Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Rubisch, Steenhuis and Matt Vinc named to Team Canada

Defenceman Kyle Rubisch, transition star Mark Steenhuis and 2010 National Lacrosse League goaltender of the year Matt Vinc will be on Canada’s roster for the 2011 world indoor lacrosse tournament in Prague, May 21-28, Team Canada general managerJohnny Mouradian announced Tuesday.
Rubisch, 22, is Canada’s youngest pick.

“I was a little surprised what with being so young and in my rookie year in the NLL,” the Boston Blazers defenceman said of being asked to help Canada win a third straight world indoor championship.
It was no surprise to Mouradian that team management and coaches rated Rubisch highly.
“Having such a young player at his skill level and intensity is exciting for us because we know he’ll be a national team candidate for years to come,” says  Mouradian. “We’ve watched him through the early part of the NLL season and his performances have been exceptional.”
The tough defenceman was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2010 NLL entry draft. He was amateur athlete of the year in his home city of Brampton, Ont., in 2009 when he captained the Jr. A Brampton Excelsiors and won the Ontario Lacrosse Association award as top defenceman. He played for the senior Excelsiors last summer to prepare for his NLL debut.
He doesn’t intend to be a wallflower in Prague.
“They told me to just make sure I don’t take a back seat just because I’m a young guy, to try to make a difference,” he says. “Anytime you get the chance to represent your country, you take a lot of pride in being on the team. I’ll do anything they want me to do.”
Steenhuis, 30, of St. Catharines, Ont., is a key player for the NLL’s Buffalo Bandits. He was 2008 NLL transition player of the year and was named Champion’s Cup MVP to cap Buffalo’s title run that year. He was all-star MVP in 2004, 2007 and 2008. Steenhuis holds the NLL single-game records for assists (13) and points (17) set Feb. 14, 2009. His resume is amazing considering he didn’t start playing lacrosse until he was 17. Steenhuis was on Canada’s silver-medal field team last summer in Manchester, England, and then helped the Peterborough Lakers win the Mann Cup as Canadian senior champions.
“Mark adds back door and offensive capabilities to Canada’s team,” says Mouradian. “He can play anywhere on the floor, which is what we like about Mark. He’s proved to be a winner in Buffalo and in Peterborough as well.”
Vinc, 28, is a major component for the Rochester Knighthawks in their quest to regain the NLL championship this year. His work with the now-defunct Orlando Titans last winter earned him the NLL’s award for best goalie. How good is he? To get him, Rochester parted with longtime Knighthawks star John Grant Jr., who’s his Team Canada teammate. Vinc played long-pole defence for Canada in Manchester.
“Everybody knows what Matt Vinc brings to Team Canada,” says Mouradian. “With Anthony Cosmo, Matt Vinc, and a third player to be announced, we will have the best goaltending in the world.”

- Canadian Press

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