The Montreal Express and Toronto Rock will take the National Lacrosse League experience on the road this weekend, playing a pair of games in Canada's eastern provinces.
Both teams will be leaving from the Toronto Airport on Friday morning at 6:00 am and will be ready to play in the evening in Halifax. The first game of the weekend set will be in Halifax at the MetroCentre (10,000 seats), followed by a contest Sunday November 4th at 2:00 pm in St-John's at the Mile One Stadium (6,000 seats).
The Rock management has already stated that they will be bringing the entire "Rock Experience," which has helped attract huge crowds in Toronto the last few years, on the road with them to both venues.
"The East Coast (Halifax and St-John's) is such a great region of the country, they have excellent communities and a strong sports following in the area. We felt that theses venues and cities would be a perfect fit to host a couple of exhibition games" said Brad Watters, president of both teams.
"We are going to take these games very serious, we want to get this year on with a great start. If there is a good way to do this, it's walking away from this weekend with two victories" said Rock captain, Jim Veltman.
Both teams, will bring their entire rosters (23 players with three goaltenders) and will play together for the first time as teams. In the last three years, the Rock won 29 games in 38 outings, with just 9 loses and three straight regular season championships in 1999, 2000 and 2001, as well as back to back NLL titles in 1999 and 2000.
"A great test for us" said Montreal Express coach Terry Sanderson.
"We have beat Albany NY last week in Toronto(13-11) and we have a chance to beat Toronto in the East Coast this weekend in Halifax or St-John's and a big possibility in the Metro Centre and Mile One Stadium and go back home with two victories over the champions" said Express captain Tracey Kelusky.
Last weekend in Toronto, the Express beat Albany 13-11 an exhibition game at Maple Leaf Gardens and lost 18-12 to the Ottawa Rebel. Toronto in their first pre-season game this year, beat the New Jersey Storm 11-10 and lost a second game 10-9 to the Storm.
NOTES: Both Toronto and Montreal, have 1-1 in records after two pre-season games...
In the nets this week end for Montreal, Curtis Palidowr from Burnaby, BC and Derek General from Six Nations, Ont.will play back up. Alain LalumiÃ¨, from Montreal, the other goaltender for the Express, will not play, as he is suffering from a bad knee...
The Express captain, Tracey Kelusky, who did not play last weekend in Toronto due to an ankle problem, returns in action this weekend.
Dean Harrison played last three years with Toronto Rock (15 goals in 26 games). He changes uniforms this weekend and now plays for the Montreal Express.