From the agony of defeat to the thrill of victory.
It’s been a wild world of lacrosse in August for Vernon’s Kaden Doughty.
The former Vernon Tigers Junior B scoring star helped the Langley Thunder reach the B.C. Junior A Lacrosse Championship series, where they fell in six games to the Victoria Shamrocks. Victoria advanced to the Minto Cup Canadian Championship tournament (went 0-3).
Doughty was one of five players then picked up by the Langley Senior Thunder, and helped the squad capture its third Western Lacrosse Association title Saturday, Aug. 27, with an 11-5 win over the Nanaimo Timbermen, taking the best-of-seven series four games to one.
Doughty and the senior Thunder now advance to the Mann Cup Canadian Championship final out east against the Major Series Lacrosse champion Peterborough Lakers in a best-of-seven series. The Lakers – winners of the last three contested Mann Cups – defeated the Six Nations Chiefs 10-8 Sunday to win the series four games to two.
The Mann Cup will begin Friday, Sept. 9.
“Kaden has a great attitude, very coachable and he’s very athletic,” said Langley senior Thunder head coach Rod Jensen. “My modus operandi as a lacrosse coach is aggressive, and he’s an aggressive player. He’s fit right in.”
Doughty appeared in 14 regular season games with the Junior Thunder, scoring 10 goals and adding 25 assists for 35 points. In the post-season, Doughty played in 11 games, going 5-9-14.
“He and the other call-ups have made a real different to our team,” said Jensen of Doughty, who has played in three games with the senior squad, including the WLA clincher. “They helped us win.”
There’s also another Vernon connection to both Thunder teams. Vernon Vipers trainer Yasmine Jutt is the trainer for both lacrosse squads, though she’ll miss the Mann Cup because of her commitments with the Vipers, who begin preparations for the 2022-23 B.C. Hockey League season Sept. 2.
“Yasmine is really good at what she does,” said Jensen. “She’s dealing with 25 guys but she keeps herself calm, and she always passes along information to me if there’s concern (about injuries).”
Vernon goalie Brodie MacDonald guided the senior Thunder to back-to-back WLA titles and Mann Cup appearances in 2011 and 12, but came out on the short end both times in the national final. The Brampton Excelsiors downed the Thunder four games to one in 2011, and the Lakers needed six games to win the 2012 Mann Cup.
The last WLA team to win the Canadian title was the Victoria Shamrocks in 2015. The event has not been held the past two years due to COVID. Peterborough won the last three Mann Cups in 2017, 18 and 19.
The Major Series Lacrosse champions have won nine of the past 10 finals.
The first Mann Cup was awarded in 1910.
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