CALGARY, AB — The monkey is off their back.
Dan MacRae, Jon Harnett, Greg Harnett, and Karsen Leung can breathe a sigh of relief as they were able to secure a Mann Cup with the Victoria Shamrocks this summer.
Back in September, the Shamrocks took on Curtis Dickson and the Peterborough Lakers for the Mann Cup. Holding a 3-2 series lead going into Game 6, the Shamrocks were looking to close the door on the Lakers. They did just that as they came out firing, taking a 4-0 lead in the first period. They would never relinquish the lead and go on to be champions.
It’s been a while since any of them has experienced that winning feeling.
“It’s a bit of a feel of the monkey off your back,” MacRae said. “I haven’t had a championship since ’06, I think it was a Founders Cup. It’s been a while in the majors and in the professional leagues not having any championships.”
“This is the first summer where I got a taste of winning in like five years,” Jon Harnett chimed in.
The Mann Cup victory has them wanting more and is fuelling their fire as members of the Roughnecks.
“This summer with the Victoria Shamrocks, we won a championship. That was an unbelievable experience, an unbelievable feeling,” reflected Leung. “Hopefully we can take that mentality and apply it here in Calgary and win the Champion’s Cup.”
With the Shamrocks, they had been to the Mann Cup the two years prior, but had not been able to win the whole thing. That experience has helped mould their overall approach to the game and provided them with valuable experience that will be helpful in the NLL.
“The last two summers we lost the Mann Cup and you have that fear and doubt,” said Leung. “We were in game 6 last year and in the back of your mind was what if we don’t do it. It’s a big confidence booster to overcome that and win. It, mentality wise, gives you the extra spark to win because you want to experience that feeling again.”
“You learn a lot about what it takes to succeed as a group on your end goal,” added MacRae. “I learned a lot from the veteran guys on our summer team and then just what it takes as a process physically and mentally. I think we have good core guys on the Shamrocks team that we will be brining here.”