Major Series Lacrosse

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Major Series Lacrosse
Major Series Lacrosse
SportBox lacrosse
No. of teams6
Country Canada
Most recent
Six Nations Chiefs
Official website[1]

Major Series Lacrosse (MSL) is a Senior A box lacrosse league based in Ontario, Canada sanctioned by the Ontario Lacrosse Association. Most of the star players in the league play or have played in the National Lacrosse League. Each year, the playoff teams battle for the right to compete against the Western Lacrosse Association champion for the Mann Cup every September. The championship is hosted alternately between Ontario and British Columbia every year.


MSL Playoffs: Brampton Excelsiors vs. Peterborough Lakers (2011).

Field Era[edit]

Major Series Lacrosse originated in the late 19th century as the Canadian Lacrosse Association. In its early days, it had competition from the semi-professional National Lacrosse Union that ran from around 1880 until around 1920 with teams in the Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal markets. In the early 20th century the CLA had another rival league, the Dominion Lacrosse Association in much of the same markets as the NLU. In these early days, all lacrosse was field lacrosse. Early powerhouses in the league were the Orangeville Dufferins (1890s) and the St. Catharines Athletics (1900s and 1910s).

In 1913, the CLA became the Ontario Amateur Lacrosse Association. The league had a Western Division with teams in Toronto and the Golden Horseshoe and an Eastern Division with teams in the Ottawa District, but a year later the Ottawa teams left the league. In 1920, the NLU had dropped to 3 teams and elected to disband. The OALA was left as the only Senior A league in Ontario and only had to face the Ontario Intermediate A champion for a berth into the Mann Cup National Senior championships.

In 1926, an OALA team won its first Mann Cup. Until this point, the Mann Cup was a challenge trophy, mostly dominated by British Columbia's New Westminster Salmonbellies, in 1926 the entire country could compete for the trophy in a playdown style. As standings leaders of the OALA at midpoint, the Weston Westonmen were awarded the right to represent the OALA for the Mann Cup. The Westonmen were met by the Winnipeg Tigers, whom they defeated 11-3 to become the first Mann Cup champion of the playdown era. The Westonmen were then forced to face the Brampton Excelsiors in the Ontario final who beat them 10-goals-to-6 in a two-game series. The Westonmen would dominate the Ontario scene in the 1920s with 5 league titles and the 1926 Mann Cup. In 1931, the Excelsiors defeated the Toronto Native Sons 2-games-to-1 to win the OALA championship. The Excelsiors would go on to defeat New Westminster in the Mann Cup final 2-games-to-1. This marked the end of Field Lacrosse for this league and the last Mann Cup to ever be conducted on a field.

Indoor Era[edit]

The Mimico Mountaineers would defeat the Fergus Thistles 2-games-to-1 to become the first Ontario Senior A box lacrosse champions. They would later host the Winnipeg Argos at Maple Leaf Gardens and win the first ever indoor Mann Cup 2-games-to-none.

The Orillia Terriers would be the most dominant OALA team in the 1930s, winning four straight OALA title (1934-1937) and three consecutive Mann Cup (1934-1936) becoming the first team of the Indoor Era to accomplish that streak.

In 1939, the league became the Ontario Lacrosse Association Senior A League (OLA).

The St. Catharines Athletics found their stride in 1938 and would win the OLA seven times in nine seasons (losing 1942 and 1943 to Brampton). The Athletics would be National Champions five times in that span, beating the New Westminster Adanacs 3-games-to-none in 1938, the Vancouver Burrards 3-games-to-1 in 1940, the Richmond Farmers 3-games-to-2 in 1941, the New Westminster Salmonbellies 3-games-to-2 in 1944 and the 'Bellies again in 1946 3-games-to-none.

