NLL Preview: Vancouver Warriors

There was a new name, a new location, and now there are new faces. The Vancouver Warriors hope all this new will translate into a new legion of warriors.

Aaron Bold will be in goal with Eric Penney as back him. Goalie Andrew Gallant will start the season recovering from an injury. Fans know Aaron Bold’s had a lot of transitions over the last few years, but he brings a winning pedigree from two championships with the Rush franchise. The Warriors will look for some of those magical saves he’s shown over the years.

The Warriors will start with Brandon Goodwin on the Injured Reserve list like Gallant. There will be 10 men listed as defensive and transition players. Look for Matt Beers, Justin Salt and Ian Hawksbee to take over the transitions. The other seven will be looking to shut down some strong offensive players on other teams. Owen Barker, Tyler Codron, Reid Mydske and Mack Mitchell are joined by brothers Zack and Colton Porter. Jarrett Toll rounds out the defensive list.

Offensively, there seems to be a solid mix of guys who have been around the National Lacrosse League and guys who bring younger talent. The Warriors will rely on Joel McCready to consistently get the ball in the net. They also hope Jordan McBride, who spent several seasons in Colorado, will quickly get back into his old ways. They’ll also rely on Mitch Jones to support the offense. Rounding out the offense will be Jean-Luc Chetner, Logan Schuss, Dan Lomas, James Rahe, Keegan Bal, and Tony Malcom.

Beers will captain the squad with his assistants Schuss and Hawksbee.

And while it may seem that this is a team with a foreseeable amount of change in store, consider this:  18 of the 21 players are from or live in British Columbia. This lends one to believe this team may come together quicker than others where practice times, locations and getting players together are often factors of success or failure.

Solid goaltending, no key injuries and learning to quickly work together will drive the success of the Warriors this season. They open the season on the road Saturday night in Calgary before hosting the Roughnecks on the 21st at Rogers Arena in their first match back downtown Vancouver.