Locals in lacrosse limelight
They’re both Hamiltonians with a successful history in lacrosse, but Ed Comeau has only coached Ryan Dilks once: to a world championship in 2015.
And now Comeau will be coaching against Dilks, one of the best defensive box lacrosse players in the world.
There will be a strong Hamilton-area presence when the National Lacrosse League finals, known as the Champion’s Cup, open June 4 in Duluth, Ga., near Atlanta.
The Georgia Swarm, which had the NLL’s best overall record in the regular season to earn home floor advantage throughout the playoffs will meet the Saskatchewan Rush, which won the last two league titles, in the Champion’s Cup finals. Dilks, of the Rush, goes for his third straight NLL championship. Over that time, he’s also been on teams that have won the Canadian Sr. A championship, the Sr. B championship and the world championship.
The Rush beat Colorado, 18-9 and 11-10 to sweep its semifinal.
Meanwhile, the Swarm also won its semi in straight games, 11-8 and 13-9 over the Toronto Rock. Georgia is coached by Comeau, who was with the Ontario Raiders (based in Hamilton) in 1998, won four Champion’s Cups as an assistant coach with the Rock, and was head coach when the Rochester Knighthawks won the 2007 NLL championship. Sean Ferris of Burlington is Comeau’s assistant in Georgia.
The Swarm is captained by Burlington’s Jordan MacIntosh, who also led the team in loose ball retrievals. Other locals on the Swarm include: defenceman Drew Petkoff of Hamilton, who’s played five years of pro; sixfoot-five forward Kiel Matisz from Stoney Creek, who had a goal and an assist in the second game of the semifinals; and skilled forwards Randy Staats and Johnny Powless from Six Nations who, between them, had nine points in the clincher over Toronto. Rookie goaltender Warren Hill, from Six Nations, is on the Swarm’s practice roster.
The crowds in Georgia are anticipated to exceed 6,000 while Saskatchewan, playing out of Saskatoon’s SaskTel Centre, drew more than 14,000 for its semifinal home date.