Salmonbellies Bolster Back End Ahead of Mann Cup
The New Westminster Salmonbellies announced today that they have added three talented and familiar faces to their defensive core in preparation for the Mann Cup, which begins September 8th at Queen’s Park Arena. Mike Messenger and Travis and Jeff Cornwall will all be wearing the Red, Blue and White through the series. All three players were already listed on New Westminster’s protected player list, but they can now be activated under Lacrosse Canada rules.
Defensive stars Messenger and Jeff Cornwall are returning members of the Bellies line-up who have been unavailable for WLA play since 2019. Travis Cornwall put on a Salmonbellies jersey for the first-time last year, playing 6 regular season games for New Westminster.
Messenger was not available for the Salmonbellies during the regular season or playoffs due to his professional field lacrosse commitments with the Premier Lacrosse League Chrome. However, when the Chrome were eliminated from PLL playoff contention, Messenger became available for the Mann Cup. Messenger was a major factor in the Salmonbellies 2017 Mann Cup effort and, even though the team didn't win that series, Messenger was considered a standout on defense, face-offs, and transition. Messenger is known for his exceptional physicality and intensity on the floor and, with the amount of offensive power in the Six Nations Chiefs lineup, he will be a valuable asset. Drafted in the first round by the Bellies in 2017, he was WLA Defender of the Year in 2018 and an All-Star in 2019, the last year he played in the league. He also plays for the NLL Saskatchewan Rush in the winter. The Surrey resident played all six games in the 2017 Mann Cup, earning one goal and three assists.
Jeff Cornwall last played for the Salmonbellies in 2016 before being traded to Maple Ridge where he played until 2019. He and his brother have been busy with coaching in the junior ranks for the last two seasons, and Jeff was a part of the back-to-back President’s Cup winning teams out of Ladner. Both brothers were added to the protected list of the Salmonbellies last year, but only Travis was able to play due to Jeff’s Senior B commitment.
Both are known for their strength and ability to carry the ball from end-to-end when needed. And, like Messenger, they rarely come out of a loose-ball scrum without possession.
Salmonbellies GM, Ray Porcellato, had this to say about the trio, “All three of these players add the elements we know we’ll need to win at the Mann Cup level. All three are exceptional athletes able to withstand the punishment of a championship series and they will give us more opportunities in transition. We’re excited to have Mike, Jeff, and Travis in Bellies colours and we know they will be natural additions to the team.”