Often, we hear lamentations from the old-schoolers out there who say the 2-way player is lost. There’s too much specialization in the game today with front-door players, back-door players and even guys whose job it is to win a faceoff and get off the floor. The thing is, there’s much to that argument as the game clearly continues to evolve. But then again, there are exceptions and if you’ve been watching the Minnesota Swarm in the NLL or the MSL’s Peterborough Lakers lately, you’ve seen one of the best exceptions in action. Andrew Suitor.
Quite literally, there isn’t much Suitor won’t do to help his team win. No one’s surprised to see him score 3 goals in a game, then go 4 or 5 without a goal. That doesn’t mean he’s dogging it, though.
Because if he’s not scoring goals, he’s hounding on D, corralling loose balls like a demon and winning faceoffs. And, if ya need it, he’ll drop the mitts and square off with anyone. That’s the sort of game the Swarm fans have become accustomed to, especially after his second season there in which the team captain was named the NLL Transition Player of the Year and was a first team All-Pro. And in the middle of all that, he was captain for the West Division All-Star team. It was his grit and hustle that played a big role in Minnesota advancing to the West Division final, the farthest the franchise has ever been in the playoffs.
And by the way, his individual totals of goals (15), assists (11), points (26) and loose balls (120) were all career-highs.
But not long after the NLL season was over, he was back on the floor closer to home for MSL’s Peterborough Lakers. There, he did much of the same work he does in the NLL, giving the Lakers some real muscle through the middle. The Lakers didn’t post the best regular season record, by their standard, finishing 9-5. But Suitor and the Lakers won when it counted most, going 11-1 in the MSL playoffs to clinch the title and advance to the Mann Cup.
And yeah, you guessed it. Suitor and his boys won 4 straight games after losing the first 2 to beat the Langley Thunder and win the Mann Cup. Suitor’s about as old-school as it gets. Front door, back door, doesn’t matter. He doesn’t just do work at both ends of the floor for your team, he does it at an elite level and considering he’s just 23 years old, there’s no telling what’s in store as his game continues to grow.
Fact: In the last 5 summers, Suitor has won 2 Minto Cups (2008, 2009), lost in 1 Minto Cup finals (2010) and won 1 Mann Cup (2012).
Top 40 (last year’s rank in parenthesis)
No. 40: Jeff Gilbert (not ranked)
No. 39: Kevin Crowley (nr)
No. 38: Kevin Ross (nr)
No. 37: Adam Jones (nr)
No. 36: Jordan MacIntosh (nr)
No. 35: Paul Rabil (30)
No. 34: Tyler Richards (17)
No. 33: Scott Ranger (nr)
No. 32: Chris White (20)
No. 31: Sandy Chapman (15)
No. 30: Aaron Bold (nr)
No. 29: Jeff Moleski (10)
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