Six Nations take game 1 of the Mann Cup championship

The team from Ontario held the lead against the Salmonbellies all of Friday night's game, but the Bellies kept the visitors on their toes in the third period

The Mann Cup on display at the New West Museum and Archives on Friday, Sept. 1, 2023. Ria Renouf

The New Westminster Salmonbellies have given up Game 1 to the Six Nations Chiefs of Ontario with a score of 10-7.

The best-of-seven Mann Cup series will be played this year at the historic Queen’s Park Arena. Friday evening’s tilt took place in front of a fairly full house, the room at times exceptionally loud as the crowd cheered the home team on—though the drums from Six Nations fans were just as prominent, echoing throughout the game.

Lyle Thompson of Six Nations opened the scoring for the evening, and the goals continued from the visitors—but a too many men called appeared to trip up the six-time Mann Cup champions—paving the way for Haiden Dickson to answer with the first goal of the evening for the Bellies.

By the end of the first period it was 5-2 for Six Nations; after the second it was 9-4, also for Six Nations.

Something seemed to click in the third period, and the Bellies were able to find their footing. About halfway through the third New West was able to nearly close the gap, scoring two goals. That brought the total to 9-6.

As had happened at some points early in the game, emotions ended up running high for both teams—and this opened the door to another goal for New West.

Alas, with fewer than 90 seconds to go, the game came full circle, with Thompson bringing the score to 10-7.

The next game will take place on Saturday, Sept. 9—also at Queen’s Park Arena.

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