O Canada: Mammoth rolls to title
VAIL ” The town of Avon shot off its fireworks Monday night.
Team Mammoth waited until the second half of Tuesday’s Men’s Elite finals of the Vail Lacrosse Shootout to display its pyrotechnics.
Mammoth, essentially the Canadian national team in training for worlds later this month, blew open an 8-5 game at the half, blitzing Team Go Fast with 10 goals in the final 24 minutes for an 18-6 win and a Shootout title at Ford Park.
“It was fun,” Team Mammoth player/coach Steve Govett said. “It was an opportunity for these guys to come together and bond and play a lot of lacrosse together and develop chemistry. That was what was most important.”
Team Canada opens worlds as the host country July 14 against Japan in London, Ontario.
“It’s great. The city of Vail puts on a great weekend here,” Team Mammoth midfielder Geoffrey Snider said. “It’s awesome to get up here and show the culture of lacrosse. Ultimately, for us as a team, we’re looking to move forward and build. Things are great. We had a great time.”
The margin of 12 goals tied the record for the most lopsided victory in a Men’s Elite final. But in all fairness to Go Fast, runners-up for the second consecutive year at the Shootout, it’s not every year that a national squad shows up at the Shootout.
Go Fast happily collected its second-place trophy and chanted “U.S.A.,” unofficially crowning themselves as the American Shootout champions.
“Finishing second to Team Canada is great,” Go Fast coach Jon Barocas said. “Our guys were ready. We were prepped. I think we gave them a hell of a fight.”
Flipping the switch
Go Fast did ” in the first half, trailing only 8-5 at intermission. But Go Fast’s lack of depth, as well as Mammoth’s overall skill was decisive in the final 24 minutes.
“These guys, they can turn it off and turn it on whenever they want,” Snider said. “They’re incredible lacrosse players. I think it was just time that we bite the bullet and bear down and start putting the ball in the net.”
Mammoth essentially put on a clinic in the second half. Even down three men to penalties in the fourth quarter, the Canadians stuffed Go Fast. On the other end of the field, it was a shooting gallery at a carnival.
When the dust settled, John Grant Jr. had a hat trick. Gavin Prout, Ryan Ward, Jeff Zywicki, and Snider each had two. Grant Jr. added four assists to his column.
“I think John Grant Jr. finally decided to play lacrosse, so that’s pretty much what happened,” Govett joked. “I think he waited until a half in. We’re happy to see Junior step up and play.”
Snider earned tournament MVP honors, which he humbly accepted on behalf of his team.
“I don’t really think of myself as that type of player,” Snider said. “It’s just a reflection of the guys around you. Everybody on this team is a high-caliber player and this is a team award. It’s not an individual award by any means.”
Michael Donegar led Go Fast with two goals.
“We would have given them a game, but we were kind of short on the bench,” Barocas said. “We didn’t have anybody here today. Some guys didn’t make it out. Some guys had to leave early, so we were very, very short. Considering it all, we played a very good first half and we kind of ran out of gas.”
Sports Editor Chris Freud can be reached at 748-2934, or email@example.com.