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After blockbuster trade, Iannucci ready to make Washington debut

02/16/2012, 8:42am EST
By Claudia Furmanczyk, Washington Stealth beat writer for NLL.com

Former NLL MVP leads Stealth against depleted Rochester

Athan Iannucci is expected to make his Washington debut Saturday night when the Stealth visit the Rochester Knighthawks. Iannucci was acquired from Edmonton on Monday for Paul Rabil. (Photo Credit: Larry Palumbo)

Watch the game between the Stealth and the Knighthawks at 7:30 p.m. ET Saturday on The NLL Network at NLL.com by clicking here


Athan Iannucci is expected to make his Washington debut Saturday night when the Stealth travel to face the depleted Rochester Knighthawks at the Blue Cross Arena.

Washington acquired the 2008 NLL Most Valuable Player on Monday from Edmonton for transition player Paul Rabil. Iannucci won the MVP after scoring a league-record 71 goals for Philadelphia.

Head coach Chris Hall believes that Ianucci will boost an offense that’s scored the second-fewest goals (46) in the league this season.

“When you don’t have a guy like (Jeff) Zywicki on the lineup it’s a lot easier for opposing teams to defend us, so we really felt that we needed to have a goal scorer somewhere, and obviously Athan Iannuci fills that role 100 times,” said Hall.

Iannucci, Rhys Duch and Brett Bucktooth form a threatening right side, something that worries Rochester head coach Mike Hasen.

“We’re really aware that when [Iannucci] has the ball he’s really a threat, but he’s added something to his game which makes him a bigger threat … that right side will be a test for us,” Hasen said.

Last Friday, the Stealth (1-4) lost to the Calgary Roughnecks for the second time this season, 12-11 despite Tyler Richards’ career-high 59 saves.

Bucktooth recorded his first hat trick in a Washington uniform.

“Brett really added a great dimension for us just as a goal scorer and finisher,” said Hall.

Washington is 2-4 all-time in Rochester

The Knighthawks (2-4) are coming off a 9-6 loss to Minnesota on Sunday, and will be missing five players this week, including star Cody Jamieson.

He was among five players arrested following an altercation at a suburban Minneapolis restaurant. Jamieson along with Tyler Burton, Jordan Hall, Travis Hill, and Sid Smith were suspended indefinitely by the league on Wednesday.

Rochester will indeed miss Jamieson, who has scored goals in 14 straight games and is second in the NLL with 38 points this year. 


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