Canada won this weekend's "Duel in Denver" against Team Freedom, 11-9. The exhibition -- a preview of the 2014 FIL World Lacrosse Championships in Colorado -- was a nice chance to take a look at the two strongest national programs in the world, although it is highly likely that, at least for Team No Superfluous Vowels, the rosters will look different two years from now when actual hardware is on the line.
Most importantly for College Crosse's purposes, though, was that the game was an opportunity to check in with seven Division I players that dotted Canada's roster. So, yeah. I'm selfish. What are you going to do about it, college boy? I thought so.
It was kind of a mixed bag for Canada's collegians, although simply participating was more important than the actual contributions. From the U.S. Lacrosse report:
Six current collegians were on the Canada roster. Jason Noble (Cornell) and Reid Acton (Loyola) started on defense and Jordan Houtby (Detroit) saw significant time. Cam Flint, Wes Beg and Jeremy Noble, all of Denver, also played.
Poor Chad Tutton (North Carolina). He gets some run, scooping a groundball and firing off two shots, and his neighbors to the south totally forget that he existed. Kind of like the entire province of Alberta. That may or may not exist.
Here's the Division I-only box score (Jeremy Noble, for whatever reason, doesn't appear in the box score):
It's good to see Flint with an assertive stat line and also that Houtby saw significant time. For a guy like Houtby, hidden away from most of the country in Detroit, the opportunity to play against some of the best offensive players in the world will hopefully push him toward becoming an even stronger contributor. He was the MAAC's long-stick midfielder of the year last year for a reason, and if he was able to pull some tricks from Brodie Merrill over the last few days, Houtby becomes even more dangerous with the Titans.
Otherwise, the only other takeaway from the game was that everyone's fitness looked pretty good. Denver can be a difficult place to play if you're not used to the environment (the trio of Pioneers excluded). Everyone, though, seemed in pretty decent shape. We'll see how this all translates to fall ball proper.