Oct 24, 2017

scott campbell heritage cup.jpg(October 24, 2017)… Team Canada defended its home turf on Saturday, capturing the Heritage Cup at the FirstOntario Centre in Hamilton, Ontario. With the 19-6 victory over Team USA, Canada extended its indoor winning streak to 24 games.

Six members of the Rochester Knighthawks played in the international exhibition game. Dan and Paul Dawson, Scott Campbell, Billy Dee Smith and Matt Vinc played for Canada, while Joe Resetarits represented the United States.

The Americans got a two-goal, one-assist performance from Resetarits. In fact, the Hamburg, NY native scored the game’s first goal as he came around the corner and scored on a low side-arm shot. Resetarits had a hand in the first three U.S. goals, assisting on a goal by Fairport’s Blaze Riorden and then connecting on his second of the night at 1:01 of the second quarter.

“Getting the opportunity to go out and represent your country was an honor,” said Resetarits. “With all the great players out there, getting selected to play was awesome. It was a fun event and it was great prep for us to get ready for the next world games.”

463X1637-LRcrop copy-LRcrop-LRcrop.jpgResetarits helped the U.S. stay within striking distance of Canada, as it trailed 4-2 and 6-4 in the first half. Despite the efforts of Team USA, the Canadians broke the game open in the second quarter with another Knighthawk providing the offense. 

Canada’s captain, Dan Dawson, scored two second-quarter goals to spark a 5-0 run. His first of the night ended a two-goal U.S. rally and gave the Canadians a 7-4 advantage. After he dunked the ball over the left shoulder of David Mather, Team Canada’s lead was 10-4 with 4:40 to go in the frame. Dawson finished the night with six points (2+4).

“We haven’t played the U.S. in the Heritage Cup since Denver,” said Dawson about the 2004 event. “With the series being tied one-all, it was nice to break that tie. Most importantly, to don the maple leaf is truly the greatest honor you can receive as a lacrosse player. To represent your country is something you aspire to do your whole life.”

RX0W5376-LRcrop copy-LRcrop-LRcrop.jpgThe game was the fourth installment of the Heritage Cup. With the win, Canada now owns a 2-1 series record against the United States. The inaugural contest saw the U.S. defeat Canada 21-16 in Mississauga, Ontario in 2002. The Canadians rebounded two years later, winning 17-8 in Denver. In 2013, Team Canada defeated the Iroquois Nationals 12-11 at the Bell Centre in Montreal.

Canada’s roster for the 2017 Heritage Cup was stocked with 17 players who won gold at the 2015 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championship. Matt Vinc, who was the tournament’s top goalie, returned to the roster, along with Brandon Miller. 

Three other Knighthawks were back after winning the last world championship: Campbell, Paul Dawson and Smith. On Saturday, Campbell and Dawson each chipped in one assist, while all three were part of a defense that limited the Americans to just one goal in the second half. 

“It was amazing. It’s always special to put on the Canada jersey,” said Dawson. “But to win it on that floor, in front of friends and family, was special. To play with such a talented group of guys was an honor.”

Playing in the Heritage Cup, gave the Knighthawks players one extra week to prepare for training camp. Rochester will open camp at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Six Nations on Nov. 3-4. 

“I feel like I am a month ahead of schedule in my training to prepare for the season,” said Campbell. “I had to be game-ready for the Heritage Cup, and didn’t have the ramp up to the games training camp usually provides. So, I should be ready for the usual conditioning that comes with camp.”

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