A Nanaimo player captured Canadian lacrosse’s ultimate prize, the Mann Cup.
Scott Ranger, captain of the Victoria Shamrocks, led his team to a national championship last week as his squad defeated the Peterborough Lakers in six games.
Friday’s decisive game wasn’t close, as the ‘Rocks won 12-6.
“We were all celebrating on the bench before the game was over. It was nice to have that moment with the guys, and then as soon as the buzzer went, we knew it was ours,” Ranger said.
The team captain was front and centre at the trophy presentation at Victoria’s Q Centre. The Canadian Lacrosse Association convenor handed Ranger gold medals first.
“I took the gold medals and gave them to the [team] manager and said, ‘Give me the cup,'” Ranger recalled. “And he kind of chuckled and … there it was.”
It was Victoria’s first Mann Cup since 2005, coincidentally the year that Ranger was drafted into the league by the Nanaimo Timbermen. The sniper never came close to a championship with the T-men, but since his trade to the Shamrocks, has been in the finals three straight years. This season he could tell early that Vic was building the roster and chemistry to take the next step from finalists to champions.
“We pushed each other to get better and improve every time that we were together,” he said. “And at the end of the year, we were playing the right lacrosse at the right time.”
It might mean a perfect ending to a lacrosse career for the 32-year-old, who is hinting strongly at retirement. He was an all-star and won an NLL Champion’s Cup with the Calgary Roughnecks, and was a Western Lacrosse Association champion and MVP now has the Mann Cup.
“This one was definitely the icing on the cake,” Ranger said. “It’s the day after that you start to reflect and you realize how important something like this was to you and it was pretty awesome.”
He brought the historic trophy to Kirby’s Source for Sports in Nanaimo on Wednesday, hoping to inspire local minor lacrosse players.
“It gives them something to hope for…” Ranger said. “That’s what it’s all about and that’s why I brought it here, just for anybody to see that a dream can come true in lacrosse, and that’s what it is to me, is a dream that came true.”