Major Series Lacrosse

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.

Major Series Lacrosse
Major Series Lacrosse
SportBox lacrosse
No. of teams6
Country Canada
Most recent
Peterborough Lakers
Official website


Field Era

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

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.


Brampton Excelsiorsc. 1887Brampton
Brooklin Redmen1961Whitby
Cobourg Kodiaks2016Cobourg
Oakville Rock2010Oakville
Peterborough Lakers1949Peterborough
Six Nations Chiefs1993Hagersville

All-Star Game

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
1888Paris Brants
1889St. Catharines Athletics
1890St. Catharines Athletics
1891Niagara Falls
1896Toronto Tecumseh
1897Toronto Tecumseh
1898Orangeville Dufferins
1899Orangeville Dufferins
1900Orangeville DufferinsToronto Tecumsehs8-0 (2 gm)
1901Orangeville DufferinsSt. Catharines Athletics7-5 (1 gm)
1902Brantford L.C.Woodstock Beavers15-3 (2 gm)
1903Brantford L.C.St. Catharines Athletics12-2-0
1904Brantford L.C.Toronto Tecumsehs10-4-2
1905St. Catharines AthleticsToronto Tecumsehs14-2-0
1907St. Catharines AthleticsHamilton Tigers12-0-0
1908St. Catharines AthleticsHamilton Tigers6-0-0
1909St. Catharines Athletics
1910St. Catharines AthleticsToronto Tecumsehs5-2-0
1911St. Catharines AthleticsToronto Junction Shamrocks7-0-0
1912St. Catharines AthleticsToronto Eatons5-1-1
1913Brampton ExcelsiorsAlmonte L.C.38-4 (2 gm)
1914Brampton ExcelsiorsOttawa Shamrocks19-1 (1 gm)
1915Toronto Young TorontosSt. Catharines Athletics2-0-0
1916Toronto Young TorontosSt. Catharines Athletics4-0-0
1917Toronto Young Torontos
1918Toronto MaitlandsSt. Catharines Athletics11-10 (2 gm)
1919Toronto St. Simon'sBrampton ExcelsiorsDefault
1920Toronto St. Simon'sBrampton Excelsiors8-2 (1 gm)
1921Toronto RiversideToronto St. Simon's8-3 (2 gm)
1922Weston WestonmenToronto St. Simon's6-5 (2 gm)
1923Weston WestonmenBrampton Excelsiors1-0-1
1924Weston WestonmenToronto Maitlands2-0
1925Weston WestonmenBrampton Excelsiors10-8 (2 gm)
1926Brampton ExcelsiorsWeston Westonmen10-6 (2 gm)
1927Weston WestonmenBrampton Excelsiors2-0
1928Oshawa GeneralsBrampton Excelsiors7-? (2 gm)
1929Oshawa GeneralsBrampton Excelsiors2-0
1930Brampton ExcelsiorsOshawa Generals2-0
1931Brampton ExcelsiorsToronto Native Sons2-1
Indoor Lacrosse Era
1932Mimico MountaineersFergus Thistles2-1
1933Hamilton TigersMount Dennis Firemen2-0
1934Orillia TerriersHamilton Tigers2-0
1935Orillia TerriersBurlington Beavers2-1
1936Orillia TerriersHamilton-Burlington Combines2-1
1937Orillia TerriersMimico Mountaineers3-1
1938St. Catharines AthleticsOrillia Terriers3-1
1939St. Catharines AthleticsMimico Mountaineers3-1
1940St. Catharines AthleticsBrampton Excelsiors4-1
1941St. Catharines AthleticsEtobicoke Indians2-1
1942Mimico-Brampton CombinesSt. Catharines Athletics4-3
1943Mimico-Brampton CombinesToronto Lakeshores4-2
1944St. Catharines AthleticsMimico Mountaineers4-2
1945St. Catharines AthleticsBrampton-Lakeshore Combines4-2
1946St. Catharines AthleticsMimico Mountaineers4-3
1947Mimico MountaineersSt. Catharines Athletics4-0
1948Hamilton TigersMimico Mountaineers4-0
1949Hamilton TigersBrampton Excelsiors3-0
1950Owen Sound CrescentsSt. Catharines Athletics4-3
1951Peterborough TimbermenMimico Mountaineers4-1
