April 15, 2009

NLL Records Could Fall in Final Weekend

from press release

With the final weekend of the National Lacrosse League 2009 regular season approaching, here is a look at the scoring races and league records that have fallen or could fall as teams each play their 16th and final game of the regular season.

San Jose Stealth forward Rhys Duch has earned his spot in the league's record books, while Stealth teammate Colin Doyle and Boston Blazers forward Dan Dawson each have one regular season game remaining each as they chase individual season scoring records of their own. 

Rhys Duch has put the exclamation point on a sensational rookie season. The San Jose forward has scored 34 goals and 52 assists for 86 points through 15 games.  Duch broke the league's previous rookie scoring record of 82 points by tallying five goals and three assists against the Colorado Mammoth last weekend. He capped off his record-setting night by scoring the game-winning goal in overtime to defeat the Mammoth 11-10 and put the Stealth into the playoffs.   The previous rookie scoring mark was set by Mammoth forward Gavin Prout in 2002.  Prout scored 30 goals and 52 assists for 82 points, while playing for the New York Saints franchise. 

Duch was drafted out of SUNY-Stony Brook (Long Island, NY) by San Jose with the third overall selection in the 2008 Entry Draft. Following Saturday's regular season finale (at Toronto, 7pm ET), Duch and the Stealth will prepare to face Portland in the Divisional Semifinal round of the 2009 Playoffs.

Colin Doyle is making a run at the record for points in a regular season.  Doyle currently leads the league with his 106 points (35 goals, 71 assists)  through 15 games and has one game remaining to tie or break the record of 115 points when the Stealth take on the Toronto Rock at Air Canada Centre (Saturday, 7pm ET).  The record is held by Buffalo Bandits' forward John Tavares, and was set during the 2001 season.

With 71 assists, Doyle has already tied the single season assists record, set by Josh Sanderson in 2005 while he played for the Toronto Rock.  Doyle can set the new assist record on Saturday.

Right behind Doyle is Dan Dawson, who is having a standout season of his own (28 goals, 69 assists for 97 points).  Dawson has 69 assists and can also tie or break the record in his final game of the regular season when the Blazers travel to Buffalo (Saturday, 7:30pm ET).

The goal scoring race will come down to a pair of teammates.  Buffalo forwards Mark Steenhuis and John Tavares are currently ranked #1 and #2 in goal scoring this season, with 48 and 47 goals, respectively.  The Bandits host Boston (Saturday, 7:30pm ET) to close out their regular season.  The league record of 71 goals in a season, set by Philadelphia Wings' forward Athan Iannucci in 2008, appears to be safe.

With playoff berths on the line and scoring records in danger of falling, it's going to be an exciting final weekend of regular season play in the National Lacrosse League.  Be sure to follow every game live online at the NLL Network at NLL.com.   The playoffs start on the weekend of May 1st.

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