Boston. Where you can get a mean bowl of “chowdah”, or enjoy
some of the city’s rich sports history at “Fenway Pahk” and the “Gahden” (the
Celtics are wicked awesome!).
While Boston may be 3055 miles away from the friendly confines of the
Comcast Arena, this weekend when the Stealth plays the Blazers, there are a few
members of the Stealth that will reunite with Beantown.
Stealth captain Jason Bloom played with Boston last season in his third year in the NLL. Bloom battled with his Blazers teammates into the playoffs, a fantastic feat for an expansion team playing in its first season. Bloom set all kinds of career highs in Boston; 16 games played, 13 goals, 10 assists, 23 points and 60 loose balls. He’ll play against his old mates for the first time this weekend and as he told Chuck Jaffe on The Blazers Report, there’s been some “chirping” going on with his former club.
Paul Rabil has enjoyed a great start to his second season of indoor lacrosse. When he returns to the field game each summer, he tears it up for Major League Lacrosse’s Boston Cannons. Rabil wears #99 in his Cannons uniform as he tortures opposing goalies on the 6x6 cage. He is a two-time All-Star in the MLL and is the reigning Most Valuable Player and Offensive Player of the Year. He led the MLL with 53 points in 12 games played. Last season after the Stealth’s game against the Blazers, Rabil could have been found chatting up New England Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichek outside the locker room. Let’s just say they know who Paul Rabil is in Beantown.
Stealth sniper Jeff Zywicki is enjoying an MVP-caliber season in the NLL this year, but before he laced ‘em up in the pros, he was putting up serious numbers at the University of Massachusetts. UMASS is located in Central Massachusetts, about 90 miles east of Boston (maybe a bit of a stretch, but for the purposes of this story, it works). During his four years as a Minuteman, Zywicki was a two-time All-American and left the school ninth on the all-time goal scoring list with 103. He also finished with 146 career points, good for 15th all-time. Probably a safe bet that Zywicki and his UMASS teammates made it out to the city once in a while.
Lewis Ratcliff and Luke Wiles didn’t play for the Blazers or go to school near Boston. But they did put up some pretty good numbers against the Blazers when they were playing with East Division rival Toronto. The pair combined for 10 goals and 13 assists in two games against Boston last year. Let’s hope they have similar success wearing Red & Black this weekend.
Probably the least known Stealth connection to Boston is Head Coach Chris Hall. Hall played for the Boston Bolts of the original National Lacrosse League in 1975. That National Lacrosse League was around for only two seasons (1974 and 1975) and is unrelated to the current NLL. The Bolts only lasted one season.
So while it may be far from home, the trip to Boston won’t be completely unfamiliar to a few members of the Stealth. Perhaps that will give the boys a bit of an edge as they do battle on Saturday. The game can be seen live on the NLL Network at NLL.com.