COQUITLAM B.C. — The Iroquois Nationals returned from Coquitlam B.C. with the Bronze Medal once again this year at the FIL U-19 World Championships, finishing third behind Canada and Tournament winners, the USA.
The I-Nats defeated Australia 20-8 for the a third Bronze Medal finish in as many tournaments.
Mitch Laffin of the Onondaga Nation led the way for the Iroquois Nationals scoring six goals and adding three assists en route to a 20-8 victory over Australia.
Austin Staats scored three and assisted on three while Tehoka Nanticoke was held to two goals and an assist.
The power of this year’s I-Nats was clearly centred on two Six Nations players, Tehoka Nanticoke and Austin Staats, both of whom were selected for Team World all-stars. Nanticoke also won MVP honours for position players.
Staats finished the tournament with 22 goals, 14 assists for 36 points to lead the I-Nats in scoring. He was followed by Nanticoke with 22 goals and 9 assists for 31 points.
The Nationals came close to upsetting Canada earlier, but let a lead slip away late in the game.
The Iroquois held Team Canada to a 1-1 first quarter tie with Staats providing the Nationals’ goal and Tanner Cook scoring for Canada.
Canada pulled ahead 4-1 early in the second frame but an explosion of five Iroquois goals ended the half with the I-Nats leading Canada 6-4 with goals scored by Sekawnee Baker of the Squamish First Nation, Staats of Six Nations, Skye Sunday of the Mohawk Nation, and two by Nanticoke of Six Nations.
Following the half-time intermission, the I-Nats continued to press the Canadians. After Trent Laclair scored for Canada, Doug Jamieson and Nanticoke scored to build an 8-5 lead. Canada’s Ryan Lanchbury made it 8-6 before Nanticoke struck again with his fourth goal for a 9-6, I-Nats lead.
Canada then strung together the next four goals of the quarter to take a 10-9 third quarter lead.
Canada continued, scoring three more to start the final quarter and take a 13-9 lead. I-Nats’ Devon Buckshot broke the string at 13:45, but Canada answered. Mitch Laffin scored unassisted for the last goal of the game at 18:56 for a 14-11 Canadian win.
In games played earlier, Wednesday July 13th, the I-Nats pounded Ireland 22-5, and Australia 16-5. The USA powered over the I-Nats 17-3, and Canada won 12-9. The Nationals won over England 22-4 in the Iroquois first matchup of the tournament.