Box players making their mark at Canadian University field champs

Mike Lum-Walker gets to bring his physical game with a six-foot pole in CUFLA field play. (Photo: Tim Prothero, VintageLax)
Mike Lum-Walker gets to bring his physical game with a six-foot pole in CUFLA field play. (Photo: Tim Prothero, VintageLax)

Box lacrosse fans would see plenty of familiar faces at the 2012 Canadian University Field Lacrosse Championships, held this weekend at Trent University in Peterborough. Both the East and West division scoring leaders are prominent indoor players. Mike Burke of the Guelph Gryphons, and one of half a dozen 2012 NLL draft picks at the final six tournament, led the West and Canada with 42 goals and 16 assists for 58 points in 11 games. The eastern leader was Alex Henderson of Bishops. The 2009 Peterborough Lakers Rookie of the Year scored 26 goals and 20 assists for 46 points.

Burke’s teammates with the Gryphons,Curtis Knight and Jordan Critch, also went in the draft this year. Knight, the 2011 Minto Cup MVP, was Edmonton’s first choice, eight overall and Critch was taken by Buffalo in the second round. Jordan Daradick is one of the leading scorers in CUFLA and is a strong bet to be taken in tonight’s CLax Entry Draft. Connor Danko was the goalie for the Peterborough Jr Lakers in their run to the OLA semi-finals this past summer and my also be tabbed by a CLax team. Swarm defender Joe Wasson is a fifth-year midfielder with the team. The Gryphons also include a pair of up-and-coming NLL defenders, Calgary teammates and brothers Jon and Greg Harnett.

The Brock Badgers boast a trio of 2012 NLL draftees: defenders Mike Lum, Justin Pychel and Bryan Campbell. All-Canadian middie Dustin Dunn is a Minto Cup winner with Peterborough and spent the summer with the Nanaimo Timbermen in the WLA. Craig England was drafted last year and had a strong rookie summer with Ajax in MSL. Brad Baker is the captain of the Jr Lakers. Steve Priolo is a Buffalo Bandit (although he’s so far unsigned for this season) and anchors the Brock back line.

The host Trent Excalibur features a player who went in this year’s NLL draft as well: midfielder Tyler Tanguay. Fellow middie Niall Caravello won the Minto Cup with Orangeville this summer and Kalvin Thomas is a goalie both for the Excalibur and the Durham Turfdogs in CLax. Attack Mike Temple was a member of the 2006 Sr Lakers, although he didn’t suit up in the playoffs or Mann Cup victory.

Interestingly, the teams meeting in the CUFLA championship game are not loaded with box stars crossing over, although you will find plenty of the Western Mustangs playing indoors in the summer. Kyle Childerhose is one of the few Mustangs with a more advanced box pedigree, having played last winter for the Peel Avengers, the CLax team that has now moved to Niagara to become the Lock Monsters.

The McGill Redmen are an anomaly in an age where a new wave of Canadian laxers head south of the border to play college ball. Over half of their 41-man roster is listed as hailing from the United States: 22 players from 13 different states.

Stamp is a TV sports announcer and lacrosse lover whose skill set made him a defender but who always dreamed of being a goal-scorer. He can be reached at stamplax@hotmail.com.

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