With a bevy of pro stars and strong local flavor,
The Turtle Dome was rocking Sunday night as some 2,500 fans watched two local squads the St. Regis Braves and the Snake Islands Muskies battle for the Canadian Lacrosse Association's National Sr. "B" championship.
This year's tournament, held throughout the week on Cornwall Island, part of the Akwesasne Mohawk reserve, featured no shortage of pro level talent, as numerous high profile players changed up their summers by competing in the Senior B ranks rather than Senior A ball.
The Muskies were one of those teams, with a roster including eight time NLL All Pro Josh Sanderson and Blaine Manning two guys who've spent recent seasons in the Major Series with Brampton, winning Mann Cups in '08 and '09. Philadelphia Wings 2012 franchise player Brandon Miller tended the cage for Snake Island. Other notable Muskies players included Delby Powless and Rusty Kruger, who've made a dent in the NLL through the years.
But St. Regis the Muskies' Three Nations Lacrosse League rival had a strong, perhaps younger talent pool of its own, with Brett Bucktooth, "Pistol" Pete Jacobs, Jeremy and Jerome "Hinz" Thompson, Cody Jacobs, Logan Kane and Daryl Seymour. The group seemed to click when it mattered most and perform in the areas it mattered most seemingly beating the Muskies in the loose ball battle, finishing their shots more with accuracy and consistency and playing gritty, in your face defense that was applauded by the lacrosse savvy crowd in attendance.
"The whole year they've been playing well," Braves head coach Adam Thompson said of his defense. "It's a bunch of guys who've come together and understand how each other plays and they feed off each other's talents and abilities."
Even when the first year Braves lost their starting goaltender Justin Delormier Testosterone Enanthate Nedir about 10 minutes into the second period on an illegal equipment game misconduct penalty, the team raised its level of play, outscoring Snake Island 5 1 in the frame. St. Regis' defense led by the towering tandem of Kane and Ron Cogan gave the Muskies little room to work with, making it tough for Sanderson to get into a rhythm, though the sophisticated feeder did manage to thread two beautiful passes inside during Snake Island's four goal run to start the third period. But after Joe Hall netted his third goal about 6 minutes into the final frame, the Muskies wouldn't score again. When Cody Jacobs deposited his fourth goal to make it 11 8, the roof nearly blew off the place.
"There are great lacrosse fans here. Lawrence River. "I've been to five Presidents Cups and I've never seen fans like this anywhere else. Akwesasne, deep down in St. Regis, they deserve a Presidents Cup. This is (the Braves') first, and I feel honored to be coaching these guys and to bring the cup back to St. Regis and Akwesasne."
The victory carried added significance for the Thompson brothers, Jeremy and Jerome, who together won New York Testosterone Cypionate Negative Side Effects State titles at LaFayette and later Junior College championships at Onondaga Community College. For Jeremy, a potential first round NLL draft pick and a member of the Onondaga Redhawks 2010 Presidents Cup championship team, the opportunity to reunite with his brother and play in front of a crowd of family and friends was too great to pass up.
"My brother's up here all the time, so I decided I wanted to come up and win it with him," said Jeremy Thompson amid the post game "Comprar Gh Jintropin" celebration. "I did everything I could to win it for him whatever I could."
Jeremy served as an alternate captain and put up 29 points in the regular TNLL season. Jerome, who hopes to join the NLL, led the team in regular season points, with 13 goals and 38 assists.
Bucktooth, a cousin of the Thompsons and fellow Brave AJ Bucktooth, said the close ties of the team boosted their performance on the floor throughout the tournament.
"Any time you have family with you, even if they're just in the crowd supporting you, it's a great feeling, especially having them to run alongside on the floor," said the former All American midfielder at Syracuse University. "Every lacrosse team I've been on has been an extension of my family. All of these guys are my brothers. They're all just great guys on a great team. I couldn't be more proud of them."
The win also served as sweet redemption for the Braves, who fell to the Muskies at A'nowara'ko:wa Arena (Turtle Dome).
