May 15, 2014

NLL Notes: Canada's FIL Roster Dotted With NLL Stars

by Neil Stevens | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter | Stevens Archive

Face-off specialist Geoff Snider is one of several NLL stars who played on the 2006 FIL World Champion Team Canada squad and again in 2010 when they were runner-up. (Rich Barnes)

There are 20 NLL players on the 24-man roster named by the Canadian Lacrosse Association for the world field championship in Denver, July 10-19.

Colorado players on the team are John Grant Jr., Adam Jones, Cam Holding, Dan Coates and Dillon Ward; Philadelphia is represented by Brodie Merill, Jordan Hall and Kevin Crowley; Minnesota players Jason Noble, Cam Flint and David Earl made the final cut; Edmonton's Jack Greer, Mark Matthews and Kyle Rubisch are on the team; Calgary's Geoff Snider and Curtis Dickson are going; and Toronto's Jesse Gamble and Rochester's Matt Vinc round out Canada's NLL content.

Vinc tends goal for the Knighthawks but plays defense in the field game. Vinc, Snider, Greer, Hall, Crowley, Merrill and Grant were on the 2010 Canadian team that won silver in Manchester, England, losing 12-10 to the United States in the championship game.

Also on Canada's Denver-bound side is Jeremy Noble, the twin brother of Jason Noble and the expected 2014 No. 1 NLL entry draft pick by the Swarm.

The only player on the U.S. roster who appeared regularly in the NLL this season is Wings forward Garrett Thul.

SUDDEN DEATH

Should the Calgary-Edmonton and Buffalo-Rochester division finals be split and an ensuing 10-minute mini-game does not produce a series winner, sudden-death overtime will be played.

NO SNIDER

Without faceoff specialist Geoff Snider (knee) for their NLL West final opener against Edmonton, the Calgary Roughnecks tried two men in his place. Garrett McIntosh won eight of 23 (35 per cent) and Curtis Manning was 0-for-4. The beneficiary of the absence of Snider was Rush faceoff man Jeremy Thompson, who won 19 of 27 (70 per cent).

The 'Necks are hoping to have Snider back in uniform this weekend.

EQUIPMENT RETURNED TO WARD

Dillon Ward's goaltending gear turned up six days after it was stolen. He had to use borrowed gear when Colorado lost 16-15 in OT in Calgary in the first round of the playoffs. Shortly after he returned to Denver, one Dan Barnett handed over the gear after buying it on the street for $30. Barnett said the sellers might have been homeless and that they told him they found what they believed was hockey pads in a garbage can. Barnett was happy to return the gear to Ward.

BILLINGS HAS SURGERY

Toronto Rock forward Garrett Billings had surgery Monday morning to repair the ACL in his right knee that he tore while cutting to the net in trying to score a goal on April 5.

''I am feeling pretty normal now but it was pretty rough right after the surgery,'' Billings said a few hours after the procedure.

He'll spend the next two weeks on crutches but be off of them by June 7, when he is to be married. It'll take him a year to get back to where he was on a lacrosse floor before the injury so Rock fans are unlikely to see much of their leading scorer next season.

SUMMER BALL

Some NLL players are popping up in unexpected places as Ontario's senior indoor summer teams jockey for their services.

Matt Vinc tended goal on the West Coast for the Victoria Shamrocks last summer when they advanced to the Canadian senior best-of-seven championship, losing to the Six Nations Chiefs, but now he's pencilled in to play back in his home province of Ontario with the Peterborough Lakers. Minnesota Swarm head coach Joe Sullivan lives in Peterborough and will be coaching the 2014 Lakers. Other NLLers who will suit up with the Lakers include Peterborough-raised players Tracey Kelusky, Shawn Evans, Kyle and Brock Sorensen, Scott and Brad Self and Mark Vitarelli. Adam Jones and Mark Steenhuis also are on the Lakers roster.

The Six Nations team includes many of the Rochester Knighthawks who live in the 6N community _ Sid Smith, Cody Jamieson and Craig Point among them. Toronto captain Colin Doyle and his Rock teammate Rob Marshall play for the Chiefs in the summer, as does Billy Dee Smith of the Buffalo Bandits. The Chiefs are coached by Bandits assistant coach Rich Kilgour.

Toronto Rock coach John Lovell coaches the Ontario senior league team in Kitchener, which is managed by Bandits GM Steve Dietrich. Rochester NLL coach Mike Hasen coaches the Brampton Excelsiors summer team, while retired Rock defenseman Phil Sanderson will be head coach in Oakville, which will have Jason and Jeremy Noble in its lineup.

HE GETS AROUND

Johnny Mouradian has been named head men's lacrosse coach at tiny Bryn Athyn College 20 miles northeast of Philadelphia. Mouradian is also GM of the NLL Wings, president of American Indoor Lacrosse Association and manager of Canada's national men's indoor team. And he recently conducted a four-day clinic at Kyoto University in Japan.

CORDINGLEY MOVES UP

All-time head coaches playoff wins:

Les Bartley 18
Darris Kilgour and Troy Cordingley 12 each
Chris Hall 11
Tony Resch 8
Ed Comeau 7
Mike Hasen and Dave Evans 6 each
Derek Keenan, Paul Day and Bob Hamley 5 each

TIME LINE

May 13, 2006: The Colorado Mammoth defeated the Bandits 16-9 in front of a 16,104-strong Buffalo crowd to win the title for the first time. Gavin Prout earned the MVP nod with four goals and three assists.

May 15, 2011: Bob Watson played his last game and it was one of his best. Toronto's goalie made 46 saves and was named MVP as the Rock edged Washington 8-7 to win the title for the sixth time.


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