We can’t WAIT for the Duel in Denver on September 8th! The Grow The Game Tour will be there in full effect, and this game should be a fantastic preview of the heavily anticipated 2014 FIL World Games, which will also be played in Denver.
All next week we’ll be going more in-depth on the US team, but right now we are going to take a look at the Canadian team. They are going to be a talented squad, even if a lot of their guys are on the younger side. It just might be a Canadian youth movement as they prep for 2014!
The youth movement starts in goal, as Angus Dineley and Evan Kirk looks to be the backstoppers for the Canadians. Dineley played at the University of Toronto as a graduate student after playing in the US at Canisius College. Kirk played his collegiate lacrosse at Hobart. While these guys went to smaller D1 schools, both are extremely capable between the pipes, and either seems capable of being the next great Canadian field goalie. Head Coach, Randy Mearns, is also the coach at Canisius, and he knows these younger guys well.
Canada’s longsticks keep the youth movement going nicely, but also mix in some veteran talent and leadership. Brodie Merrill and Matt Vinc lead the older contingent, while Reid Acton (Loyola), Kiel Matiez, MJ Kiekebelt, Dan Coates, Jason Noble (Cornell) and Jordan Houtby (Detroit Mercy) will provide youthful legs, great sticks, and more aggressive play. The Canadian poles can all handle the ball, and could definitely generate some points in transition.
Canada could also get some points off of face offs as Geoff Snider returns to action. Snider just finished coaching the Canadian U19 team, and he is going to be motivated to win against the US. Expect Snider to come up big. And don’t think he’s going to have to do it all alone, because the Canadian midfield is stacked with young talent.
Cam Flint (Denver), Chad Tutton (UNC), Jeremy Noble (Denver), Kevin Crowley, Adam Jones and Jordan MacIntosh are just a couple of the guys who could see a lot of time in the midfield, and with all this talent, the goals should come, even against Team USA’s stingy defense. I think the biggest question for Canada comes in the form of midfield defense, but as we all know, Canadian offensive stars usually aren’t slouches when it comes to playing defense either.
Down on attack, the Canadians will, as always, have lots of options. John Grant Jr is the elder statesman of the group, but the man has never been better, and that’s a little scary. Mark Matthews adds athleticism and dodging punch, while Jordan McBride adds a dangerous finishing touch. I’m not sure where Kevin Ross, Wesley Berg (Denver) and Curtis Dixon will get run (M or A?), but I am sure that they will be effective.
Canada’s talent may be on the younger side, but they definitely look strong.
Five of Canada’s Duel in Denver players play, or played, at Denver; four at Canisius; two at Delaware; two at Stony Brook; two at NCAA DIII RIT; and one each at UNC, Robert Morris, Cornell, Georgetown, Loyola, Detroit Mercy and Hobart.
Tickets to the Duel in Denver are on sale now at the Dick’s Sporting Goods Park box office, all Dick’s Sporting Goods retail kiosks, online at TicketHorse.com, or by calling 303.53.HORSE. Check out Corey McLaughlin’s piece over at LaxMagazine.com For more on Team Canada’s roster. We’ll be there with the Grow The Game Tour, will YOU?