Thunder force Game 7 for Mann Cup
Frank Scigliano made 49 saves on 53 shots as the Langley Thunder forced a seventh and deciding game in the Mann Cup championships with a 9-4 game six victory over the Peterborough Lakers on Friday night at the Peterborough Memorial Centre. Gary Ahuja Langley Thunder photo
The two best words in sports: Game seven. And for a bonus, the winner will take the Mann Cup championship.
Facing a must-win game to extend the best-of-seven series, the Langley Thunder delivered a masterful performance as they won game six by a 9-4 score over the Peterborough Lakers at the Peterborough Memorial Centre on Friday night.
The two teams will decide the Canadian senior A lacrosse national championship on Saturday night with a 7:00pm (4:00pm PST) start time.
Goaltender Frank Scigliano was lights out in the Thunder net, stopping 49 of 53 shots as the Lakers outshot Langley 53-48.
“We stuck to our game plan and Frankie was an absolute brick wall and our defence really rallies around him and the stuff he preaches and the shots he wants to see,” said Langley captain Connor Robinson. ”Anytime you let in four goals in a lacrosse game, let alone a senior game, let alone a Mann Cup game – the pinnacle of Canadian lacrosse … he was unbelievable.”
“And offensively, we kept the ball hot, we got it going and everyone touched the ball, everyone was getting looks, getting points, and the ball was finding the back of the net.”
“We played an almost perfect elimination game. Our backs against the wall, we lose, we are done … (we) really stepped up,” aid Langley coach Rod Jensen.
Dylan Kinnear scored on the game’s first shot 27 seconds into game six and aside from a brief 1-1 tie, the Thunder led the rest of the way, up 4-2 after one period and 7-3 after 40 minutes. Peterborough would go 22:19 without a goal from midway through the middle frame and the final stanza, before finally scoring their fourth with 9:48 to play.
Dane Dobbie (four goals, two assists) and Curtis Dickson (one goal, five assists) led the Thunder offence with six-point games while Kinnear had a hat trick and four points. Robert Church set up five goals while Robinson had three assists. Thomas Vaesen had the other goal for Langley.
Holden Cattoni led the Lakers with a goal and two assists while Kiel Matisz (one goal, one assist), Taite Cattoni (one goal) and Shawn Evans (one goal) had the other goals for Peterborough.
Evans – the all-time leading scorer in Mann Cup history – left the game favouring his leg and did not return.
“He’s the guy, especially on the right-side, who stirs the drink for us, so it was a little bit of an adjustment trying to figure out who is going to do what (in his absence),” said Peterborough coach Mike Hasen.
Similar to Langley’s game one victory, Hasen felt his team was on their heels and did not respond, losing loose-ball battles and making a few mental mistakes.
This sets up a massive game seven on Saturday night with Peterborough looking for a fourth consecutive Mann Cup title while a Langley victory would mark the first Mann Cup in their organization’s history.
“We have a special group of guys and we are just not done playing lacrosse. We love this game and we came here for a reason; we sacrificed a lot coming to Ontario to compete for such a prestigious trophy. Our backs were against the wall and we responded on the floor,” Robinson said.
Matt Vinc made 39 saves for the Lakers as both goaltenders earned their teams’ respective Player of the Game Awards.