The Kentucky Stickhorses play back at Freedom Hall for their first game of the 2013 season after enduring a tough start to the existence of the league. They face the Boston Rockhoppers, the only team to defeat them in 2012, and both rosters are much improved.
In most recent news, the Stickhorses have signed Chazz Woodson, a prolific field player new to the indoor game. He has been team mates in MLL with three Stickhorses players.
These teams played each other twice last season. In game one, the Stickhorses came out with a 19-15 win. In that game Joel Derinchinsky scored seven goals to lead Kentucky while goalie Patrick Crosby led the team with 28 saves.
However, in the second game Boston won 20-9. Eric O’Brien did score three goals for Kentucky, but leading the Boston onslaught was Malcolm Chase and Andrew Kirkaldy with three goal each.
Kentucy adds three new offensive players in Woodson, Travis Bland and Mike McClellan. McClellan is an NLL veteran so expect him to bring some smart box moves. Bland is a Canadian who played with Reading of the PLL in the fall. They are replacing the loss of Joel Zalesky on offense.
In net will be either or both Patrick Crosby and Spencer Lyons. Crosby played solid all last season while Lyons had a very good pre season game. In net for Boston will be former NLL veteran Nick Schroeder.
Kirkaldy is a player who could have a huge NALL season and had success against Kentucky last year. Also watch for transition man Peter Vhalakis who will be facing off with Anthony Kelly most of the night.
Boston is a fast transition based team with very solid goaltending. It will be tough for a Kentucky team with less offense than expected while Boston might be able to score with their skill and finesse.
However, Kentucky’s defense is experienced and their goaltending is some of the best in the league. Expect a hard fought game with these tough rivals. Game time is 7pm at Freedom Hall in Louisville.