Editor’s Note: We’re heading back to Prague! For the first time, LaxAllStars.com will have three of our members on the ground in Radotin for the Ales Hrebesky Memorial 2018 to give you the most in-depth coverage and behind the scenes views of the week. Thanks to the support of MaxLax, the world leader in box lacrosse gear for goalies and players, we’ll be showing off the AHM like never before! Make sure you peep the new MaxLax player gloves – super protective, super comfortable, old school inspired beauties!
What a way to finish! The fourth and final day of the 2018 Ales Hrebesky Memorial saw a full slate of great games, topped off with a spectacular finish that drew a crowd of thousands. The climb to the top saw unexpected teams in top spots and saw former champions and familiar favorites defeated.
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Day three saw LCC Radotin and the Alberta Warriors, 2017 and 2016’s respective champions, both defeated in the semifinals. A final game would be played between two teams familiar to the tournament, but neither had ever made it to the big dance prior to now.
The Custodes fell to the Nova Scotia Privateers, and Goldstar Tel-Aviv soundly defeated the Alberta Warriors. A final was set, and a third-place game would see a rematch that is quickly becoming a rivalry in Prague’s 16th district of Radotin.
The Nova Scotia Privateers hail from Canada’s most Eastern lacrosse-playing province, where the game doesn’t enjoy the senior level prowess and prestige that British Columbia and Ontario do. Senior lacrosse has waned in years past, but that ship has been turned around. Head Coach, team organizer, and truly one of my favorite people ever, Rod Humphreys has accredited the resurgence of senior lacrosse in Nova Scotia to the Ales Hrebesky Memorial.
The world famous international showcase gives guys a reason year-round to stay involved with lacrosse, with many of the players involved in coaching at the junior level. A reason to put that extra overtime shift in, a reason to go to the gym or go running. That extra special something that reinvigorates the soul can revitalize the love for the game and in doing so, the passion for spreading that love around.
Goldstar Tel-Aviv started out as a project team in an effort to give more playing opportunities to help develop Isreal Lacrosse’s talent as well as increase their international profile. Modest roots have blossomed into a powerhouse program that is seeing success all over the world. Israel won the 2017 European Box Lacrosse Championships this past summer in Finland, the program’s first international championship.
Goldstar is primarily comprised of those same players who play for the Israeli national team. If this team’s success is an indicator of how we’ll see the boys play as Israel hosts the 2018 FIL Men’s World Championships, we’re all in for quite a show as Israel looks to join the coveted Blue Division.
Day 4 Results
- Blue LSF1: Vienna Monarchs 5 – SK Jizni Mesto 4
- Blue LSF2: Jagged Mountain 3 – Istabul Sultans 5
- LSF1: Turku Titans 6 – Bratislava Bats 1
- LSF2: Green Gaels 3 – Dublin Riggers 7
- 19th Place Game: Helan GAR 5 – Chocolax 2
- 17th Place Game: London Knights 6 – LCC Wolves 5
- 15th Place Game: SK Jizni Mesto 8 – Jagegd Mountain 7
- 13th Place Game: Vienna Monarchs 1 – Istanbul Sultans 6
- 11th Place Game: TJ Malesice 6 – Bundeswehr 1
- 9th Place Game: Megamen 9 – Glasgow Clydesiders 5
- 7th Place Game: Bratislava Bats 2 – Green Gales 6
- 5th Place Game: Turku Titans 5 – Dublin Riggers 3
- 3rd Place Game: Alberta Warriors 3 – LC Custodes 6
- Final Game: Goldstar Tel Aviv 6 – Nova Scotia Privateers 3
|24||Polish Eagles (POL)|
|23||Non-Olympic Athletes from Everywhere|
|22||Old Dogs Plzen (CZE)|
|21||Adler Lacrosse (EUR)|
|19||Helan GAR (SWE)|
|18||LCC Wolves (CZE)|
|17||London Knights (ENG)|
|16||Jagged Mountain (USA)|
|15||SK Jizni Mesto (CZE)|
|14||Vienna Monarchs (AUS|
|13||Istanbul Sultans (TUR)|
|11||TJ Malesice (CZE)|
|10||Glasgow Clydesiders (SCO)|
|8||Bratislava Bats (SVK)|
|7||Green Gaels (CAN)|
|6||Dublin Riggers (IRE)|
|5||Turku Titans (FIN)|
|4||Alberta Warriors (CAN)|
|3||LC Custodes (CZE)|
|2||Nova Scotia Privateers (CAN)|
|1||Goldstar Tel Aviv (ISR)|
- Offensive MVP: Mike Burke, Dublin Riggers
- Defensive MVP: Jacob Silberlicht, Goldstar Tel Aviv
- Top goaltender: Mitch Hannigan, Nova Scotia Privateers
- Top scorer: Mike Burke, Dublin Riggers – 14 goals, 11 assists
- Tournament MVP (according to points): Mike Burke, Dublin Riggers – 25 points
- Top save %: Viktor Blaha, LCC Wolves – 82%, 93 saves
All Star Team
- Goalie: Viktor Bláha (LCC Wolves)
- Defence: Matt Dunbar (Nova Scotia Privateers), Martin Horváth (Bats Bratislava)
- Transition: Jakub Výmola (LC Custodes)
- Attack: Chad Culp (Goldstar Tel Aviv), Greg Bourret (Alberta Warriors)
Brian’s Worthy Watch
Nova Scotia Privateers – 3
Goldstar Tel Aviv – 6
Goldstar’s Matt Popeck dropped the first goal, and Tel-Aviv never looked back. Dominant defense gave the offense the multitude of chances necessary in order to solve Nova Scotia’s stud goaltender Mitch Hannigan.
Keeping the Privateers offense on the bench was Tel-Aviv’s key to success. Without looking at statistics like possession time or failed clears, it was just the simple observation that double the possessions and attempts led to double the score. If Tel-Aviv and Nova Scotia were both given the same number of possessions, we quite honestly might see a tied game – but that’s not how box lacrosse works. Games are won and lost between the lines, and that transition game belonged to Tel-Aviv.
The crowd was treated to a great game, followed by a jubilant and celebratory closing ceremony. Eyes were then turned to the sky for the fireworks show that takes all of the emotion and the love that goes into this tournament and puts it into something visual and tangible.
I’ll have a feature article coming up in the next few days, only after I’m able to wrap my skull around all the great moments and fantastic experience this 25th annual Ales Hrebesky Memorial has been for everyone in attendance. For now, dive back into the final that nobody outside (and probably inside) of Israel and Nova Scotia ever expected.
From the GRAM!