When Coquitlam Jr. Adanacs head coach Neil Doddridge visited his dad in Ontario last month, he made sure to catch a Six Nations Arrows game to see one of the top eastern teams for himself.
As it turns out, the scouting report will will be valuable for the A’s bench boss, who has been busy preparing his team for a Minto Cup showdown against the Arrows, which begins this weekend.
“They are the best team coming out of the east,” he told The Tri-City News on Wednesday. “They are big in the back end and they are strong offensively. It will be a good series.”
Doddridge has some history with the Six Nations club. He is from the area and played for the Chiefs — the organization’s senior team — winning several Mann Cups with the squad in the 1990s.
Coquitlam will have their hands full with the Arrows when they begin the best-of-seven series in Langley on Saturday.
Six Nations has dominated in the post-season, winning 11 of 13 games including a four-game sweep of the Whitby Warriors — last year’s Minto Cup champions — in the eastern final.
Arrows captain Johnny Powless has been a big reason for the club’s success this season. He scored six goals in the eastern finals and dished out 15 helpers for a 21-point series.
But Doddridge believes he has the horses to pull his squad to victory and notes that his captain, Wesley Berg, is also playing some of his best lacrosse of his young career.
“We will ride our captains as long as we can,” he said. “Our Wesley Berg is just as good as their Johnny Powless.”
Doddridge also likes the fact that this year’s Minto Cup is a best-of-seven series, not the round-robin format that has occurred in past years. He believes the Adanacs are built for endurance and can withstand the pounding that players take in a lengthy playoff round.
Having the series take place across the Port Mann Bridge at the Langley Events Centre doesn’t hurt his club’s chances either, he added.
“It is a lot easier playing close to home,” he said. “You sleep in your own bed. Athletes at this level are into routines. We have played well at that arena over the last couple of years.”