Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Former Wings goaltender Eliuk announces retirement

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After a distinguished 18-year professional indoor lacrosse career that includes four Championships, nine All-Pro Awards and two championship game Most Valuable Player Awards, future hall-of-fame goalie Dallas Eliuk has decided to retire, the Vancouver, British Columbia native announced today.

"After 38 years of play in the sport I love, I have the utmost respect for lacrosse and an unwavering desire to serve the game, my team and the fans" said Eliuk. "As the utilization of my goaltending has been greatly diminished, and in view of the challenges the franchise has faced over the last few seasons, I've made the decision to support the Jax this year through assistant coaching and continued ambassadorship of the sport in schools and the community."

"I'm also looking forward to a few less blows to the face and head as my wife and I prepare for the arrival of our first child this spring."

The NLL's all-time saves leader with 6,356 saves and the first player to appear in 200 games, Eliuk spent his first 15 seasons with the Philadelphia Wings. With the Wings, Eliuk earned All-Pro Honors from 1992-2000, won four Champion's Cups (1994, 1995, 1998, 2001), earned the Champion's Cup MVP award twice (1998 and 2001) and appeared in every All-Star game through 2006.

"Dallas Eliuk is the greatest goalie to ever play in the NLL," said Portland Head Coach/General Manager Derek Keenan. "He was a pioneer in lacrosse. He brought athleticism to the goaltending position and never cheated with big, oversized equipment. Every save Dallas made in the NLL was made honestly and with flare. He will obviously be missed as a player but certainly never forgotten."

Citing family reasons, Eliuk requested a trade to Portland shortly before the franchise began play during the 2006 season. In his first year with the team in 2006, Eliuk guided the Jax to an 11-5 record, making Portland the first expansion team to ever win its division.

During the historic season, Eliuk stopped 76.8% of the shots he faced and only allowed 11.09 goals-per-game.A year later, Eliuk again posted solid numbers, finishing with a goals-against-average of 12.24 and stopping 76.24% of the shots he faced.

The 2007 season also represented the ninth time during Eliuk's career that he made 400 saves or more during the season. During his final season in 2008, Eliuk saved his best performance for his last. In the West Division Championship, Eliuk stepped in for the injured Matt Disher and stopped 35 of the 43 shots he faced as Portland won the West Division Title 16-12 over the Calgary Roughnecks. The West Division Championship epitomized Eliuk's playing career.

In 24 career postseason games, Eliuk stopped 76.41% of the shots and only allowed 11.71 goals-per-game.In addition to his 6,356 saves, Eliuk retires with a career saves percentage of 76.24% and a career goals-against-average of 12.24.

Eliuk was also an eight-time All-Star in the Western Lacrosse Association, a five-time Playoff MVP, three-time Goaltender of the Year, and one-time MVP.

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