DU Lax Star Leads Canada Over USA

(above) Canada defeated the USA for the first time ever in the World Under-19 Lacrosse Championships in Finland
From: LaxMagazine.com
Corey McLaughlin

Canada downed the U.S. Under-19 men's national team 11-9 in overtime in a back-and-forth, thrilling and history-making pool play game Saturday night at the Federation of International Lacrosse U19 World Championships in Finland. 

University of Denver Freshman forward Wes Berg is captain of Team Canada, while DU associate head coach Matt Brown is Team Canada's offensive coordinator. 

Canada became the first team to defeat the U.S. in U19 play since international competition was sanctioned in 1988. The U.S., winners of all six gold medals contested since then, is now 37-1 all-time. 

The Canadians scored the final three goals of the game, all in the second OT, after the U.S. rallied from three goals down at the start of the fourth quarter and went ahead by one in the first OT. All while the crowd oohed and ahhed and pressure mounted. 

With the game on the line, Wes Berg drove left to right along goal-line extended and finished on the crease with 2:23 remaining in the second extra-period to tie it at 9. Berg drew a penalty at the tail end of the scoring play, and Tutton put Canada up 10-9 just 22 seconds later. Berg scored two goals in the game. 

Canada improves to 2-0 in pool play with a quick turnaround for a 1 p.m. (6 a.m. EST) game Sunday against the Iroquois (1-0). The U.S. (1-1) faces England at 7 p.m. (noon EST) on Sunday, and now faces a scenario of playing the Iroquois in the tournament semifinals if expectations hold. 

The win could be considered a confirmation of a trend that has taken shape in the NCAA Division I men's game of north-of-the-border products making a big impact. Berg was the ECAC's rookie of the year after his first season at Denver this year. 

When asked about Berg impact on Saturday's game, Wray said: "He's a big-time player. Wes Berg is the captain of this team for a reason. He's poised under pressure. He makes big plays when things matter the most, and he made a pretty big one there at the end. All of our offensive players I thought were very poised as the game got really tense in the last couple minutes."

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