January 24, 2014

Eric Law Gets Taste of NLL With Toronto

by Neil Stevens | LaxMagazine.com | Twitter

Law was the first American to suit up for the Rock in four years, but is right back on the practice squad this week. (Larry Palumbo)

Now you see him, now you don't.

Eric Law made his NLL debut with the Toronto Rock last Saturday night and now he's back on the practice roster.

For the record, the only American in four years to suit up with the Rock gathered in four loose balls, took three shots on goal and picked up an assist on the last Rock goal during a 12-8 loss to the Knighthawks in Rochester, N.Y.

Law has played most of his lacrosse outdoors and close to home so suiting up for the Rock was a novel experience.

The 22-year-old attacker grew up in Littleton, Colorado, and attended Arapahoe High School, earning the distinction in 2009 of being the state's lacrosse player of the year. He was a captain of the Denver Pioneers NCAA squad and he joined pro field lacrosse's Denver side last spring, scoring a club rookie-record 24 goals in just nine games. His .632 shooting percentage was a league best. He put on an amazing show in the Outlaws' Major League Lacrosse semi-final loss by scoring nine goals. That's right, nine. Who does that?

Toronto selected him 28th overall in the NLL entry draft last September and he has been flying at Rock expense to Canada since camp opened last autumn although he did not fly north for practise this week. Toronto has a schedule bye this weekend. He got into the game in Rochester because a lineup spot opened when Craig England served a one-game suspension. England is now back in the lineup, and Law is out again.

Law works in Denver as a program manager with Denver City Lax, a sports-based youth development organization for youngsters. Commuting to Toronto makes for a hectic lifestyle.

Rock GM Terry Sanderson has been impressed with what he's seen of Law on the green carpet. With all the box lacrosse talent available locally, it says a lot about Law's potential in the indoor game that the team is willing spend commute dollars and nurture his progress.

''We think he's ready to play now but we've got a number of guys in the same boat,'' says Sanderson. ''He's a right-hand shot and if one of our offensive righties gets hurt, he could be used in the next game. He's our first choice.

Toronto has veteran right-hand shooters Garrett Billings, Kasey Beirnes and Rob Hellyer, which explains why Law has to bide his time. It's unclear when Law will get into another game.

''For having little or no box experience, he knows what's going on out there,'' says Sanderson. ''He's got good speed and he's got an unbelievable shot for an American field player. He's impressed the entire coaching staff with what he can do. He just knows how to play. He gets it. Not everybody gets it.''

Law is the first American to dress for the Rock since 2009, when Bill McGlone scored eight goals in 11 games.

We wanted to ask Eric for his thoughts on his first NLL game, how the indoor game is different for him than the outdoor game, what it's like being the only American on a Canadian lacrosse team, etc., but our calls were not returned.

Law will be spending this weekend in Florida at the Champion Challenge, a US Lacrosse event, while his Rock teammates have the week off. He is among the finalists for a spot on the U.S. Men's 30-man roster that will continue to train through the spring for the 2014 World lacrosse Championships in Denver.

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