(Vancouver, BC – Monday, December 16) – The Vancouver Stealth have announced their active roster for the 2014 season and a number of veteran players are returning to the lineup for another shot at a Champions Cup title. Head Coach Chris Hall knows some tough decisions were made this year, but he still remains confident in the players who made that extra push at training camp,
“It’s a difficult process obviously, more so this year than previous years because of the compressed roster size, but we are pretty happy with where we are,” said Coach Hall following the club’s final day of training camp.
It was a long road for players to secure their spot on the roster this year as the intensity of training camp was high from start to finish. For some it started with free agent camp, which was followed by three weekends of training camp where every player was put to the test.
Emerging from the 40 man training camp was the team’s top draft choice, 6’0”, 185 pound forward Cody Bremner from Victoria, British Columbia.
Bremner was the clubs first round pick (8th overall) in the 2013 NLL Entry Draft and is coming off an impressive Western Lacrosse Association season where he lead the Nanaimo Timbermen in points with 54 (28 goals, 26 assists). Bremner is joined by fellow draft pick Tyler Digby (20th overall), a 6’3”, 230 pound forward from New Westminster, who really caught the coaches attention at camp,
“Digby was impressive, he’s a big body with great soft hands and he really confirmed our expectations,” said Coach Hall.
Also adding to the list of new comers were free agent forwards Sean Lundstrom (Langley, BC) and Alex Gajic (Burnaby, BC) who both competed hard throughout camp, and it paid off.
The four new forwards will add to an already potent offense which returns a number of big offensive weapons starting with the team’s top scorer from last season, Rhys Duch (Victoria, BC). Now with a fifth NLL season under his belt, he has 440 regular season points (188 goals, 252 assists) good for second on the Stealth’s All-Time points list. Duch also led the league in goals last season with 45.
Duch will be joined up front by two returning players, Cliff Smith who is coming off a career season with 15 goals and 30 assists in the regular season and Lewis Ratcliff, who is sixth on the NLL’s All-Time Goals list with 411. In just four seasons with the team Ratcliff sits fourth on the Stealth’s All-Time Goals list and earned himself a Champions Cup MVP in 2010, as he led the Stealth to their first NLL title.
Balancing out the forwards on the active roster for the Stealth this season is Brett Hickey (Windsor, ON), who spent all of last season on the teams practice roster.
On defense Ilija Gajic (Burnaby, BC) who was acquired in an off season trade, adds to an already solid defensive core that is sure to be one of the best in the league this season. The returning group of defensemen includes Captain Kyle Sorensen (Peterborough, ON), Assistant Captain Mike Grimes (Peterborough, ON), nine year veterans Curtis Hodgson (Burnaby, BC) and Jeff Moleski (Prince George, BC), Chris O’Dougerty (Kinnelon, NJ), Justin Salt (Coquitlam, BC), Matt Beers (Coquitlam, BC), Bill Hostrawser (Belwood, ON) and the clubs top pick (11th overall) from last year’s draft, Tyler Garrison (Coquitlam, BC).
In goal the Stealth have Tyler Richards (Coquitlam, BC) and twelve year veteran Matt Roik (Dunnville, ON) to round out their back end. Richards was one of the league’s top goaltenders last season posting a 10.92 goals against average. He also sits second on the Stealth’s All-Time Saves list with 2089 saves.
Nick Weiss (Port Hope, ON) has been signed to the practice roster and the remaining three spots are expected to be announced later today.
The team’s roster will also include two players on the injured reserved roster in Brett Bucktooth (Nedrow, NY) and Mitch McMichael (Port Perry, ON). One of the teams standout rookies from last year, Tim Henderson (Tully, NY), will remain on the hold out list for the season, as he’s currently serving in the United States Military.
The Stealth will begin their first season as the Vancouver Stealth in less than one month and the expectations are high,
“To win in this league you have to be focused, you need to be at the very top of your game and you need to work hard to find chemistry. We want to continue to build on our winning attitude,” said Coach Hall.
The Stealth’s 2014 season begins on January 4th against the Colorado Mammoth before returning to the LEC for their home opener against the Minnesota Swarm on January 11th. Single game tickets start at just $27 and are on sale now.
For more information visit www.StealthLax.com
2014 Vancouver Stealth Active Roster
Cody Bremner, F, (Victoria, BC), 6-0, 185 pounds
Tyler Digby, F, (New Westminster, BC), 6-3, 230 pounds
Rhys Duch, F, (Victoria, BC), 5-11, 200 pounds
Alex Gajic, F, (Burnaby, BC), 6-3, 215 pounds
Brett Hickey, F, (Windsor, ON), 6-2, 215 pounds
Sean Lundstrom, F, (Langley, BC), 5-11, 190 pounds
Lewis Ratcliff, F, (Victoria, BC), 6-1, 210 pounds
Cliff Smith, F, (Surrey, BC), 6-3, 200 pounds
Matt Beers, D, (Coquitlam, BC), 6-3, 205 pounds
Ilija Gajic, D, (Burnaby, BC), 6-0, 190 pounds
Tyler Garrison, D, (Coquitlam, BC), 6-2, 200 pounds
Mike Grimes, D, (Peterborough, ON), 6-3, 210 pounds
Curtis Hodgson, D, (Burnaby, BC), 6-1, 195 pounds
Bill Hostrawser, D, (Belwood, ON), 5-11, 180 pounds
Jeff Moleski, D, (Prince George, BC), 6-1, 205 pounds
Chris O’Dougherty, D, (Kinnelon, NJ), 6-1, 205 pounds
Justin Salt, D, (Coquitlam, BC), 6-2, 195 pounds
Kyle Sorensen, D, (Peterborough, ON), 6-2, 200 pounds
Tyler Richards, G, (Coquitlam, BC), 6-1, 190 pounds
Matt Roik, G, (Coquitlam, BC), 6-5, 225 pounds
Physically Unable to Play
Brett Bucktooth, F, (Nedrow, NY), 6-1, 205 pounds
Mitch McMichael, F, (Port Perry, ON), 5-11, 195 pounds
Tim Henderson (Military), D, (Tully, NY), 6-3, 220 pounds
Nick Weiss, D, (Port Hope, ON), 6-2, 195 pounds