Waiting for professional lacrosse to come to your city or region? You don't HAVE to wait—you can have your OWN pro lacrosse league, on your tabletop, right now, with the Canadian-American Lacrosse League for LACROSSE BLAST Pro Lacrosse Game!
Patterned after the real indoor pro lacrosse league, the CALL is now in its fifth season of publication. PLAAY Gamer Mark Zigler has been running his own league using the CALL cards, and reported on his third season of play, culminating with "Freedom Cup III," his league's championship game. How realistic IS the CALL? Read ON, as Mark describes his league in his own words...
"In the East, the Charlotte Sting cruised to a division championship. However, their quest for an undefeated season ended in their last game of the season, when the Miami Sol upset the Sting 13-12 in overtime. Charlotte's 9-1 record was good enough to clinch home field advantage for the Freedom Cup. Miami finished second in the division at 7-3, finishing the season very strong and winning their last four games. There were three overtime games this season, and the Sol won all three! Cleveland at 4-6 and Detroit at 3-7 completed the division standings.
"In the West, the Portland Fire was the class of the division, the only team finishing with a winning record at 8-2. Houston and San Francisco both finished at 4-6. Houston finished in second place based upon goal differential vs. the Dragons. Utah finished 1-9, losing their last eight games. They scored the least number of goals (76) and gave up the most (134).
"The Charlotte/Portland matchup in Freedom Cup III was an instant classic. Portland was the defending champion, having defeated Miami 20-5 in Freedom Cup II, while this was Charlotte's first appearance in the title game. In the regular season, Charlotte had beaten Portland 12-5, in a matchup where both teams were undefeated at the time (6-0).
"Charlotte took command of the game early. League MVP Mark Gamble scored two goals and assisted on another in the first ten minutes, as the Sting bolted to a 4-1 lead. But Portland remained patient, and by the end of the third period trailed only by one, 8-7.
Mark recounts the final, memorable period of Freedom Cup III. "The first six minutes of the fourth quarter may have been the most action-packed sequence of the year! Hard hits, momentum swings, wild scrambles for loose balls, and end-to-end action defined the beginning of the last frame. Portland's Charlie Roche broke open on the wing, rifled a shot past Kiernan, and at the 4:15 mark we were tied again, this time 8-8. Matt Baxter stole the face-off from O'Meara and hit Gamble for a wide-open shot. But Goalie-of-the-Year Ryan Howard again robbed Charlotte of what looked like a sure goal with his second spectacular save of the Championship game! Less than a minute later, Brett Ladouceur fed Charlie Roche who hit Rennie Bender streaking toward the Charlotte net. Bender was able to beat Kiernan low, and with nine minutes left Portland took a 9-8 lead.
"Defense dominated for most of the rest of the period. Charlotte got a prime scoring chance with just over a minute left, but Denny Doyle whiffs on the shot, hitting the glass behind the net with Howard way out of position! Portland gains possession. The Fire works the ball into the Sting end. Matheson and Jennings work the ball out front, then hit Rennie Bender in front of the crease. Bender... fake... and... finish!!! With 57 seconds left in the game, Portland is up by two goals, 10-8! The clock counts down to 0:00, and the Portland Fire are back-to-back Freedom Cup Champions!"
Mark's post-season awards showcased many of the CALL's top players, players who'll star on YOUR tabletop as well! Mark Gamble from Charlotte was voted MVP. He had 20 goals, 27 assists which ended up leading the league with 47 points. He also lead the league in loose balls with 53.
Ryan Howard from Portland was named the league's best goalie. He was 7-1 with a league-leading 8.34 GAA. There were three dominating goalies this season. Howard, Kerry Kiernan from Charlotte (second-team Goalie, 6-1 w/8.59 GAA) and Hawkins Easterday from Miami (7-0 w/9.63 GAA).
Rookie of the Year was a three-man race between Easterday, Vaughan Maxie from Houston and Christopher Bee from Charlotte. Maxie led the league with 28 goals scored. Bee finished tied for 2nd in scoring with 46 points. Maxie also played well in the clutch, with eight power play Goals and six game-tying goals. But, week-to-week, Christopher Bee was more consistent and was one of the leaders on the team with the best record, and was named ROY.
So that was Mark's version of the 2015 CALL season—but now it's time for a NEW season to begin!
The 2017 Can-Am Lacrosse League boasts a brand new crop of rookies and free agent players blended in with the established CALL stars to give you endless, open-ended box lacrosse excitement whenever you want. You get over 150 players, each rated individually with his own card. There's enough players to stock as many as eight teams. You're the commissioner, so you can establish your teams in whatever cities or regions suit you. A ten-game league season with each team playing home-and-away within the division and one game against each of the other division's teams can easily be completed in a few months playing a couple games a week. Best of all, it's just $15 postage-paid, that's less than the cost of a ticket to a real-life game! Or, get the PDF edition for $10, delivered to your e-mail box so you can print and play the same day! Order YOUR copy of the 2017 Canadian American Lacrosse League TODAY, and begin creating your OWN box lacrosse legacy!