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Injuries Allow Rock Rookies To Make Their Mark

01/03/2002, 4:36pm EST
By National Lacrosse League

Toronto, Ontario)--The Toronto Rock are ready to move into Washington and get back on a Rock roll. The Rock squad is 2-1 to date beating Vancouver and Ottawa early in the season. The team realizes that when they face the Washington Power (2-1) on Saturday January 5th, 2002 at 7:30p.m. (Sportsnet), in Washington, the game will be a difficult one.

So far the Rock has struggled to put the ball in the net and this weekend the Rock will be missing a hot rookie and a savvy veteran. Mike Murray is currently listed as day to day, after sitting out yesterday's practice with back spasms that caused his left leg to give out (the injury has not yet been diagnosed). Not only is the Rock missing Murray but they will have to do without, Rodd Squire, a fourth year veteran with the team. Squire injured his ankle against the Rebel on December 14th and has ligament damage. Medical staff has advised Squire to sit the game out.

Sandy Chapman, a 21-year old rookie and the Rock's first round draft pick from the 2001 draft will make his first start of the season.

"I'm really excited about this opportunity, I'm sure the nerves will be a factor but once you catch that first ball you got to be ready to go" said Chapman. Alongside Chapman will be Ian Rubel, a 5'11" 205 lbs defender that was acquired when Chris Gill was traded to Vancouver. Rubel played last season with the Columbus Landsharks.

"I have been waiting for this chance, I want to be able to go out and compete for the Rock but realize the depth that this team has. Going against the Gait's will be a difficult task but I'm excited about this opportunity," said Rubel.

"We really like the way that these two young players play. Chapman is a scrappy player that is comparable to the likes of Rodd Squire. Rubel is a very strong and athletic defender that will match up nicely with Washington's high powered offense" said Rock Head Coach Les Bartley.

Last year Toronto and Washington split the season series 1-1, the Rock lost in Washington on December 31st 13-12 and the Rock won 16-13 at home.

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