In 1951, the core of the 1950 Mann Cup winning Owen Sound Crescents, including star goalie Lloyd "Moon" Wootton transferred to the Peterborough Trailermen. The move would lead to one of the biggest dynasties ever in lacrosse, including 8 OLA championships in 9 years, 4 Mann Cups, and an infamous standoff with the Canadian Lacrosse Association that left the entire team suspended for five years. From 1951 until 1957, the Trailermen won 7 straight OLA League titles and the first four years they won the Mann Cup, becoming the first indoor team to win four years straight. In 1951, the Trailermen defeated the Vancouver Combines 4-games-to-3 to win their first Mann Cup, then beat Vancouver (Burrards) again in 1952 4-games-to-none to win it again. In 1953 and 1954, the Trailermen defeated the Victoria Shamrocks 4-games-to-1 and 4-games-straight respectively to cap off the four cup run. Victoria would return the favour in 1955, beating the Trailermen in 5 games, and the Nanaimo Timbermen would do the same in 1956. The Trailermen would win their league again in 1957, but controversy ensued at the Mann Cup. Peterborough's star scorer Bob Allan left a BC team without receiving a release to come play for the Trailermen. Although the OLA ruled him eligible, when the team arrived in BC to play the Mann Cup, the CLA barred him from playing. Peterborough refused to take the floor for the first game without Allan and the CLA kicked them out of the playoffs and suspended every player on the team for five seasons. The Trailermen were replaced by a rusty Long Branch Pontiacs squad that were easily swept by Victoria. The Trailermen players sat out their suspension in 1958, but their suspensions were commuted in time for the 1959 season. Peterborough would win yet another league title in 1959, but could not muster any past success in the Mann Cup final. The dynasty had ended and Peterborough did not make another final for six seasons.


Team Joined Centre
Brampton Excelsiors c. 1887 Brampton
Brooklin Lacrosse Club 1961 Brooklin
Cobourg Kodiaks 2016 Cobourg
Oakville Rock 2010 Oakville
Peterborough Lakers 1949 Peterborough
Six Nations Chiefs 1993 Hagersville

All-Star Game[edit]

During the 2012 MSL Entry Draft, the league announced it would be holding its first ever All-Star Game. Peterborough was set to host, citing average attendance as the driving factor.[1] However, in April that same year, the game was cancelled due to two major issues. The first was concern of unnecessary risk of injury and the other was the distribution of revenue.[2]


