Bernie Puchalski of the St. Catharines Standard crafted a very touching tribute to the great Ron Roy, who will be a posthumous induction into the St. Catharines Sports Hall of Fame in a ceremony tonight. Anyone who has followed St. Catharines lacrosse over the years knows of Roy and what he meant to the game as a player and coach. “He was very shifty,” Whitey Frick told Puchalski. “Goaltenders today can’t move very fast and he would have got twice as many points today as he did back then.” Roy won 2 Mann Cups and was named Player of the Decade for the 1950s for St. Catharines. After his playing days, he coached and spent time in the National Lacrosse League, working with the Buffalo Bandits and Columbus Landsharks until he resigned that position in 2002. It was Roy who drafted current Bandits transition star Mark Steenhuis to Columbus. “Ron had the purest heart I ever met in lacrosse,” Steenhuis said. Roy died in 2007 of leukemia at the age of 71.
Archive for the ‘Back in the Day’ Category
Last Saturday night, the battle for Alberta and the Western Division crown went down at Rexall Place in Edmonton. With just over 6 minutes to go, Alex Turner ripped an outside shot past Mike Poulin to give the Rush a 2 goal lead. Geoff Snider promptly won the faceoff—as he did on all but 4 draws the entire night—and scored one of his own to narrow the gap to 1. At 1:39, Daryl Veltman one-timed a pass from Shawn Evans past Aaron Bold to send the game into overtime.
Most overtime games are settled within the first few possessions….with anxiety running, high seconds seem like minutes. But with both goalies stepping up, Edmonton and Calgary failed to cash in on a multitude of opportunities. My count had both Edmonton and Calgary with 10 shots apiece that included 3 pipes and 5 or 6 at point blank range before Shawn Evans slipped a shot between the legs of Bold to guarantee the Riggers home field advantage throughout at least the first 2 rounds of the playoffs. The 10:05 of extra time seemed like an eternity…in large part because of the scoring opportunities. The game is in the record books as the fifth longest game in NLL History at 70 minutes 5 seconds. Let’s take a quick look at the others. READ MORE »
When you ask people for the names of their top five athletes of all time, many will give you a laundry list of the who’s who in sports, the creme-de-la-creme and for the most part, while it’s fairly predictable, it’s still pretty subjective to their own personal memories and ideals. Well when NBA All-Star and 2-time MVP Steve Nash was asked during half time of an NBA game who his top five faves were, he threw almost everyone for a loop.
This week on the Off the Crossebar Podcast, we go one-on-one with one of the greatest players you may never have heard of and that’s not a slap in the face to Kevin Alexander, it’s just that in the two years he played in Buffalo during the old MILL days, he was on a team full of Eastern all-stars, hall of famers in their own right and one guy who’s actually still playing, if you can believe it. But for Alexander, who’s already in the Canadian Lacrosse and Victoria Sports Hall of Fames, his most recent induction could be one of the most memorable. READ MORE »
Jeremy Hollenbeck’s list of accomplishments is as long as a kid’s Christmas wish list to Santa this year. The two time All-American from Nazareth College in Rochester was taken in the fourth round of the 1995 National Lacrosse League draft by the Rochester Knighthawks, and never looked back. He spent 10 years playing in Rochester alongside some legendary names such as Paul Gait and Regy Thorpe. Hard work was the key to Hollenbeck’s success and eventually paid dividends. Hollenbeck won a NLL championship in 1997, was named the Knighthawks “Unsung Hero” in 1999, and firmly implanted himself at No. 10 on Rochester’s all-time looseball list. In 2011, Hollenbeck was inducted into the Rochester Knighthawks Hall of Fame. His career will go down in lacrosse history as one of the original members of the Knighthawks — a group of young men who not only won a championship, but built a successful franchise for the fans of Rochester. READ MORE »
There is an age-old hockey expression known as “having coffee at the show.” The expression refers to a hockey player that has had a brief stint in the NHL. When it comes to indoor lacrosse, that expression fits perfectly for Charley Toomey, the head coach of the 2012 NCAA champion Loyola Greyhounds. Toomey was a two-time All-America goalie at Loyola and is highly ranked on the all-time saves list before venturing into the Major Indoor Lacrosse League, forerunner of the National Lacrosse League. After graduating in the early 90s, Toomey was asked to try out for the Baltimore Thunder. Having no box goalie experience, Toomey found himself in a familiar, yet foreign position, between the pipes. He worked his way onto the roster and learned the basics from Steve Dietrich — one of the all-time great indoor goalies. The following season, Toomey found himself backing up the legendary Marty O’Neill for the Boston Blazers. Although it was a short career, it may be one of the more memorable cups of java to be had in pro lacrosse. READ MORE »
Mid-October is a bit of a lull in the National Lacrosse League calendar. The draft is over, training camps are just appearing on the distant horizon and it’s an agonizingly long two-plus months till the games begin again. So today, IL Indoor helps you to harken back to that glorious almost three weeks ago when Steve Dietrich was inducted into the NLL Hall of Fame. The ceremony begins at the 37-minute mark. Enjoy.
