Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Adanacs nab Harnett

The Coquitlam Adanacs announced that defender/transition player Jon Harnett will join its team for the 2011 season.  
Harnett  23, played his minor and junior lacrosse in Orangeville and is currently playing for the Calgary Roughnecks. He joined the Roughnecks this season along with Adanac scorer Darryl Veltman in a blockbuster , trade involving former Adanac Josh Sanderson moving to the Boston Blazers. 
Harnett joined the Blazers in 2009 as a 20-year-old playing every game  and being named to the NLL All-Rookie team. He was still playing Junior A lacrosse in Orangeville, where he eventually won two Minto Cups. He was a finalist for the Canadian Junior Defender of the Year in 2009. Last summer he suited up for the Kitchener-Waterloo Kodiaks. He also played field lacrosse at the University of Guelph, where he was  named an  All-Canadian by the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association. He also spent two years at Adrian University in Michigan.
Harnett is a 6’ 2” 195 lbs left-handed shot. He is known as a shutdown defender and a speedy transition player who excels at getting the ball out of his end.  
“Jon will be a big asset in shoring up our back end which was the main weakness that we had assessed for our team based on last season,” Adanacs general manager Les Wingrove said. “He is a great fit for our club. He is currently playing with a lot of our players in Calgary and it will be an easy transformation for him as well as the team. Jon has a lot of experience for a young player. ”
Harnett will join the Adanacs at the conclusion of the NLL season.

Saints add Stroup to coaching staff

The Port Coquitlam Junior A Saints announce the addition of Dan Stroup to its coaching staff for the 2011 season. Stroup will assume the role of assistant coach in charge of player development.
He brings with him an extensive knowledge of the game from his many years in the WLA and NLL as well in his current position as a member of the coaching staff with the Washington Stealth of the National Lacrosse League.
Dan’s playing career included many years in the WLA with the Coquitlam Adanacs, including the 2001 Mann Cup championship team, as well as being a four-time NLL champion (three with Toronto and one with Colorado). He finished his distinguished career in the NLL as the 12th leading all time goal scorer in league history.  

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Lakers load up for season

Peterborough Lakers general manager Jamie Batley made a pair of deals to help them get ready for another run at the Mann Cup.

The Lakers first move was when they traded Ryan Cousins to the Six Nations Chiefs for Brandon Francis.
“Brandon will add toughness to the Lakers and he is a noted faceoff man in lacrosse,” Batley said. “We thank Ryan for his past contribution and wish him well iun the future.”
The Lakers then traded Jeff Gilbert and a second round draft pick in 2012 to Brooklin for Gavin Prout and Steve Hutchins.
“Again we thank Jeff for his Laker work and wish him well,” Batley said, “with both brothers Brock and Kyle Sorensen ready on D for the Lakers this year coming and transition player Brad Self returning to the Lakers, we felt that Jeff could be a trade possibility.”

- Peterborough Lakers release

Six Nations Rebels Spring Showcase

The Six Nations Junior B Rebels hosted its 4th Annual Spring Showcase Saturday at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena with more than 750 lacrosse fans attending the one-day event.
The pre-season tournament gives players a chance to make an impression on their respective coaching staff, general managers and fans of each team under game conditions.
This year the eight teams attending the tournament were the defending Founders Cup champion Halton Hills Bulldogs along with the Hamilton Bengals, Kahnawake Hunters, Mississauga Tomahawks, Newmarket Saints, Oakville Buzz, Windsor Clippers and Rebels.
Game 1 – Kahnawake Hunters 4 Hamilton Bengals 4
Game 2 – Oakville Buzz 5 Mississauga Tomahawks 1
Game 3 – Six Nations Rebels 6 Newmarket Saints 0
Game 4 – Windsor Clippers 6 Halton Hills Bulldogs 3
Game 5 – Hamilton Bengals 8 Mississauga Tomahawks 4
Game 6 – Six Nations Rebels 9 Kahnawake Hunters 2
Game 7 – Oakville Buzz 5 Halton Hills Bulldogs 1
Game 8 – Newmarket Saints 7 Windsor Clippers 6
Game 9 – Oakville Buzz 7 Kahnawake Hunters 4
Game 10 – Mississauga Tomahawks 6 Windsor Clippers 6
Game 11 – Newmarket Saints 7 Hamilton Bengals 7
Game 12 – Six Nations Rebels 5 Halton Hills Bulldogs 3

