From Canadian Men’s Indoor Lacrosse Team
May 27, 2011
IROQUOIS NATIONALS PRIMED FOR TITLE GAME
PRAGUE _ The Iroquois Nationals are ready to take on Canada for gold at the world indoor lacrosse tournament.
“It will be the biggest test of the tournament by far,’’ says Nationals star Jeff Shattler. “They’re a powerful team.
“They pretty much put an all-star team together and we’ve got our work cut out for us but I think we’ve got a good bunch of guys here and I think we’re going to do great.’’
An 11-10 round-robin win over the United States has been the toughest test for the Nationals. It got them to the Friday semifinals and they had little trouble dispatching the Czech Republic 19-6 after Canada defeated the United States 15-10.
“The quality of play is getting a lot better in Europe and the Czech Republic played really well,’’ said Shattler, the NLL’s MVP with the Calgary Roughnecks this year. “But the one big test we’ve had so far was against the United States and you see what Canada did to the States.
“So we’ve got our work cut out for us. It’s not going to be no cakewalk, that’s for sure. So we have to bring it 100 per cent. We can’t have any passengers. I think we’ll do fine.’’
Canada edged the Nationals 15-14 in overtime in the last world final four years ago and that loss remains a bad memory for the Nationals.
“We’ve been looking forward to this for a long time,’’ says captain Sid Smith. “We met up with them in the last two tournament championship games so we’re looking to take this one for us.
“We’re preparing for a battle. We know it won’t be easy. We’re going to have to bring our A game to win this one but we’re prepared to do that.’’
Cody Jamieson has been one of the most productive Iroquois forwards this week and he’s eager for the chance to score goals against Canada.
“We’re ready for it,’’ he says. “We’ve waited four long years. We’re healthy. Get a good night’s sleep and come focused.’’
Staying out of the penalty box will be a must.
“We will have to play with emotion but keep our emotions in check,’’ he said. “They’re going to get goals and go on runs. We just have to limit the runs they get and go on a couple of runs of our own _ just play with a lot of emotion but under control.’’
It was good to get into a game even if it was an easy win against the Czechs, said Nationals coach Duane Jacobs.
“We were a little rusty with three days off,’’ he said. “But, you know, we’re in the final and that’s what we came here for, to try and have another opportunity to win.
“It’s going to be a tough task to beat Canada. They’re loaded with talent. For us to give ourselves an opportunity we have to come and play and give it our all every shift.’’
Having Mike Thompson in goal means anything is possible.
“Any time you’ve got a top-notch goaltender it never hurts,’’ he said.
Czech coach Jim Veltman, the Toronto teacher and former captain of the NLL Rock, fielded an all-Czech lineup as he gave his Canadian players to rest up for the game for bronze against the United States on Saturday. The players he used trailed only 3-1 after one quarter before getting blown away.
He was asked what his thoughts were on the Canada-Iroquois final.
“In one game of lacrosse anything can happen,’’ he said. “When you have goalies like they do, and they are very physical, Canada is going to have to run, run by them, and transition them as much as possible. I think Canada has more speed but maybe the Iroquois have more toughness. It’s going to be a good game.’’
Team Canada media contact: Neil Stevens at email@example.com