A NATIONAL SHOWDOWN IN HAWAII
10/31/12 2:13 PM
The Finals of the 22nd Annual Hawaii Lacrosse Invitational on October 28th featured some of the greatest names in the history of lacrosse. It also had a Hamilton flavor, despite the 4,600 separating the Steel City and the island of Oahu. Nine members of the Major League Lacrosse Hamilton Nationals took the field with the goal of winning the Hawaiian Koa Spear Award. (Photo by Terry Foy - Inside Lacrosse)
For the second straight year, the upstart Dirty Lacrosse Club met Wimmer Solutions in the Championship Game on Sunday. The Dirty Lax roster included seven Nationals: Cody Jamieson, Stephen Keogh, Kevin Crowley, Jeremy Thompson, M.J. Kiekebelt, Dan Coates and Adam Jones. Wimmer featured Nationals Assistant Coach and lacrosse legend Gary Gait and goalie Brett Queener.
With so many stars of professional lacrosse in the game, it was only fitting that the game be decided by one goal. Similar to 2011, Wimmer edged The Dirty Lacrosse Club by one goal to win the Hawaii Invitational. Faceoff man Anthony Kelly was awarded the Game MVP in the 10-9 win, while Rob Pannell led the offense with five goals and two assists.
“It was an absolute pleasure to play with the Wimmer Solutions. Not only do we have some of the best players in the world but they are some of the best people I know on earth. The championship against Dirty was an absolute battle but in the end I believe that the little hustle plays made the difference,” said Queener.
Dirty Lax, who fell behind 10-6, stormed back with three straight goals in a one-minute span. Mark Matthews led the comeback as he beat Queener far-side after a stick fake to make it 10-7. Kiekebelt followed with a great individual effort, as he started the play with a faceoff win and ended it by burying a deep overhand shot. Crowley cut it to one with a shot from top right of the box with just under two minutes to play. Queener and Wimmer, however, would keep Dirty Lax in check the rest of the way.
Queener and his counterpart Evan Kirk of Dirty Lax were solid in goal. Inside Lacrosse noted that “Queener made a handful of saves in the third that bailed out his defense, including a one-on-one stop with Matthews after a miscommunication. Kirk was similarly impressive, especially early when he caught two good alley dodge shots from Paul Rabil.”
Wimmer has now won three consecutive Koa Spear Awards as Hawaii Lacrosse Invitational Tournament champions.