Winning NLL and Mann Cup is ‘extra special’ for local resident

December 7, 2018   ·   0 Comments

By Jasen Obermeyer

It was certainly a busy, and definitely an enjoyable, lacrosse season for Orangeville native Evan Kirk, who won two different cups with two different teams.

Kirk won his first ever National Lacrosse League (NLL) cup in the 2018 season with the Saskatchewan Rush in June, and then won the Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) Mann Cup with the Peterborough Lakers in September.

“It’s a dream come true, because that’s where you ultimately want to play,” said Kirk, with this week being his turn to have the cups. “Getting in a league just to even make a team is such an honour, and it’s definitely a privilege to play for that team.”

He started playing lacrosse when he was five, being introduced by it through his three older brothers, and has now played seven seasons in the NLL.

Kirk, 31, posted a career and league best 12 wins with the Rush, and finished with a 10.82 goals against average, as the team went 14-4 for the regular season. In the final game of the playoffs, the Rush beat the Rochester Knighthawks 15-10.  

“The one thing that always sticks with me in that moment is I actually had to take my gloves and cover my earholes because it was piercing loud,” he recalled during the moment the team won. “The people in Saskatoon are wild and the atmosphere is just so intense.”

He attributes his personal record in wins to his team, as those games “reflect whom I was playing with.”

He added the success of the playoffs was due in part to the team’s experience and having home ice advantage. “I didn’t really think it was a huge advantage when I was younger,” but realized the fans “lift you up when it’s down, or you score one goal it feels like you’ve scored five.”

Kirk described winning the Mann Cup as “a battle in itself” because of how far he went into the summer season in the NLL. “It was definitely extra special to win two in a year.”

The Lakers swept the Maple Ridge Burrards in four games to become back-to-back champions.

He said he brought the cup to his family because of their support and being there for him through the years.

He noted his surprise to how much the NLL Cup weighs given its size.  “If (the cup) could talk, just the stories before it would be pretty cool.”

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