With the 2010 National Lacrosse League well under way, the battle for the Champions Cup rages on. But while the biggest professional lacrosse league is in season, the other semi-pro indoor circuits are in the process of shaping their teams for the upcoming 2010 WLA and MSL seasons. One of those teams is the Victoria Shamrocks. Monday, the Shamrocks pulled off a major trade with their Island rivals, the Nanaimo Timberman. After the jump, read the full press release from the Victoria Shamrocks.
Arguably one of the game’s top players, Lewis Ratcliff (Washington Stealth) has been traded from the only organization he has played for since his intermediate days. While some may know him for his continued play with one of the most dominant box squads of the past 10 years, what you may not know is that this has been something that has been a long time coming. Stay tuned to Insider.com for more on this trade.
Press Release: January 25, 2010
Victoria Shamrocks and Nanaimo Timbermen Complete Blockbuster Trade
The Victoria Shamrocks and the Nanaimo Timbermen of the Western Lacrosse Association announce that they have completed a trade involving five players and two draft picks.The Shamrocks have traded Lewis Ratcliff and George Westwood to the Timbermen in exchange for Kevin Dostie (Buffalo Bandits), Brock Armour, Matt Flindell (Washington Stealth) and two second round draft choices in 2010 and 2012.
The Timbermen are very pleased to add two players who will have an immediate impact.
“For our club, this was an opportunity to pick up arguably the top offensive player in the WLA during the past five seasons and also to acquire a competitive player with a reputation of being one of the league’s toughest customers that we have been looking to add to our lineup since we returned to the WLA,” says Timbermen General Manager Earl Nicholson. “Lewis Ratcliff joining his younger brother Cayle complements Scott Ranger and Kaleb Toth and gives us outstanding scoring on both sides of the floor, while George Westwood was very popular in the Victoria room because he knew his role and did it well and also contributed as a player. We gave up a lot to make this deal, but these deals don’t come along often and you don’t pass them up. Both of these guys were fan favorites in Victoria and our fans will love what they will bring to our club.”
The Shamrocks are confident the trade will pay dividends well into the future.
“This trade gave us an opportunity to address both short-term and long-term needs of our club,” says Shamrocks General Manager Chris Welch. “It was a significant decision to trade Lewis and George because Lewis has been our leading scorer and marquee player and George has been a heart and soul guy in our group.”
Welch describes some of the circumstances that led up to the trade.
“George recently moved to the Nanaimo area and asked to be traded up there and Lewis was hoping to play with his brother before his WLA playing days came to an end. We were able to accommodate those wishes but more importantly we’ve addressed current needs and positioned ourselves well for the future. Kevin Dostie is a very good player who will give our offense a different look which we felt was necessary. We’re strengthening our local core by adding two young players with bright futures in Brock Armour and Matt Flindell. The draft picks are very important pieces for us because both the 2010 draft and the 2012 draft are deep in quality Victoria players, so we’re confident we can make good use of the picks to benefit us for years to come.”
Welch feels the trade may help to further ignite the historic Victoria–Nanaimo rivalry.
“A trade of this magnitude is bound to have that effect,” he says. “The games between us should be very interesting, especially Lewis’ and George’s first game in Victoria as part of the opposition. It’s going to be a lot of fun to watch.”
New Timbermen Player Bios
Ratcliff, a Victoria native who turns 29 on April 24, is a left-handed offensive player who has enjoyed tremendous success in seven seasons with the Shamrocks between 2003 and 2009. He was part of two Mann Cup championships in 2003 and 2005. He is a two-time WLA MVP in 2006 and 2009, a two-time league scoring champion in 2004 and 2009 and a three-time first team all-star in 2004, 2006 and 2009. In 184 regular season and playoff games, he has scored 408 goals and added 453 assists for 861 points along with 84 penalty minutes. Ratcliff also plays for the Washington Stealth in the National Lacrosse League.
Westwood, who turns 26 on May 26, is a right-handed enforcer who played three seasons with the Shamrocks between 2007 and 2009. In 44 regular season and playoff games, he has scored 2 goals and added 11 assists for 13 points along with 219 penalty minutes.
New Shamrock Player Bios
Dostie, who recently turned 29, is a left-handed offensive player who played with the Timbermen in 2005 when he finished third in league scoring with 74 points in 18 games played. Since then, he has been playing with the St. Regis Indians in Ontario’s Major Series but plans to join the Shamrocks this summer. Dostie won a Mann Cup championship in 2004 with the Peterborough Lakers and was the OLA Major Series MVP in 2006. In 181 regular season and playoff games, he has scored 220 goals and added 259 assists for 479 points along with 46 penalty minutes. Dostie also plays for the Buffalo Bandits in the NLL.
Armour, who turns 23 on May 9, is a right-handed offensive and transition player who was drafted 8th overall by the Timbermen in the 2009 WLA Draft but did not play in the WLA in 2009. After one year of Junior A with the Victoria Junior Shamrocks, Armour played his final three years of junior with the Burnaby Junior Lakers where he was an assistant captain. In 72 regular season and playoff games as a junior, Armour scored 42 goals and added 92 assists for 134 points along with 134 penalty minutes. Armour is currently in his graduating year at Towson University in Maryland where he is one of the team captains on the men’s field lacrosse team. He is expected to join the Shamrocks in June. Armour will be eligible for the 2010 NLL Entry Draft.
Flindell, who turns 23 on July 21, is a goaltender who was drafted 14th overall by the Timbermen in the 2009 WLA Draft following a successful Junior A career with the Victoria Junior Shamrocks that culminated with a BC championship and Minto Cup appearance in 2008. In his rookie WLA season in 2009, Flindell appeared in 11 games for the Timbermen and finished with a save percentage of .766 that ranked him 6th in the league in that category. Flindell is on the practice roster of the Washington Stealth in the NLL.
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