The Victoria Shamrocks and Langley Thunder each swept their first round opponents and will face each other for right to host the 2013 Mann Cup in the Western Lacrosse Association final.
The Shamrocks finished its series sweep of the Burnaby Lakers on Sunday with a 10-7 win in Burnaby for its first appearance in the WLA final since getting swept by the New Westminster Salmonbellies in 2010.
Despite not reaching the Mann Cup since 2006 after winning it three times between 1999 and 2005, the Rocks remain as the last WLA team to win it.
Game 1 of the final is Wednesday in Langley with Game 2 Friday (Aug. 16), 7:45 p.m. at Bear Mountain Arena. The Shamrocks will also host Games 4 and 6 (if necessary), Friday, Aug. 23 and Thursday, Aug. 29 at the Bear.
Sunday saw Derek Lowe score a goal in his return to the Shamrocks before making the rare switch from forward to goalie. Both Shamrocks goalies were called for illegal equipment by the Lakers, and both were found guilty and ejected. It mattered little as the Shamrocks won anyways but made for an odd ending to the series.
Rhys Duch and Corey Small combined for five goals on 26 shots with Jeff Shattler getting assists on four goals. Underage players Brody Eastwood and Jesse King continued their contributions with a goal each.
The Thunder completed its sweep of the Coquitlam Adanacs with an 11-9 victory on Saturday to clinch the Thunder’s berth in the final and a chance at a third straight WLA title.
During the regular season, Langley (11-5-2) won two of three games versus Victoria (11-7-0). The Shamrocks won 8-7 back in May while Langley won 11-6 and 9-8 in July.
The final pits the top scoring team versus the league’s stingiest as Victoria averaged just over 11 goals per game and Langley surrendered 7.6.
The 2013 WLA Final schedule:Wed. Aug. 14 Langley Events CentreFri. Aug. 16 Victoria Bear Mountain ArenaWed. Aug. 21 Langley Events Fri. Aug. 23 Bear Mountain Tues. Aug. 27 Langley Events (if necessary)Thurs. Aug. 29 Bear Mountain (if necessary)Sun. Sept. 1 Langley Events (if necessary)
The 2013 Mann Cup dates have been set, however:Game 1 Fri. Sept 6Game 2 Sat. Sept 7Game 3 Mon. Sept 9Game 4 Tues. Sept 10Game 5 Wed. Sept 11 (if necessary)Game 6 Fri. Sept 13 (if necessary)Game 7 Sat. Sept 14 (if necessary)
– With files from the Langley Times