Canada's big guns on target

England's Nathan Singleton tumbles at the feet of Canada's Colin Doyle during their final world...

England's Nathan Singleton tumbles at the feet of Canada's Colin Doyle during their final world lacrosse championships preliminary round game last night at TD Waterhouse Stadium. Canada won 17-9. (London Free Press/Ken Wightman)

ERIC BENDER -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:01 AM ET

The usual suspects did most of the damage as Canada overcame a slow start to head into the world lacrosse championships playoffs on a winning note.

Canada's big three of Gary Gait, John Grant Jr. and Jeff Zywicki scored 11 of Canada's goals in a 17-9 win over England in the final game of the preliminary round at TD Waterhouse Stadium.

The game meant nothing in standings to the Canucks, who had already nailed down second place in the elite Blue Division -- behind the undefeated U.S. -- and were destined to meet Finland today in a playoff at 7:30 p.m. at TD Waterhouse.

Grant's three goals pushed him into the tournament scoring lead with 14 in five games. But he said he isn't happy with his play.

"I'm still not doing my best," said Grant, who also had one assist.

It's his third world tournament.

"In the first I didn't do much," the 31-year-old said. "The second, I came second. But I want the world championship more than any scoring honours."

Gait scored five times last night, while Zywicki added three and two assists.

"I played with Gary in 1998 (at the world championship)," Grant said. "He wasn't at the last one in 2002. I had never known Zywicki before. He's young.

"Gary's the best player to ever play. It's an honour and an experience to play with him.

"What can you say about Zywicki. He puts balls in the net. He wasn't expected to do this."

England, fifth in the Blue Division at 1-4, hung tough with Canada and went up 3-1 early in the first quarter, two of the goals coming from Paul Flowers. It was England's goalie, Ben McAllister, continuing his stellar play, who took several sure goals away from the Canucks.

England was ahead 4-3 in the second quarter when Canada fired in four in a row, spreading the scoring around and finally taking the lead six minutes in.

It wasn't until the 12th minute before Grant Jr. hit the scoresheet with two straight goals.

Zywicki, emerging as a force in the tournament, scored his third of the game to open the third quarter and Gait added another to put Canada up 11-6.

The game last night was simply a tuneup for Canada, Grant said.

"We tried not to develop bad habits that come around to kill you when you come to the medal rounds."


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