The Washington Stealth hosted the Colorado Mammoth in a preseason scrimmage at the Comcast Arena at Everett today. The Mammoth won the contest 15-9. It was the last chance for the Stealth coaching staff to evaluate the 37 players in camp before the league’s regular season roster deadline on December 22.
The scrimmage marked the end of the second weekend of training camp for the Stealth. In order to get a good look at some of the newcomers battling for a roster spot, the Stealth coaching staff decided to play the scrimmage without a number of regulars, such as Lewis Ratcliff, Rhys Duch, Jeff Zywicki, Tyler Richards, Jason Bloom and Kyle Sorensen. Other members of the team played in one half.
“We aren’t worried about the score line,” said Stealth Assistant Coach Art Webster, who will be leading the team while Head Coach Chris Hall deals with health issues to start the season. “The purpose of the scrimmage is to access some of the newcomers prior to announcing our regular season roster.”
Several of those newcomers got on the score sheet in the scrimmage, led by rookie Brett Hickey, who tallied a hat trick. Offseason free agent signing Dean Hill and Martin Cummings each scored twice. Also scoring goals was third round draft pick Mike Mallory, Martin Cummings and Josh Wasson-McQuigge.
With 37 players in training camp, the Stealth coaching staff has their work cut out for them to narrow the active roster to 23 as the NLL’s December 22 roster deadline approaches this week. Webster was impressed by the hard work shown by the incoming players impressed Webster throughout training camp.
“The entire team battled hard these past two weeks,” said Webster. “We are very pleased with the work ethic, but that is what makes this part of the job so tough. We will be working very hard to make the right choices.”
The Stealth has one more training camp weekend prior to the start of the 2012 regular season. It will take place at the Comcast Arena at Everett on December 30 and 31. By that time, the roster will be in place and the team will focus on preparing for the regular season>
“We will really need to focus on implementing our systems (at the final training camp),” said Webster. “Specialty teams will be huge as well as getting used to the new rules this season. We need to tighten up a lot of the small things; it’s the small things that win you games in this league.”
The 2012 Washington Stealth season starts on January 14, when the team plays host to the Calgary Roughnecks at the Comcast Arena. Tickets for the entire season are on sale now and available by calling 877-MY-75-TIX or at www.stealthlax.com.