Green Gaels acquire Brendan Muise

The Green Gaels Junior B Lacrosse Club acquired Brendan Muise from the Mimico Mountaineers in exchange for Mitchell Wilde, Shane Morlock, and the Junior B rights to two non-rostered players.
Muise, who had 33 goals and 35 assists in 2010, comes to the Green Gaels with four years of OLA Junior B experience with Mimico, also quarterbacked Mimico’s power play during his tenure there, registering 39 points on the man advantage over the past two seasons.
Muise brings additional Founder’s Cup experience to a Gaels squad that last visited the national championship in 2009. The 6’1, 190 pounder was the 2010 Founder’s Cup tournament MVP, leading the tournament with 30 points in five games, while helping Mimico to the finals where they lost 4-3 in triple overtime.
“Muise is a guy that has been a consistent scoring threat his entire junior career,” Green Gaels head coach  Jason Crosbie said.. “We are very fortunate to get a player of his offensive talent. As an organization we are thrilled.
“He is going to bring an extremely high offensive IQ along with a major league shot that as an organization we lack,” he said. “He is in his last year of junior so I am looking for some leadership and maturity that can help the younger kids excel, especially on our left side. To get a kid like this you have to give in return and the skilled players we are losing are solid players but even more solid individuals. We wish them the best and are sad to see them go.”
Morlock, a 5’8, 175 pound right shot, is currently playing for NCAA Division 2 Chestnut Hill College in Pennsylvania, where he is fourth on the team in scoring. Morlock joined the Gaels in 2010 after playing two seasons in the Mississauga. In 2010, the right-handed shot had six goals  and 12 assists during a season that saw injuries limit him to 13 games.
Wilde, whose rights reverted back to the Green Gaels this past off-season after playing a year for the Orillia Rama Kings on a conditional release, is currently studying and playing lacrosse at NCAA  Division 1 Robert Morris University in Pennsylvania. Wilde was part of the 2009 Green Gaels team that travelled to Edmonton for the 2009 Founder’s Cup tournament. In 2010, after joining the Orillia Kings four games into the season, the 6’3, 175 pound left handed shot put up 19 goals and 34 assists for the Kings. Wilde has subsequently been involved in a 10 player transaction between Mimico and the Mississauga Tomahawks.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rebels host Spring Showcase this weekend

The OLA junior season is almost upon us and lacrosse fans can get a small sampling of it when the Six Nations Rebels host its 4th Annual Spring Showcase pre-season Junior B Tournament Saturday at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena.
The Rebels will host the 2010 Founders Cup champion Halton Hills Bulldogs, as well as the Hamilton Bengals, Kahnawake Hunters, Mississauga Tomahawks, Newmarket Saints, Oakville Buzz and Windsor Clippers.
Here's the schedule
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
3:00 PM – 4:00 PM
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM
5:00 PM – 6:00 PM
6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
8:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Lakers sign Quinton

According to a tweet made by the Burnaby Lakers, the WLA squad have signed Matt Quinton from Elora, Ont.
Quinton, who split time with the MSL KW Kodiaks and OLA Sr. B Owen Sound Woodsmen last summer, was selected 26th overall by the Boston Blazers in this season's NLL draft.
Quinton played collegiate lacrosse at Roanoke College, where he was a standout attackmen and ended his career 14th all-time in points, third overall in goals, and third overall in in goals per game. 
He is known as one of Roanoke’s greatest attackmen.

Adanacs, Timbermen swap Gaines for Thomas

Coquitlam Adanacs general manager Les Wingrove announced that they have traded Trevor Gains to the Nanaimo Timbermen in exchange for Russell Thomas. 
"Thomas hasgot great speed and a slick stick," Wingrove said, “he could be a big help in our transition game.”  
Thomas played for the Simon Fraser University Clansmen field lacrosse team, where he finished his career as the captain. He received honours as the team’s Most Valuable Player and was a three-time Men's Collegiate Lacrosse Association All-American. Playing midfield, he scored 114 goals and 55 assists for 169 points in 62 games.
Thomas has relocated from Nanaimo and will be living in Burquitlam. He will be starting his practicum with the Vancouver Parole Board after majoring in criminology.

Delmonico joins Adanacs staff

The Coquitlam Adanacs announce this week that Randy Delmonico will join the coaching staff with new head coach Bob Salt and Dennis Quigley.  
Delmonico is a former Adanacs player who played all his Senior A career in Coquitlam. He was on the team in 1980 when the team representing  Canada West won the Nations in 80 World Championship. That team was inducted into the Coquitlam Sports Hall of Fame in November and was previously inducted into the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame. The team was coached by Salt.  
Delmonico played for the Adanacs from 1977 to 1980 where he compiled 82 goals and 79 assist for 161points while accumulating 166 penalty minutes.  At the end of the 1980 season he played in Australia over the winter where he suffered a career-ending knee injury which began a new 31 year career in coaching.
To read the entire press release click here http://www.theboxrocks.com/news/mar21_11.asp

QSLL, ILA schedule set

For those of you in eastern Ontario, or if you're just passing by, the 2011 QSLL, ILA season begins Saturday, April 23 when the Akwesasne Braves take on the Montreal Phoenix at the Doug Harvey Arena. The first game in Kahnawake will be one that local lacrosse fans will not want to miss – the QSLL champs, the Kahnawake Mohawks hosting the Caughnawaga Indians – now of the Iroquois Lacrosse Association.
The lacrosse landscape has shifted since last season with both the Indians and the Valleyfield Dinomytes leaving the Quebec Senior Lacrosse League. The Indians have since joined the ILA – which is hosting the 2011 Presidents Cup in Akwesasne – while the Dinomytes have folded.
The Montreal Phoenix, which is a junior all-star team, also joined the leave this season, keeping the QSLL a four-team league. The other teams in the QSLL are the West End Warlocks and the Vermont Voyageurs.
The ILA will also be playing a crossover schedule with the QSLL. The ILA teams are the Indians, Cornwall Island Redmen, Snake Island Muskies and the Akwesasne Braves.

