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Port Coquitlam Saints awarded 2023 national championship for Jr. 'B' lacrosse

It's been 20 years since the Tri-Cities hosted the prestigious tournament.
PoCo Saints
The Port Coquitlam Saints will host the 2023 Founders Cup, Canada's national championship for Jr. 'B' tier 1 lacrosse. | File photo

The Founders Cup is making its highly anticipated return to the Tri-Cities for the first time in two decades.

On Thursday (June 23), the Port Coquitlam Saints were announced as the hosts for the 2023 Canadian national junior 'B' tier 1 championships in partnership with BC Lacrosse.

It'll be held at the Port Coquitlam Community Centre (PCCC), and will mark roughly two years since the new $132-million facility's official grand opening.

Inside includes upgrades to Jon Baillie Arena, which now has enough room for 850 spectators to sit and enjoy Saints' box lacrosse and other events.

"Very excited to welcome the Founders Cup to Port Coquitlam," said Mayor Brad West in a social media post about the tournament.

"Our investment in a state of the art community recreation centre continues to pay off as we attract more of these awesome opportunities to showcase PoCo and see some tremendous athletes!"

The last time the Founders Cup was in PoCo was 2003, when the host Saints finished fourth at the tournament after they lost 13-11 in overtime in a tight-knit bronze-medal match against the Prince George Posse.

The Coquitlam Adanacs reached the final, but settled for silver and Ontario's Barrie Tornado prevailed.

Since then, British Columbia box lacrosse has still yet to claim a national junior 'B' title now in over 50 years when the Victoria McDonalds claimed the 1971 crown in the final year of the Castrol Cup era.

In 1990, the Saints reached the final in Esquimalt, but the gold medal went to an Ontario franchise — the Orangeville Northmen.

After PoCo 2003, the Adanacs have won one silver (2007) and two bronze (2018, 2019) with the 2022 Founders Cup scheduled for Aug. 15 to 21 in Brampton, Ont.

The 2020 and 2021 tournaments were cancelled due to then restrictions in place amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Founders Cup in Port Coquitlam is currently scheduled for Aug. 14 to 20, 2023.

As hosts, the Saints will earn an automatic entry for the national championships regardless of how they finish the 2023 season.

The Tri-Cities has two clubs in the 10-team BC Junior 'B' Tier 1 Lacrosse League (BCJT1LL).

As of this publication (June 24), the Adanacs are currently in third place in the 2022 campaign with a record of 11-3 and the Saints are eighth at 4-11.

Senior, Junior 'A' updates

The Coquitlam Adanacs are currently second place in the Western Lacrosse Association (WLA) with a record of 5-2-0-1.

Forward John Hofseth leads the senior 'A' squad with 24 points in six games, including a league-high 16 goals in that span.

This weekend, Coquitlam is playing a home-and-home series with the Burnaby Lakers beginning tonight (June 24), 7:30 p.m. at Bill Copeland Arena.

The two will then face-off at the Poirier Sport and Leisure Complex tomorrow (June 25) at 7 p.m.

In B.C. junior 'A' lacrosse, the Adanacs are fourth with a 5-5 record, while the PoCo Saints find themselves at the bottom of the eight-team standings with one win in 10 games.

Both clubs have four games left, including their second and final meeting of the season.

That match takes places tonight in the PCCC at 8 p.m.