January 3, 2012

Stealth Aiming for Third Straight Title Game Appearance

Look for Washington's Paul Rabil to make more attack runs in place of Luke Wiles, who was traded to Buffalo.
© Larry Palumbo

by Neil Stevens | LaxMagazine.com

Washington Stealth

2011 Record: 10-0, lost to Toronto in Champion's Cup final

Offseason: Traded Luke Wiles to Buffalo for draft picks

When you win the title one year, get to the final the next and lose by only a goal, there is no need for a rebuild.

"We haven't made a lot of changes, but this is by design," said head coach Chris Hall. "We made some moves a couple of years ago to get younger and stronger, and we are still riding those moves. We are still a relatively young team, and we have had good success the last couple of years, so we felt we didn't need to make major moves."

The Stealth got forward Jamie Rooney with their first pick in the dispersal draft, but he was released and signed by Toronto.

Something to watch for: Transition star Paul Rabil getting the green light more often for attack forays now that Wiles is gone.

The Washington offense boasts two of the NLL's top three scorers in Lewis Ratcliff (41g, 51a) and Rhys Duch (42g, 48a). The Stealth amassed a league-best 203 goals last season.

Washington traded Roik to give the best young goalie in the sport, Tyler Richards, undisputed possession of the No. 1 job.

Insider's Take

"Washington was the best team in the NLL before losing by a hair in Toronto, so expect a determined squad to come out pumped to regain the title."

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