Chiefs 2016 preview
After having to watch the Peterborough Lakers celebrate the Major Series Lacrosse championship at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena last season, the Chiefs have been champing at the bit to get back to the top of the league.
The biggest changes have been off the floor, with Steve Detrich being named the Chiefs new general manager and John Tavares the new offensive coordinator.
On the floor, the Chiefs have had to say goodbye to Jeff Shattler and Colin Boucher.
Shattler, enjoyed two great season with Six Nations and quickly became a fan favourite. But this season, he is back in the Western Lacrosse Association with the defending champion Victoria Shamrocks.
Also gone for the season are Colin Doyle and Brandon Miller.
With four big holes to fill, the Chiefs brain trust went to work, building within their own.
Jordan Durstan, Leo Storous and Warren Hill are the fresh faces in the Chiefs lineup. All three players are familiar to Six Nations lacrosse fans, all playing at one time for the junior A Arrows.
Hill will be the backup to starting goalie Dillon Ward. The former Arrows and junior B Rebels goalie won a Presidents Cup with the Chiefs' senior B affiliate Six Nations Rivermen last season.
Storous was one of the rocks on the Arrows back end for their back-to-back Minto Cup championships. Named the Ontario Lacrosse Association's junior A Defensive Player of the Year, Storous will bring plenty of additional toughness to an already nasty defence.
Durston also played a huge role with the Arrows' Minto Cup success, but on the other side of the floor, always among the top scorers on the team and league. During the National Lacrosse season, Durston had a brilliant rookie campaign with the Vancouver Stealth. His 17 goals and 17 assists was sixth-best on his team.
He will certainly add more firepower to the potent Chiefs attack.Two more new but familiar faces to the Chiefs lineup are Wenster Green and Brier Jonathan. While Jonathan played for the Rock last season, Green was a big part of the Lakers team that won the MSL title. Both players, who also took on big roles with the Iroquois Nationals at the 2015 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships, and are looking forward to returning home to play for the team they grew up watching.
Along with the core group returning are Cody Jamieson and Mike McNamara, who were both sidelined last season because of injuries.
Among the returners are Johnny Powless, Ryan Benesh, Dhane Smith, Randy Staats, Stephen Keogh, Craig Point, Dan Coates, Billy Dee Smith, Jesse Gamble, Dave Brock, Ward and Rob Marshall.
The Chiefs kick off its season on Tuesday at home against the Coburg Kodiaks at 8 p.m.