Colorado Mammoth forward Eli McLaughlin, defensemen Dan Coates and Robert Hope and goaltender Dillon Ward will compete for Team Canada at the 2019 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship (WILC) in Langley, B.C., from September 19-28, as announced today by the Canadian Lacrosse Association (CLA) and the Canadian Men’s Indoor National Team coaching staff, including assistant coach Pat Coyle.
Canada is the undefeated champion of the WILC. The Championship has been held every four years since its inception in 2003, and all four times, Team Canada has won the gold medal.
This September, Canada’s fiercest competitors as they ‘Drive for Five’ will be the Iroquois Nationals. The rival teams have met in all four WILC final games.
Perhaps the most exciting final between Canada and the Iroquois Nationals was at the WILC in 2007. John Grant, Jr. scored five goals for Canada, including two late markers that put Canada ahead by one tally. The Iroquois forced overtime in the final minute of regulation, but in the first 30 seconds of extra time, Canada scored for a 15-14 OT win, taking home gold for the second time.
Honored to play in a Championship in which the greatest box lacrosse players – John Grant, Jr. included – have competed, Robert Hope said, “It’s a privilege to have been named to Team Canada with so many great players. In preparation for the Championships, I'll continue playing summer lacrosse, working out and trying to stay as sharp as possible.”
Hope is playing for the Peterborough Lakers this summer and serves as the team's captain. This is Hope's first appointment to the Canadian Men's Indoor National Team. McLaughlin and Ward are new to the team, as well.
"I'm excited to have another opportunity to represent Canada," said Dillon Ward, who has medaled twice with Team Canada at the FIL World Championship (2014, 2018), winning MVP honors in 2014.
"This summer, I'll continue to work hard on and off the floor to put myself in a position to help this team succeed."
During the NLL's offseason, Ward has kept his box game sharp while goaltending for Ontario's Six Nations Chiefs in the MSL. The Chiefs are six-time Mann Cup champions (1994-96, 2013-16).
Dan Coates, Ward's Mammoth and Six Nations teammate, is returning to Canada's indoor team this September, having won gold with the team at the WILC in 2015.
"I'm focused on playing for my club and making sure my body is healthy in preparation for the Championship," said Coates. "[Preparation] is all about making sure I have a stick in my hand and training in my off-days.
"It's a great honor to be selected among this great group of players."