The finest box lacrosse players from both Canada and the United States will converge in Hamilton, Ontario, this fall as they face-off in the 2017 Heritage Cup, an international showcase game that will take place at the FirstOntario Centre on Saturday, October 21, 2017.
«Hamilton is easily accessible for Ontario lacrosse families, as well as for the fan bases of the Toronto Rock, Buffalo Bandits and Rochester Knighthawks,» said Johnny Mouradian, Director of Box Lacrosse, Team Canada. «We look forward to working with Core Entertainment to make it a huge success and would like to thank Lance Basler, Team USA Manager, as well as US Lacrosse, for their commitment to the event.»
The city will also play host to the 2018 Heritage Cup, with dates and matchup details to be announced next year.
«To play host to this extraordinary event is very exciting for me personally. I grew up in Maryland, a hotbed for lacrosse and I absolutely love the game,” said Spectra’s Scott Warren, General Manager of the Core Entertainment facilities. „It is always a tremendous joy for us as a venue, to host world-class events such as this. When some of the best lacrosse players in the world play in one of the best arenas in Canada, that’s surely a combination worth celebrating.”
Established 15 years ago, this event was once one of the premier box lacrosse events on the international calendar. It served as important annual competition for the Canadian, American and Iroquois national teams in between the four-year world championship cycle.
The inaugural game took place in Mississauga, Ontario in 2002, and saw the U.S. defeat Canada by a score of 21-16. The Canadians bested the Americans two years later in 2004, winning 17-8 in Denver, Colorado. After a short hiatus, the event returned to Montreal, Quebec in 2013, where over 7,500 fans packed the Bell Centre to watch Team Canada defeat the Team Iroquois in a nail-biter, 12-11.
The 2017 edition of the event will be a homecoming for Team Canada's head coach, Hamilton native Eddie Comeau.
“We're very excited to be able to showcase our national team in Canada,» said Comeau, who is also head coach of the National Lacrosse League's Georgia Swarm. «The world championships have not been in Ontario since 2003, so this is a great opportunity for fans to come and watch the best players from Canada and the U.S. compete.»
Team Canada's roster for the event will be selected from the pool of athletes that represented Canada at the 2015 FIL World Indoor Lacrosse Championship. The members of that squad led their country to its fourth consecutive world championship gold medal, going undefeated in the process.
«This is game will showcase some of the best lacrosse players in the world and it's a great opportunity grow our sport,» added Dean French, Chairman, Team Canada.