Friday, December 09, 2011

Wings set to open preseason in Trenton

The Philadelphia Wings will play their first National Lacrosse League exhibition game of the year against the Rochester Knighthawks at the Sun National Bank Center (Trenton, N.J.) on Sunday Dececember 11 at 1 p.m.

New comers Dan Dawson, the 2009 NLL Most Valuable Player, Brodie Merrill, the 2010 Transition Player of the Year, and Kevin Crowley, the Wings 2011 number one draft pick, will make their Wings debut.

The Wings’ season opener is against the Knighthawks at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday, January 14 at 7 p.m.

Last season, led by forwards Shawn Williams (77 points) and Shawn Evans (73 points), the Knighthawks finished the regular season tied for the best record in the NLL’s East Division with a 10-6 record. They lost in the first round of the NLL playoffs to the eventual champion, Toronto Rock.

The exhibition game will also showcase the top two players in the 2011 NLL Entry Draft. Crowley was selected by the Wings with the first overall selection after playing four seasons at Stony Brook University (Stony Brook, N.Y.) and tallying 131 goals and 101 assists in 60 career games. He is the only player in Stony Brook history to record 100 or more goals and assists, and one of just 40 players in Division I history to accomplish the feat.

With the second overall selection in the draft, the Knighthawks selected forward Stephen Keogh out of Syracuse University (Syracuse, N.Y.). Keogh was named the Big East Attack Player of the Year in his senior season and led the Orange with 33 goals and 41 total points.

Other new faces to watch on the Wings include “Dangerous” Dawson and Merrill. Dawson was acquired from the Boston Blazers with the first overall pick in the team’s dispersal draft during the off-season. Dawson has tallied 321 goals and 447 assists in his 10-year career and was the 2009 NLL MVP. Dawson was named Assistant Captain of the team and will be re-united with his younger brother Paul Dawson who is a defenseman for the Wings.

Merrill comes to the Wings from the Edmonton Rush as part of an offseason trade that sent forwards Athan Iannucci and Alex Turner to the Rush. Merrill figures to dramatically improve the Wings transition game as the standout transition player recovered an NLL-best 187 loose balls last season. Additionally, he was named NLL Transition Player of the Year in 2009 and 2010.

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