Year Champion Finalist Series
Field Lacrosse Era
1887 Toronto
1888 Paris Brants
1889 St. Catharines Athletics
1890 St. Catharines Athletics
1891 Niagara Falls
1892 Stratford
1893 Stratford
1894 Stratford
1895 Seaforth
1896 Toronto Tecumseh
1897 Toronto Tecumseh
1898 Orangeville Dufferins
1899 Orangeville Dufferins
1900 Orangeville Dufferins Toronto Tecumsehs 8-0 (2 gm)
1901 Orangeville Dufferins St. Catharines Athletics 7-5 (1 gm)
1902 Brantford L.C. Woodstock Beavers 15-3 (2 gm)
1903 Brantford L.C. St. Catharines Athletics 12-2-0
1904 Brantford L.C. Toronto Tecumsehs 10-4-2
1905 St. Catharines Athletics Toronto Tecumsehs 14-2-0
1907 St. Catharines Athletics Hamilton Tigers 12-0-0
1908 St. Catharines Athletics Hamilton Tigers 6-0-0
1909 St. Catharines Athletics
1910 St. Catharines Athletics Toronto Tecumsehs 5-2-0
1911 St. Catharines Athletics Toronto Junction Shamrocks 7-0-0
1912 St. Catharines Athletics Toronto Eatons 5-1-1
1913 Brampton Excelsiors Almonte L.C. 38-4 (2 gm)
1914 Brampton Excelsiors Ottawa Shamrocks 19-1 (1 gm)
1915 Toronto Young Torontos St. Catharines Athletics 2-0-0
1916 Toronto Young Torontos St. Catharines Athletics 4-0-0
1917 Toronto Young Torontos
1918 Toronto Maitlands St. Catharines Athletics 11-10 (2 gm)
1919 Toronto St. Simon's Brampton Excelsiors Default
1920 Toronto St. Simon's Brampton Excelsiors 8-2 (1 gm)
1921 Toronto Riverside Toronto St. Simon's 8-3 (2 gm)
1922 Weston Westonmen Toronto St. Simon's 6-5 (2 gm)
1923 Weston Westonmen Brampton Excelsiors 1-0-1
1924 Weston Westonmen Toronto Maitlands 2-0
1925 Weston Westonmen Brampton Excelsiors 10-8 (2 gm)
1926 Brampton Excelsiors Weston Westonmen 10-6 (2 gm)
1927 Weston Westonmen Brampton Excelsiors 2-0
1928 Oshawa Generals Brampton Excelsiors 7-? (2 gm)
1929 Oshawa Generals Brampton Excelsiors 2-0
1930 Brampton Excelsiors Oshawa Generals 2-0
1931 Brampton Excelsiors Toronto Native Sons 2-1
Indoor Lacrosse Era
1932 Mimico Mountaineers Fergus Thistles 2-1
1933 Hamilton Tigers Mount Dennis Firemen 2-0
1934 Orillia Terriers Hamilton Tigers 2-0
1935 Orillia Terriers Burlington Beavers 2-1
1936 Orillia Terriers Hamilton-Burlington Combines 2-1
1937 Orillia Terriers Mimico Mountaineers 3-1
1938 St. Catharines Athletics Orillia Terriers 3-1
1939 St. Catharines Athletics Mimico Mountaineers 3-1
1940 St. Catharines Athletics Brampton Excelsiors 4-1
1941 St. Catharines Athletics Etobicoke Indians 2-1
1942 Mimico-Brampton Combines St. Catharines Athletics 4-3
1943 Mimico-Brampton Combines Toronto Lakeshores 4-2
1944 St. Catharines Athletics Mimico Mountaineers 4-2
1945 St. Catharines Athletics Brampton-Lakeshore Combines 4-2
1946 St. Catharines Athletics Mimico Mountaineers 4-3
1947 Mimico Mountaineers St. Catharines Athletics 4-0
1948 Hamilton Tigers Mimico Mountaineers 4-0
1949 Hamilton Tigers Brampton Excelsiors 3-0
1950 Owen Sound Crescents St. Catharines Athletics 4-3
1951 Peterborough Timbermen Mimico Mountaineers 4-1
1952 Peterborough Timbermen Weston Yorks 4-3
1953 Peterborough Trailermen St. Catharines Athletics 4-1
1954 Peterborough Trailermen St. Catharines Athletics 4-0
1955 Peterborough Trailermen Fergus Thistles 4-0
1956 Peterborough Trailermen Hamilton Burners 4-2
1957 Peterborough Trailermen Long Branch Pontiacs 4-0
1958 Welland-Crowland Switsons Brampton Excelsiors 4-0
1959 Peterborough Mercurys Brampton Excelsiors 4-0
1960 Port Credit Sailors St. Catharines Athletics 4-1
