By Ron Loftus
There is no more fitting site for the first-ever National Lacrosse Association final than New Westminster. After all, hasn’t the Royal City produced more championship teams than any other city in the world? You bet it has.
And here we are hosting the second lacrosse final within a month. Last month the Minto Cup Canadian junior championships were held here with Oshawa Green Gaels, seven of whom are playing with Detroit Olympics in this NLA final, beating New Westminster Junior Salmonbellies.
This series will be interesting from several points of view. One of the most interesting will be to see if the balance of power in senior lacrosse will swing from west to east. The east has dominated junior lacrosse for six years but it hasn’t been able to put more than a dent in the west’s senior supremacy.
There have been indication over the past few seasons that the east was returning to power. Detroit Olympics would like to add more fuel to that argument here.
But over the season the west showed a distinct advantage. Western teams won 20 and lost only 12 of the 32 interlocking, east-west games played. Western teams managed to win six and lost 10 in the east while the easterners won only two of 16 games in the west.
Detroit won only two games against western teams (both against Victoria Shamrocks). The Olympics lost only 12 league games all season and six of them were at the hands of westerners.
The Salmonbellies won five of their eight inter-locking games with Detroit the only team they managed to knock over twice.
(from New Westminster playoff game program, October 9, 1968)