April 22, 2009

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O'Toole, Guze Nodded for Gutsy Performances

from press release

Rochester Knighthawks goaltender Pat O'Toole has been named the National Lacrosse League's Overall Player of the Week for the games played on the weekend of April 17-18 (Week #16), the final weekend of the regular season. In a do-or-die game between Rochester and Philadelphia for the final playoff spot in the East Division, O'Toole was sensational, holding Philadelphia to eight goals and making 38 saves in an 11-8 win that clinched a playoff berth for the Knighthawks. 

Rochester's Steve Toll was named Transition Player of the Week for his efforts in the must-win game, picking up 16 loose balls and scoring a goal. Rochester faces the New York Titans at Madison Square Garden in the opening round of the playoffs on Friday, May 1.

In another game with a trip to the playoffs on the line, Colorado defenseman Ray Guze turned in a performance that not only won the Defensive Player of the Week Award, but will be talked about for years to come.  In a game against Edmonton that Colorado had to win in order to make the playoffs, Guze broke his thumb on the second shift of the game and had to leave the bench.

After changing into his street clothes, Guze watched as fellow Mammoth defenseman Rich Catton went down with a knee injury midway through the 2nd Quarter.  Not wanting his team to play the biggest game of the year down two defensemen, Guze changed back into his uniform, and played the remainder of the game with a broken thumb.  He used only one hand on his stick for the remainder of the game, and was able to lead the short-handed Mammoth defense in holding Edmonton to 9 goals as Colorado won 10-9 to clinch the final playoff spot in the West Division. 

Colorado travels to Calgary to face the Roughnecks in the opening round of the playoffs on Sunday, May 3.

A pair of Boston Blazers were honored for big performances on the road in a 13-12 overtime win over the Buffalo Bandits.  Sean Morris won Offensive Player of the Week (3 goals, 4 assists) and Daryl Veltman won Rookie of the Week (4 goals, 3 assists).  Boston tied Buffalo and New York for best record in the East Division (10-6), and will return to Buffalo to face the Bandits in the opening round of the playoffs on Saturday, May 2.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Sean Morris, Boston:  3 Goals, 4 Assists in 13-12 overtime win at Buffalo.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ray Guze, Colorado: The Mammoth defenseman broke his thumb on the second shift of the game.  He'd left the game due to his injury and changed into street clothes - only to change back into his uniform and return to play after Rich Catton sustained a knee injury with 7:15 left in the second quarter.  He played the second half using only one hand on his stick, and led the defensive efforts in a 10-9 win over Edmonton that clinched a playoff berth.

TRANSITION PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Steve Toll, Rochester: One Goal and 16 loose balls in an 11-8 win over Philadelphia that clinched a playoff berth.

ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Daryl Veltman, Boston: 4 Goals, 3 Assists in 13-12 OT win at Buffalo.

OVERALL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Pat O'Toole, Rochester:  The Knighthawks goaltender made 46 saves, allowed eight goals and led the Knighthawks to an 11-8 win over Philadelphia that clinched a playoff berth.

 The weekly player awards are determined by a vote of the General Managers and Head Coaches of the league's twelve member clubs.
 


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