Lakers offence looks to step it up against big Rock goalie Nick Rose
The onus has shifted to the Peterborough Century 21 Lakers to keep the home team’s unblemished record intact in the Major Series Lacrosse final.
The Lakers have two wins at the Memorial Centre and the Oakville Rock two victories at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre. The best-of-seven series is now down to a best-of-three heading to Game 5 at the PMC on Thursday at 8 p.m. The Rock took Game 4 in overtime 8-6 on Tuesday night.
“It’s a series,” said Lakers’ head coach Mike Hasen.
“It’s going to be a long series and we knew that coming in. We need to make sure we have a much better effort Thursday than we did in both games (in Oakville).”
Matt Vinc and the defence held Oakville to six goals in regulation time of Game 4 but Hasen said the offence has to be better.
“Rosey (Rock goalie Nick Rose) is playing really well. They play to his strengths. He’s a big guy who wants to stand there and block. They back him in and put the rest in spots where they want us to shoot from and (Tuesday) we were more than willing to shoot from where they wanted us to and Rosey ate up all that stuff.
“Offensively, we need to move our feet a lot more.”
Josh Currier said it all comes down to who works harder.
“On the O, we’re going to take the blame for (Game 4) as a unit,” Currier said.
“We need to be better next game. We need to bear down and put the ball in the net. We didn’t do that enough. Some nights you just don’t click and (Tuesday) was one of those nights. Rose is a big goalie and we got a lot of shots on him but we need to focus on getting the right kind of shots on him. He’s a big body and we need to get inside and shoot from there rather than outside.”
Jake Withers said it’s not all on the offence.
“We need some of us on the D end to push the ball and make them pay in transition,” Withers said.
It’s irrelevant now but the Lakers questioned whether Oakville’s third goal, which squeaked behind Vinc, ever crossed the line. Withers was near the goal at the time.
“From my angle, where the ball stopped it wasn’t fully across the line,” he said.
The Rock got a boost in Game 4 with the unexpected return of Brett Hickey from a broken foot suffered in the opening game of the season. He had a goal and assist and provided energy.
“I didn’t know what to expect coming off this injury,” Hickey said.
“It was three long months and I was just happy to be back and to be able to help the guys get a win to tie the series. Coming in you hope to pull some pressure away from some of the other guys who have been getting swarmed a little bit and hopefully spread their defence out.”
It’s no secret to the Rock they have to win a road game if they are to win the series.
“I don’t think Oakville has ever won in Peterborough. We obviously need to win one there and turn the series around. Hopefully, it’s Thursday,” Hickey said.
NOTES: Game 6 in Oakville on Saturday is a 7 p.m. start as is Game 7, if necessary, on Monday in Peterborough. The Examiner had incorrect start times in Wednesday’s edition.… The Lakers are hoping to send a fan bus to Game 6 on Saturday. The cost is $35 and you buy your game ticket at the door. The bus departs the PMC parking lot at 4 p.m. Call Diane at 705-874-5615 to register or sign up in the front lobby.
Peterborough Century 21 Lakers’ Zach Currier fires the ball at Oakville Rock’s Nick Rose during overtime of Game 4 Major Series Lacrosse championship series at the Toronto Rock Athletic Centre on Tuesday night.