For the fourth consecutive time, Team Canada edged out the Iroquois Nationals for the FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships gold medal.
This time around, Canada came away with a 12-8 victory in front of over 10,000 fans at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY.
“It’s a tough one, that’s for sure,” Iroquois Nationals head coach Rich Kilgour said. “I’m disappointed. I’m definitely not disappointed in us. I’m just disappointed that we came up a goal or two short. I really think we had the team to do it this year. But you have to give Canada credit. They’re a great team and they beat us in a really good lacrosse game.”
In the first quarter, both teams exchanged goals, with Johnny Powless, Haina Thompson and Miles Thompson getting on the board for the Iroquois Nationals, while Curtis Dickson scored twice for Canada with Shawn Evans adding one.
Canada again started strong in the second quarter, with Dan Dawson and Zach Greer giving their team the lead before Jeff Shattler quickly responded. Dhane Smith and Randy Staats then exchanged goals midway through the frame to give Canada a one-goal lead at the break.
Dawson and Dickson again gave the Canadians another quick start, this time in the third quarter, before Shattler netted his second of the game.
Lyle Thompson gave the Iroquois Nationals a jump start in the fourth quarter to get the crowd going, but it was Steve Priolo and Stephan Leblanc silencing them despite Staats’ goal with five and a half minutes left in the game to again make it a two-goal lead.
Dawson and Dickson rounded out the scoring late in the game.
Despite the loss, Angus Goodleaf was at times spectacular in the Iroquois Nationals net as Canada fired 41 shots his way. Matt Vinc collected the win, as he faced 45 shots.
“We have to leave with our heads held high,” Staats said. “We don’t have anything to be ashamed of. We played hard and just came up short.”
Jeremy Thompson agreed.
“We played for our people, and I think we did them proud,” the eldest Thompson said. “It was a true honour to have the tournament on Native soil. This might be a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m glad we showed the world what we can do. It would have been amazing to bring home the gold.”
Coach Kilgour said hopefully that will happen next time, when the 2019 world tournament is in British Columbia.
“We have a great group here,” Kilgour said. “I love these guys. They gave us everything. They’re great role models and acted like professionals. I can’t say how proud I am of them.”
NOTES: After the gold medal game, the tournament announced its All-World Team and the Most Valuable Player award.
GOALTENDER – Matt Vinc – Canada
DEFENSE – Sid Smith – Iroquois
DEFENSE – Chris Corbeil – Canada
TRANSITION – Jeff Shattler – Iroquois
FORWARD – Lyle Thompson – Iroquois
FORWARD – Mark Matthews – Canada
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER – Shawn Evans – Canada
Media Relations, Iroquois Nationals