World Lax: USA splits first two contests

USA’s Connor Buck lines up against Andrew Kruter of Team Israel at the 2019 WILC. (Photo courtesy of Vancouver Sports Pictures)

On opening night of the 2019 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship, Team USA (0-1) fell hard to Canada (1-0) 16-6. Kieran McArdle and Blaze Riorden were the only goal scorers with three each. After McArdle tied the game in the early going, Canada went on a six-goal run to take control before Riorden scored on a two-man advantage. But then Canada’s stingy defense and more experienced goaltending was the big story. For the next 28 minutes Canada held USA off the scoreboard while scoring five times themselves and opening a 12-3 lead before McArdle would end the scoreless drought.

Canada, the defending champions, would outscore USA in the final stanza 4-3 and walk away with an opening night 16-6 victory.

David Mather started for Team USA, but was relieved by Gowah Abrams (29 saves) after Canada went up 6-1. Mather (seven saves) would return in the fourth quarter to finish the game. Dillon Ward went the distance and stopped 36 shots.

Canada’s high powered offense was led by Mark Matthews (3G/4A), while Shayne Jackson, Robert Church, Zach Currier, Ben McIntosh, Dhane Smith and Curtis Dickson all had two goals apiece. As a team they combined for 26 assists.

McArdle also added a pair of assists. Joe Resetarits and Gale Thorpe each had three assists.

Friday night was a much better outcome for Team USA (1-1) as they defeated Israel (0-2) 18-10.

After an up and back first quarter, USA would lead 5-3. Adam Osika would start the scoring for USA, but Kyle Bergman for Israel would tie the game early. Other than the 1-1 tie, Israel would get as close as 4-3 the rest of the way.

Joel White would collect his first goal short-handed to put USA up 6-3, and every time Israel would score, the USA would score twice to slowly separate themselves. After Israel made it 8-5, USA would start a five-goal run that would go into the third quarter. When the run was over USA saw themselves up 13-5. They held Israel scoreless for 14:52 during the goal run.

Team USA did have a bit of a mental lapse as Israel scored three straight on some mental errors and penalties by USA, but it didn’t matter as USA would win 18-10.

Israel was led by Jean-Luc Chetner (3G/2A). Dan Deckelbaum, Kyle Bergman and Isaac Bock each had a pair of goals. Adam Wolf chipped in with (1G/5A) while Zachary Pall had four helpers.

The USA was led by McArdle (2G/7A), Resetarits (4G/4A), Thorpe (2G/3A), White (2G/1A), Riorden (1G/4A). Player of the game Anthony Kelly, the senior statesman on the team at 39 years old, had three goals on the night and played a stellar defense as well.


Division Leaders (after Friday)

(Blue) Canada 2-0…

(Green) Czech Republic 2-0…

(Orange) Finland 2-0…

(Yellow) Serbia 2-0…

The top team in each of the other divisions will join the Blue division in the run for the gold medal.