Whipper makes impending retirement official

Bob Watson made it official on the Toronto Rock website.
Today Watson made it official.  The 2011 season will be his last in the National Lacrosse League as the Toronto Rock legendary goaltender and future Hall of Famer will hang up the pads at the end of the current campaign.
"We were very happy that Bob decided to come back for this season,"  Rock owner and president Jamie Dawick said.  "Everyone in the organization wants to send him out on top and we know Bob has one goal this season, and that's winning a championship."
Despite not showing any signs of slowing down and being on a path to perhaps his best statistical season of his career, "Whipper" had decided long ago that this would be his last dance in pro lacrosse regardless of how the season was going.  Family and work commitments at his new job with the Waterloo Regional Police being two key factors in the decision making process.
"We decided as a family before the season began that this would be my last season,"  Watson said.  "We had a discussion and the timing was right.  With two very active kids, a new job and my desire to leave the game playing at a high level it's the right time."
The Toronto Rock has known only one starting goaltender throughout the 13-year history of the franchise.  Before playing for the Rock, Watson began his career with the Baltimore Thunder in 1996 and then moved on to the Ontario Raiders in 1998.  One-year later, the Raiders morphed into the franchise we know today as the Toronto Rock and the rest, as they say, is history.
The days at Maple Leaf Gardens were very special to the veteran goaltender and he remembers one experience fondly.  It came after what ended up being the final event ever at the historic building.
"It was the day after winning the 2000 Championship Game and we got the opportunity to skate on the ice,"  Watson said.  "My son was born a few days prior to the championship game, so my post-game celebrating had it's limits and I was the first one to arrive at the Gardens.  I was there all by myself, laying at centre ice just enjoying my final moments in that building."
To read the rest of the  release please click here http://www.torontorock.com/article/bob-watson-will-retire-after-2011-season

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dobbie earns NLL Player of the Week

Calgary Roughnecks forward Dane Dobbie was named the National Lacrosse League Overall Player of the Week for Week 11. 
Dobbie scored five goals and added three assists and picked up two loose balls in a 19-14 win over the Edmonton Rush. He also won the league's Offensive Player of the Week Award for his efforts.
Roughnecks defenseman Nolan Heavenor has won the Defensive Player of the Week. Heavenor scored a goal, picked up nine loose balls, and won 13 out of 17 faceoffs in the Roughnecks win.
Geoff Shattler of the Roughnecks has been named the Transition Player of the Week. Shattler had one goal and eight assists and picked up 3 loose balls in the win.
Roughnecks forward Curtis Dickson was awarded Rookie of the Week honors, He scored three goals, collected three assists, and picked up three loose balls.

- nll.com

Richardson fires back at Govett

I thought this was an interesting post from the New Westminster Salmonbellies Facebook page. Salmonbellies president and general manager Dan Richardson fires back in response to what Colorado Mammoth president and GM Steve Govett said about Cliff Smith.

I read Steve Govett's interview on NLL Insider the other day about Cliff Smith, and read it again this am, as I really was in disbelief on what I was reading. Cliff Smith can play, he can play in any league, you wont find a better character guy on and off the floor. This kid is a leader, a real heart and soul player, popular teammate, can shoot the lights out and if you want to drop the mitts , he's ready willing and able. Why on earth would you give up on a guy like Cliff Smith, to say he might not be there yet? How bout looking inward, at things like who's he playing with, how are you playing him, how many coaches has he had in Colorado , I've lost count.
He says his Skills havent transalated in the NLL, pretty hard to put up numbers when for most of last year he was going out the back gate. The game is played with relatively the same rules, players, referee's, and he's shooting on the same goalies. I think a team that hasnt won at home in over 700 days, should be embracing "young" talented players, not tossing them aside or giving up on them , and saying he dosent have enough self discipline.
I think certain NLL Teams and certain NLL Coaches and Managers have to give the Western based kids more of a chance, instead of filling their rosters with Eastern players who are for a lack of a better term, on the southside of their careers.

Thats ok though, WLA season starts in less than 2 months, where we can watch a league full of guys, who arent quite there yet, who lack self discipline, and NLL Teams have given up on, because their Skill level isn't quite NLL ready.
Go Bellies

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

CLAX: godsend or pipe dream?

With word that Paul St. John plans is to bring Canada a new professional lacrosse league, the message boards and blogs have been set ablaze with conversation.
This week St. John officially launched his new league’s website, www.clax.ca.

