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WILC Nation Preview: Canada

WILC 2015 Nation Preview: Canada

With only a couple of weeks left until the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship 2015 we look at the team Canada is bringing in attempts to win another gold!

The World Indoor Lacrosse Championship 2015 takes over the Onondaga Nation next month and in preparation for the historic event we will be taking a deeper look into each of the 13 nations that will be competing for the gold September 18th-27th, 2015!

Never defeated in international play, the National Box Lacrosse Team of Canada will be heading to the WILC 2015 next month expecting to bring home another gold medal.

Let’s get to know Canada before they hit the floor in September!

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Canada vs Australia WILC 2011 Eduard Erben, CPA Czech Photo
Eduard Erben, CPA Czech Photo

Canada

Box Lacrosse Founded: 1930’s
Governing Body:
Canadian Lacrosse Association
Previous WILC Finish: 1
Website: Lacrosse.ca
FB:/CanadianLacrosseAssociation
Twitter: @LacrosseCanada
Instagram: N/A

Preparations for the WILC 2015

What are some of the biggest concerns or obstacles still in the way of Canada having the ideal trip to the WILC?

The entire staff and roster are entirely focused on bringing home another gold medal at WILC 2015.

There are no major concerns for Team Canada leading up to the opening ceremony of the event on September 18th.

Canadian Lacrosse History

When was box lacrosse founded in Canada and by whom?

“In the 1840s the first games of Lacrosse were played between the townsfolk and the Native People. Though it was many years before any significant wins were logged against the Natives, the game of Lacrosse was quickly winning the loyalty and interest of the newest North Americans. Lacrosse was named Canada’s National Game by Parliament in 1859. In 1867 the Montreal Lacrosse Club, headed by Dr. George Beers, organized a conference in Kingston in order to create a national body whose purpose would be to govern the sport throughout the newly formed country. The National Lacrosse Association became the first national sport governing body in North America dedicated to the governance of a sport, the standardization of rules and competition, and the running of national championships to promote good fellowship and unity across the country. The unforgettable motto of the organization was: “OUR COUNTRY – OUR GAME”

Lacrosse, because of its unique history, exists as a link between the disparate components of Canadian history, First Nations and European Settler. It remains the rare occurrence in which an element of native culture was accepted and embraced by Canadian society. The European concepts of structure and rules were added to the religious and social rituals of the first North Americans, and together produced one of the first symbols of the new Canada, Lacrosse.

1965 Coquitlam Adanacs vs New Westminster Salmonbellies in Vancouver, Canada
1965 Coquitlam Adanacs vs New Westminster Salmonbellies in Vancouver

The advent of the 20th century saw Lacrosse as the dominant sport in Canada. There were extensive amateur and professional leagues across the country and teams routinely traveled from Quebec and Ontario to B.C. and vice versa to challenge for supremacy in the game. In 1901 Lord Minto, the Governor General of Canada, donated a silver cup to become the symbol of the championship of Canada. The Minto Cup, today the symbol of supremacy in the Junior ranks, remains one of the proudest prizes of Lacrosse. In 1910 Sir Donald Mann, chief architect of the Canadian Northern Railway, donated a gold cup to be awarded to the national amateur senior champion. Today it is the championship prize of the best Senior team in Box Lacrosse in Canada.

The coming of the 1930s brought innovation once again to the sport. Promoters married the two most popular games, Lacrosse and Hockey, and created Indoor Lacrosse, also known as Box Lacrosse or Boxla. The game was built upon speed and action and very quickly won massive support within the organization. By the mid 30’s the field game had been completely replaced by Boxla and the box version became the official sport of the Canadian Lacrosse Association.

