The National Lacrosse League returns to British Columbia for a second straight preseason with an exhibition between the Calgary Roughnecks and Colorado Mammoth on Saturday, Dec. 8 at Langley Events Centre.
The National Lacrosse League returns to British Columbia with some of the world’s best lacrosse players for a second straight preseason, this time when the Calgary Roughnecks take on the Colorado Mammoth on Saturday, Dec. 8 at Langley Events Centre (LEC). After a pair of B.C. players stole the show in 2011, more locals will have the chance to shine in front of family and friends again this year.
The LEC became the first sold-out venue in NLL preseason history when the Washington Stealth won a 14-13 overtime thriller against the Toronto Rock last December before a crowd of 4,971. Two players from Victoria, B.C., Rhys Duch and Lewis Ratcliff, took over for the Stealth late in the game, as Duch tied it with less than a minute left in regulation before Ratcliff scored the winner just 30 seconds into OT.
"Last year’s event was a great starting point and success," said Jared Harman, director of business development for the LEC. "This year, we are excited for another great weekend, another great game in our attempts to grow the game and the excitement for the NLL in the Lower Mainland and Langley."
This year’s game will hit close to home for Mammoth starting goaltender Chris Levis, who currently lives in Langley and runs a sporting goods business in the area. The 36-year-old started for the West in the 2012 NLL All-Star Game en route to a career-best 10-4 regular season record last year.
"The community in Langley is one that really supports and embraces lacrosse," Levis said. "The minor lacrosse association there works hard to build their numbers and bring the sport to the community."
The 11-year NLL veteran expects another electric atmosphere when fans pack the LEC again this year.
"I'm excited to have the game at such a great venue like the LEC," Levis said. "It's a top-notch facility that’s trying to grow, so having events like this really help take it to the next level."
The event will also mark a homecoming for Roughnecks forward Curtis Dickson, who grew up in Port Coquitlam, B.C. before attending the University of Delaware. The 24-year-old was a finalist for the 2010 Tewaaraton Trophy (NCAA’s best player) before becoming Calgary’s first-round pick (3rd overall) in the 2010 NLL Entry Draft. Dickson was named NLL Rookie of the Year after recording 52 points (33+19) in 2011 and followed it up with 56 points (31+25) last year.
"Playing in front of my family and friends means a lot to me," Dickson said. "They rarely, if ever, get to see me play live. My parents have been down to a couple of my games in Washington but now everyone will be able to come out and get a chance to see an NLL game. Vancouver is such a great lacrosse community. Hopefully games like this can help show that this area is capable of supporting a franchise and then all of us local guys will be able to do this a lot more often."
NLL Commissioner George Daniel will appear on TEAM 1040 radio in Greater Vancouver on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 9:40 pm ET to discuss this weekend's game. For tickets and more information on the exhibition, please click here.