Ted Dowling - Scored goals and scored plenty of them
Editor's Note - The pandemic has resulted in activities across the World being delayed or cancelled for the past 20 months, including countless events in the Canadian lacrosse community. However, on Saturday, November 13, 2021 - the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame held a double cohort Induction ceremony for the years 2020 and 2021. A total of 4 players, 2 builders, 1 veteran and 1 team were inducted for each year.
This is the 15th of 16 feature articles pertaining to the most recent teams, players, builders, or veterans inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame. The following article highlights lacrosse player Ted Dowling. Part of the Dowling family lacrosse legacy, Ted was a prolific goal scorer who was a fan favourite. Ted Dowling was inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 2020 honoured in the Player category.
Born in Mississauga, Ontario – Ted Dowling played his minor lacrosse in Streetsville, Ontario. From there, he had a career that extended beyond three decades, Ted starred with the Mississauga Tomahawks, playing five full seasons of Junior “A” lacrosse where in 81 games he notched 171 goals, 103 assists for a total of 274 points while accumulating 422 penalty minutes. By the time Ted Dowling began his Senior lacrosse career, he stood 5’10” and weighed 190 pounds. This made him tough to check and tough to stop. Ted played Senior lacrosse for Vancouver, Victoria, Ladner, Burnaby and Coquitlam in the WLA. Ted also played parts of five seasons with Brampton and one season with Fergus of the MSL in Ontario. His scoring prowess continued to be displayed where in 267 games, Ted sniped 568 goals, added 425 assists for a total of 993 points. His penalty minutes totalled 769.
Included in his personal achievements, Dowling led the WLA in total points in 2001, along with being a four-time WLA All-Star (1994, 2000, 2001 and 2002 with Victoria), a 1998 Mann Cup Champion with Brampton (OLA), and part of two President’s Cups with Fergus (1992) and Ladner (2004).
Ted also had a prolific career in the National Lacrosse League scoring 365 goals along with 280 assists for 645 points along with 350 penalty minutes in 164 games played during 14 seasons. He played with ten teams including the Detroit Turbos, Boston Blazers, Buffalo Bandits, Rochester Knighthawks, Albany Attack, Montreal Express, Colorado Mammoth, Calgary Roughnecks, San Jose Stealth and Portland LumberJax. He was a member of the 1991 Buffalo Major Indoor Lacrosse League in 1991 and the 2004 NLL champion Calgary Roughnecks. Dowling was an NLL First team all-star in 2005.
When informed he will be inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Ted Dowling showed his genuine gratitude while displaying a sense of humour - When I first got the call from Art Webster that I was being nominated, I was truly honored to be considered. When I got the word that I was selected, I thought of all the great players and coaches and the bad goalies and slow defenders who made this possible.”
Not entirely uncommon in lacrosse is a family legacy. Such is the case with the Dowling family. Ed Dowling (father of Ted) played lacrosse. Ted’s brothers – Kevin and Jeff also played lacrosse. Jeff had a lengthy career winning Presidents Cup championships (including the 1986 Founders with his father Ed as team coach and brother Ted as a teammate). Ted’s mother Dee, was heavily involved in minor lacrosse for several years including being President of the Streetsville Minor Lacrosse Association. The family legacy is part of Ted’s most memorable times in lacrosse. When recalling particular highlights of his Hall of Fame career, Ted commented, “There areso many highlights and a few lowlights but the game of lacrosse teaches you how to come back from losses and with hard work, dedication and sheer will, you can find a new way to win. You can score six goals in a game but when you make the mistake in overtime by running to the bench for a bad change which allows Bruce Codd to score the winner against you, you don't think about the goals, period. Winning the Presidents Cup in 1992 with my brother Jeff was great, hoisting the Mann Cup with Brampton Excelsiors in 1998 in front of my parents and family was a feeling never duplicated”.
In discussing specific people who were part of Ted’s career, he graciously noted, “So many people had an impact on my success as a player. I played with the best, unselfish, players in the world – players such as John Tavares, Tracey Kelusky, Josh Sanderson, Ricky Brown. These guys would place the ball on the junior tees and I'd just hit it. There are many coaches that come to mind but the two who inspired me the most were Terry Sanderson, The Motivator, and Chris Hall, The Educator with my favorite line... "What's Next?"
Again, the family impact is part of the scenario. Ted commented, “My older brothers Kevin and Jeff had a big impact on my development and desire to play at a higher level. It was the back yard lacrosse brawls and shin slashes that toughened me up but in the end it was always the unrelenting support from my parents that impacted me the most. It’s a recognition for my family as well as my father was a lacrosse player, my mother was a big supporter and my brothers played as well, so it’s one for everybody.”
The Dowling family lacrosse legacy continues. No surprise that Ted’s two daughters Trinity and Tayte have followed in his footsteps. Proudly, Ted stated, “Both my children play field lacrosse and my youngest Tayte, plays box. I help by coaching her team.”
The impact of playing lacrosse on Ted Dowling is always part of his life. He acknowledges playing lacrosse helped him to become the person he is – “Lacrosse teaches you a work ethic. I’ve had the great fortune of being taught from great coaches and teammates. People who have taught me a lot about lacrosse. I regularly use those lessons and doing that has contributed to me being successful in my business life”.
Always a treat to watch, Ted Dowling was a fan favourite. Ted was a skilled lacrosse player who made a significant contribution to the success of the teams he played on. Quite deservedly – Ted Dowling will be inducted in the Player category into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame as a member of the Class of 2020.
Written by Rad Joseph - Member of Major Series Lacrosse Media team