The Iroquois Nationals earned a berth into the FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championships thanks to a 17-10 victory over the United States in front of a sold out Onondaga Arena on Friday.
“We’re really happy to get the victory,” head coach Rich Kilgour said. “We’re right where we want to be going to the gold medal game on Sunday.”
Unlike every game of the tournament, the Iroquois Nationals got off to a slow start, with Joe Walters scoring a pair of goals in the first three minutes of the game for the Americans.
Five minutes into the quarter, Brett Bucktooth got things going, with Craig Point adding two more. Lyle Thompson and Randy Staats pitched in with one each.
The Iroquois Nationals continued to roll in the second quarter, with Johnny Powless scoring twice, while Staats, Lyle Thompson, Adam Bomberry and Roger Vyse added to the lead.
Walters and Joe Resetarits responded for the United States.
Miles Thompson led the offence in the third quarter, scoring three times, with Staats adding one.
Garrett Thul, Joel White and Walters attempted to chip away at the Iroquois Nationals’ lead.
Lyle Thompson and Haina Thompson rounded out the fourth quarter scoring for the Iroquois Nationals, while Resetarits, Kevin Buchanan and Casey Powell did the same for the Americans.
“It got a little scary when the US got off to a quick start. But the boys kept their nose to the grindstone and took care of business,” Kilgour said. “I thought it was a great all-around effort. I thought the D was strong. Were also able to hang up 17 on them. You have to be pleased as a coach when you can do that.”
Despite the somewhat shaking start, Angus Goodleaf was again on top of his game the rest of the way, making 28 stops.
“I said earlier in the tournament that we need to get better every game,” Kilgour said. “Tomorrow we’re going to have practice, and keep trying to get better. Then hopefully we’ll put on a good show Sunday.”
In the other semifinal, Canada easily defeated Israel 19-3 to set up the gold medal rematch.
“It felt pretty special (playing the United States in Onondaga),” Johnny Powless said. :The first game we played them was exciting, with the opening ceremonies. This time around we were ready for them. We watched a lot of film.”
As for the final, Powless said preparing will consist of much the same process.
We’ll watch the film and the coaches will lay out a game plan,” Powless said. “It’ll be a fun game. We’re excited for it.”
The championship game is set for 4 p.m. at the Carrier Dome.
Media Relations, Iroquois Nationals