We’ve got game notes, interesting statistics and short thoughts from the Duel in Denver. Canada beat Team USA 11-9 in a relatively tight international friendly at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Denver, Colorado. Click here for a full game recap.
– Attendance at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park was announced at just over 4,500 people. The crowd was definitely into the game and excited to be seeing such great international lacrosse. The turnout bodes very well for the 2014 World Games in Denver, and DSGP is a GREAT venue for an event like that.
– The Canadian players paid their own way to Denver so that they could maximize profits from the event for charity. Their custom helmets will be auctioned off and that money will also go to a trust established in Chris Sanderson’s name. The former Canadian team goalie who passed from cancer this year was clearly on all of the players’ minds, and it showed in their play and passion.
– Geoff Snider and Greg Gurenlian had some good battles at the X, with Gurenlian winning two-thirds of the draws he took. Matt Dolente did well at times for the US, but Geoff Snider was able to push the ball forward nicely multiple times.
– The US outshot Canada 47-34.
– Canada out saved the US 23-8.
– Goaltending was key. Drew Adams and Jesse Schwartzman made saves when they could, but faced a lot of tough inside shots throughout the game in their USA debut. Both Kirk and Dineley proved to be excellent stoppers for Canada.
– The game was pretty clean for an intense rivalry game, and both teams were 1-3 on man-up opportunities. There was a little scrapping, but few cheap shots, if any.
– Canada has definitely improved their overall athleticism, and they bring some large players to the table. The US still has a noticeable edge in athleticism, but the gap does seem to be closing.
– The Canadian poles and goalies impressed, not only in how they played together within their system, but also when they had the ball, they cleared it very well, and helped to create transition.
– Brodie Merrill played a late game man-up possession with a longstick. The Canadians weren’t going to the goal, and he was functioning as an outlet distributor, left on the field in case of a turnover, but the play spoke to the heady play the Canadians brought to the game all night long.
– Matt Bocklet had a strong game, leading the US in ground balls with 6… 3 more than the next closest US player, Jesse Schwartzman. Brodie Merrill has 7 ground balls for Canada, 3 more than the next guy, Geoff Snider.
– Overall, Canada won the ground ball war 32-29, and the US won the face off battle 13-11.
– Each team failed to clear the ball only twice. Canada was 19-21 and the US was 18-20.
– Starting Team USA middies Paul Rabil, Joe Walters and Max Seibald combined for 15 shots, 9 shots on cage, and one goal.
– Canada had four players; John Grant Junior, Adam Jones, Jordan McBride and Kevin Ross, chip in with a goal and an assist. Those four players combined for 8 total shots and 8 points in the game.
– DIII Alert: Canada has two players from RIT (NCAA D3) on their team in Jordan MacIntosh and MJ Kiekebelt (#27, who isn’t in the box score for some reason). Team USA had Stephen Berger from WAC.
– The clouds I saw on my flight back to NYC from Denver were amazing.
We’ll be back all week long with much more from our trip out to Denver. It’s only going to get better from here.