Bartley\'s dilemma

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:40 AM ET

KITCHENER -- There is one problem having 23 of the best lacrosse players on one team -- six has to sit out every game.

Today, Canadian coach Les Bartley has the toughest job in lacrosse. He has to tell five runners and one goalie they won\'t dress for the final of the world indoor championship against the Iroquois Nationals tomorrow at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton.

The process of determining scratches began for the four-man Canadian management team after 6-0 Canada beat the 2-4 United States 17-9 in a semi-final yesterday at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium. In the other semi, the 5-1 Iroquois Nationals beat 3-3 Scotland 22-8.

\"Every decision is going to be tough,\" said Bartley, who has coached the Toronto Rock to four National Lacrosse League titles. \"We\'ll make the decision going into practice (today), so people can start preparing themselves.\"

The chances of Canada not playing in the final of the six-team tourney were slim to none, so Bartley and Co. have been preparing for this day. With the Americans missing many top players due to professional field lacrosse commitments, Canada and Iroquois have been in a league of their own.

Bartley, who has played each Canadian player in at least four games, said he won\'t give preference to the nine Rock players just because he knows them best.

\"We can\'t just play all Rock guys because there is more than Rock personnel here,\" he said. \"We\'ve been assessing people\'s play the whole tournament and we\'re going to play the people we think deserve to play. Not that anybody has played bad. It is that fine a line.\"

The task will be a bit easier because defender Jim Moss is out after suffering a minor concussion Wednesday.

About the only safe bet, although Bartley wouldn\'t confirm it, is that Rock goalie Bob Watson will start.

\"I think it\'s a nervous night for everybody,\" Canadian forward Steve Toll said.

\"It\'s tough to single out all-stars.\"

Canada, which got four goals from John Grant and Kaleb Toth yesterday, beat Iroquois 15-13 in round-robin play.

EMPTY FEELING: Organizers gave their event a minor-league feel yesterday by scheduling the Canada-U.S. semi-final at 4 p.m. to accommodate television. About 200 fans showed up.

\"There are a lot of considerations when running an event,\" event co-chair Jim Calder said. \"Television is one of them, gate (revenue) is one of them. (Yesterday) leans toward television. (The final) leans toward gate.\"


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