Selected Division I Impact
The Latvians closed pool play with a 1-2 record, progressing to play Spain from the Turquoise Division today at noon. In the team's final pool play hootenanny, Riley and Eli Lasda (Albany) had an uneven go: Riley accounted for a bucket on six shots while winning seven of the eight faceoffs that he took; Eli took six shots, none finding the back of the net, while also committing three turnovers and taking a one minute penalty for cross checking. This is likely the most exciting thing to happen to Latvia since I discovered it was a real country.
Thailand finished with an 0-3 record in the White Division, but Dylan Sheridan (Denver) seemed to get the team's flux capacitor fluxing as the tournament progressed. Despite falling to the Swiss, Thailand has scored 18 goals and yielded 25 in their last two pool play games, an impressive output considering that this is the first time that Thailand lacrosse is a real thing that exists at the world championships. Thailand will draw Colombia in the final bracket, a manageable opponent for a national team that pivoted well from having its teeth kicked in against Scotland to open the event.
Peter Milliman (Cornell) helped guide the surely-spying-on-us Ruskies to a third-place finish in the Plum Division. The team's three Division I players -- Nick Koshansky (Notre Dame), Jacob Richards (Vermont), and Jordan Friedman (Colgate) -- all got starts for the Sons o' Putin. Most importantly, though, all three contributed to the team's victory over winless Argentina: Koshansky took six shots, corralled one groundball, and caused a turnover (he also took a one minute penalty for cross-checking because Russia is evil); Richards got his hands on five groundballs and caused a giveaway; and Friedman had an assist , seven shots, and two groundballs. It's odd to see American lacrosse players contribute to Mother Bear -- there's a Yakov Smirnoff joke here somewhere -- and I can only assume that this is some kind of plot extension of The Americans.
The Fins uncorked a massive ass-beating on Spain (just like economics!), and Nick Ranta (Furman) was a big reason why Finland finished group play with a perfect 3-0 record and a chance to run at Scotland in the play-in bracket. The midfielder assaulted Spain to the tune of eight points -- five goals and three assists -- while taking seven shots. Ranta only played in two games for the Paladins in 2014 and didn't record a shot, but the rising sophomore has 11 points in this tournament while running through the box. Next stop -- being crowned Emperor of the Moon.
Dickson Smith (Virginia) and Eric Smith (Michigan) are likely in need of a bail bondsman. The two defenders combined for 4:30 minutes of penalties against Slovakia. They are considered armed and Swedish. Sweden will face Bermuda in the first game of the bracket portion of the tournament.
Thomas Flibotte (Bucknell) got the start for Italy and proceeded to chuck 10 shots toward the net, canning two. All of Flibotte's damage, however, came in the first quarter, a period in which the Italians built a 6-3 lead but promptly squandered their advantage due to an ensuing 9-0 run from the Netherlands. Italy closed pool play with a 2-1 record in the Green Division and will face Russia in the first round of the knockout bracket.
Jesse King (Ohio State) hasn't had an explosive tournament for Team Toque. The rising senior got burn yesterday against the Iroquois but showed up in the box score only due to the fact that he registered an illegal procedure penalty midway through the fourth quarter. Wes Berg (Denver), contrastingly, continued his contributions to Team Toboggan: The attackman's goal gave Canada an early 2-1 lead on the Iroquois. For a team with college flavor, it has been Berg that has truly found some volition with the knuckleheads from up north.
The Iroquois' two big college weapons -- Randy Staats (Syracuse) and Lyle Thompson (Albany) -- had big days in a big spot: Staats pumped in two goals on six shots while Thompson went three-and-one with eight shots taken. More importantly, it was Staats' and Thompson's play down the stretch that almost allowed the Iroquois to upset the favored Canadians: Down five goals with the fourth quarter looming, Staats and Thompson contributed to four of the Iroquois' next five goals to draw square with Canada with 8:19 remaining in regulation, a 14:25 stretch that almost changed the scope of the Blue Division.
Today's Heat (ET)
10:00 A.M.: Scotland v. Finland (ESPN3)
10:30 A.M.: Poland v. Hong Kong
11:00 A.M.: Argentina v. China
11:30 A.M.: Colombia v. Thailand
11:30 A.M.: Costa Rica v. Belgium
12:00 P.M.: Latvia v. Spain
1:00 P.M.: Germany v. Czech Republic (ESPN3)
1:30 P.M.: Ireland v. Israel
2:00 P.M.: France v. Slovakia
2:00 P.M.: Wales v. Italy
3:00 P.M.: Norway v. Russia
4:00 P.M.: Japan v. Canada (ESPN3)
4:30 P.M.: Sweden v. Bermuda
4:30 P.M.: Austria v. Turkey
4:30 P.M.: Netherlands v. New Zealand
5:00 P.M.: Korea v. Uganda
7:00 P.M.: England v. United States (ESPNU/ESPN3)
7:30 P.M.: Mexico v. Switzerland
10:00 P.M.: Iroquois v. Australia (ESPN3)