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Disappointment in final for the Squire boys


Sam Laskaris, Windspeaker Contributor, Toronto







Page 18

It seemed like a rather unusual gesture. But Kim Squire was able to provide a rather logical explanation for his behavior.

Squire and his Toronto Rock teammates were unable to capture a third consecutive title as they were edged 9-8 by the Philadelphia Wings in the National Lacrosse League championship final.

While the Wings were celebrating on the floor at the match held at Toronto's Air Canada Centre (ACC), the Rock players themselves did a lap of the rink to acknowledge the crowd for their support.

The Rock established an ACC record as they attracted a sellout crowd of 19,409 spectators to the final, staged on April 27.

Squire, already a fan favorite, endeared himself to the crowd even more when he began tossing parts of his equipment to spectators. For starters, he threw his stick to a lucky fan. Then his gloves were hurled away. And finally he heaved his helmet over the glass, which created a mad scramble.

"That was loser's equipment," Squire explained later in the Rock dressing room. "I didn't want it anymore."

The Rock roster again included Squire's older brother Rodd (Moose) Squire. Both Squires, who hail from Six Nations, Ont., play instrumental roles with the Rock. Though just 21, Kim Squire, who has been a member of the Toronto squad for the past three years, has blossomed into one of the league's top offensive players. Previously nicknamed Kimbo, Squire was awarded the moniker Kid Rock this season, a creative and snappy name that he not only shares with the popular rock musician but one that is fitting considering his age and team name.

As for 26-year-old Rodd Squire, he's also regarded as a force in the NLL; he's a tough-as-nails little dynamo, who is best known for his defensive play. But he's also not afraid to get his nose dirty anywhere on the floor as he'll take on all comers.

That was evident in the NLL final as Rodd Squire dropped his gloves and duked it out with the Wings' Tom Ryan in the second quarter. Prior to the fight the Rock was trailing by four goals (5-1) and not showing its usual zip.

"I did it to try and get the guys going," Squire said of his fight.

Like his brother, Rodd Squire has been a member of the Rock for all three years they have played in Toronto. He was also a member of the franchise for the one season it played in Hamilton, Ont. and was known as the Ontario Raiders. And prior to that Rodd Squire had toiled with the Buffalo Bandits for a season.

While Kim Squire was dominant from the start of this season, there were plenty of questions as to when Rodd would show up. He was listed as a holdout and didn't join the club until the ninth game of its 12-game regular season.

His holdout, however, had nothing to do with financial reasons. His job commitments prevented him from joining the club earlier. Rodd Squire runs a booming construction business. Though Rock coach Les Bartley realizes the elder Squire loves lacrosse, he knows helping friends out is also a huge priority.

"A lot of people work for his company and I know it's important to Rodd that he's helping these people put food on the tables for their families," he said.

Though Rodd Squire missed the first two-thirds of the regular season, Bartley said he was never concerned that his player would sit out the whole year.

"He came back because I told him he had to come back," Bartley chuckled. "And I'm sure every guy in here had a smile on his face when they saw Rodd back in our dressing room."

Rodd Squire had six points (two goals, four assists) in his four regular season appearances. As for his brother, he had a career high 56 points (26 goals, 30 assists) in 13 games. For his efforts, Kim Squire was selected to the NLL's second-team all-stars.

Kim Squire was also one of the main reasons the Rock advanced to this year's NLL final. He had five points, including the winning goal, in Toronto's 10-9 semi-final victory against the Washington Power.

As for the NLL final, it too was decided by just one goal but theWings dominated for the majority of the match. The Rock only made the score respectable by scoring four unanswered goals in the final 10 minutes of the contest.

Kim Squire began that rally when he scored his second goal of the match. Rodd Squire earned his only point of the match as he was credited with an assist on that play.

The Squires were the lone Native players on the Rock roster this season. Philadelphia's lineup did not feature any Native players.