A keen eye. Quick reflexes. Nerves of steel.
Those are key qualities a lacrosse goalie needs to stop a solid rubber ball travelling 130 km/h. And those are qualities Tristan McLoughlin has brought to the game since he first stepped on to the boxla arena floor.
The former Comox Valley Wild stand-out has been selected by Team Manitoba to backstop them at the 2013 Founders Cup tournament, the Canadian Junior B Lacrosse Championship that runs Aug. 18-25 in Winnipeg.
The 18-year-old is coming off a strong season with the Winnipeg Junior Shamrocks of the Red River Lacrosse Association. “My team had an 8-3-1 record, good enough for second place in Manitoba,” McLoughlin said.
“I played all 12 games, and my team finished the regular season with the second lowest goals against (12 less than the next team). In playoffs we made it to the semifinals, but lost 8-5 to the first place team, and eventual playoff champions, Winnipeg Gryphons. However we were outshot 65-23 in that game,” McLoughlin noted.
His ability to keep his team in the game even when they are outshot by a large margin did not go unnoticed. “I got invited to try out for Team Manitoba after an 11-5 win over the Winnipeg Falcons in our second playoff game. We were outshot 64-32.”
While the Founders Cup will be the highlight of his lacrosse career so far, McLoughlin has many fond memories of his time with the Wild. “My first year of lacrosse ever I played PeeWee C. My team went 16-0, I got seven shutouts, and we got bronze in provincials.
“I think the thing I miss the most though were all the tournaments we went to. There are no tournaments in Winnipeg, besides the Founders Cup. I really miss hanging out with the boys after games,” McLoughlin said.
“My favourite memory was when one of my teammates got his hands on some Pop Rocks and we dropped them from our hotel balcony and they landed on a security guard’s head. Let’s just say I didn’t have much sleep after that!”
McLoughlin played goal for the Comox Valley Wild under coaches Chief Rob Everson of the Komoks First Nation, Brian Norman and Peter Parke. He moved to Winnipeg to attend the University of Manitoba where he is studying biology and chemistry with a goal to become a toxicologist or pathologist.
He’s been playing lacrosse for eight years, “and have enjoyed every moment of it. I plan to go as far (in lacrosse) as life will take me. I’lll keep playing until my body can no longer handle it. If teams want me to play for them, I’ll gladly play.”
BOXLA BANTER Founders Cup games will be live cast, with details at founderscup2013.com … Team Manitoba plays Quebec on Aug. 20 at 6 p.m., Saskatchewan on Aug. 20 at 6 p.m. and the Iroquois Lacrosse Association rep on Aug. 22 at 3 p.m. (all times Pacific) …