Peterborough Lakers rally to defeat Victoria Shamrocks in OT


Probably the most impressive statistic in Peterborough, Ont., sports history is the 152 NHL alumni produced by the junior-hockey Petes.

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The second is the 16 Mann Cup Senior 'A' national lacrosse championships won by the Lakers, bested only by the New Westminster Salmonbellies' 24.

So the Peterborough Memorial Centre packs quite a summer-winter punch. It was felt all the way across the country Saturday night at The Q Centre as the Lakers, trailing 9-6 in the third period, rallied for a 12-10 overtime victory against the Victoria Shamrocks to shock what had been a raucous standing-room only crowd of 2,783.

The Lakers and Shamrocks are tied 1-1 in the best-of-seven 2019 Mann Cup final.

Ontario teams have won 12 of the last 13 Mann Cups, a streak broken only by the Shamrocks in 2015. The last three WLA teams to win the Cup have been the Shamrocks in 2015, 2005 and 2003.

The Shamrocks are looking for the 10th Mann Cup title in the franchise's 70th season. The two-time defending champion Lakers, however, showed it's not going to be easy for the guys in green to pry loose that grip Ontario has had on the Cup recently.

Regulation time ended 9-9.

Kiel Matisz scored at 56 seconds of the 10-minute, non sudden death overtime period for Peterborough. Seven-season former Shamrocks scoring star Corey Small tallied at 2:47 and 2018 Shamrocks sniper Joe Resetarits at 5:12 to put the Lakers up by three. Graeme Hossack scored a meaningless goal with eight seconds remaining in overtime for the hosts.

Tyler Pace made it 7-6 for Victoria at 7:56 of the third period. That was followed 26 seconds later on a deft stick move to the short side by rookie Chris Boushy to give the Shamrocks a two-goal advantage. Connor Robinson's second goal of the night increased that to a three goal advantage at 12:26 before Peterborough's veteran standout Shawn Evans scored three consecutive goals to move to third place on the all-time Mann Cup career points list. Evans is on 168 points behind John Grant Jr. (174) and John Tavares (203).

Evans, who seems ever in motion, had an eight-point night to be the Lakers player of the game. Sophomore Tyson Gibson continued his fine play in the final and had two goals and six points as the Robert Morris NCAA Div. 1 field-lacrosse graduate was named Victoria's player of the game.

The two historic franchises began facing-off in the 2019 Canadian Senior 'A' lacrosse final Friday night with the Shamrocks taking Game 1 by a 13-6 count.

The third, fourth and fifth games are Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. All games are taking place in The Q Centre. This is the 13th Mann Cup match-up between Victoria and Peterborough, with the Lakers holding a 7-5 edge, although the Shamrocks won the last meeting in 2015.

The Shamrocks' upstart goaltender Pete Dubenski was again turning into a storyline before the Lakers finally got to him late Saturday night.

"They are going to come out hard in Game 2 and we know it," said Dubenski, before the game.

The Lakers left it late Saturday, but when they did come after Dubenski and the Shamrocks, they did so relentlessly to show why their mantra of the "threepeat" must be taken seriously.

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