1952Peterborough TimbermenWeston Yorks4-3
1953Peterborough TrailermenSt. Catharines Athletics4-1
1954Peterborough TrailermenSt. Catharines Athletics4-0
1955Peterborough TrailermenFergus Thistles4-0
1956Peterborough TrailermenHamilton Burners4-2
1957Peterborough TrailermenLong Branch Pontiacs4-0
1958Welland-Crowland SwitsonsBrampton Excelsiors4-0
1959Peterborough MercurysBrampton Excelsiors4-0
1960Port Credit SailorsSt. Catharines Athletics4-1
1961Brampton RamblersPort Credit Sailors4-3
1962Brampton RamblersBrooklin Hillcrests4-1
1963St. Catharines AthleticsPort Credit Sailors4-0
1964Brooklin HillcrestsBrampton Sealtests4-3
1965Brooklin MerchantsBrampton Excelsiors4-3
1966Peterborough Pepsi PetesBrampton Excelsiors4-3
1967Peterborough Don ByesBrampton Excelsiors4-3
1968Brooklin RedmenBrampton Excelsiors4-0
1969Brooklin RedmenBrantford Warriors4-0
1970Peterborough LakersBrantford Warriors4-1
1971Brantford WarriorsPeterborough Lakers4-2
1972Brantford WarriorsPeterborough Lakers4-3
1973Peterborough LakersBrantford Warriors4-2
1974Windsor WarlocksFergus Thistles4-2
1975Brampton ExcelsiorsOwen Sound North Stars4-0
1976Brampton ExcelsiorsFergus Thistles4-1
1977Brampton ExcelsiorsOwen Sound North Stars4-1
1978Peterborough Red OaksOwen Sound North Stars4-0
1979Peterborough Red OaksBrampton Excelsiors4-1
1980Brampton ExcelsiorsPeterborough Red Oaks4-1
1981Brampton ExcelsiorsOwen Sound North Stars4-2
1982Peterborough LakersFergus Thistles4-1
1983Peterborough LakersBrooklin Redmen4-3
1984Peterborough LakersBrooklin Redmen4-0
1985Brooklin RedmenPeterborough Lakers4-1
1986Brooklin RedmenPeterborough Lakers4-2
1987Brooklin RedmenPeterborough Lakers4-0
1988Brooklin RedmenPeterborough Lakers4-0
1989Brooklin RedmenPeterborough Lakers4-3
1990Brooklin RedmenPeterborough Lakers4-1
1991Brooklin RedmenBrampton Excelsiors4-1
1992Brampton ExcelsiorsPeterborough Lakers4-0
1993Brampton ExcelsiorsBrooklin Redmen4-0
1994Six Nations ChiefsBrooklin Redmen4-2
1995Six Nations ChiefsBrooklin Redmen4-0
1996Six Nations ChiefsBrampton Excelsiors4-1
1997Niagara Falls GamblersBrampton Excelsiors4-3
1998Brampton ExcelsiorsBuffalo Gamblers4-1
1999Brampton ExcelsiorsAkwesasne Thunder4-1
2000Brooklin RedmenBrampton Excelsiors4-3
2001Brampton ExcelsiorsBrooklin Redmen4-1
2002Brampton ExcelsiorsBrooklin Redmen4-1
2003Brampton ExcelsiorsPeterborough Lakers4-1
2004Peterborough LakersBrampton Excelsiors4-3
2005Peterborough LakersBrampton Excelsiors4-3
2006Peterborough LakersBrampton Excelsiors4-2
2007Peterborough LakersBrampton Excelsiors4-2
2008Brampton ExcelsiorsPeterborough Lakers4-3
2009Brampton ExcelsiorsPeterborough Lakers4-2
2010Peterborough LakersBrampton Excelsiors4-3
2011Brampton ExcelsiorsPeterborough Lakers4-2
2012Peterborough LakersSix Nations Chiefs4-1
2013Six Nations ChiefsBrooklin Redmen4-0
2014Six Nations ChiefsPeterborough Lakers4-3[3]
2015Peterborough LakersSix Nations Chiefs4-3
2016Six Nations ChiefsPeterborough Lakers4-3
2017Peterborough LakersSix Nations Chiefs4-1

Defunct teams

See also


  1. "MSL news: Suitor to Peterborough, two divisions for 2012 and an All-Star Game". Inside Lacrosse. 29 January 2012. 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.
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