham defeated Halton (2-1) and then played Halton again on Sunday morning in the semis. Second time around, the Bulldogs got the better of the Rock (3-2) and Halton would look to avenge their 6-1 round robin loss to Guelph on Friday, in the final. But as Guelph has done all season, they played a very aggressive defense, and relied on their two big guns who play a lot.

Congratulations to the Guelph Regals on a well deserved 5-3 win and the Bantam crown. And to Halton Hills, they showed their true character in both games Sunday, putting up a great effort. The bronze medal game saw Whitby defeat West Durham 5-4 in a close game between the two zone six foes. And lastly, I do have to give props to Kitchener who lost their Captain early on Friday and could never quite get back on track, and also to Mimico, who played spoiler for the Whitby group. Goalie Cameron (sorry I did not get your last name), approached me and asked to be mentioned here. He did not play at all in the qualifiers (he backed up), but started the game against Whitby and played quite stellar in net.

Midget

Well I picked the winner, but similar to above, I was not even close. Six Nations was the class of the five round robin games going 3-0-2 and getting the trip to the final. And I have to be honest, I did not see much of the Midget action at all over the weekend, but Orangeville grabbed second place, while Akwesasne took third and Whitby fourth. These four seedings were a little different than how they qualified, but it was suggested by many that anything could happen, and it did. In the semi final, Orangeville got by Akwesasne 10-4, and proceeded to win the big one over Six Nations 9-6. Whitby in the Bronze medal game defeated Akwesasne 5-4. Congrats to Orangeville on the big win, as well as to Six Nations, Whitby, and Akwesasne.

A Few Notes / Comments

There was a real buzz around the arena today, with many questioning why there was not a second semi final game. I guess I have to throw my hat into that ring as well and ask why. In my opinion, it was a clear disadvantage to the 2nd and 3rd place teams having to play that one extra game on Sunday morning, while 1st and 4th waited. Of the six teams involved in the semi final games this morning only Brampton (Peewee Bronze) and Orangeville (Midget Gold) won their second game. I am not sure I am in agreement with that. In my opinion, either have two semi final games (1v4, 2v3), or none at all and 1 plays 2 in the final, 3 plays 4 for the Bronze. It levels the playing field for all. Definitley something I would encourage the OLA have a look at.

Secondly, and I am not sure I heard this right, so if I did not, I apologize. After the Bantam final the Final Six All-Star team was announced. However, in the names of the players that made the “Final Six All-Star team”, two of the mentioned players were from teams that did not qualify to be in the final six. No disrespect to these players (they are definitely All-Stars), but if this is the final six All-star team, should it not be players and goalies from the teams that participated in these games only?

Anyway, it was a great weekend, a great job by all of the volunteers, Brampton was a great host city, and congrats to all of the teams for a fabulous display of lacrosse.

As always, your comments are welcomed, and if someone knows Cameron, tell him to let me know his last name!

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15 Comments

  1. It was a fantastic weekend. Brampton did a great job as hosts.

    In my opinion, the 2 vs 3 positioning game is the way to go. Finishing first should get you something. If you don’t finish in that spot you should have to prove that you are the best team and overcome the disadvantage of playing an extra game. The only suggestion I would have is that the loser of the positioning game should get the bronze.

    • Marksy, you may recall 2 years ago when our fellas were in Peewee, Oakville finished 4th and that was the end of the line, the loser of the positioning game got bronze. So, I am glad that the 4th place team now still has a chance for a medal, but I agree with you, the advantage of finishing 1st should be that you get to play the 4th place team, even though at that point the top 4 teams are all very close. Agin, citing 2 years ago, all 3 teams that finished first rested while the positioning game went on, and then all 3 gold medal finals were not close, I thought at the time it was too much of an advantage to get the rest. However, it seems this year it was not so, as the games were close and one of the resting teams lost, so whadda I know??

      • 1st place gets the bye, 2nd & 3rd play with the winner going to the gold game(same as this year), and the loser(new) going to the bronze game to play the winner of 4th & 5th place. so nobody gets a bye/rest except for the 1st place team as you still want the round-robin to mean something. you would only be adding 1 extra game that could’ve been played on the 2nd pad while the 2nd & 3rd place teams play. just a thought!!

  2. Just to clarify in Midget, Orangeville was 2nd after round robin play and Akessasnee was 3rd.

    • Thanks minorlax, corrected the post!