"First off we are not looking to compete with the NLL that is why we are starting in November and finishing in April, we'll have our championship day and than sit down and watch theirs," St. John wrote on the OLA Fan Forum. "We don't want to play in the summer that is saved for the MSL and the WLA to compete for the Mann Cup. 
"We all know for the most part the best players play in the NLL, that's no secret, but what CLax will allow is more players to have the opportunity to play pro lacrosse and be compensated to do so," he said. "CLax will also allow fans to cheer on their local teams and not just the one in the big centres. With the escalating costs of travel due to gas more and more fans are looking to watch games locally, CLax wants to give them that opportunity. I know travelling in from Ajax costs me over a $100 to watch a Rock game with my son so our league will give fans a different alternative. But we are not looking to take fans away from the Rock so I'm sure we'll be selective with our schedule."

From a fan's point of view, St. John's idea is a great thing for lacrosse. Hell, I, like many of you, am all-for watching more lacrosse.
But is it all a pipe dream?
When it comes to logistics, a lacrosse league running from November to April almost seems impossible, especially because it's hockey season and many of these potential centre's arenas are jammed with activity. If there were facilities like the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena all over the country, then yes, a league would be a huge possibility and more than likely a success. This would also completely eliminate one of the other big concerns - the playing surface costs and storage.
Unfortunately facilities like the ILA aren't that plentiful.
St. John did say he doesn't want to compete with the NLL, MSL and WLA, which runs from January to the beginning of September. And in the spirit of not wanting to compete for customers, that leaves September to December (with a small amount of overlap).
If arenas were available a small league could work in that sort of time frame. But again, the big question is if floor time is available.
From a player personnel point of view, a league running during these months would give the NLL, MSL and WLA time to evaluate players, whether they're up-and-coming or guys on the bubble of their respective rosters.
Another thing people on Twitter and forums wrote about were the type of players CLAX would house?
The NLL is considered 'the big time' for lacrosse - although someone referred to it as a 'glorified beer league' - there are lots of players in the WLA, MSL and top-notch junior players left off these rosters. One would argue and I do agree, that this year's NLL contraction has created more depth to the league. Despite that, there are former NLL players not in the league as a result, so an additional semi-pro league would be a great opportunity for those guys wanting to get back to 'the show'.
Finally, several comments pointed to compensation for players.
Let's face it, everyone in lacrosse plays for the love of the game. I don't see anyone getting rich playing the lacrosse. Despite some egos, I'm sure there are many quality players wanting to get their game on for a small stipend.
Regardless of what happens, I wish St. John luck with his league. As we all see what unfolds, lets hope it's for the betterment of the game because that's what we're all here for in the first place.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Fans, not firms, keeping Roughnecks afloat: owner

Here's a story from Allen Cameron from the Calgary  Herald.

The Calgary Roughnecks have been taken off life support, and they've been moved out of the intensive care unit.
But the bandages are still in place to stop the bleeding, and owner/general manager/ financial backer/glutton (some would say) for punishment Brad Banister isn't sure if they'll ever come off.
The good news is that the National Lacrosse League franchise is solvent this week.
Next week? That's a good question.
"It's still day to day, but we made payroll this week, and that's a big thing for us," said Banister on Friday. "We did it on our own (the team needed outside help to cover the cost of a recent road trip), so that's a plus, I'm pretty proud of that because obviously that was weighing on our minds. Business as usual, trying to sell tickets and trying to get some new advertising, but it doesn't look like anything's going to come up. We've had pretty crappy support so far."
That's despite Banister's dramatic statement in late February that the Roughnecks couldn't cover their payroll for that week, and that the team was doomed to collapse without more support from the Calgary business community.
"Corporate Calgary? Not one corporation has stepped up," shrugged Banister. "That's the way it is, I guess. What are you going to do? I'm not going to go begging again. We'll try to limp through as best we can and hopefully we'll survive. I guess maybe I care about it a little more than other people care about it. One of these days, though, I'm going to stop caring about it."
If he stops caring, others certainly will, although it's highly doubtful that their care would extend to keeping the Roughnecks in Calgary. Since announcing the team was for sale prior to the season, Banister said there have been nearly 30 expressions of interest, with most, if not all, involving moving the team into the U.S.
"Rightfully, this team should stay here," said Banister, noting he's had "lots of communication" with the Calgary Flames, but no firm offer to buy the team. "It's got legs in the community, and this is where it belongs."
The good news is that ticket sales have picked up this week in advance of a three-game homestand, which is a big reason he was able to cover the payroll.
"We've got some amazing fans," said Banister. "Our objective was not to get support from them; it was to get support from new people, and the doors have been swinging open at the office with people buying tickets. That's a real good sign."

