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Storm Play Two This Weekend

01/07/2003, 12:04pm EST
By National Lacrosse League

The New Jersey Storm will play a two-game schedule this weekend against the New York Saints at home on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. followed by a Sunday road contest versus the Calgary Roughnecks at 3:30 p.m. at the Pengrowth Saddledome.

The Storm, who sit in second place in the National Lacrosse League?s (NLL) Eastern Division with a 1-1 record, are coming off a hard fought 10-9 home opening loss to the Columbus Landsharks last Sunday afternoon.

So far this young season head coach Jim Brady?s club has been led by perennial scorer Roy Colsey with 10 points (7G, 3A). Joining Colsey in offering some offensive punch have been forwards Mike Benedict and Bryan Bendig both with three goals and five assists.

The Storm got two tremendous goaltending efforts last week. Matt Roik was named "NLL Labatt Blue Defensive Player of the Week? for his 42-save winning performance in the 13-11 upset win over Rochester and Derek General earned Game MVP honors by turning away 46 shots in a losing cause against Columbus.

New York enters Friday?s contest with an (0-3) record after dropping games to Columbus (15-10), Albany (10-8) and Ottawa (16-12). Rookie head coach Pat McCabe?s squad is being headlined offensively by forwards Rusty Kruger (8G, 5A) and Chris Driscoll (6G, 5A). Saints Goaltender Gee Nash has been rattled so far this season allowing 36 goals in almost three full games. Back-up net minder Phil Wetherup has also seen some playing time as well.

The Storm dropped both regular season contests to the Saints last year, coming out on the short end of a 14-9 decision in New Jersey's inaugural home game on November 30, 2001, followed by a 15-9 loss on March 9, 2002 in New York. The two teams will meet once again this season on April 12, 2003 at the Nassau Coliseum.

On Sunday the Storm will face-off against Calgary and one of the top players in the sport - Tracey Kelusky. Kelusky, who was acquired by the Roughnecks during the off-season, was named as the ?NLL Labatt Blue Offensive Player of the Week? last week for his nine point (4G, 5A) performance in a 14-9 win over Ottawa. In addition, forwards Tyson Leies (3G, 1A) and Kyle Goundrey (2G, 2A) have each registered four points on the year. Head coach Chris Hall?s club will look for another strong performance from net minder Curtis Palidwor, whose 43 saves was tops against Ottawa.

This will mark the only meeting between the two squads this season. The Storm was swept by Calgary last year 20-11 in Calgary on December 21, 2002 and 14-13 (OT) just seven days later at the Meadowlands.

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