When Rochester Knighthawks forward Cody Jamieson accepted the Mike Kelly Award as the Mann Cup MVP, it marked the third time in the past year that the 26-year-old has earned such an honor. More importantly, to his brand, the Six Nations star won the eighth MVP honor for Team 22 Lacrosse (T22). With some of the most passionate lacrosse men at the helm, it’s no wonder that Team 22 players have achieved unparalleled success in 2013. Team 22, which is the design, manufacturing and distribution arm of Under Armour®, is owned by Rochester Knighthawks Owner and General Manager Curt Styres, Knighthawks VP of Lacrosse Paul Gait and Knighthawks President Lewis Staats.
“It has been very exciting to watch our athletes enjoy so much success playing the game they love. They are great examples of how hard work, dedication and talent pay off,” said Gait. “Their high level of play brings an immense amount of exposure and credibility to our Under Armour® lacrosse products.”
The best-of-seven series between the Six Nations Chiefs and Victoria Shamrocks was a showcase of Team 22 players, which featured nine of its sponsored athletes. The Chiefs’ roster included Jamieson, Craig Point, Sid Smith, Johnny Powless, Alex “Kedoh” Hill, Evan Kirk and Stephen Keogh, while Victoria had T22 players Rhys Duch and Matt Vinc of the Shamrocks. In the end, it was the Chiefs that prevailed in six games to win the Canadian Lacrosse Association’s Senior “A” National Championship.
Five of the Chiefs’ players were fresh off back-to-back National Lacrosse League Championships with the Knighthawks. Kirk (Minnesota) and Hill (Buffalo) were the exceptions. Point, who scored six playoff goals in two games for the Knighthawks, continued where he left off in the summer, finishing in the Top 5 in points with 30, which included one goal and three assists in the series-clinching game. Point’s weapon of choice this year has been the Unleashed.
“I used a few different sticks in the past, but being a T22 athlete and having to use UA sticks, the Unleashed seemed to be the one for me,” said Point. “The reason being is that I take faceoffs and the new Unleashed is stiffer and quite easy to string along with the other Under Armour® heads. I just like the way it feels, while the ball sits in the pocket.”
Jamieson, who uses the Charge 2 head and Charge handle, heads up the list of Team 22 MVP winners, having also won the Johnny Shooter Davis Award as the Major Series Lacrosse Playoff MVP. This week, he added Mann Cup MVP to his two straight NLL Championship Game MVP trophies. In the six-game series against Victoria, he led all players with 12 goals, 16 assists and 28 points.
“Paul and Curt did a great job getting the players they wanted who were looking to excel and push themselves to the next level,” said Jamieson. “The sticks and protective equipment is top of the line and it shows in our games what a good product can do.”
Shawn Evans of the Calgary Roughnecks showed NLL fans exactly what he could do in 2013. The former Knighthawk won two MVP awards in the past four months. First, he won the 2013 NLL MVP after completing his most successful offensive season as a pro, notching a league-best 112 points for the Calgary Roughnecks. Then the Peterborough Lakers’ forward captured the Major Series Lacrosse MVP award. It’s no coincidence that Evans was using Team 22 equipment.
“The lacrosse side of Team 22 (is great) from the brand to the sticks that are incredibly made. The sticks are light and have strong heads, and I had a great year with it,” said Evans, who uses an Unleashed head with two different types of shafts. “A lot of good things have happened with it. I am excited to keep using it. That was just my first year using a Team 22 stick and hopefully there are more good things to come.”
The list of T22 players also includes one of the rising lacrosse stars in Johnny Powless. The 20-year-old has already won two NLL titles with the Knighthawks. With the Six Nations Arrows this summer, he was named the 2013 winner of the Jim Veltman Award as the Most Outstanding Player and the Dean McIntosh Award as the Junior “A” MVP. The Western Lacrosse Association MVP Award also went to a Team 22 player as Curtis Dickson of the Maple Ridge Burrards earned the distinction after leading the league in scoring with 58 goals and 103 points.
The T22 family includes one of the most decorated goalies in lacrosse history in Matt Vinc of the Knighthawks, as well. Vinc, who helped lead Rochester win the 2012 and 2013 NLL Championships, became the first NLL goalie to win the Goaltender of the Year Award three times after earning the honor in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Vinc, who set the new NLL single-season record with 662 saves, led the league in goals against average (10.17) and save percentage (.803). He led the Victoria Shamrocks to the Mann Cup Finals after registering staggering numbers in the WLA Playoffs. “Vno” has an 8-2 record, a paltry 6.81 goals-against average and an .829 save percentage.
In the professional outdoor game, Kevin Crowley of the Hamilton Nationals captured a lacrosse bag full of awards in 2013. Crowley, who plays indoors for Philadelphia, earned his first All-Major League Lacrosse nod after winning the Warrior MVP and Brine Offensive Player of the Year. This season, the third-year pro notched career highs in goals, assists and points. The New Westminster, B.C., native set a team record for points in a season with 55, which was tied for the league lead. Crowley was also second in the MLL with 38 goals, which matched his goal total from the first two seasons of his career.
Other notable Team 22 players include 2013 NLL Rookie of the Year Mark Matthews (Edmonton), 2012 NLL Rookie of the Year Adam Jones (Colorado), 2013 NLL Transition Player of the Year Jordan MacIntosh (Minnesota), 2012 NLL Transition Player of the Year Andrew Suitor (Minnesota), and perennial All-Pro forward Garrett Billings (Toronto). Check below for a complete list of T22 Ambassadors and Players.
Under Armour® stands as a world-wide developer, marketer, and distributor of branded performance apparel, footwear, and accessories. For more information on Team 22, go to www.22lax.com or call (518) 564-0044.
Kevin Alexander, All Pro Camps/Tom Marecheck
Chris Driscoll, Rochester Knighthawks
Alex “Kedoh” Hill
Rate This Story: