Two members of the Maple Ridge Burrards will be playing for Team Canada as the 2019 World Lacrosse Indoor World Championship is played in Langley in the coming week.
Ben McIntosh and Curtis Dickson were the two top scorers for Canada last year, winning silver in the outdoor worlds at the 2018 FIL Men’s World Lacrosse Championship in Nentanya, Israel.
“Any time you get to play for your country it’s an honour,” said Dickson, noting this will be his fourth time playing for Canada, and second time at the indoor worlds.
“But it’s the first time on home soil, so that will be pretty special.”
Superstars in both the WLA and NLL, they will be sniping for Canada from Sept. 19-28, when 20 teams from around the world compete over 10 days to determine one world champion. Canada will be looking for a fifth consecutive Cockerton Cup Trophy, as the event is held on Canadian soil for the first time since 2007, at the Langley Events Centre.
Last year, Dickson had three goals in the outdoor world championship game, and McIntosh scored a pair. Both were named to the all-world team, as Dickson had 19 goals and one assist in the seven games, while McIntosh was second to him in team goal scoring with 14 goals and four assists.
The Canadians suffered a controversial last-second loss in the gold medal game on Saturday. They lost 9-8 to the U.S. As the last goal was scored, the stadium clock time had expired, but the official game clock was said to have a minute remaining, and the Americans upended the defending champions. Canada had beaten the U.S. in 2014 in the gold medal game in Denver, Colorado.
A pair of recent Burrards, who played for the team on deals to finish out the past season, will also be in the roster. Maple Ridge fans watched Dane Dobbie fill the net for the Burrards, but he will be back with the Langley Thunder next season. Goaltender Christian Del Bianco of the Coquitlam Adanacs, who was acquired as a Burrard goaltender for one season, will also don the Maple Leaf jersey.
Dickson said there is a lot of familiarity among the Canadian players, because the world of elite lacrosse is relatively small. World-class players are competing year-round in various leagues, only getting about a month off each year.
“Most of these guys have played together at some point in their career.”
Looking to dethrone the Canadians, who have dominated indoors, will be Australia, Austria, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, England, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Iroquois Nationals, Israel, Mexico, Netherlands, Serbia, Scotland, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.S.
This will the fifth edition of the championship – which is held every four years – and Canada is gunning for a fifth consecutive gold medal. The Canucks have beaten the Iroquois Nationals in the championship final all four times, and the U.S. has won bronze in all four events.
Dickson has been a spokesman for the tournament this year.
The action gets underway with round-robin play from Sept. 19-23 before the teams are split into the championship bracket (eight teams) and the consolation bracket (12 teams) for the remainder of the tournament.
Canada opens the tournament against Team USA on Thursday, Sept. 19, in the LEC Arena Bowl at 7:30 p.m.
“It’s going to be tough all the way through,” said Dickson. “The U.S. has got a lot of talent, and they will be a tough test.”
The remaining team Canada schedule:
• On Friday, Sept. 20 they take on England at 4:30 p.m.
• On Sunday, Sept. 22 they play Israel at 4:30 p.m.
• On Monday, Sept. 23 they play the Iroquois Nationals at 7:30 p.m.
All of Canada’s games will be in the LEC Arena Bowl.