Canada’s drive for five straight gold medals at the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship came to fruition on Saturday.
The number-one-ranked Canadians captured the Cockerton Cup with a 19-12 win over the second-ranked Iroquois Nationals as the 10-day tournament wrapped up at the Langley Events Centre.
Curtis Dickson of Port Coquitlam, B.C., led the way for Canada with five goals. Robert Church had four goals, Dhane Smith and Dane Dobbie each scored three times, Chris Corbeil scored twice and Mark Matthews and Ben McIntosh had singles for the Canadian team.
Zed Williams scored five times to lead the Iroquois, Tehoka Nanticoke had three and Cody Jamieson, Randy Staats, Kyle Jackson and Lyle Thompson each scored once.
Mike Poulin made 42 saves in net for Canada, while Warren Hill made 37 saves on 54 shots for Iroquois and Doug Jamieson allowed one goal on two shots during 1:17 of relief duty in the second quarter.
With an enthusiastic supporters group pounding their drums in an energized Langley Events Centre, Iroquois got off to a strong start, jumping out to a 1-0 lead when Williams beat Poulin in close on the first shot of the game, just 19 seconds into the game. Canada responded by taking a 4-2 lead before Iroquois equalized again.
The Canadians led 6-5 after 15 minutes, then outscored Iroquois 5-1 in the second quarter to take an 11-6 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Shots were even at 15-15 in the third quarter, where Canada extended its lead to 14-8 and killed off a holding penalty to Dan Coates late in the frame.
In a wild fourth quarter, Iroquois scored four times but couldn’t cut the deficit to less than five goals — forcing the team to settle for silver for the fifth-straight time at this event.
The World Indoor Lacrosse Championship was launched in 2003 with a six-team field and has been held every four years. This fifth edition saw a record 20 teams competing in four tiered groups of five squads each.
In the end, the medal results aligned with all four previous tournaments — Canada brings home gold, Iroquois Nationals earning silver and the United States claiming bronze.
Lacrosse was invented by Indigenous people, and when the Iroquois Nationals were admitted into the International Lacrosse Federation (ILF) in 1990, they became the only Native American team sanctioned to compete in any sport internationally.
The Iroquois Nationals hosted the 2015 edition of the championship four years ago at Onondaga Nation, south of Syracuse, New York. In the 2015 gold-medal game, Canada bested the hosts by a score of 12-8.
This year, Iroquois advanced to the gold-medal game after a fourth-quarter come-from-behind 9-7 semifinal win over the United States on Thursday. Earlier on Saturday, the third-ranked U.S. team withstood a second-half surge from England, winning the bronze-medal game 11-8.
The Canadians have never lost a game in World Indoor Lacrosse Championship play. This year, the team went 4-0 in pool play, outscoring their opponents 70-28, then beat England 21-4 in their semifinal game on Thursday.
The Iroquois Nationals finished second in the top-level Blue Group with a 3-1 record, scoring 60 goals while surrendering 40. The only Iroquois loss came against Canada, where the team was unable to protect a 7-6 halftime lead and ultimately fell 19-12.