Canada’s offense carried it into the gold medal game of the inaugural men’s Sixes championship at The World Games, but it was its defense that keyed the early momentum in a 23-9 victory over the United States in the championship match.
Canada goalie Brett Dobson made saves on the first three U.S. shots and its defense forced the U.S. into 13 turnovers in the game, including five in the opening quarter.
The Canadians came into the championship game with 95 goals in four games (23.8 per game) but the U.S. defense, which allowed only 41 goals in its first four victories, was its biggest test. Other than a couple of fast break goals by Zach Currier in the early going, the U.S. defense held strong, but Canada’s lockdown defense got the offense going.
Canada scored four goals in the final 3:12 of the first quarter and then erupted for eight second quarter tallies and the offense never slowed up.
The U.S. strung together three straight goals late in the third quarter to close the gap to 16-8, but Dobson came up with a big save with just over two minutes to go in the quarter and Canada once again seized momentum with four goals in the final 1:44 of the quarter.
Jeff Teat led Canada with seven points on four goals and three assists while Currier had a game-high five goals. Dobson made nine saves.
Zach Goodrich was the only U.S. player with multiple goals, scoring twice. Justin Guterding (1g, 1a) and Tom Schreiber (2a) each had two points while Jack Kelly made seven saves.
Connor Kirst (15 goals) and Ryan Conrad (14 goals, 1 assist) led the U.S. in scoring in the tournament with 15 points each while Guterding (9g, 3a), Colin Heacock (12g) and Schreiber (7g, 5a) each had 12 points. Kelly made 43 saves.
The silver medal marked the 27th consecutive world lacrosse event that the U.S. men have medaled including the senior and U19 field championships and box championships.
In the bronze medal match, Japan beat Great Britain 19-18 in overtime on Kazuki Obana’s goal. It was the first medal for Japan in any world lacrosse championship.