By Neil Stevens
OTTAWA, ON, August 4, 2015 – Dan Dawson has been named captain and Chris Corbeil and Brodie Merrill assistant captains of Canada’s team for the FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championship, being held September 18-27.
“I always say to the guys that success comes from leadership, from within, and we believe we’ve picked great leaders who
will help steer this ship and be successful,” says head coach Ed Comeau.
Canada has never lost a game, going 17-0, in Federation of International Lacrosse world boxla tournaments. Jim Veltman
was Canada’s captain in 2003 when six countries competed in southern Ontario centres. John Tavares wore the C in 2007
when eight countries vied for the title in Halifax. Colin Doyle was captain when eight countries again were entered in 2011
in Prague. Now, Dawson, the lanky forward from Oakville, Ont., follows in their footsteps and into an expanded field of 13
“It’s humbling, it’s truly an honor,” he says. “I’m going to do everything in my power to wear the Canadian jersey with the
greatest respect for everything it stands for.”
The 2015 event will be held at Onondaga Nation outside Syracuse, N.Y. It will be the first international sporting event taking
place on indigenous lands. The Iroquois Nationals won silver at the three previous tournaments and will be pumped to
finally take gold on their own turf.
“It’s definitely going to be tough,” says Dawson. “The growth of lacrosse worldwide has been enormous. Every country is
stronger. With the Iroquois being on home soil, it will be that much more special for them. With the culture and history that
they have and then having that home presence, we’re going to be in tough.”
There are but seven returnees from Canada’s 2011 squad: Dawson, Merrill, Matt Vinc, Kyle Rubisch, Brett Mydske, Shawn
Evans and Stephan Leblanc.
Vinc gave a thumbs up on the selection of Dawson, who is his teammate with the NLL’s Rochester Knighthawks.
“Dan epitomizes the term captain,” says Vinc, the St. Catharines, Ont., resident who was the winning goalie in the 2011
game for gold and who is eager to do it again. “Everything he does is about being a professional.
“He’s a good teammate on and off the floor. He leads by example. He’s a hard-working player. The guys look up to him and
listen to him. He’s been successful at every level he’s played at. It’s only fitting that he’ll be the guy leading the charge in
The coaching staff returns virtually intact from 2011.
“We’ve got a good coaching staff that will steer us in the right direction and the players to take care of things on the floor,”
says Vinc. “We have a great group and, hopefully, we can be just as successful as we were in 2011.”
Scott Campbell, another Knighthawk, is one of the defencemen. The Markham, Ont., resident calls the selection of Dawson
as captain “a no-brainer.”
“He’s an absolute leader,” says Campbell. “He has a presence, a calmness, about him. All the guys will look to him to have
that presence in the room, on the floor and out in the public, for sure.”
Corbeil, from Oakville, captained Edmonton to the NLL title last spring. His aim now is to win two major lacrosse
championships within four months.
“It’s an incredible honor,” he says of being named an assistant captain for Canada. “Anytime you get to represent your
country its fantastic and to be chosen to be part of the leadership group for that is amazing.
“I’m very thankful and appreciate them bestowing that responsibility on me. It’s something I don’t take lightly. I’m hoping
to prove I deserve it and not let anybody down.”
Corbeil understands the challenge ahead.
“We’ll be coming into the tournament with a target on our backs. We know that. That’s exactly what we want. We want to
play teams at their best. We’ll be facing teams that will be fired up to face us so we’ll look forward to the challenge but with
the group of guys we’ve got we’ll be up for it.”
Merrill “is one of those guys who inspires others to follow him,” says Leblanc, who with Merrill plays for the NLL’s Toronto
Rock and who is yet another Oakville product on Canada’s 2015 team.
That 17-0 legacy is not an impediment, says Leblanc.
“People will be coming to watch the best players in the world perform and we want to put on a show. We want to show
what skill level this game can be played at.”
Adds Comeau: “Everyone knows what’s at stake especially with this to be played in Haudenosaunee territory,” says the
Hamilton resident. “This is really big for their community and for their culture and we know that not only the Iroquois but
the U.S., the Czech Republic _ everyone wants to knock us off. We know we have to bring our best from Day 1. We think
we’ve picked a good team with character players. We’ll be ready.”