Gait Canada Lacrosse gloves WILC 2015 WILC Nation Preview: Canada Photo Credit Canadian Lacrosse Association
Photo Credit: Canadian Lacrosse Association

The Canadian Lacrosse Association today recognizes four separate disciplines in the game of Lacrosse: Box, Men’s Field, Women’s Field and Inter-Lacrosse. Box Lacrosse is uniquely a Canadian game and is best described as a game of speed and reaction. Men’s Field Lacrosse is a game of patience and strategy which focuses on control of the ball. The Women’s Field game has stayed truest to the original sport in its play. It is a game based on the skills of passing and ball control. Inter-Lacrosse is a non-contact version of the sport designed to be adaptable to the various age and skill levels of the participants.

Lacrosse was re-confirmed by Parliament as the National (Summer) Sport of Canada in 1994.”

– Shared by Canadian Lacrosse Association from Lacrosse.ca

What other events has Canada competed in internationally?

Canada vs Australia WILC 2011 Eduard Erben, CPA Czech Photo
Eduard Erben, CPA Czech Photo
  • World Indoor Lacrosse Championship 2003 – 1st Place
  • World Indoor Lacrosse Championship 2007 – 1st Place
  • World Indoor Lacrosse Championship 2011 – 1st Place
  • World Indoor Lacrosse Championship 2015 – TBD

Team Canada had two different teams participate in The Nations 1980, the very first world championship for box lacrosse. The Coquitlam Adanacs won the event representing Canada West. Teams from Canada competed against the US, Australia, and for the very first time, the Iroquois Nationals.

In 1985, Canada played a “best of” super series against the United States which led as predecessor to the early versions of the NLL. Games were scheduled across the US and Canada to see if pro lacrosse could draw a crowd, testing the waters for future leagues.

2015 Players and Staff

In general, how would you describe the players on the Canadian national team? What are the guys like off the field?

Our entire national team is full of great ambassadors to the sport of lacrosse. Every player stated how honored they were to be selected and you can tell they truly mean it.

Off the field they’re all great guys; part of the selection process was the character of these players and they all have such strong character that makes them great on and off the floor.

Which key individuals from your country should lacrosse enthusiasts look toward as an ambassador of the game?

WILC Nation Preview: Canada Photo Credit Canadian Lacrosse Association
Photo Credit: Canadian Lacrosse Association

All of the coaches and players on Team Canada, and specifically our captains and assistants, are great lacrosse players and great leaders on and off of the floor that demonstrate the highest level of sportsmanship.

Who are the team’s most experienced players for the WILC?

Offense: Captain Dan Dawson will be suiting up in his 3rd WILC event. Joining him will be veterans Shawn Evans and Stephan Leblanc, nothing competing in their 2nd WILC.

Transition: Canada is excited to have Brodie Merrill playing in his 3rd WILC alongside Chris Corbeil going for his 2nd WILC.

Eduard Erben, CPA Czech Photo
Eduard Erben, CPA Czech Photo

Defense: Kyle Rubisch and Brett Mydske are putting the sweaters back on for their 2nd WILC.

Goalie: Matt Vinc is one of the top goaltenders in the NLL and will be competing in his 2nd WILC with Team Canada.

Finally, who is Team Canada’s coaching staff and what is their experience?

Team Canada will be led by head coach Eddie. Comeau has spent 16 years coaching in the NLL, where he won 5 Champion’s Cups with a career coaching record of 54-32. That is until that record changes this winter as Comeau was recently named as the new Georgia Swarm head coach.

Joining Comeau is assistant coach Derek Keenan, GM and head coach of the NLL’s Rush. Keenan has coached in the NLL since 1999 and will be a great asset to the team.

Assistant coach Paul Day is the GM of the Peterborough Lakers of the MSL and he serves as an assistant coach with the Rochester Knighthawks. Day adds that much more experience to the world-class coaching staff.

Glenn Clark is the current head coach of the New England Black Wolves in the NLL. Clark was a member of Team Canada for the WILC 2003 before becoming the goaltending coach for Team Canada in 2011.

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Thanks to Britany Gordon and the Canadian Lacrosse Association for taking the time for this interview.

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