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mimico gets Junior C team

The Mimico Minor Lacrosse Association announced that they've been
awarded one of the new OLA Junior C franchises and will begin play in May of 2011. 
The Team will play in the Central Division along with Clarington, Innisfil, Huntsville, Peterborough and Whitby.
Junior C commissioner Doug Luey was very pleased that Mimico was selected by the committee.
"It’s great to have Mimico in the fastest growing league in Canada and having them renew their rivalry with Clarington at the Junior C level is great for lacrosse,” the commissioner said.
The team will play out of Long Branch Arena with three games at Mimico Arena.
The team is owned by the Mimico minor system and is spearheaded by general manager Dan Atkinson. 
“To be able to give 23 or so more Mimico players a place to play high caliber junior lacrosse was the goal in doing this," Atkinson said. "This league is based on skill and speed." The Junior C league follows rules governed under junior and major lacrosse in Canada with one exception, and it’s a big one. 
“Fight and you’re out of the game," Atkinson said. "It brings the two leagues together in one. While still having all the excitement of junior and major lacrosse, this league holds onto the skill part of the game by forcing teams to play the game. If you fight, you’re gone just like in minor. It really showcase’s the skill of the players and of the game itself.”
Atkinson also, with help from the new minor executive put into place that all Mimico minor players, whether they are house league, rep, or field players will be admitted to each home game for free. They just have to wear their team jersey and they get in. For all other spectators, there is a $5 admission fee that goes to offset all the expenses the Junior C team has.
According to Atkinson, there was only one choice to be the head coach, Rob Hastings. 
“Rob and I spoke many times over the winter and discussed at great lengths where the game was now and what the ultimate goal was with this program," Atkinson said. "I was very happy when he agreed to take on this challenge.”
Hastings brings 32 years of coaching experience to the table at every level of the game and has been able to change along the way with game. 
“When I first started coaching, I was still playing and you played both ways (offence and defense)," Hastings said. "Through the years the game has evolved into what you see today. In some ways I love it because it brings constant flow when played properly, but another way, I really don’t like it because it pigeon holes a kid at too young of an age. To compete at the higher level in minor a team had to play offence-defense and that forced a coach to look at a players skill at say 14 and say, okay he hasn’t got the hands for offense, so he is a D guy.”
Hastings plans to utilize a combination of both styles of lacrosse with the Junior C team. 
“If a player can play at both ends of the floor, he has a much better chance at playing for me," Hastings said. "In turn, I believe it opens more doors for him in the future.”
Joining Hastings this year on the bench will be Don Gill and Cesar Parodi, who have coached with Rob for the better part of the last decade and Ernie Phillips who has coached in Brampton the last 14 years and has also worked with Rob. 
“We have over 150 years of experience between Dan and the coaching staff and I know I have a great group of coaches who will work well together," Hastings said. "The team is only as good as the team of coaches who runs it”
A combined camp is being held now by both the Junior B and Junior C teams. These winter camps are being held at Humber College (south campus). Sunday March 20, and runs from 1pm to 3 pm, and the following Sunday/ Players will be divided up into two groups for the last session before both teams head to Mimico Arena in the first week of April. Anyone not living in the city formally known as Etobicoke must get a “permission to run” from their home club.
Follow the Mimico Junior C at: www.mimicolacrosse.com and on point streak. The teams franchise and home opener will take place on Saturday May 7, 2011 when they play host to the Innisfil Wolfpack at Mimico arena. Game time is 2:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Shattler named NLL Player of the Week

Calgary Roughnecks Transition player Jeff Shattler is the National Lacrosse League's Overall Player of the Week and Transition Player of the Week for Week 10 of the 2011 regular season.
Shattler helped lead the Roughnecks to a 17-13 road win over the Washington Stealth. This win extends the Roughnecks (7-3) first place lead in the West to a game and a half. Shattler recorded a total of 9 points. He had 4 goals and 5 assists and contributed with a point in the last 3 goals scored by the Roughnecks to cap off the victory. To go along with his impressive offensive stats, Shattler forced two turnovers and picked up 5 loose balls.
John Tavares of the Buffalo Bandits has been named the Offensive Player of the Week. Tavares scored the game-winner with 2:12 left against the visiting Boston Blazers in a thrilling 12-10 victory. He finished the night with 6 points, scoring 4 goals and dishing out two assists. He also added 6 loose balls in the win, helping to keep the Bandits ahead of Boston in second place, and putting them a game and a half behind first place Toronto.
Buffalo Bandits defenseman Chris Corbeil has won the Defensive Player of the Week. He picked up 5 loose balls and forced one turnover against one of the league's top offenses. He also recorded one goal, scoring in the final seconds to secure the Bandits' 12-10 victory.
Calgary Roughnecks forward Curtis Dickson was awarded Rookie of the Week honors for his play this past week. Dickson scored 3 goals, one being a shorthanded goal, and added 4 loose balls in the Roughnecks victory over the Stealth.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Suitor joins Shamrocks

The Victoria Shamrocks acquired the rights to Andrew Suitor from the Ajax-Pickering Rock of Major Series Lacrosse.

