Photo Credit Mark Steffens
Saturday saw the Vancouver Warriors drop another game to their rival Saskatchewan Rush by a 14-8 margin in a game that saw them maintain a 4-2 lead after the first quarter.
The Warriors got a solid game from Keegan Bal (2G/1A), Kyle Killen (2G/2A) with helpers from Tyler Codron, Reid Bowering only to fall short on “fight night” following the match.
The week started with the Warriors announcing that former Warrior Joel McCready was named Senior Director of Lacrosse Operations and rejoins the organization assisting with performance on the field.
Joel McCready “It’s an honour and privilege to join the Vancouver Warriors again in a new role after playing six seasons for the franchise and my passion for the game, my passion for the city, and my passion for this franchise is what gets me up every morning and fuels my desire to help improve things on the floor and in the locker room. We want to create a winning attitude and a championship caliber culture for the Warriors as we look to grow our fan base and the game in Canada’s lacrosse hotbed.”
The St. Catharines, Ontario native resides in Coquitlam with his wife and three children and started his NLL playing career in 2009 with Rochester going on to win consecutive league championships in 2013 and 2014, grabbing nine points (3-6-9) across three playoff games in the latter year.
He was a member of the Vancouver Stealth (2015) ranking fourth on the team in goals (30) and points (51) and voted as the NLL Teammate of the Year.
He recorded his best individual seasons in Vancouver, collecting 204 points (113-91-204) in only 82 games between the Stealth and Warriors.
McCready, 34, announced his retirement from the NLL on August 31st, 2021, after 11 seasons of league play, six of which were spent in Vancouver with the Warriors (2019-2020) and Stealth (2015-2018).
In 130 career regular season games split between the Warriors, Stealth, and Rochester Knighthawks, McCready tallied 254 points (136-118-254) and 243 penalty minutes.
That was the positive news of the week and now if the good news could continue as the Warriors move forward heading into the home stretch of the season.
Try as they might, this game saw a stellar performance from Rush “tender” Alex Buque who just finished this past season on a winning note with the Ladner Pioneers winning the Presidents Cup.
He did play the full season with the North Shore Indians in the West Coast Sr. B League which is based primarily in the lower mainland.
The game was an even affair at six, but only until the fourth quarter when the Rush exploded, outscoring the Warriors by a margin of 8-2 pulling out a 14-8 win.
On a positive note, it was nice to hear that Ladner’s Mike Messenger dressed in the contest for the Rush but was held to one assist having three shots on goal managing to jump on seven loose balls.
Rust tender managed 43 saves while Warriors Aden Walsh managed 41 saves in the contest.
The Warriors next home game is against the Calgary Roughnecks Friday February 17th with the face-off set for7 pm.
In other news: Jones Heads South!!
Warriors Head Coach and Interim General Manager Troy Cordingley mentioned the club acquired a first-round draft pick in 2023, defenseman Steph Charbonneau (26) and a second-round draft pick in 2024 (via San Diego) in exchange for forward Mitch Jones.
Cordingley mentioned “We want to thank Mitch Jones for all of the work he has done for us on the floor and in the community every game with local ties and was always willing and wanting to give back to the lacrosse community as well as a fantastic ambassador for the Warriors.
“Today’s move is about building for the future and we are excited to add a first and second-round pick along with a high-end defender Steph Charbonneau, which helps shape a strong culture moving forward and plays a gritty and aggressive game that will give our group more stability on the back end.”
He played in all six games for the Wings collecting three points (0-3-3), four penalty minutes, and 23 loose balls while recording four caused turnovers and seven blocked shots.
In 54 regular season games across four seasons, all with Philadelphia, Charbonneau has registered 37 points (13-24-37), 52 penalty minutes, and 252 loose balls.
Last season, the 5’11”, 175-pound defenseman tied for the team lead on Philadelphia in caused turnovers (17), and previously led the team outright (20) in that category during his 2019 rookie season.
A product of Montreal, Quebec, Charbonneau was originally selected by the Philadelphia Wings in the fifth round, 45th overall in the 2017 NLL Entry Draft.
Thanks in part to the Vancouver Warriors for their ongoing press releases.
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About Steve Erickson