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2015 Nll Preseason In Gear As Four More Teams Open Training Camp

Buffalo, Edmonton, Rochester & Vancouver join Colorado & New England

After the Colorado Mammoth and New England Black Wolves opened the 2015 National Lacrosse League preseason last week, four more teams got into gear this past weekend as the Buffalo Bandits, Edmonton Rush, Rochester Knighthawks and Vancouver Stealth all opened training camp in preparation for a run at the Champion’s Cup.

One of the bigger stories of the weekend was the three-time defending champion Knighthawks beginning their quest for a fourth-straight title. Despite some offseason changes, the overall core of the only team in the history of the league to three-peat returns for another year.

“We’ve got a lot of guys back so I think we’re almost starting where we left off which is good,” Knighthawks captain Sid Smith told Knighthawks.com. “We’ve got some young guys that look good so I’m excited for the opportunity they have to make this team better.”

Adding to the annual NLL preseason buzz is the return of 46-year-old Bandits legend John Tavares, the league’s all-time leading scorer, who is preparing for his league-record 24th season with Buffalo.

“It’s a bit crazy. I’m not sure what’s wrong with me,” Tavares told Bandits.com. “The team showed interest in having me back. I was surprised given my age and whatnot, but also flattered and encouraged to come back for another year.”

“We think we have a team that can compete for a championship,” added Bandits general manager Steve Dietrich. “A lot of the young kids are competing for spots and may take some jobs, but that’s a good thing. Internal competition is great.”

Out west, the Stealth started prepping for their second season in British Columbia at Langley Events Centre with some heavy conditioning with the team re-tooled and looking to get back to its winning ways.

“It took the lungs a little bit to catch up to the legs,” Stealth forward Rhys Duch told StealthLAX.com. “There’s a lot of new faces from the coaching staff down to the players. It was a great first session.”

“The coaches did a great job of giving us expectations of how training camp is going to be like and how tight it’s going to be,” added forward Lewis Ratcliff. “There’s a lot of guys competing for not very many spots and I don’t think anybody is safe.”

Meanwhile, the Calgary Roughnecks and Toronto Rock are set to hit the turf for the first time next weekend before the Minnesota Swarm start preseason activities the following weekend on Dec. 5.

Three exhibitions highlight the NLL preseason for 2015 with Minnesota at Rochester at Blue Cross Arena on Saturday, Dec. 6, Rochester against Toronto on Sunday, Dec. 14 at Bell Centre in Montreal, and Edmonton at Calgary on Saturday, Dec. 20 at Scotiabank Saddledome.

Find each team’s preseason schedule below (all times local). Stay tuned for more training camp and exhibition game coverage culminating with NLL Face Off Weekend 2015 presented by New Era on the weekend of January 2-3 to open the league’s 29th season.

Buffalo Bandits
Saturday, Nov. 22 – 2pm & 7pm – First Niagara Center (Buffalo, NY)
Sunday, Nov. 23 – 10am – First Niagara Center (Buffalo, NY)
Saturday, Nov. 29 – 1pm – Lakemount Sportsworld (Grimsby, ON)
Saturday, Dec. 6 – 10am Open Practice & 6pm (scrimmage vs. New England) – First Niagara Center (Buffalo, NY)
Sunday, Dec. 7 – 10am – First Niagara Center (Buffalo, NY)
Saturday, Dec. 13 – 4pm – (scrimmage vs. New England) – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)
Sunday, Dec. 14 – 11am – (scrimmage vs. Colorado) – First Niagara Center (Buffalo, NY)
Saturday, Dec. 20 – 10am – Iroquois Lacrosse Arena (Hagersville, ON)
Tuesday, Dec. 23 – 7pm – Iroquois Lacrosse Arena (Hagersville, ON)

Calgary Roughnecks
Friday, Nov. 28 – TBD – Foothills-Okotoks Regional Field House (Okotoks, AB)
Saturday, Nov. 29 – 9-11am & 4-6pm – Foothills-Okotoks Regional Field House (Okotoks, AB)
Sunday, Nov. 30 – 9-11 am – Foothills-Okotoks Regional Field House (Okotoks, AB)
Friday, Dec. 5 – 8:30-10:30pm – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)
Saturday, Dec. 6 – 9-11am & 6pm (scrimmage vs. Toronto) – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)
Sunday, Dec. 7 – 12-3pm – (scrimmage vs. Minnesota) – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)
Friday, Dec. 19 – 6-8pm – Genesis Place (Airdrie, AB)
Saturday, Dec. 20 – 7pm (exhibition vs. Edmonton) –Scotiabank Saddledome (Calgary, AB) (tix on sale Nov. 6)
Saturday, Dec. 27 – 4-6pm – Genesis Place (Airdrie, AB)
Sunday, Dec. 28 – 9-11am – Genesis Place (Airdrie, AB)

Colorado Mammoth
Saturday, Nov. 15 – 6-8am – Bladium Sports & Fitness Club (Denver, CO)
Sunday, Nov. 16 – 9-11am – Parker Fieldhouse (Parker, CO)
Friday, Dec. 5 – 8:15-11:15pm – Langley Events Centre (Langley, BC)
Saturday, Dec. 6 – 1:30-3:30pm & 7:30-9:30pm – Langley Events Centre (Langley, BC)
Friday, Dec. 12 – 9-11pm – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)
Saturday, Dec. 13 – 1-3pm & 7-10pm (scrimmage vs. Minnesota) – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)
Sunday, Dec. 14 – 10am-1pm – (scrimmage vs. Buffalo) – First Niagara Center (Buffalo, NY)
Saturday, Dec. 20 – 6-8am – Bladium Sports & Fitness Club (Denver, CO)

