2004 Ladner Pioneers Senior B Lacrosse

Team Box Lacrosse 2011

The Ladner Pioneers Senior B Lacrosse team culminated a storybook season by winning the President’s Cup National Senior B Lacrosse Championship on August 29, 2004. The Ladner Pioneers have always been a perennial power house in senior B lacrosse, but in each of the previous five seasons bowed out in the semi-finals of their league playoffs, losing each time to the eventual champion. 2004 was their first serious bid at the national tournament in seven years.

The Ladner Pioneers finished third in the West Coast Senior Lacrosse League and met the Langley Knights in the semi-finals. This best-of-five series went to five games with the Pioneers prevailing and then going on to meet the Tri-City Bandits for the provincial title. The Pioneers and Bandits have a long standing rivalry and this seven game series was no exception. The Bandits took a three to one series lead, but the Pioneers fought back to tie the series and then won the seventh and deciding game by a 7-2 score. During the playoffs Ladner faced elimination on four different occasions but the “never-say-die” Pioneers won the right to go to the President’s Cup National Senior B Championships.

The national championship ran August 25-29 at the Langley Civic Centre. The tournament featured seven of Canada’s elite senior B men’s lacrosse teams. The Pioneers lost their first two round robin games (11-8 scores to Barrie) and faced elimination in their next game. In this do or die contest, the Pioneers had to win the game by at least four goals and the team was up to the challenge defeating the Newtown Golden Eagles by a score of 11-4. The semi-finals saw the Pioneers meet and defeat the Barrie Lakeshores 11-9.This victory helped erase the frustration of a loss to the Lakeshores earlier in the tournament. Strong goaltending by Rob Cook in the semi-final continued in the final game as Rob shut the door on the Kahnawake Mohawk sharpshooters. The Pioneers went on to defeat the Mohawks 6-3 and claim the President’s Cup. For his outstanding play in goal, Rob Cook was chosen the Tournament’s Most Valuable Player while Ted Dowling and Greg Rennie were chosen to the first all-star team.

The Ladner Pioneers, comprised of 25 players, were coached by Ross Frehlick. Their triumph at the national level was the culmination of an outstanding year which included a final gruelling two weeks of lacrosse. Hard work, dedication, and a never give up attitude were the trademarks of the 2004 Ladner Pioneers and this team now joins an exclusive group as a member of the Delta Sports Hall of Fame in the Team category.