July 25, 2011

Toronto Rock Trades for Goaltender Roik

from press releases

TORONTO – The Toronto Rock have traded defenseman Kyle Ross to the Washington Stealth for goaltender Matt Roik, who will be looked at to assume the role left open after the retirement of legendary goalie Bob Watson at the end of the 2011 season.

"You're not going to replace Bob Watson," Rock general manager Terry Sanderson said after finalizing the deal with Washington, which is pending league approval. "We moved a player from an area of depth on our roster. We lost a proven starter and we now have another proven starter in the fold. That's the reason for the move."

Roik has played for four NLL franchises since his career began in 2002. He started with the New Jersey Storm playing for two seasons, and then played another two years with the Storm in Anaheim. Following that tour of duty, he went 12-12 over two seasons in Philadelphia. In 2008, he went 5-3 and appeared in 9 games with the Chicago Shamrox. From there, he moved on to the Stealth where he has paired with Tyler Richards in net for the past three seasons.

In 2010, Roik won the Champion's Cup with the Stealth as they defeated the Rock in the NLL Championship Game.

The 6-foot-5 goaltender will be 32 years old by the time the 2012 NLL season rolls around and will continue to play summer ball for the Western Lacrosse Association's New Westminster Salmonbellies over the next couple of months. Interestingly enough, he shares time in the New West net with now former Stealth teammate Richards.

When it comes to success in the summer, Roik has had his fare share. In 2000, he won the Minto Cup with Burnaby and in 2003 captured the Mann Cup with Victoria.

"Matt is a proven starter in our league," adds Sanderson. "His championship experience in the WLA is something we hold in high regard."

The Rock have a pair of goaltenders eligible to return from last season with veterans Pat Campbell and Gee Nash still in the mix. Each of them saw time on the active roster in 2011.

"We're not anointing Matt as the starter, and we'll have other goalies in camp," said Sanderson. "He will be given every opportunity to win the starting job just like the other goalies in camp. He certainly gives us the quality depth we need at the goaltending position."

Ross was a member of the Toronto Rock squad that ousted the Stealth in the 2011 NLL Championship game. He played in 15 regular season games and all three playoff games for the Rock a season ago, recording six points (1g, 5a) and 60 loose balls. In his career, the New Westminster, British Columbia native has played in 62 regular season games for three teams: Minnesota Swarm (2007-2008), Boston Blazers (2009-2010) and Toronto (2011). Ross tallied a career-high 14 points (4g, 10a) and 85 loose balls in 2010 with Boston. He's made a name for himself as a gritty, smash-mouth defender, something that excites the Stealth coaching staff.

"We have been trying to acquire Kyle for a while," said Stealth head coach Chris Hall. "He adds toughness and athleticism to our defense and brings the ball up the floor hard in transition. He is a very exciting addition to our team as we look to bring another NLL title to Washington."

Tyler Richards assumes the role of the Stealth's primary goaltender with Roik being traded to Toronto. The pair had split time as the team's starting netminder in each of the last two seasons. Roik played the last three seasons of his ten NLL seasons as a member of the Stealth, winning his first title with the squad in 2010. Toronto will be his sixth team.

"Matt is a fantastic goaltender and was a big part of the success this team has had," added Hall. "On behalf of the Stealth organization we thank him and wish him the best in Toronto."

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