Rhys Duch looks for a play in Washington's season-opening win over Rochester in January (Photo: Richard Olson)
EVERETT, Wash. – Headed into the 2013 NLL playoffs there is nobody hotter than Washington Stealth forward Rhys Duch.
Edging-out last year’s scoring champ John Grant, Jr. of the Colorado Mammoth by just two goals, Duch captured his first career goals title on the final day of the regular season with a four-score MVP performance giving the Victoria, British Columbia native a league-best 45 goals for the year.
“Accolades are awesome,” Duch said. “It’s great to be rewarded and recognized for your successes and obviously scoring goals is something that I take pride in,” he said.
Coming into tonight’s contest, the 5-11, 200-pound right hander has scored a league-best 11 goals in the month of April, this coming in only three games. The Stony Brook University standout has also tallied three or more goals in 11 games this season including back-to-back four-goal efforts to close out the regular season.
“Game-in and game-out (Duch) has been a consistent performer, Stealth coach Chris Hall said. “Every game Rhys Duch comes and delivers. Winning the goal scoring title is a testament to how good of a lacrosse player he is.”
Although a first for Duch in his five-year NLL career, the goals crown isn’t a surprise to anyone.
In fact, Duch has kept company with the NLL elite since breaking into the league in 2009 with the San Jose Stealth when he went on to set the NLL rookie scoring record on his way to winning the NLL Rookie of the Year Award.
“When we picked (Duch) in the first round we were thrilled to get him and we have been thrilled with him ever since,” Hall said.
Looking back on the regular season, Duch credits his teammates for the career year that saw him break his personal best in very major offensive category while finishing with the franchise’s third best total in goals scored and points with 96.
“It’s a team sport. I owe a tremendous amount of my personal success to the guys around me,” Duch said. “Everyone is moving the ball well. We are hitting our stride and working well as a team. I’ve been on the shooting end of a lot of plays so I owe a lot of credit to my teammates.”
Tickets for Saturday’s Stealth-Edmonton West Division semi-final playoff game are still available. Visit www.stealthlax.com or call 877-MY-75-TIX… Washington Stealth… It’s like hockey with balls.
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