Brooklin Redmen bow out in four straight to Chiefs
WHITBY — It seemed like it was over before it began.
The Brooklin Redmen had their 2013 Major Series Lacrosse season come to an anticlimactic end Monday at the Iroquois Park Sports Centre, falling 9-7 to the Six Nations Chiefs and bowing out in four straight games of the Ontario final.
It was the best game of the four for the Redmen, who never seemed to recover from a gruelling seven-game semifinal win over the Peterborough Lakers, the 2012 Mann Cup champions.
“I built this team to beat Peterborough and we accomplished that, but Six Nations got in the way,” said Wayne Colley, head coach and general manager of the Redmen. “They came out with all guns ablazing, and tightened up defensively. I thought I did my homework well on them, but they got a quick start. We had a seven-game series and they had only four, so they got the rest, they got to watch, they got to pick us apart and it took us a while to regroup.”
The Redmen were manhandled 12-7, 11-5 and 8-4 in the first three games, before showing some fight in their final home game, played before a crowd of about 600 in Whitby.
After falling behind 2-0 early, the Redmen responded with four unanswered goals and fought tooth and nail until the end, taking another lead when Mike Melnychenko made it 7-6 early in the third period.
But Roger Vyse tied the game on a goal Redmen goalie Zach Higgins would surely like to have back, and Cody Jamieson drove home the final nails with goals at the 12:24 and 14:21 marks of the third.
Jamieson also scored the first two goals of the game, set up a pair and finished the playoffs with 36 points in eight games to earn him most valuable player honours.
As strong as Jamieson was, the Chiefs were perhaps more impressive defensively, where their tenacious checkers and goalie Evan Kirk limited the Redmen to just 23 goals.
“They are smart and when you do get a good shot, they got good goaltending at the right time of the year,” said Colley. “I can’t say enough about their whole team.”
Melnychenko had four points to lead the Redmen, while Shawn Williams and Jake Hayes each scored twice.
Williams ended up with a playoff-high 43 points in 11 games and, combined with his 103 points in 20 regular season games, had the most in the league overall this season.
The Chiefs now advance to the best-of-seven Mann Cup national championship Sept. 6-14 in British Columbia against the Western Lacrosse Association champion, either the Victoria Shamrocks or Langley Thunder.