Edmonton Rush
Friday, Nov. 21 – 8:30-10:30pm – Leduc Recreation Centre (Leduc, AB)
Saturday, Nov. 22 – 10-11:30am & 1-2:30 pm – Leduc Recreation Centre (Leduc, AB)
Friday, Dec. 5 – TBD – Langley Events Centre (Langley, BC) 
Saturday, Dec. 6 – 5pm (scrimmage vs. Vancouver) – Langley Events Centre (Langley, BC)
Friday, Dec. 19 – 10-11:30am & 1-2:30 pm – Rexall Place (Edmonton, AB)
Saturday, Dec. 20 – 7pm – (exhibition vs. Calgary) – Scotiabank Saddledome (Calgary, AB) (tix on sale Nov. 6)

Minnesota Swarm
Friday, Dec. 5 – 6:30-8:30pm – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)
Saturday, Dec. 6 – 1-2pm – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)
Saturday, Dec. 6 – 8pm – (exhibition vs. Rochester) – Blue Cross Arena (Rochester, NY) (tickets)
Sunday, Dec. 7 –  12-3pm – (scrimmage vs. Calgary) – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)
Friday, Dec. 12 – 7-9pm – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)
Saturday, Dec. 13 – 6-9pm – (scrimmage vs. Colorado) – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)
Sunday, Dec. 14 – 8-9am – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)
Friday, Dec. 19 – 7-9pm – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)
Saturday, Dec. 20 – 9-11am & 3-5pm – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)
Sunday, Dec. 21 – 1-3pm – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)

New England Black Wolves
Saturday, Nov. 15 – 5-7pm – Renegade Sports Center (Waterford, CT)
Sunday, Nov. 16 – 8-10am – Renegade Sports Center (Waterford, CT)
Saturday, Nov. 22 – 8-10am & 5-7pm – Renegade Sports Center (Waterford, CT)
Sunday, Nov. 23 – 8-10am – Renegade Sports Center (Waterford, CT)
Saturday, Dec. 6 – 6pm – (scrimmage vs. Buffalo) – First Niagara Center (Buffalo, NY)
Sunday, Dec. 7 – 9-10am – First Niagara Center (Buffalo, NY)
Saturday, Dec. 13 – 8-9am & 4pm (scrimmage vs. Buffalo) – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON) 
Saturday, Dec. 20 – 10-11am & 6-9pm – (scrimmage vs. Toronto) – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)
Sunday, Dec. 21 – 9-11am – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)

Rochester Knighthawks
Saturday, Nov. 22 – 1-3pm – Total Sports Experience (TSE) & 5-8pm – TSE East (Rochester, NY)
Sunday, Nov. 23 – 11-1pm – TSE East (Rochester, NY)
Wednesday, Dec. 3 – 7-10pm – Iroquois Lacrosse Arena (Hagersville, ON)
Saturday, Dec. 6 – 8pm – (exhibition vs. Minnesota) – Blue Cross Arena (Rochester, NY) (tickets)
Wednesday, Dec. 10 – 7pm-10pm – Iroquois Lacrosse Arena, Six Nations
Sunday, Dec. 14 – 2pm – (exhibition vs. Toronto) – Bell Centre (Montreal, QC) (tickets)
Wednesday, Dec. 17 – 7-10pm – Iroquois Lacrosse Arena (Hagersville, ON)
Monday, Dec. 22 – 7-10pm – Iroquois Lacrosse Arena (Hagersville, ON)
Sunday, Dec. 28 – 10am-1pm – Iroquois Lacrosse Arena (Hagersville, ON)

Toronto Rock
Saturday, Nov. 29 – 2-4pm – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)
Tuesday, Dec. 2 – 8-10pm – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)
Saturday, Dec. 6 – 11am-1pm & 7pm – (scrimmage vs. Calgary) – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)
Tuesday, Dec. 9 – 8-10pm – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)
Saturday, Dec. 13 – 9-11am – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)
Sunday, Dec. 14 – 2pm – (exhibition vs. Rochester) – Bell Centre (Montreal, QC) (tickets)
Tuesday, Dec. 16 – 8-10pm – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)
Saturday, Dec. 20 – 11am-1pm & 7pm (scrimmage vs. New England) – TRAC (Oakville, ON)
Sunday, Dec. 21 – 11am-1pm – Toronto Rock Athletic Centre (Oakville, ON)

Vancouver Stealth
Saturday, Nov. 22 – 9-11am & 5pm-7pm – Langley Events Centre (Langley, BC) 
Sunday, Nov. 23 – 9-11am – Langley Events Centre (Langley, BC) 
Saturday, Dec. 6 – 9-11am & 5-7pm (scrimmage vs. Edmonton) – Langley Events Centre (Langley, BC)
Sunday, Dec. 7 – 9-11am (scrimmage vs. Colorado) – Langley Events Centre (Langley, BC)
Saturday, Dec. 13 – 9am-11am & 5-7pm – Langley Events Centre (Langley, BC) 
Sunday, Dec. 14 – 9-11am – Langley Events Centre (Langley, BC) 
Saturday, Dec. 20 – 9-11am & 5-7pm – Langley Events Centre (Langley, BC) 
Sunday, Dec. 21 – 9-11am – Langley Events Centre (Langley, BC) 
Saturday, Dec. 27 – 11am-1pm – Langley Events Centre (Langley, BC) 

– See more at: http://www.nll.com/news_article/show/450487?referrer_id=389128-news-archive#sthash.bFt0E2pd.dpuf

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