Team Canada makes history as they hand Team USA their first ever loss at the U19 World Field Lacrosse Championships

If you were to head over the U19 World Field Lacrosse Championship home page and check out the Team USA team preview, the headline reads “Unbeatable? Team USA is a big favorite”. Well that may have been the case coming into the tournament, but a 24 year unbeaten streak might have been weighing on the young shoulders of the defending champs who had never lost a game in the U19 tournament since the first one back in 1988 in Adelaide, Australia.

Well the round robin game between Team USA and Team Canada, was an instant classic and has really set the tone for the rest of the tournament. Team Canada only trailed once and that was a 9-8 score early in the first overtime period as the teams battled for every inch of turf in Turku, Finland today.

Team Canada seemed to have the game in complete control but the gritty Americans out scored the boys in Red and White 4-1 in the fourth quarter to send the game to extra lacrosse. In the International game, they play two four minute periods to decide and winner and if its still tied, they would then move to sudden-victory. Bu that wouldn’t be the case.

After Steven Pontrello gave the US their first lead, Canada was able to reply quickly as Wes Berg tied things up on a beautiful back door cut then two more goals from Chad Tutton and Reily O’Connor sealed the deal.

While it may just be a round robin game, this win for Team Canada drastically changes the landscape of the tournament. Having never lost a game in the tournament’s existence it will be interesting to see how the Americans bounce back from this loss.  After stating with an impressive 24-6 opening win, the Americans will now have to regroup and focus on the English who they’ll play Sunday before finishing the round-robin against the Iroquois Nationals Tuesday.

For Canada, they will most likey have a few high fives and cheers after this win but they’ll have to put it in their pocket as they will square off with the Iroquois tomorrow, the English Monday then wrapping up against the Australians.

Canadian goalie Brennan Donville went the distance making 12 saves, while the Zachery Oliveri and Kyle Turri split time for Team USA combining for 7 saves.

For more stats and info, check out the Tournament website – http://www.2012worldlacrosse.com/

But in all the hype around the Canada US game, lost is the Nationals. Remember back in 2010 when the Men’s team had passport issues and were unable to make it to the worlds in Manchester? Well this year,  there are a lot of eyes on the U19s to make an immediate impression and they did just that. In their opening game, they took out all there pent-up aggression from a few years away from international field competition pummeling the English 24-2.

While most feel it will be a Canada versus USA final, the Iroquois team will most definitely have something to say about that over the next few days. One things for sure, two of those three teams will be meeting in the semi-finals setting us for some more fantastic field lacrosse action.

Teddy Jenner is one the leading sources for lacrosse information. He comes by his love of lax honestly with a lifetime of experience, two Mann Cup championships and six years of play in the NLL. Email him at ted.jenner@ilindoor.com, follow him on Twitter @OffTheCrosseBar or catch him on Team 1410 radio in Vancouver, B.C., as the host and producer of the Off the Crosse-Bar Radio Show In 2012, he was awarded the BCLA's Norm Wright Merit Award- handed out to a member of the media deemed to have have contributed to the promotion of lacrosse.

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