Skip to content

Ladner’s Maznik leads Team B.C. to Canada Summer Games gold

Lacrosse standout factors in on five of B.C.'s seven goals in thrilling come-from-behind victory over Ontario

There will be plenty more highlights ahead in Jared Maznik’s promising lacrosse career, yet it may be hard to beat what he accomplished in front of a packed arena in Niagara, Ont. two weekends ago.

The 16-year-old from Ladner capped a big Team B.C. comeback with the game-winning goal midway through the third period to lead his team to a thrilling 7-6 triumph over Ontario in the gold medal game at the Canada Summer Games. It marked the return of box lacrosse to the Games for the first time since 1985.

It was Maznik’s most productive game of the tournament, finishing with two goals and three assists, as his team avenged an 8-3 loss to Ontario to open the competition. B.C. trailed 6-4 after two periods before scoring three unanswered in the third with Maznik having a hand in all of them.

The win was dedicated to teammate Ben Pawluk who was watching the game from a Vancouver hospital while undergoing chemotherapy. It was shortly after being named to the B.C. roster when the Victoria native was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma, a cancer of the lymphatic system.

“It was a real emotional subject for all the boys. Most of us have played with him for five years of our lives. It kind of fueled that sadness and toughness going into the game,” said Maznik. “He called us before the game in the locker room and almost everyone in there was crying. I think we used that to fight for him and put everything into that last game.

“I have never played in front of that many people before and to win gold is just crazy. For like six years I have played for Team B.C. at Pee Wee and Midget nationals and we never could beat Ontario. This was like the last chance and all the odds were against us. The fact it happened at the Canada Summer Games where I got to meet a whole bunch of new people made it even better. It was an experience of a lifetime that I will remember to tell my kids one day.”

The memorable trip capped what has been a hectic summer for Maznik. Just a couple of weeks earlier he was in Brampton, Ont. helping Team B.C. capture its division at the All Canada Games, a major field lacrosse recruiting tournament featuring players from both sides of the border.

It’s the field version of the sport that Maznik hopes paves the way to a NCAA Division One scholarship.

He has been honing his skills at Western Reserve Academy after being recruited by the Ohio private boarding school. The former Vancouver College student left Ladner on the weekend to begin his Grade 11 year and the 6-foot-1 midfielder can start talking to NCAA schools in the next few weeks.

“At first, I was like there is no way I am going to move to Ohio and leave all my friends,” smiled Maznik who began playing lacrosse with the Delta Islanders organization when he was five. “But the more I thought about it, maybe it was an experience I was passing up, a once in a lifetime experience. It’s an international school so I have friends from Spain and Russia. It’s unreal. My whole day was based on just school and lacrosse. I loved it.

“Hopefully I will get some good offers, look at all my options, and go from there. It’s hard to single in on going to just one school. If it’s an Ivy League, Big 10 or ACC that would be awesome.”