Chiefs defence bares down in Game 4 win
|Photo by Darryl Smart|
On Tuesday night at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena, the Chiefs inched one game away from the Canadian men's senior A lacrosse championship with a 9-7 win over the Maple Ridge Burrards.
"It's definitely a grind. That's what the Mann Cup is about," Chiefs' Billy-Dee Smith said. "Every shift means something and it shows after the game because both teams are exhausted."
Though exhausted, the two teams have begun to dislike each other.
"That's what makes a series what it is," said Smith, who was a backbone on defence and scored his first goal of the season, which was an empty-netter. "Right now I don't like them."
Smith's insurance marker with seven seconds left in the game capped a three-goal run that led to the Chiefs win.
After Dan Taylor and Ben McIntosh gave the Burrards the lead early in the third period, Randy Staats scored his second goal of the game to tie things up six minutes into the frame, with Dan Dawson scoring the winner two minutes later.
"Whenever a team makes a mistake, it seems like the other capitalizes," Smith said.
the Burrards came out flying in the first period, as Luke Gillespie continued his impressive Mann Cup, scoring the game's first goal a minute in.
Austin Staats tied things up, before McIntosh again gave the Western Lacrosse Association champions another lead. But Cody Jamieson and Ryan Benesch responded to give the Chiefs its first lead of the game.
McIntosh struck early in the second period, before Dhane Smith and Randy Staats replied midway through the frame. The Burrards also had an answer, with Connor Goodwin and Jarrett Davis scoring, before Benesch gave the Chiefs the lead back with four seconds to go in the period.
"A team that moves as well as them it comes down to communication," Smith said. "If you aren't talking you run into trouble. They have a great offence. I think it's the best one we've faced all season. they're showing why they are here."
Like the rest of the series, the goalies were again a huge factor.
Dillon Ward made 44 saves in the win, while Frankie Scigliano stopped 41.
"I'd much rather be up 3-1 than be tied 2-2," Chiefs coach Rich Kilgour said. "You have to give Maple Ridge a lot of credit. It's tough going on the road. We learned that in Victoria. They have no quit in them and they keep coming back. They even had a lead and we were forced to answer the bell."
McIntosh said they aren't done yet.
"There's a lot of heart in our room and you know what, if we had a bounce here or there go our way, we'd be the ones that are up," McIntosh said. "We have to keep moving forward. We're down 3-1 and now we're playing for our lives. We have to watch film and be ready for tomorrow. Hopefully we are the ones getting the one with the empty net."
The Chiefs can clinch the Mann Cup on Wednesday in Game 5 of the best-of-seven series. Kilgour said they aren't taking anything for granted.
"Look back at the last round. Things can go south in a hurry," Kilgour said, referring to being down 0-3 to the Peterborough Lakers in the Major Series Lacrosse final. "We haven't won anything yet. Three wins doesn't get you the Mann Cup. That's what we're focusing on. They're clichés but they are for a reason. They're tried and true. I'm going to do my best to get them ready for tomorrow. You don't get the fourth win easily. We have to be prepared to play 60 or 70 or 80 minutes. Whatever it takes."
Game time Wedensday is 8 p.m.