Shamrocks Shining in the Offseason Pt. 2
Written by Ian McNaughton
January 29, 2019
Victoria, BC - Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of Shamrocks Offseason Report. Last week was our first part of looking at Shamrocks who are impacting the NLL season so far. As we said last week, there are 11 Shamrocks playing on 8 different teams and all of them are making significant contributions to their team in the first few weeks. This week, we’ll be discussing stars such as Rob Hellyer, Ryan Fournier, and Chris Wardle as well as defensive stalwarts Steve Priolo, Mack Mitchell, and Dallas Wade. We’ll start off in The Six, where Rob Hellyer, just like Drake, is stealing the show every time he performs.
A native of Lions Head, Ontario, Hellyar leads the Toronto Rock in scoring with 15 goals. He is also tied for the team lead in points with 37, which is good enough for 4th-best in the league. Hellyer led the team in scoring last year with 93 points in 18 games, including 30 goals. In a close 13-12 win over Philadelphia on Saturday, it was Hellyer that came through in the clutch for the Rock. He had 3 goals and 4 assists, including the game-winning goal to go with 8 minutes left in the game. With players like Hellyer stepping up, the Rock currently have the best record in the league at 5-1.
Speaking of the best, how about Steve Priolo? Priolo leads all defenders in points with 11 points and has 5 goals this season, 2 more than any other defender in the league. He has a .455 shooting percentage, which is the best among all players with at least 10 shots on goal this season. Priolo has also been a smart player with the ball, giving up 2 turnovers all year, which is second-best for all Buffalo Bandits starters. As Shamrocks fans know, there is no one like Steve Priolo and he’s showing that in Upstate New York.
Priolo isn’t the only one who’s bleeding green in the Northeast. Ryan Fournier is a member of the New England Black Wolves and is the primary faceoff man for the team. Fournier is 49 of 119 faceoffs in 5 games for New England, which would put him 9th in the league for guys who’ve taken at least 100 faceoffs. Fournier has even put up two goals for the Wolves as he looks to outperform his total of 5 points overall in the NLL last season.
Speaking of guys who score, Chris Wardle has averaged a goal a game as a member of the Colorado Mammoth. He’s got 5 goals and 9 points in 5 games this season, including 2 goals on the power play. Wardle had 13 goals and 33 points last season but has been on a fast pace lately, getting 6 points in his last 2 games. He’s 4th on the team in goals and sits 7 goals behind team leader Ben Benesch.
Back to the men whose job is to stop goals, defenders Mack Mitchell and Dallas Wade are guardians of the net for the Vancouver Warriors. Mitchell has 1 assist in 5 games and 15 loose balls in 5 games on the back end while Wade has secured 15 balls in 5 games as well. They'll look to help improve the team in the standings as they sit just 2.5 games behind Casey Jackson and the division-leading San Diego Seals.
Don’t worry lacrosse fans, a new Shamrocks season is just around the corner and as the team starts its 70th season, there is no better time to buy a season membership than right now! You can join by ordering online or calling 250-478-7625. You can even go in-person to the team office at #120-967 Langford Parkway or emailing the Shamrocks at [email protected]. We look forward to another season of spectacular lacrosse action as much as you are so until then, Go Rocks Go!