Kevin Alexander was a prolific goal scorer and a fierce competitor, but an even a better man. He played the majority of his career in the WLA with the Victoria Shamrocks, but he got his start in the league with Nanaimo in 1977-78, where he was the WLA Rookie of the Year. In 1979, Alexander took his talent to Victoria, where he was a league All-Star 7 times, a league scoring champ 5 times, a 2-time playoff MVP and a 2-time Mann Cup champion. He rounded out his career with the NLL’s Buffalo Bandits, where he was an inaugural member of the team and won back-to-back championships before retiring. To say Alexander was one of the game’s true beauties would be an understatement, but after this stroll down memory lane with Alexander, you be the judge. READ MORE »
The Green Gaels team of 1998 has been elected to the Clarington Sports Hall of Fame and will be inducted next month. The club was reconstituted as Clarington in 1997 after two stints totaling 23 years as the Oshawa Green Gaels. From 1963-1983 they were a Junior A team and won seven Minto Cups. When they returned in 1995, they began competing in the OLA Junior B circuit. The 1998 team got the Gaels back on the winning path, claiming the first of four Founders Cup championships in seven years. Fittingly, the team will be inducted into the Hall, along with five individuals, at an Oct. 20 ceremony at the Garnet B. Rickard Recreation Complex where the Green Gaels play their home games.
When Bob Watson was inducted into the National Lacrosse League Hall of Fame, Whipper was asked about his favourite memories from a long and storied career with the Toronto Rock. A broad smile spread across his face as he talked about a special moment. “After winning the Championship game in 2000, the last event in Maple Leaf Gardens, the next day we had the ice rented. My son was born four days before that championship game so my partying the night before was very limited. I showed up early at the rink and got to go and lay at centre ice and there was nobody in the whole building, just me. That is something I will cherish for the rest of my life.
No one will ever have that same view of the legendary House that Smythe Built at the corner of Church and Carlton, but it appears that lacrosse may once again grace the grand old building. Now known as the Mattamy Athletic Centre (MAC), the Gardens are set to be the home of a Canadian Lacrosse League franchise. Deputy Commissioner Jim Veltman hinted that CLax may be placing a team there for its upcoming second season, beginning in January 2013. READ MORE »
He scored goals with the best of them and won 4 Mann Cup titles in 7 summers. Sidney Wesley Warick was a 4-time all-star with the Vancouver Carlings, playing all 10 of his seasons with the same team. He’ll be remembered as a player who had a soft touch on the crease and knew how to score goals, using his skill and finesse to log a career total of 339. Mr. Warick, who attended a few of the recent WLA finals games between Coquitlam and Langley, died suddenly of a heart attack on Sept. 2, according to an obituary in The Vancouver Sun. Mr. Warick started his career with the Carlings in 1959 and by 1961 was a Mann Cup champ, playing in just 1 game to help the Carlings defeat the Brampton Ramblers, 4-0. By the 1962 season, he was a regular in the Carlings’ lineup and he led the team to Mann Cup wins in 1963 (vs. St. Catharines), 1964 (vs. Brooklin) and 1967 (vs. Brooklin). Mr. Warick was elected to the Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame in 1989 as a player, then inducted to the B.C. Sports Hall of Fame as a member of the fabled 1964 Vancouver Carlings team. Services are scheduled for Sunday at the Vancouver Golf Club in Coquitlam.