Photo Credit: Darryl Smart/SN Chiefs
When GM/Assistant Coach Duane Jacobs of the Six Nations Chiefs assembled the team for the 2014 season; he knew he wasn’t building a team for the regular season; but a team that would shine in the playoffs.
One of the team’s largest hurdles being they had 6 players participating at the World Lacrosse Championships in Denver, at the halfway point of the season.
Finishing in the last playoff spot of the regular season they went on to defeat the #1 ranked Brooklin Redmen in 5 games.
Currently they are enjoying a two-game cushion over the #2 ranked Peterborough Lakers (whose offense is headed by back-to-back MLL Championship Game MVP John Grant Jr., Mark Steenhuis and Shawn Evans; the defense by Scott Self, Andrew Suitor and Stephen Hoar; Matt Vinc in the Cage).
Game 1: Lakers 9 Chiefs 7
Game 1 made it look like this series was going to be all Lakers; whom easily could have finished 1st in the regular season but were disciplined by the league for playing Scott Evans who had not completely served a suspension from the year prior; resulting in the loss of points from 3 wins.
The Lakers took the first game 9-7 thanks to an incredible John Grant performance accumulating 3 goals and 7 points. Chad Culp netting the goal that tied the game and the eventual winner.
Game 2: Chiefs 8 Lakers 5
In the second round, it looked like it was going to be more of the same as the Lakers held the upper edge for the first 2 ½ periods. However as seen multiple times this season, the Six Nations Chiefs explode in the 3rd to come from behind and win the contest; putting up some impressive numbers!
While the Lakers entered the 3rd up by 2; the Chiefs’ offense became unstoppable scoring 5 goals in 3 minutes and 33 seconds.
Jesse Gamble put in the game-winner and the insurance goal; the Chiefs tied the series winning 8-5.
Game 3: Chiefs 9 Lakers 5
Now in Peterborough, the Chiefs’ offense lead by Jeff Shattler, Cody Jamieson, Colin Doyle, Kasey Beirnes and newcomer Vaughn Harris kept it rolling scoring 5 goals in the 1st; 4 unanswered.
In the 2nd the Lakers went on a 3 goal run of their own; however the Chiefs answered back with a 4 goal run in the 3rd; winning the game 9-5.
Game 4: Chiefs 9 Lakers 7
The Chiefs’ O went straight back to work in Game 4 scoring 5 goals in the 1st; to the Lakers 1.
This fast start was eventually the difference in the game that ended 9-7 in the Chiefs favor.
Game 5: TONIGHT!
Game 5 goes tonight in Peterborough at 8pm and if needed game 6 is in Six Nations on Friday.
While the Lakers do have their backs against the wall it would be no surprise to see this series go to Game 7 if the momentum switches tonight.
While it is impossible to stop talking about this highflying Chiefs offense that clearly is peaking in the postseason; one should remember the Chiefs defense that has held a stacked Lakers offense to 7 goals in Games 1 and 4… and an unbelievable 5 goals in Games 2 and 3.
If you were to break this series down by the periods it would be fair to give Peterborough the first 5 ½. But the Chiefs Defense ability to hold the Laker offense to these low scores paid dividends in Game 2 when the offense lit it up, changing the momentum of the series!
When Jacobs was asked what he credited this turnaround to, his reply was simple:
Discipline at both ends of the floor. – Chiefs’ GM/Assistant Coach Duane Jacobs
He also went on to specifically credit the offense for their discipline in getting off the floor which, in turn, buys the defense crucial seconds to set up.
Six Nations will have to be disciplined tonight if they are going to be able to pull off a win in front of a loud packed Peterborough Memorial Arena; which thanks to the areas diehard fans is always sold out!