Over the weekend, the US men played the Iroquois Nationals in the hyped Bowhunter Cup. This box lacrosse game was a bit on a consolation prize for the Iroquois who were slighted by political machinations during this summer's World Championships (field lax). It also served as a much needed warm up game for the US men.
The US lineup was semi-controversial with the addition of female goalie Ginny Capicchioni. Casey Powell, the oldest of the Powell brothers and first American MVP in the NLL, captained a team that brought only Paul Rabil from the World Championship team (Rabil also won the 2010 NLL championship with the Stealth).
Powell also has the distinction of being the first player to use the new Easton lacrosse shaft in a high profile game. Somehow this little tidbit has escaped the eyes of most lacrosse news sources! Even at first glance, it is plainly obvious that Powell is holding an octagonal lacrosse stick with the word "Easton" clearly printed in large capital letters. At this stage, I would guess that this is an official test mule for the California-based company. It is surprising that I was not able to find a single press release about its use in the game.
My first impressions are positive. The stick looks clean and Easton has a long history of working with aluminum alloys. There were among the first to use metal in both baseball and ice hockey. Their bats and hockey sticks (I have used both) have also been of reputable quality so I have few doubts about their ability to produce a high quality shaft. Their protective equipment will be a question mark as most of their hockey pads are not anything to brag about (though I love my Stealth helmet) and this area seem to be the hardest to perfect.
I am unsure as to which head Powell is using. I am not the best at identifying heads, but I assume it is a Reebok, only because it is navy blue - the Titans' colors. Powell was the marquee player for the Titans prior to their demise. It could be an Easton head, but acquired company Talon was not producing a head that I know of. Research and development for a lacrosse head is a timely and costly process; it is hard to imagine a player using a test head in a high profile game...
I expect the official launch of Easton Lacrosse in time for the spring season. But I could see the company holding off until the summer as well. This gives them the opportunity for a softer launch outside of the competitive season.
Here are a few key picks featuring Casey Powell and the Easton test mule:
#1 #2 #3 #4 #5 #6 #7 #8 #9 #10 #11 #12 #13 #14
*My original Easton Lacrosse prediction