"Andrew is one of the most exciting prospects to come around in a long time," Shamrocks general manager Chris Welch said. "He's a very special player with tremendous grit and character. He is incredibly versatile, plays both ends of the floor and takes draws. He's tough as nails, he's a natural leader and the ultimate team guy who will do anything to help his team win. He brings an intense, physical presence and he immediately makes us better."
The 6' 0", 190 pound right handed defense/transition specialist was an assistant captain with the Orangeville Northmen OLA Junior A squad, where he led them to back-to-back Minto Cup championships in 2008 and 2009. In 174 regular season and playoff games with the Northmen, Suitor scored 71 goals and added 151 assists for 222 points to go along with 669 minutes in penalties.
He was recently drafted fourth overall in the Major Series Lacrosse draft by Ajax. Welch says Suitor was highly coveted by a number of teams. 
"I've never seen anything like it," Welch said. "All the top teams in Canada were after him because they see all the same things in him that we do. We were very determined in our pursuit and at the end of the day, it paid off and we landed the big prize. We know every team in the country would love to have him in their lineup and we couldn't be more thrilled to have him in ours."
Suitor is currently in his rookie season with the National Lacrosse League's Minnesota Swarm, who selected him fourth overall in the 2010 draft. So far this season he has registered three assists in eight games played and racked up 34 minutes in penalties. He leads the Swarm with 55 loose balls and is leading all league rookies in faceoffs.
He is expected to join the Shamrocks in early June after representing England at the World Indoor Lacrosse Championships in Prague.
Welch said, while it is a one-year deal with Ajax to start, it includes an option to be extended. 
"The way we structured the deal is that if Andrew chooses to stay with us in 2012, and I'm very confident he will, we'll have his full release at that point," Welch said. "We plan to have Andrew in the green and white for many years to come and we'll continue to build around him."

Iroquois Nationals release 31-man roster

The Iroquois Nationals have named its roster for the 2011 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship in the Czech Republic later this year. 
“This year’s version of the Iroquois Nationals are to be younger and more athletic than previous Iroquois teams,” Nationals veteran Delby Powless told Iorì:wase. “The addition of Jeff Shattler, Jeremy Thompson (if he can play depending on how Syracuse University does) and Logan Kane can give us some added spend and scoring in the transition game.”
Iroquois Nationals general manager, and alumni, Gewas Schindler said they looked at over 100 players to make this team and it wasn’t easy to select the team. 
The current roster of 31 will still need to be cut down to 23 before the World Championships start.
“It was very difficult,” Schindler said. “We still have a few tough decisions to make. There’s lots of great talent.”
Schindler believes that the team they have assembled a great team and has high expectations of it for this year’s WILC.
“This is our best rosters,” Schindler said. “This is our best roster. It’s perfect; not too old; not too young. We are very confident. We are very focused on bringing home a gold medal back to the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.”
Powless, who has played on the two previous Nationals teams, believes some of the younger guys on the roster will provide a lot of talent.
“Offensively there is some younger talent available in a guy like Kedoh Hill,” Powless said. “The offense will be lead by returning vets Cody Jamieson, Brett Bucktooth and Roger Vyse. The defense will benefit from the addition of National Lacrosse League vet Clay Hill. Sid Smith will likely cover the opposition’s top offensive player following his All-World selection in 2007. Tommy Montour and Isiah Kicknosway will also be depended on to run the high pressure defense that is a signature of any team coached by Darris Kilgour.”
In net, the Iroquois Nationals are strong with the tandem of Mike Thompson and Angus Goodleaf – who are teammates with the Buffalo Bandits in the NLL and won a Mann Cup this past summer together with the Peterborough Lakers.
“Goaltending is going to be a strong position for us and will be heavily depended on if we expect to win this tourney,” Powless said. “Mikey Thompson and Angus Goodleaf give us a solid 1-2 combination. Mike was selected the All-World goaltender in 2007 after a great tournament. We may need a repeat performance from him.”
The Iroquois Nationals are ranked second in the world in box lacrosse behind Canada and ahead of the United States. At the inaugural tournament in 2003 Canada defeated the Iroquois Nationals 21-4 for the gold medal. In 2007 in Halifax, the Iroquois Nationals lost a close gold medal game to Canada 15-14 in overtime.
The Iroquois Nationals 2011 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship roster:
Mike Thompson
Angus Goodleaf
Sid Smith
Tom Montour
Brett Bucktooth
Jeff Shattler
Cody Jamieson
Roger Vyse
Craig Point
Jeremy Thompson
Dean Hill
Kedoh Hill
Isiah Kicknosway
Brandon Francis
Travis Hill
Delby Powless
Cory Bomberry
Andy Secore
Logan Kane
Holden Vyse
Cody Johnson
Ron Cogan
Brandon Swamp
Mike Lazore
Peter Jacobs
Stu Hill
Wayne van Every
Jeff Powless
Robbie Jimerson
Dwight Bero

- story by Greg Horn www.kahnawakenews.com

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Six Nations trio go west to share the game

