Team Canada and Team Iroquois U17 players took the floor of the Bell Centre in Montreal for a game ahead of the Canada versus Iroquois pro contest scheduled for Sunday afternoon. The teams were reprising the exciting final of the Canadian box lacrosse championships held as part of the Ontario Lacrosse Festival in Whitby in August. The Ontario team that won that game in overtime was selected to represent Canada, as there was little time for planning and no budget to bring players in for the Montreal contest. Team Canada did add a Quebec representative in the West Island Lacrosse Association’s Alan Singleton, who starred for Team Quebec at the nationals.
Ryan Lanchbury had a hat trick to lead the Canadian side to a 13-8 win. Canada led 4-1 after the first period and 7-5 after the second. Travis Burton (Brampton) and Jordan McCullough (Whitby) each added a pair of goals for Canada, with McCullough also making some beautiful assists. Austin Staats and Cam Horn each scored three times for the Iroquois. Staats also had several penalties and was ejected from the game for unsportsmanlike conduct after his final marker.
Lanchbury, a 15-year-old from Burlington who plays at Avon Old Farms prep school in Connecticut, was a whirling dervish on the floor. “It was cool to play with my teammates from nationals again, and it’s a cool opportunity to represent your country,” Lanchbury said after the game.
Team Canada Head coach Jason Crosbie said they were actually surprised that Lanchbury didn’t score more. “We have a name for him, we call him the Mongoose. He’s just everywhere and he never stops. He reminds me a little bit of Shawn Evans. He just has a knack for getting to those spots and those areas to score goals. He’s the smartest kid on the floor.
Crosbie said he’s not sure all his players get the significance of the game mean yet. “I think it’s still sinking in for a lot of them. This is the first experience with Team Canada stuff and I think they don’t really understand it yet. We talked about respecting the game and going about doing it the right way, and they did.”
Team Canada chairman Dean French said he hopes the game can be a springboard to the creation of a world championship for either the U17 or U19 age group. He believes it would help to grow the game, both indoors and outdoors, around the world.
Iroquois Head Coach Randy Chrysler said the Iroquois nations would love to see a world championship come about for the young players. “That would be awesome,” Chrysler said. “These kids work hard. They love the game, and when they get that type of attention at an early age it just makes them better. You can tell the love that every kid out there has for the game. That would be tremendous for the whole game.”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 email@example.com.
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