LANGLEY, British Columbia – Saint Joseph's sophomore midfielder Zach Mantei and redshirt freshman attackman Levi Anderson made history on the Canadian box lacrosse scene in August as the pair led the Okotoks Raiders to their first Minto Cup win over a team outside of Alberta in program history. When all was said and done, the Calagary duo led the Okotoks to what is being deemed as the best representation by an Alberta team in Minto Cup history.
The Minto Cup is one of the oldest sporting trophies in North America and serves as the Jr. A (U-21) National Championship series for box lacrosse in Canada. The tournament features the winners of the Ontario Jr. A League, British Columbia Jr. A League, and the Rocky Mountain Lacrosse League. The host province also earns the right to have its runner-up fill out the four-team tournament; this year, it was British Columbia that hosted a championship that saw the Coquitlam Adanacs (BC champion), Victoria Shamrocks (BC runner-up), Orangeville Northmen (Onatrio champion), and Okotoks Raiders (Rocky Mountain champion) create the four-team field.
The Okotoks Raiders are based just outside of Calgary and compete in the RMLL, which has three teams from Alberta and one team from Saskatchewan. The Okotoks were trailing two games to none in the RMLL Championship but came back to win the league title in Game 7 and earn the league's automatic berth to the Minto Cup. Anderson and Mantei were both instrumental in that run as assistant captains for their team. Anderson ranked second in the league in regular-season scoring (29g, 34a through 15 games) and led the league in playoff scoring (17g, 19a through nine games) while Mantei finished second on the team in playoff scoring (12g, 18a through 10 games) after missing the regular season due to injury.
Both Anderson and Mantei went on to excel at the Minto Cup. Mantei led the Okotoks in scoring with 4.0 points per game while both Mantei and Anderson were honored as individual game MVPs over the course of the tournament. The Okotoks defeated the Victoria Shamrocks in the Round Robin A of the tournament but fell to them in OT of the semifinals.
"I couldn't be more proud of the entire Okotoks Raiders team and our players Levi Anderson and Zach Mantei for their win tonight," said head coach Taylor Wray following the squad's win over Victoria on August 17.