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Former Shamrocks star Tavares inducted into Canada's Sports Hall of Fame with Class of 2022

Lacrosse legend John Tavares, whose three seasons with the Victoria Shamrocks resulted in an explosion of playoff points and a national championship in two trips to the Mann Cup, was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday night
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The Victoria Shamrocks of the Western Lacrosse Association. TIMES COLONIST FILE PHOTO

Lacrosse legend John Tavares, whose three seasons with the Victoria Shamrocks resulted in an explosion of playoff points and a national championship in two trips to the Mann Cup, was inducted into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame on Thursday night with the Class of 2022.

Tavares led the Shamrocks to the 2003 Mann Cup title when he amassed 27 goals, 26 assists for 53 points in 14 post-season games as Victoria went on to defeat the Brampton Excelsiors 4-1 in the best-of-seven national final played at the old Memorial Arena. Tavares had a head-spinning total of 34 goals, 39 assists for 73 points in 17 playoff games in leading the Shamrocks to the 2002 Mann Cup final in which the Excelsiors defeated Victoria 4-3 in Brampton, Ont. He scored 25 goals with 27 assists for 52 points in 11 playoff games in getting the Shamrocks to the 2001 Western Lacrosse Association final.

Tavares, a school teacher from Ontario, played enough regular-season WLA games each season in Victoria to make him eligible for the playoffs. His regular-season totals with the Shamrocks were 43 goals and 77 assists for 120 points in 23 games as part of an iconic overall career that included 899 goals and 1,050 assists for 1,949 points in 342 games with the Buffalo Bandits in the pro National Lacrosse League.

“John Tavares is in the conversation as the greatest lacrosse player of all-time and he lived up to that billing during his time here,” said current Shamrocks GM Chris Welch, whose began his association with the club in 2000.

“Tavares was such a presence on and off the floor. Everyone, from the players and trainers to coaches and management, looked up to him. The addition of that one guy did so much for the team during that time.”

Also inducted in the powerhouse Class of 2022 in the ceremony held in Calgary were Dwayne De Rosario, second-leading all-time scorer for Canada in soccer, four-time Olympic gold-medallist hockey player Hayley Wickenheiser, four-time Olympic-medallist canoe-kayaker Adam Van Koeverden, Paralympic swimmer Tim McIsaac, Olympic-medallist rower and COC president Tricia Smith, sports broadcaster Brian Williams and builder Edward Lennie, known as the father of the Northern Games.

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