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.@USAMLax edges Canada, 11-10, in pool play matchup of FIL Championship favorites

Sunday, 15th July 2018

Categories Boy's/Men's, International, Posted 7/15/18
From US Lacrosse

Paul Rabil ripped home the game-winning goal with just 1:10 remaining in the contest to give the United States an 11-10 victory over Canada in a matchup of the two heavyweights at the Federation of International Lacrosse Men’s World Championship today in Netanya, Israel.

“That was as good of a lacrosse game as I’ve ever been involved in,” said U.S. team head coach John Danowski. “But we all know, it’s only game number three.”

The U.S. and Canada have combined to win all 12 previous men’s international world championships, with the U.S. holding a 9-3 overall advantage. However, Canada has won two of the last three, including the 2014 championship in Denver.

In theory, this game doesn’t mean much — the loser of the pool play matchup between the two countries has gone on to win the championship the last three times — but neither team played that way.

U.S. goalie John Galloway got off to a red-hot start with five first quarter saves and the U.S. had early leads of 2-0, 4-1 and 6-2 before Canada started chipping away.

Canada dominated possession towards the end of the first half with Ben McIntosh and Jeff Teat scoring goals before halftime to cut the U.S. lead to 6-4.

Canada was slow to slide to U.S. sharpshooter Ryan Brown to start the third quarter and Brown connected to stretch the U.S. lead back to 7-4.

Canada answered with back-to-back goals before Brown completed a hat trick late in the third quarter to give the U.S. an 8-6 lead entering the fourth quarter.

Curtis Dickson (Delaware) drove to the cage to pull Canada within one again early in the fourth quarter, but Rob Pannell then scored on a nifty back-handed shot to give the U.S. a 9-7 lead with 15:54 remaining.

Canada then scored three straight goals, taking its first lead of the game at 10-9 as Ben McIntosh (Drexel) streaked down the alley and finished a feed from behind the cage by Mark Matthews with just 5:10 remaining.

The U.S. responded to the challenge. Matt Danowski took a feed from Paul Rabil and ripped home a sidearm rocket to tie the game 10-10 with 3:04 left in the game.

Greg Gurenlian (Springfield-Delco, Penn State, Duke’s LC) won the ensuing draw and the U.S. called timeout.

The U.S. turned it over, but Canada turned it over back to the U.S. on the clearing attempt, giving the U.S. offense another chance.

Rabil, a two-time all-world honoree and the MVP of the 2010 FIL World Championship, spun his man around and buried an outside shot to give the U.S. the 11-10 lead with 1:10 remaining.

Gurenlian again won the faceoff, but after his shot attempt sailed out of bounds, Canada called a stick check on Gurenlian and his stick was deemed to be illegal. Canada got possession of the ball and an extra man opportunity with 1:01 remaining.

The U.S. man-down defense came up big, denying Canada and sealing the game as Joe Fletcher stripped Matthews of the ball and the U.S. ran out the clock to take control of the Blue Division with a perfect 3-0 record.

Rabil’s four points on the game-winning goal and three assists paced the U.S. offense. Brown had his three goals and Danowski and Pannell each scored twice. Galloway finished the game with eight saves and the U.S. tandem of Gurenlian (6-of-11) and Trevor Baptiste (6-of-12) battled Canada’s duo of Geoff Snider and Jake Withers to a stalemate.

Teat had a hat trick for Canada (2-1) and Dickson and McIntosh each scored twice. Dillon Ward made 12 saves for the Canadians. Jordan Wolf (Lower Merion, Duke’s LC) scored once for the US.

The U.S. will play for the third straight day when it meets Scotland at 9:45 p.m. (local time). The game will be streamed on ESPN+ at 2:45 p.m. (Eastern).

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