The Langley Thunder are on the brink of elimination as the host Peterborough Lakers are one win away from a fourth consecutive championship.
The Lakers scored six minutes into game five and never trailed as they took a 3-2 series lead in the Mann Cup national championships following a 10-5 victory on Wednesday night at the Peterborough Memorial Centre. They will go for their 18th Mann Cup on Friday night in game six with the Thunder looking to stave off elimination to force a decisive seventh game on Saturday night.
“We have proven all season long time and time again that we are capable, and we have the talent both offensively, defensively and Frank (Scigliano) in net to play with the top team and be the best team,” said Langley captain Connor Robinson.
“We just have to stick to our game plan, remember what got us here and remember that it is a team game and everyone has to pitch in and everyone has to bring their ‘A’ game because it is the Mann Cup, this is the best of the best.”
“Our backs are against the wall, but we are confident in our guys, and we are confident in our coaching staff and the systems they plan and draw up for us to take out to the game. We are going to rest up and come out on Friday and give it everything we have got and play Thunder lacrosse.”
Langley had led the series 2-0 but the Lakers stormed back to take the next three.
And Holden Cattoni continues to be a major factor in the series, adding five more goals on Wednesday to give him 13 goals in the last three games.
“We have played with a lot more energy and a lot smarter. There’s not a lot of secret to our success, just working hard and being really smart and staying out of the penalty box,” he said. “We are focused. We happy for the moment but we have to put this one behind us and move forward. We play a lot of games in a short amount of time so we have to make sure we have to focus for Friday night,” he said.
The Thunder scored a combined 31 goals in games one and two (which featured an additional 15:41 of overtime) but since then, the team has found the back of the net 23 in three consecutive losses.
“He is one of the best of all time, if not the best of all time, for a reason. We have a lot of confidence in him, and he came up big for us tonight,” Cattoni said of his team’s goaltender Matt Vinc.
Vinc and Langley’s Frank Scigliano were each team’s respective Player of the Game, finishing with 35 and 42 saves, respectively.
“It wasn’t our night, (Vinc) is a calibre goalie, a world-class goalie, he’s been in the league, he’s been one of the top goalies for a long, long time so we will give him all the credit in the world. He was on our game tonight, and we weren’t,” Robinson said.
“But the beautiful thing is come Friday night, the score is back to 0-0. Same goalie, same shooters; we have some world-class shooters on our team, we have Curtis Dickson, Dane Dobbie, two of the best players to ever put on a helmet and grab a stick. We have got the confidence, we have got the guys, we just need to go out there and prove it Friday night.”
Dobbie led Langley with three goals while Robinson had three assists, while Dickson and Tyler Sceviour had a goal each. Cattoni led Peterborough with five goals and six points, Joe Resetarits had two goals and two assists with Mark Matthews (one goal, two assists) and Chad Tutton (one goal, one assist) providing the rest of the offence.
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