The Iroquois Nationals won the Bowhunter Cup with a 24-11 win over the U.S. Developmental Team in Six Nations last weekend. (Photo: Larry Palumbo/Lacrosse All-Stars)
Several National Lacrosse League stars helped the Iroquois Nationals defeat the United States Indoor Lacrosse Development Team by a score of 24-11 in the Bowhunter Cup this past Saturday at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Six Nations, Ont.
Toronto Rock forward Roger Vyse led the way for the Iroquois offensively by scoring a game-high four goals and six assists for 10 points. Vyse did the bulk of his work in the second quarter, scoring a hat trick and three helpers in the period to help the Nationals break away from the U.S. IL team.
After the U.S. trimmed their early deficit to 5-3 in the second quarter, Vyse rattled off three of the Iroquois’ next four goals in a span of 3:48. He scored the Nationals’ sixth goal at 4:05, and minute latter, scored their eighth goal on the power play. He then made it 9-4 just over a minute after Matt Hickman scored the U.S.’s fourth goal. Vyse dished out assists on the next three Iroquois goals, the first scored by Rochester Knighthawks forward Cody Jamieson.
Jamieson and his Knighthawks teammates Craig Point and Johnny Powless were right at home at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena. Not only is the arena in their hometown in Six Nations, it is where the Knighthawks hold their team’s practices. The trio, playing in their second consecutive Bowhunter Cup together, combined for eight goals and seven assists. In the fourth quarter, Jamieson completed his hat trick with assists from Point and Powless, creating a box score often found at a Knighthawks game.
"First of all, they had a great time out there. They were moving the ball well, they were shooting well,” said Knighthawks Owner and General Manager Curt Styres. “Craig is probably in the best shape of his career, and Johnny is getting better and smoother all of the time. Cody is getting better and better, too.”
Edmonton Rush transition player Jeremy Thompson aided the Nationals’ effort with four points, as well as controlling the faceoff circle. He won the opening draw, and in only five seconds, found Marty Hill on the crease to take a 1-0 lead. His faceoff win just over four minutes into the second quarter helped Point score a second consecutive goal for the Nationals in a mere seven seconds.
The USIL Developmental Team was led by Ethan Farrell of the Philadelphia Wings and Mike O’Brien of the Minnesota Swarm. Head Coach Randy Fraser, who played over a decade in the NLL, immediately noticed the leadership displayed by the duo.
“From the get-go when we were forming the team, they were the immediate two leaders that popped out, so they were captains for tonight,” Fraser said. “It’s the locker room talks, it’s the confidence that they showed, and it’s the body language that they use. They led by example and they led with their voices.”
Farrell led the U.S. with three goals, and helped spark a third-quarter rally. He netted two of the five goals the Americans scored in the quarter, which trimmed a ten-goal deficit to 16-10 with less than five minutes remaining in the period.
“We just wanted to compete and prove that we could run with the guys and play with them,” Farrell said. “I think we proved that at times tonight. It’s a positive step for USA and how far box has come.”
O’Brien and Jim Forsythe, a teammate of Farrell’s in Philadelphia, were two defenders given the tall task of slowing the Iroquois’ high-powered offense.
With the win, the Iroquois have now won the last three Bowhunter Cups after dropping the inaugural game to the U.S. in 2010. The Cup, which is named after Styres’ sons, Wake:Riat “Bow” Bowhunter and Rato:Rats “Hunter” Bowhunter, is another on a long list of accolades Jamieson has earned in 2013, which includes the Champion’s Cup and the 2013 NLL Championship Game MVP award.
"At the end of the day, winning is winning," Jamieson said. "It doesn't feel good to lose. I like this winning thing."
Photo courtesy of Larry Palumbo via Lacrosse All Stars.