October 28, 2010

Vinc Happy to Be Back in Rochester

from press release

ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- Matt Vinc knows Rochester. He was just 24 years old the first time he arrived in the Flower City as a member of the Rochester Rattlers. Now four years later he again is playing lacrosse in Rochester, but this time it's for the National Lacrosse League's Rochester Knighthawks.

Vinc was acquired in a five-player, four-draft pick trade with Colorado on Wednesday that sent the K-Hawks' all-time leading scorer, John Grant Jr., and Mac Allen to the Mammoth. Just three hours after the trade, Vinc was still trying to explain his excitement on the move to Rochester.

"I can't put into words how I am feeling. I am going to a franchise that's dedicated to winning," he said. "The fans are great and it will be a different experience playing so close to home every week."

The St. Catharines, Ontario, native was looking for a team that would allow him to continue to teach in his hometown and also play the sport he has dominated the past five seasons: Lacrosse.

"I was looking for a home for the next 10 years. Rochester is a place that is established and I am going to love playing in front of the fans and developing a great relationship with them," he said.

The fans will certainly grow fond of Vinc, who is coming off one of his finest seasons as a pro en route to NLL Goaltender of the Year honors. Last season, he became the first NLL goalie to post back-to-back 600-save seasons, recording 609 stops in 2009 and 2010. He is widely regarded as one of the best goalies in the NLL and his numbers support that distinction. In his pro career, he has amassed 2,204 saves and an 11.27 goals-against average in 66 regular season games.

Knighthawks President Lewis Staats commented on the magnitude of the trade and the significance to the franchise.

"This deal may be looked at as one of the biggest deals in the history of the NLL," said Staats. "But in order to make your team better you have to give up quality players to get back the quality players you believe you need. By obtaining Matt Vinc, arguably one of the best goalies in the NLL we had to give up John Grant Jr., arguably one of the best offensive players to ever play in the NLL. We believe that this trade, involving five players and four draft picks, has filled needs on both teams and we believe we will be a much better team in the long run as we re-tool the Knighthawks building toward another run for the championship."

The trade re-unites Vinc with former Orlando and New York Titans' teammates Matt Zash, Dan Hardy and Jordan Hall. More importantly, he will have his first opportunity to play alongside longtime friend Mike Accursi, who was signed as a free agent last week.

"Mike Accursi is a friend of mine. He actually coached me one year of high school field lacrosse," said Vinc. "I played with guys in Rochester while playing for the National Team, the Nationals and on Six Nations in the summer."

Vinc, who is known as Vno (pronounced Vino) by fans and teammates, hopes to find a place in the locker room and in the fabric of the long established Rochester Knighthawks.

"I have a lot of friends on the team and I hope they embrace me after losing some key guys in the locker room."

The first step in his Knighthawks career begins on November 20th as the Knighthawks open their Training Camp at the Rochester Sports Garden. Let the reunion begin...Rochester.

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