Down Memory Lane - Coquitlam Adanacs - 2001
Down Memory Lane Articles - by Stan Shillington
It was a 37-year - long road of relative success - - but a route ultimately detoured by ruts of unfulfillment and failure.
A journey of achievement was just beyond reality.
But, on September 13, 2001, the Coquitlam Adanacs reached the destination of success - - the coveted Mann Cup, emblematic of the Canadian senior box lacrosse supremacy.
The Adanacs overcame a two-game deficit to beat the spirited Brampton Excelsiors four games to three, taking the final contest 10-9. And then the champagne bubbled from the golden cup.
The Adanac name (Canada spelled backwards) is not new to the game of lacrosse - - the New Westminster Adanacs operated between 1933 and 1941 and again from 1945 and 1950. The name was then hibernated until a handful of ex-members decided in 1965 to back an expansion franchise in Coquitlam.
Success was relatively swift with the Adanacs capturing the 1966 league title; however, Vancouver bested the new boys in town to represent B.C. in the national championship. Upcoming seasons had similar results - - topping league play in 1969, 1980, 1981 and 1985, only to stumble in the playoffs. A Nations in '80 title in 1980 gave little consolation.
Then, in 1988, second-place Coquitlam turned the tide on New Westminster to win the right to vie for Mann Cup glory against Brooklin. But it was not to be; nor was it any better in subsequent attempts against Brampton in 1993 and 1998.
Now the 2001 season had arrived - - a new century, a new beginning; however, in the shadow of Victoria's undefeated (19-0-1) season, Coquitlam was a poor four and six at the halfway point. There was a hole in the defensive wall that required immediate repairs. Coach Bob Johnston and manager Les Wingrove solved the problem with the additions of Andy Ogilvie, Glen Clark and Kevin Brunsch. What a change! Coquitlam went eight and two the rest of the season, then beat New Westminster four straight and Victoria in six to take the B.C. title.
Coquitlam was off to the Mann Cup for the fourth time in 37 years of life.
Despite a determined effort, the Adanacs stubbed their toes in the first two matches against Brampton, losing 9-6 and 9-5. Obviously, the Adanac offence had to get untracked - - 18 of the 20 league and playoff victories came when Coquitlam accumulated 11 or more goals.
Games Three and Four went to Coquitlam and, yes the offence did its job, 13-5 and 12-8. With the next two games split - - 17-9 Brampton and 15-10 Coquitlam - - the stage was set for the first seven-game Mann Cup finals since 1987.
Coquitlam managed only four markers in the first 40 minutes but continued to press an attack. With six minutes remaining, the score had narrowed to 9-8, Brampton still clinging to a lead. The words "Last minute in regulation time" were still echoing in the arena when Dan Stroup took a feed from Kim Squire and blasted a long howitzer past a screened Bob Watson.
Game tied! The 4,500-plus screaming fans were preparing for overtime when Ogilvie snagged a loosen ball and fired it up to Squire who, in turn, set up 'Hollywood' Colin Doyle for the winning goals with just 35 seconds left on the clock - - a movie-script ending with Doyle playing the hero's role.
And the script had its share of sub-stories:
- Coquitlam netminder Dallas Eliuk beamed through his second championship in four months. Dallas backstopped Philadelphia to the National Lacrosse League title in May and then drank from the Mann Cup in September. But wait, there's more - Dallas was the NLL playoff MVP and repeated the feat in the WLA post - season play.
- Brampton netminder Bob Watson also toils for the Toronto Rock in the NLL. His Toronto teammates include Colin Doyle, Kim Squire, Clenn Clark, Dan Stroup and Pat Coyle, all of who were instrumental in Coquitlam's victory.
- For 36-year - old Andy Ogilvie, it was his swan song from the WLA. And what a way to end a glorious career! Andy started the play that led to the winning goal, he picked up his third Mann Cup ring (the firs two with New Westminster) and he was named the 2001 Mike Kelly MVP winner. Coquitlam, at last, had reached the pinnacle of success enjoyed in 1939 and 1947 by its, namesake, the Adanacs of New Westminster.