Canada Grant\'s a wish

MIKE KOREEN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:39 AM ET

HAMILTON -- Grasping the inaugural world indoor lacrosse championship trophy, Canadian captain Jim Veltman walked briskly toward title-starved teammate John Grant Jr.

Veltman, who received the plaque after Canada hammered the Iroquois Nationals 21-4 in the tournament final yesterday, held it high for a brief moment and then handed it off to Grant and fellow Peterborough star Tracey Kelusky.

Finally, to the delight of 7,132 at Copps Coliseum, the spectacular Grant had a major lacrosse championship in his hands. Nobody deserved it more than Grant, whose nine-point game MVP performance (seven goals, two assists) pushed all the heartbreak from his brilliant career aside.

\"I haven\'t won one since bantam in 1987, so it\'s been a while,\" said Grant, 29, whose favoured Rochester Knighthawks lost to Veltman\'s Toronto Rock in the National Lacrosse League championship game earlier this month.

\"I don\'t know if anybody\'s seen the monkey that jumped off my back, but hopefully somebody\'s stepped on it.\"

Grant\'s bantam championship ring was either \"lost or stolen,\" so you can bet the world gold will be stored away for safekeeping. Showcasing his entire bag of tricks yesterday, Grant scored on a behind-the-back beauty, several long shots, a three-way passing play and even a underhand flip. He scored a team-high 22 goals in six tournament games.

\"We discussed earlier this week (who would hold the trophy first) and that\'s where it needed to be,\" said Veltman, whose team jumped out to a 10-0 lead and never looked back. \"Both John and Tracey (who scored five yesterday) are excellent players. It feels good to be able to do this for them.\"

Canada\'s 15-13 win over Iroquois (5-2) in round-robin play was the home team\'s only close game in the tournament. Canada (7-0) outscored its opponents 147-42. Some questioned whether it was appropriate to hold a six-team world championship with so few countries capable of winning, but Canadian coach Les Bartley would have none of that.

\"What are you going to do? Wait until everybody\'s competitive?\" he said. \"Canada had to teach hockey around the world. Now, they\'re in some championships with other teams, but Canada used to pound everybody. We\'re the leader in trying to grow the game internationally.\"

Canadian goalie Bob Watson and forward Chris Driscoll completed triple crowns. Each won the past Mann Cup with the Brampton Excelsiors and the NLL title with the Rock.

The Iroquois, meanwhile, unraveled when it mattered most.

\"We were running around like a chicken with its head cut off,\" Iroquois coach Darris Kilgour said. \"Canada\'s too good a team to do that (against).\"


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