MINTO PREVIEW: Orangeville Northmen

by Owen Munro


Previous Minto Cup Appearances: 9

Last Appearance: 2016
Championships: 6 (1993, 1995, 1996, 2008, 2009 and 2012)
Overall Record (Regular season and playoffs): 27-6-1

The Orangeville Northmen are back competing for the Minto Cup after a three-year absence.

The Northmen wrapped up the Ontario Junior A Lacrosse League title, winning the championship series in five games over the Burlington Chiefs to secure the organization’s 10th Minto Cup appearance.

And while it will be their first foray back onto the national stage since 2016, they are returning to familiar territory, as the 2016 Minto Cup was also hosted by Langley Events Centre.

Of course, Orangeville is hoping for a better outcome this time around, after falling in the championship series to Coquitlam back in 2016. In fact, the Adanacs have twice proved to be a thorn in the Northmen’s side, also defeating their Ontario rivals in 2010.

Orangeville has won six Minto Cup titles in their nine appearances, capturing back-to-back titles twice – 1995 and 1996 and again in 2008 and 2009 – and single titles in each of 1993 and 2012.

And while some organizations may have more Minto Cups on their resume than the Northmen’s six, it should be noted Orangeville has only played at the Junior A level since 1991.

During the OJALL regular season, the Northmen edged Burlington by one point for top spot thanks to their 16-3-1 record, scoring 191 goals (9.55, third in the league among a dozen teams) and surrendering just 128 (6.4, second in the league).

The offence was led by the duo of Dylan Watson and Kyle Walters, who scored 44 and 42 goals, respectively. Only three players in the entire league reached the 40-goal plateau.

Walters also finished second in the OJALL scoring race with 97 points, trailing only Mimico’s Thomas McConvey, who had 48 goals and 105 points to lead both categories.

In goal, Rylan Hartley is top five in all the major statistical categories.

Hartley played all but 48:33 of his team’s regular season minutes, appearing in each of the 20 games and going 16-3-1. The 16 victories led the entire league as did his 550 saves. Hartley was also third in goals against average (6.15) and fifth in save percentage (.822). That latter number also rose to .838 during the post-season while his GAA stayed relatively the same (6.22) and he earned the MVP of the playoffs for his efforts.

And speaking of post-season numbers, Jonathan Donville led both his team and the league in the playoff scoring race with 29 goals and 53 points in 14 games. He joined the Northmen via trade during the 2019 season and put up five goals and 13 points in five regular season games after scoring 22 goals and 52 points in 11 games with Mimico.

As for special teams, the Orangeville power play was fourth at 30.68 per cent while the penalty kill came in at seventh at 71.23 per cent.  During the team’s 14 post-season games, the penalty kill has drastically improved with an 81.82 per cent success rate.