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Lakers defeat Thunder in Game 6 to win Mann Cup

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The Canadian Press
9/15/2012 10:28:31 PM
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PETERBOROUGH, Ont. -- John Grant scored four goals and added two assists Saturday as the Peterborough Lakers came back to defeat the Langley Thunder 14-8 in Game 6 to win their 14th Mann Cup.

Scott Evans and Mark Steenhuis each added a pair of goals for the Canadian senior men's lacrosse champions.

Lewis Ratcliff had a hat trick for Langley, while captain Matt Leveque scored twice.

Lakers goalie Mike Thompson stopped 38 of Langley's 46 shots to earn player of the game honours. He also took home the Mike Kelly award as series MVP.

Thompson, who retired from the National Lacrosse League earlier this year and announced he would finish his career with Peterborough, said it was a thrill to come back from a devastating knee injury to finish his career on top.

"I was just happy to be able to step in when they needed me," he said. "I got on a bit of a roll and we really battled for each other."

Facing elimination, Langley scored three straight goals to open the game and led 5-3 after the first period.

Shayne Jackson got things started before Kyle Belton, who was making his first start in the series, connected on another goal.

Garrett Billings got the third before Grant ripped an outside shot on the power play to make it 3-1. Then with the score 5-2, Grant scored on a similar shot with 20 seconds to play in the period to pull the Lakers within a pair.

Peterborough, which had a 7-0 second period in Game 5 on Friday, produced a near carbon-copy performance in Game 6.

Andrew Watt made a beautiful end-to-end run to get the roll started before Cory Vitarelli caught a pass in traffic on top of the crease and nestled a behind the back shot to tie the game 5-5.

Evans then took over, scoring twice and setting up Steenhuis with a perfect short pass across the crease. Jordan MacIntosh won a prolonged faceoff battle with Ian Poole to set up Brad Self for the final goal of the second as Peterborough scored six times to head to the third up 9-5.

The Lakers never took their foot off the gas, scoring the first two goals of the third before adding a run of three straight later in the period to ice the game.

Lakers' newcomer Andrew Suitor said the fans were a huge part of the win, motioning to the 3,904 in attendance.

"This is as much for them as it is for all of us. I feel honoured to be part of the Laker family. And at the other end, that's a great Langley team," Suitor said. "They're going to be back here. They pushed us hard and we give them a ton of credit for their effort. They never gave up."

Lacrosse (Photo: Lutz Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Lutz Bongarts/Bongarts/Getty Images)
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