  3. For your comments on the All-Star team selection, it is based on the qualifiers, not the final 6. They just get honoured at the final 6.

  4. Thanks for clarifying laxfan. It just confused me when I heard it announced as the final six all-star team.

  5. Are you easily confused ??

  6. Probably one of the best final 6 I’ve watched in sometime, all the games were back and forth with lots of upsets. All those that played should be very proud of their performance.

    I’d be interested to hear players/coaches comments on the officiating, more importantly what can the OLA do to improve it. Seems alot of the older refs have left and are being replaced with younger ones.

    I’ll probably get bashed for this one but I would have like to have seen the Whitby coaches step up at the end of the Bronze and tell the refs that yes indeed the ball hit the rafters with 7 seconds left instead of taking the win with time still left on the clock. We all get bad calls against us, its part of the game. But in a medal round..if it was me I’d want to win outright. Although WD may not have got a shot off on the turnover, it would have been a good show of sportsmanship to at least see what could have happened. All in all a great weekend and a great showing of some quality lacrosse.

  7. Well now I must chime in haces. I was at that game as my son is the Whitby goalie. And I am not going to bash you, I’m just going to state what I saw (and it is not through my Whitby goggles).

    Yes indeed the ball went into the rafters. However, back up to the play and here is what really happened. Whitby was granted posession in their own crease with 10.7 seconds left on the clock. The whistle blew and after a Whitby timeout, Mike Panowyk, # 8, stood in his crease close to 3 seconds before exiting the laft side of the crease. He then ran about 10-12 steps left out of his crease and up to the faceoff circle in the Whitby end and launched the ball into the air where it hit the rafters just past center floor right in front of the West Durham bench. I was in the crowd and watched it all happen, so please do not state inaccurate info (i.e. 7 seconds).

    At that point there were between 3.0 – 3.5 seconds on the clock and the timekeeper let it run out, as neither ref had blown their whistle (they did not know where the ball was).

    So here is my question. Is it up to any Coach to “tell the refs” as you say to put time back on the clock? Sure it was wrong and an error was made. But it is not up to the Coach to put time back on the clock. He doesn’t have the authority even if he did tell them to do it.

    We will never know what would or could have happened, but it was nowhere near 7 seconds. Mike was just getting out of his own crease at 7 seconds.

    • 🙂 I knew I’d get it. was still a great game, but would really like the officiating to step up next season. I’d love to see a 3rd ref in the box for all tournament and qualifier/provincial games. By far my fav call was the WD HH game when HH got to call 2 time outs in semi finals yet only 1 allowed. The response was, “sorry we made a mistake”

      Yes maybe it was more like 3 seconds, but 2 refs, 1 should have been watchin the ball. See you all next season

  8. and to answer your question, my view is its up to the coaches (all coaches) to complain when a call goes against them but to also point out when a call isn’t made. Kids learn from the coaches, good traits and bad. My frustration was more from the fact that nothing was said by Whitby, regardless if it woudl have changed anything. A quick “ya that was a missed call” might have prevented the clash at the end, no one likes to see a great game between 2 strong and competitive teams end that way

  9. It was a fun Final 6 to be at, but a disappointing way to end the season for my team. After many triumphs in this teams history, and having lots of potential, we ended up choking (some say because of a short bench, or because of who was injured). I was hoping for more, but it didn’t come.

    Anyways, congrats to Orangeville and 6Nations on the great Gold game, it was very close until the 3rd period.

  10. This is my first final 6 ever, as player and coach. What can I say about my boys from Mimico PeeWee… talking to a bunch of people they all told us “we picked you and whitby in the finals” it was great to hear from people we have no idea who they are… one woman even came up to us and said “ive been around the OLA for a very long time and i have never seen any mimico team play as well as you guys did against brampton” in the semis”… i must congratulate whitby for their win against us in the finals… we almost had you guys, a few bounces our way and it would have been a wholllle different story….

    as for the reffing situation… you know what, it wasnt the best, but it was the best we have had all season… a few bad calls against us, but a few bad calls that werent called. all in all, a great weekend… and kudos to the best parents in the league… Mimico parents are the best tailgaters in the league…

  11. Mimico Goalie’s name is Cameron Cliff, that’s what my game sheets say.


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