The first weekend of the 2010 Washington Stealth training camp is in the books, and what a weekend it was. Two practices on Saturday and a scrimmage with the Colorado Mammoth on Sunday gave Head Coach Chris Hall and his coaching staff some insight on the new talent that will be donning the Red and Black this season.
Camp got going on Friday as players made their way to Everett by road, by air and by sea(plane). Team physicals and meetings took place with a lot of new faces in the mix. 18 rookies and offseason acquisitions joined the returners to vie for a spot on the 23-man roster.
Saturday, the boys hit the floor to learn the systems Hall and his new coaching staff put together for the upcoming season. Many fans were in attendance at the morning and evening sessions, introducing the new fans in Washington to the new sport and the new stars they will be cheering for.
The weekend culminated on Sunday with a scrimmage with the Colorado Mammoth, who also practiced all weekend at the Comcast Arena. The teams played six, 12-minute periods (National Lacrosse League games consist of four, 15-minute quarters during the regular season and playoffs) in order to give all players on their training camp rosters a chance for some live game action.
After a scoreless first period, the Stealth jumped out to a second quarter lead in the scrimmage, with rookie free agent Kory Kowalyk scoring both goals on assists from third-year forward Tom Johnson. Colorado tied the game early in the third period after goals from Alex Gajic and Cory Conway.
The Stealth added two more in the third with goals from Rhys Jones and 2009 NLL Rookie of the Year Rhys Duch to take a 4-2 lead. The Mammoth closed out the third period scoring with back-to-back goals from Alex Gajic to tie things up heading into the fourth.
The Mammoth’s Brian Langtry scored the lone goal of the fourth quarter on the power play to give Colorado a 5-4 advantage.
The Stealth tied things up in the fifth period with a goal from rookie free agent Marcus Wooden. It was the last Stealth tally of the day, and Colorado closed out the scrimmage with three goals in the final period.
After the scrimmage, a very pleased Hall commented on the play of the new faces in the Stealth locker room. “I think there were a lot of positives that came out of this first week of camp. I was very pleased with our fitness and energy. We needed to address our defense this offseason, and the new young defenders played very well. I was impressed with our first pick of the draft, Matt Beers (selected 13th overall), and our other rookies on the back end had a strong showing. On the offensive end, I thought Kory [Kowalyk] played very well. He was overlooked in the draft and I think we are very lucky that he ended up here.”
The Stealth also got solid play out of a pair of players that were acquired in offseason trades. “[Jason] Bloom and [Jamison] Koesterer are going to be a big help to us this season,” said Hall.
“Overall I am very pleased with the weekend. I look forward to the next camp and continuing the progress we are making. We’ve got a very strong team in this locker room.”
The next training camp will take place on the weekend of December 19. Stay tuned to www.stealthlax.com for details on public practices. The Stealth begin the 2010 season on January 9 at the Comcast Arena. Ticket packages are available now and can be purchased by calling 877-MY-75-TIX.