'Four wins away from the ultimate dream'
Bragging rights are on the line as the best of the west gets set for the beasts of the east as the Langley Events Centre hosts the Minto Cup championships.
The Minto Cup is the Canadian junior A lacrosse championship with the Coquitlam Junior Adanacs representing the west against the east’s Six Nations Arrows.
Games one and two of the best-of-seven series are this weekend (Aug. 16 and 17) with games three and four on Aug. 19 and 20. Games five (Aug. 21), six (Aug. 23) and seven (Aug. 24) will only be played if necessary. All of the games begin at 8 p.m.
The Adanacs finished second during the B.C. Junior A Lacrosse League regular season but knocked off the top-seed New Westminster Junior Adanacs in a thrilling seven-game series in the league finals.
Coquitlam then defeated the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League champion Calgary Mountaineers in a best-of-five series to advance to the Mann Cup.
Langley’s James Rahe will be going for the Minto Cup with Coquitlam.
Rahe was captain of the Junior Thunder and finished third in league scoring with 40 goals and 81 points in 18 games.
He was surprised to be traded — he will return to Langley next year for his final junior season — but said it was an easy adjustment.
"I know a lot of those guys (on Coquitlam) from playing against and with them on provincial teams and stuff," he said. "It wasn't like I was playing with total strangers so I got used to it pretty quick."
In seven playoff games, Rahe scored five times and had a dozen points.
"I never expected to be in this spot," he said, about playing for the Minto Cup.
"We had a couple of good teams when I played with Langley (the last couple of years) but came up short.
"It is definitely exciting to be four wins away from the ultimate dream."
Rahe will be counted on to help lead the offence against Six Nations.
The Arrows who play out of Hagersville, Ont., were the top team during the Ontario Junior A Lacrosse League regular season with a 16-4 record. They beat the Whitby Warriors in the league finals.
The Adanacs were the last B.C. team to win the Minto Cup, when they captured the trophy in 2010. Other than that, it has been eastern domination, with seven of the past eight champs coming from the Ontario Junior A Lacrosse League.
The Cup has been awarded to the top junior A lacrosse league from B.C., Alberta (Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League) and Ontario since 1937.
The Minto Cup has been in existence since 1901 when Governor-General Lord Minto donated the trophy. It was originally awarded to the senior men’s champion of Canada, before the creation of the Mann Cup.