Archive for February, 2006

Landing on their feet

The defending champion Toronto Rock are coming off another championship season. Picked by most experts as the favorite to win it all again, the champs surprise everyone with a 2-4 start to the new season. What happens next? The coaching staff is fired.

No, I’m not talking about Terry Sanderson and the 2006 Toronto Rock. I’m talking about coach Ed Comeau and GM Derek Keenan of the ’04 Toronto Rock. Actually, I should say interim coach Comeau and interim GM Keenan.

Shortly before the 2004 season, Les Bartley, the winningest coach in professional lacrosse, was diagnosed with colon cancer. Bartley handed the reins over to longtime assistants Comeau and Keenan so he could battle the disease that eventually took his life in May of ’05.


Money well spent

In 1978, Canada defeated the U.S. to win the World Games. That was a significant event in Canadian lacrosse history, but because it happened in England, the average Canadian never heard about it.

In the late ’80s, the Gaits revolutionized NCAA lacrosse, but back in Canada there was no significant media coverage of their exploits. Again, this didn’t register on the radar of the average Canadian.

But in the Champion’s Cup final on May 6, 2000, Kaleb Toth blasted the winning shot past Rochester goalie Pat O’Toole with 1.1 seconds remaining to give the Toronto Rock a 14-13 victory. It was the last professional goal at Maple Leaf Gardens. More importantly, it was seen by more Canadians than any goal in the history of lacrosse.