Big things are happening for lacrosse in Quebec right now. Montreal is hosting a National Lacrosse League exhibition game December 15; a pair of Quebecois players will be taking part in that game after winning the right in a tryout camp; and now, it has been announced that the Presidents Cup will return to La Belle Province in 2013 with the Kahnawake Mohawks serving as hosts. The tournament, which decides the championship of Canadian Senior B lacrosse leagues, will be happening at the home of a Quebec team for the second time in three years; the Snake Island Muskies of the Three Nations Lacrosse League held it at their Cornwall Island home in 2011.
“Our goal is to host a world-class event and for this to be one of the best Presidents Cup tournaments ever held,” Mohawks owner and General Manager Kerry Goodleaf told Kahnawake News of the event that will be held August 26 to September 1 at the Kahnawake (pronounced Gah-na-wa-gey) Sports Complex.
League champions from Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta, the Iroquois Lacrosse Association and the Can Am league will make their way to Kahnawake to contest the national championship, joining the Mohawks and the QSLL champions or the runners-up if Kahnawke wins the league title.
The ILA and QSLL have played an interlocking schedule for the past few years to provide greater competition for both leagues. In 2011, a pair of ILA clubs wound up meeting for the gold medal. The host Snake Island Muskies dropped an 11-8 decision to the St. Regis Braves in the Turtle Dome. The Braves successfully defended their title in 2012 and will be looking for a three-peat in Kahnawake.
With the Mohawks playing host, two of the QSLL’s three teams will take part in the tournament. The Vermont Voyageurs tied with Kahnawake at 8-7-1 in the regular season this past summer and the Montreal Phoenix sat just two games back at 6-9-1, so it should be a hard-fought battle to earn the league’s other Presidents Cup berth.
The QSLL and ILA saw an influx of professional talent in 2011 when teams brought in elite players to go after the coveted championship. Josh Sanderson, Brodie and Patrick Merrill, Callum Crawford, Blaine Manning, Brandon Miller and Jamie Rooney were among the National Lacrosse League players to turn up in Quebec that summer.
Mohawks assistant GM and tournament organizer Greg Horn says the Canadian Lacrosse Association is looking to implement rules that will limit the number of players that teams can bring in for the season to chase the title. There’ll still be plenty of quality talent on display, though. A number of American players looking to develop their box games have become regulars in the ILA, including Greg Rogowski, Ryan Hotaling and Ethan Farrell. The association also boasts First Nations talent like Mark Kirby, Andrew Lazore and the Thompson family, including 2012 Presidents Cup MVP Jerome Thompson.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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