Moss drawing on his past Knight life

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:36 AM ET

Should the Canadian team win gold at these world lacrosse championships in London, they'll have little problem finding the proper establishments at which to celebrate.

Defender Jim Moss knows his way around these parts.

The one-time London Knights captain and former Western Mustang is back as a defensive dynamo for Canada in the lacrosse worlds that begin with tonight's opening ceremonies.

The 29-year-old, who lives in California and plays pro box lacrosse with the National Lacrosse League's San Jose Stealth, is getting a kick out of staying with the team at Western and chasing gold in the same city where he forged a junior hockey career.

"It's just like living in residence with the meal card again," the Port Elgin native said after a rainy opening practice at Windermere fields.

"When I come back to Canada, the first stop is always London. It's nice, though, to come back here with a purpose instead of just drifting through."

One of the first guys he sees is Knights trainer Don Brankley. Moss, with the Knights from 1996 to '98 and with Western in '98 and '99, has never seen the Knights play at the John Labatt Centre, but he enjoys getting caught up on things.

"My lacrosse schedule never allows me to be here during the winter, but I can't wait to see a concert (at the JLC)," he said. "It's a fantastic barn -- but it's not the Ice House."

Moss's final season with the Knights -- the year he wore the C -- saw the resurgence of a franchise that had been an OHL laughingstock. In the '98 playoff run, the steady defenceman helped London gain the semifinals for just the third time.

"I wasn't there for the worst year (3-60-3 in '95-96), but I was there for the second-worst year with 13 wins ('96-97). I remember the meetings with (coach) Gary Agnew when we talked about how we were going to get it turned around."

Moss and the Canadians are seeking to knock off the U.S. The national team hasn't beaten the Stars and Stripes in a field lacrosse title game since 1978 -- Canada's lone victory in this tournament.

"We like our team, we're strong defensively and we're taking a new approach," Moss said. "We're going to play hard but fair. There's not going to be any trash talking. In the past, we were known as a team that was dirty."

That's saying something for a guy whose lacrosse nickname is "the Axe."

"That name got picked up when a broadcaster called me that when I was playing in Toronto and it has kind of taken off in San Jose," he said with a grin. "I love playing there."


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