U-19 I-Nats fueled by Six Nations talent

COQUITLAM B.C. – The 2016 U-19 Iroquois Nationals faced their toughest opponent Monday night in Coquitlam at the FIL U-19 World Lacrosse Tournament being hosted in Coquitlam B.C., this and next week.

After demolishing England 22-4 in their opening game, the I-Nats put up a strong effort against Team Canada but could not hold the lead and lost 12-9 to last U-19 Worlds silver medalists.

Things did not get any easier for the Iroquois Monday when they took on last tournament Gold Medalists, Team USA.

Team USA was too much for the Nationals who lost to the powerful Americans 17-3. After scoring all three of their goals in the first quarter, the I-Nats were shut out the rest of the way and are now one win and two losses.

As of Tuesday morning, Austin Staats leads the I-Nats with 10 goals and five assists followed by Tahoka Nanticoke with 10 goals and three assists.

The Nationals will closed out the preliminary round against Australia Tuesday night and missed our deadline. The Australian’s record is also 1-2 going into Tuesday night’s game.

It took a strong fourth quarter surge from Team Canada to earn a 12-9 win over the Iroquois Nationals Friday. The game had to move to two other fields before finishing — one did not have enough working lights to safely light the field and the other had a timer go off and caused a delay of almost an hour before play could safely resume, breaking the I-Nats momentum.

The Nationals were coming off a 22-4 drubbing of England in their tournament opener, Friday, but found a much tougher opponent in their second game, matched up against Team Canada.

Sunday, Six Nations selections Austin Staats and Tehoka Nanticoke combined for the first three I-Nats goals in a 3-3 first quarter.

The Nationals led Canada 6-5 at the half with Staats picking up his third of the contest and Nanticoke adding his second both on powerplays. Also scoring for the I-Nats was Matthew Bennett.

Canada is being led by Jeff Teat who has seven goals and seven assists in three games played to date.

Teat opened the second half with a pair of unassisted goals before Nanticoke nailed his third and fourth of the game before the quarter ended with Canada and the Nationals tied at 8-8.

Nanticoke opened the fourth quarter with his fifth of the game to take a 9-8 lead, but Canada owned the final quarter outscoring the Iroquois 4-1 for the 12-9 final score.

Staats recorded three goals and an assist in the loss.

Canadian head coach Taylor Wray was full of compliments for the skill level of the I-Nat’s players.

“It was a really hard fought game. There are some unbelievable players on both teams,” Wray said. “Their guys made some pretty incredible plays tonight, almost indefensible plays. You’ve got guys draped all over them, and they make great catches, turn and spin and shoot. I mean, I don’t know what to tell our guys to stop that. They have some great players.”

Friday Nanticoke lead the Iroquois Nationals U-19’s in their debut at the 2016 FIL U-19 by clobbering Team England 22-4. Nanticoke scored five goals and earned two assist.

Austin Staats (4G, 1A), Skye Sunday (3G, 1A), Matthew Bennett (3G, 2A), Sekawnee Baker (3G), Larson Sundown (2G, 2A), Chase Scanlan (1G, 2A), and Skylar Thomas (1G). Tyler Armstrong and Brody Bartell combined to make 14 saves in net.

One of Naticoke’s goals was put up on social media and went viral. It shows Nanticoke stepping between a number of English defenders and firing a strike with an underhanded behind the back shot from about three feet off the edge of the crease.

Box lacrosse goalie Dougie Jamieson, is playing an out position taking faceoffs for the I-nats and showed great skill winning 12 out of 14 draws.

The big surprise this year is Team Israel who defeated Hong Kong 10-3, Taiwan 17-3 and Germany 12-7 in their first ever appearance in the World U-19 Championships.

The world lacrosse event runs from July 7-16.

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