"I told the guys to remember what it was like when we lost to them in the series remember that feeling, hold on to that," said Jeremy Thompson, also an All American middie at Syracuse. "I kept reminding the guys to finish 60 minutes of lacrosse. It just feels great right now. There's no other way to explain it but excitement."
Despite the loss, Sanderson who will find a new NLL home via the upcoming Boston Blazers dispersal draft was more than happy to have competed in a championship he says is close to his heart. The son of lacrosse legend Terry Sanderson, GM and assistant coach of the reigning NLL champ Toronto Rock, the 2011 Keegan Hill Award winner said the Presidents Cup was really the only annual lacrosse championship he recalls from his early days.
"Growing up watching lacrosse and learning from my dad, it was always the Presidents Cups," he said. "I didn't even know about a Minto or a Mann Cup. I only knew about the Presidents Cup. So it's always meant a lot to me. And it got to the point where I didn't want to do the gruelling commitment of MSL and I wanted to take a bit of a backseat. And they welcomed us with open arms up here. It was great playing with Rusty, Brandon and Blaine and the rest of the guys. They really made us feel at home up here. We had our battle for the cup. We had our chance; we just came up a little short."
The level of competition in the Presidents Cup, in the opinion of Sanderson, Bucktooth and others, was considerably higher this year, given the injection of pro level talent and the rising interest in the sport. This year's location also made it convenient for many of the best players in Ontario to consider option Senior B.
"Usually, coming into this tournament, there's only one or two teams that could win it," Sanderson said. "And this year I think it was four. It was a good tournament. Turinabol Npp It was a grind. It's a long seven days. It's tough, because at one point, it was 8 8 there. So it's bittersweet right now, but I'm definitely glad I did it. It was great lacrosse this week. It was just a tough finish. But "Anabola Steroider Norge Lagligt" I have no regrets."
The Cup's bronze medal game, too, featured an array of familiar NLL faces. The St. Catharines Saints featured hometown lacrosse star Pat McCready, the 2011 NLL Defender of the Year, as well as Geoff McNulty (winner of the Bill McBain Sportsmanship Award) and netminder Jake Henhawk, who took home the Travis Solomon Award as the tournament's top goaltender.
The Saints, like St. Regis, were a start up squad in 2011 and clearly set the bar high in their first year of existence by grabbing the bronze .
"We've exceeded everyone's expectations but our own," said head coach Chuck Brown, adding that the ultimate plan is to move the Saints into Senior A competition, returning Major Series Lacrosse to St. Catherine's. "It feels good, because we're right out of the gate."
Based in the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory on the south shore of the St. Lawrence in Quebec and just across the water from Montreal, the Mohawks boasted the likes of Brodie Merrill, Callum Crawford, Chad Culp, Luke Wiles, Kasey Beirnes, Kevin Dostie, longtime NLL netminder Steve Dietrich and American Ryan Hotaling.
"It allows you to play a little bit in the summer, but having more free time to enjoy the summer to spend with family and friends," said Merrill. "It was a nice balance that way. I don't think people understand how good the competition is, with all of the talent. It was a good experience to be a part of it."
McCready, who played Comprar Gh Jintropin Senior A for years with Brampton, said there has been a big effort by some of the Senior B teams to get elite "Comprar Gh Jintropin" players on board to compete "Oxandrolone Powder India" for a Presidents Cup.
"To be entirely truthful, some of the teams are paying big money, and that's why a lot of the pros came," he said. "Our team was a different story. I played because it's my home town. I have two daughters at home, and it's a five minute drive to the arena. So for me, it's a way to stay in shape in case I want to go back and play another year in the NLL. Today we wanted to be playing for the gold, not the bronze. But we showed up and we gave it our all today."
McCready, who won a Presidents Cup with the Kitchener Waterloo Kodiaks, said some of the tournament's teams, consisting of guys who've played together for years, proved that synergy was more valuable than star power.
"With the pros being here, it was an added dimension," said McCready. "But some of the teams are showing you can be successful without adding pros. Because a good team beats good players any day."