The 2014 Canadian Lacrosse League season came to a conclusion last week with the top four teams shuffling for final playoff position. The red-hot Barrie Blizzard (4-4) were the big movers of the final weeks, winning four-in-a-row to earn the third seed in the quest for the Creators’ Cup. They will travel to Seymour-Hannah Sports Centre on Sunday afternoon to take on second-seed Niagara Lock Monsters (6-2).
After an 0-4 start to the season, Barrie made changes both on the bench and in the locker room. Brad MacArthur was brought on as head coach as GM Rob Blasdell stepped aside to focus on front office duties. Several players were acquired shortly after the coaching change including Geoff Griffiths, Wes McDonald, Travis Gibbons and AJ Masson.
Niagara has won their past two games, both over the SouthWest Cyclops, but has not played a game since March 13. The Lock Monsters swept the season series with Barrie, winning 16-8 on opening weekend and 16-10 on February 9. Game time on Sunday is scheduled for 4 PM (ET).
The second semifinal features the regular season winner, Ohsweken Demons (7-1), hosting the fourth-seed SouthWest Cyclops (2-6). Ohsweken rolled through their season, scoring a league-high 127 goals. Their only blemish was their 16-14 season finale loss to the surging Blizzard. Veterans Chris Attwood and Wayne Van Every lead the Demons attack, while goalie Jake Henhawk anchors the defense.
After losing both matchups to the Demons, SouthWest will have a tough task to defeat Ohsweken in the playoff. Veteran Jimmy Purves, one of the team leaders on the scoreboard and the floor, was claimed by the Edmonton Rush of the NLL last week. Rochester Knighthawks released their rights to Purves, who could make his debut with Edmonton on Sunday. Cyclops goalie Jay Preece will be relied on to keep the Demons offense in check and for any chance for an upset.
Ohsweken and SouthWest are scheduled to meet at Iroquois Lacrosse Arena on Sunday night. Game time is 8 PM (ET). Fans unable to attend can watch both games live via the CLax Livestream channel.