Lorelee Belisle is on the recruiting trail these days.
Belisle, the vice president for aboriginal development with the Saskatchewan Lacrosse Association, is criss-crossing the province this week to promote the sport. To help her cause, Belisle is bringing along three residents of the Six Nations of the Grand River, an Ontario First Nation that is renowned in the lacrosse world.
"My goal is to get more First Nations kids playing the sport," Belisle said. "I've been doing this (job) for three years now. We bring in guys from Six Nations and when they talk to youth about the origins of the game and its cultural meaning and then show them the skills, it turns out better for us."
"A lot of what we're trying to do is make kids get up, get active and get involved," added Kevin Sandy, a product of Six Nations and the director of operations for the Iroquois Lacrosse Program. "Even though it's the fastest-growing team sport in North America, we need more coaches and more officials. As the game grows, kids want to get involved."
Sandy, Cam Bomberry (the director of lacrosse for the Iroquois Lacrosse Program) and Roger Vyse (a member of the National Lacrosse League's Buffalo Bandits) started their visits Tuesday. One of those was at Sacred Heart School, where they demonstrated some skills and conditioning techniques.
Over the next two days, the group is to visit a number of First Nations communities across Saskatchewan to promote lacrosse. Not only are the visitors to hand out 36 lacrosse sticks and 36 balls at each stop, they'll also discuss the game's cultural connection to First Nations people.
"A lot of the kids do not know (about that)," said Sandy, who noted that conversation is "a huge component" of the group's presentation. "They know different nations had different versions of the game, but a lot of kids don't know where the game came from.
"To me, that's just a natural extension," he added. "A lot of things have been pushed down over the years. It's part of our education and part of our responsibility to come out and share that knowledge."
To read the rest of the story by Ian Hamilton of the Regina Leader-Post click here http://www.leaderpost.com/sports/Saskatchewan+Lacrosse+Association+aims+recruit+more+First+Nations+kids/4445097/story.html#ixzz1GjZv9CIh

NLL trade deadline notes

The Colorado Mammoth have announced that they have re-acquired former team captain Gavin Prout in a trade with the Edmonton Rush in exchange for forward Mike McLellan and a first-round draft pick in the 2011 NLL Entry Draft.
Prout, who spent the last one-plus seasons in Edmonton, is the Mammoth's all-time leading scorer and has 775 career points. The right-handed forward played in Colorado from 2004-2009 and led the team to the Champion's Cup in 2006.
"Gavin meant a lot to this organization for the six years that he was here," said Mammoth president and general manager Steve Govett. "We welcome back his tremendous leadership in the locker room and on the field."

The Washington Stealth and Mammoth announced a trade just minutes before the 3 p.m. EST trade deadline.  The Stealth acquired forward Cliff Smith from Colorado in exchange for Joel Dalgarno, Ian Hawksbee and a third round selection in the 2011 NLL Entry Draft.
Smith, a 6’3”, 210-pound forward from Surrey, B.C., comes to the Stealth after spending his first two seasons in the NLL with the Mammoth.  In eight games with Colorado this season, the left-handed Smith has tallied eight goals and three assists for eleven points in the NLL’s lowest-scoring offense.  With the move, Stealth head coach Chris Hall thinks that Smith’s skills will be better suited in the league’s highest-scoring offense.
“Cliff is a big, strong guy and brings a tremendous amount of grit and skill,” said Hall.  “We’ve been watching him for a long time – through juniors, his time with the New Westminster Salmonbellies and his pro career – and he has huge upside.  We think the fit will be right for him in Washington.”
Smith has played four seasons with the New Westminster Salmonbellies of the Western Lacrosse Association in British Columbia.  The Salmonbellies have won the WLA Championship each of the last three summers.  In 99 regular season and playoff games with New Westminster, Smith has accumulated 147 goals and 145 assists for 292 points.
The Stealth sends Dalgarno, a left-handed forward, and Hawksbee, a left-handed defenseman, to Colorado along with a third round pick in the 2011 NLL Entry Draft.

“In order to bring in Smith, a guy we felt was a piece we needed in our lineup, you have to give up a lot to do it,” Hall said .  “Dalgarno and Hawksbee have been very valuable for us and we are very sorry to see them go.”
Dalgarno joined the Stealth prior to the 2010 season in a trade with the Toronto Rock that included All-Stars Lewis Ratcliff and Colin Doyle.  Dalgarno has appeared in two games for the Stealth this season, recording three goals and an assist.