1961 Brampton Ramblers Port Credit Sailors 4-3
1962 Brampton Ramblers Brooklin Hillcrests 4-1
1963 St. Catharines Athletics Port Credit Sailors 4-0
1964 Brooklin Hillcrests Brampton Sealtests 4-3
1965 Brooklin Merchants Brampton Excelsiors 4-3
1966 Peterborough Pepsi Petes Brampton Excelsiors 4-3
1967 Peterborough Don Byes Brampton Excelsiors 4-3
1968 Brooklin Redmen Brampton Excelsiors 4-0
1969 Brooklin Redmen Brantford Warriors 4-0
1970 Peterborough Lakers Brantford Warriors 4-1
1971 Brantford Warriors Peterborough Lakers 4-2
1972 Brantford Warriors Peterborough Lakers 4-3
1973 Peterborough Lakers Brantford Warriors 4-2
1974 Windsor Warlocks Fergus Thistles 4-2
1975 Brampton Excelsiors Owen Sound North Stars 4-0
1976 Brampton Excelsiors Fergus Thistles 4-1
1977 Brampton Excelsiors Owen Sound North Stars 4-1
1978 Peterborough Red Oaks Owen Sound North Stars 4-0
1979 Peterborough Red Oaks Brampton Excelsiors 4-1
1980 Brampton Excelsiors Peterborough Red Oaks 4-1
1981 Brampton Excelsiors Owen Sound North Stars 4-2
1982 Peterborough Lakers Fergus Thistles 4-1
1983 Peterborough Lakers Brooklin Redmen 4-3
1984 Peterborough Lakers Brooklin Redmen 4-0
1985 Brooklin Redmen Peterborough Lakers 4-1
1986 Brooklin Redmen Peterborough Lakers 4-2
1987 Brooklin Redmen Peterborough Lakers 4-0
1988 Brooklin Redmen Peterborough Lakers 4-0
1989 Brooklin Redmen Peterborough Lakers 4-3
1990 Brooklin Redmen Peterborough Lakers 4-1
1991 Brooklin Redmen Brampton Excelsiors 4-1
1992 Brampton Excelsiors Peterborough Lakers 4-0
1993 Brampton Excelsiors Brooklin Redmen 4-0
1994 Six Nations Chiefs Brooklin Redmen 4-2
1995 Six Nations Chiefs Brooklin Redmen 4-0
1996 Six Nations Chiefs Brampton Excelsiors 4-1
1997 Niagara Falls Gamblers Brampton Excelsiors 4-3
1998 Brampton Excelsiors Buffalo Gamblers 4-1
1999 Brampton Excelsiors Akwesasne Thunder 4-1
2000 Brooklin Redmen Brampton Excelsiors 4-3
2001 Brampton Excelsiors Brooklin Redmen 4-1
2002 Brampton Excelsiors Brooklin Redmen 4-1
2003 Brampton Excelsiors Peterborough Lakers 4-1
2004 Peterborough Lakers Brampton Excelsiors 4-3
2005 Peterborough Lakers Brampton Excelsiors 4-3
2006 Peterborough Lakers Brampton Excelsiors 4-2
2007 Peterborough Lakers Brampton Excelsiors 4-2
2008 Brampton Excelsiors Peterborough Lakers 4-3
2009 Brampton Excelsiors Peterborough Lakers 4-2
2010 Peterborough Lakers Brampton Excelsiors 4-3
2011 Brampton Excelsiors Peterborough Lakers 4-2
2012 Peterborough Lakers Six Nations Chiefs 4-1
2013 Six Nations Chiefs Brooklin Redmen 4-0
2014 Six Nations Chiefs Peterborough Lakers 4-3[3]
2015 Peterborough Lakers Six Nations Chiefs 4-3
2016 Six Nations Chiefs Peterborough Lakers 4-3
2017 Peterborough Lakers Six Nations Chiefs 4-1
2018 Peterborough Lakers
2019 Peterborough Lakers Six Nations Chiefs 4-2
2022 Peterborough Lakers Langley Thunder 4-3
2023 Six Nations Chiefs Peterborough Lakers 4-0

Defunct teams[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "MSL news: Suitor to Peterborough, two divisions for 2012 and an All-Star Game". Inside Lacrosse. 29 January 2012. Archived from the original on 25 July 2014. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  2. ^ "All-star lacrosse game set for Peterborough cancelled". Peterborough Examiner. 22 April 2012. Retrieved 30 January 2013.
  3. ^ "Second consecutive Mann Cup for Six Nations Chiefs". Aboriginal Multi-Media Society. September 2014.

External links[edit]