ILA names Muskies as hosts of the 2011 President’s Cup Championship

The Canadian Lacrosse Association announced its selection of the 2011 President’s Cup championship to the Iroquois Lacrosse Association. The President’s Cup is the Senior B Canadian National Championship and was last awarded to the Iroquois Lacrosse Association in both 1996 and 2000, then hosted by the Akwesasne Thunder and the Kahnawake Mohawks, respectively. 
During the 2010 lacrosse season, the Iroquois Lacrosse Association president, Michael K. Mitchell secured the rights to host the 2011 Canadian Lacrosse Association’s senior ‘B’ championships on behalf of the resurrected ILA. To determine the host team, the ILA formed a selection committee which consisted of former ILA lacrosse greats and respected elders such as Bobby Delormier, Billy Sunday and Brian David. Russell Roundpoint was also named to the group and served as chairperson which based its selection on preparation planning, promotion, volunteer committees, and additional events that would be required to ensure a successful tournament. 
At the submission deadline, the Iroquois Lacrosse Association received two application bids from the Snake Island Muskies and the Cornwall Island Redmen, which according to Roundpoint, were both excellent entries. After a lengthy review of the applications, the committee selected the Snake Island Muskies as the host team for the 2011 Canadian Championships. “The Muskies proposal was selected based on the attention to Akwesasne culture and history, together with their role in the re-establishment of the ILA senior lacrosse league” said Roundpoint. 
The 2011 President’s Cup Championship will be played between August 29 and September 5, at the Anowarakowa Arena which is situated on Cornwall Island, Akwesasne Mohawk Territory. ILA president, Michael K. Mitchell is excited of the opportunity to host the President’s Cup tournament in Akwesasne as he has great memories of the previous tournament that was held in 1996 inside an overcrowded Anowarakowa Arena. “The last time it (President’s Cup Tournament) was here, the arena was filled to capacity…we definitely live in a lacrosse community” said Mitchell. The 1996 President’s Cup was one of the most memorable with a record of 10 teams and full capacity crowds which featured a final between the Ohsweken Wolves of the Can-Am League and the Akwesasne Thunder. The Wolves defeated the ILA hosts to capture the gold medal before 2,000 plus lacrosse fans, “the energy inside the arena was unbelievable” said Mitchell of the well attended tournament at Akwesasne. 
The national tournament will showcase multiple games each day during round robin play and will feature events and activities outside the arena grounds. The tournament will be a weeklong festival of celebrating the game of lacrosse and culture of the Mohawks of Akwesasne.  
Being named hosts of the National Tournament, the Snake Island Muskies will be given an automatic berth to the National Championships, while the defending league champions, the Cornwall Island Redmen will have to earn their spot in competing against the Akwesasne Braves and the renewed Kahnawake entry to the Iroquois Lacrosse Association. The Caughnawaga Indians departed ways from the Quebec Senior Lacrosse League after the 2010 season and have been accepted to the Iroquois Lacrosse Association. Two teams from the Iroquois lacrosse Association will be permitted as participants of the National Championships, one being the host Muskies and the other being the ILA’s highest placing 
The Iroquois Lacrosse Association is looking forward to hosting the event and shares this eagerness with both the Akwesasne community and the neighboring city of Cornwall. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

Northmen get Masson

The Orangeville Junior A Northmen continue to work on their 2011 roster, picking up AJ Masson in a trade with the Barrie Lakeshores. 

Masson, who is in his sophomore year with Vermont University, has spent the last two seasons playing with the Newmarket Saints on the junior B lacrosse loop. 
In exchange for Masson and a second round 2012 draft pick, the Northmen swapped goalie Coltan Horan and former draft pick Joe Batte, who has spent the last two seasons playing with the Junior C Centre Wellington Warlords.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tavares adds to legend

Add yet another page to the list of heroics by John Tavares.
Tavares, the all-time leading scorer in the history of the National Lacrosse League, scored with 2:12 left in Saturday's game with the Boston Blazers. The score held up as the game-winner, as the Bandits took a 12-10 decision to the delight of the 16,347 on hand in HSBC Arena.
The goal capped a four-goal, two-assist performance that put him back in the top 10 in the league in scoring with 48 points this season -- not bad for a man of 42.
"He never seems to get old," Bandits coach Darris Kilgour said. "I told him I've loved watching him for the past 20 years, and I hope I get to watch him for three or four more."
"He keeps surprising me," teammate Tom Montour said. "He does things out there that I can't do, and I'm 11 or 12 years younger than he is."
The Blazers had tied the score at 10-10 with 3:38 left on a power-play goal by Josh Sanderson to set up Tavares' dramatics.
"It was a great pass by [Mark] Steenhuis. It was hard enough that I could get the inside line," Tavares said. "[Kyle] Rubisch had been playing me all game, and I knew eventually I'd take him underneath. I had a lane, and I was tripping on the play -- I stubbed my toe on the turf. I made it look like I was diving, and I saw the goalie [Nick Rose] falling with me. So I obviously put it back short side. I just kind of lobbed in there. I was just trying to stay out of the crease before the ball went in."
 To read the rest of the story  by Budd Bailey of the Buffalo News please click here http://www.buffalonews.com/incoming/article365771.ece

Snider brother may face off Sunday

When Washington Stealth transition player Bob Snider goes to the center circle for the first faceoff tonight against the Calgary Roughnecks, he will most likely be going up against a familiar face.
That would be a former teammate in Philadelphia, who also just happens to be his brother Geoff.
Calgary's Geoff Snider, 29, has been one of the NLL's most successful faceoff men for years and his brother Bob, 25, has established himself this season as an up and comer with the same skill. Last season, playing for the Philadelphia Wings, Bob got his share of playing time, but it was Geoff who took the majority of the faceoffs.
A year later the Snider brothers have new teams and Bob has moved into the role of faceoff specialist with the defending NLL champion Stealth.
Calgary coach Dave Pym said in a Wednesday conference call that Geoff is day-to-day after suffering a head injury last week, but when asked about the game on Thursday, Geoff said, "right now I'm playing."

To read the rest of the story by Aaron Lommers of the Herald click here http://www.heraldnet.com/article/20110313/SPORTS/703139918/1004/SPORTS