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by Eric Martin

Photo from www.sjstealth.com

Photo from www.sjstealth.com

What’s up Stealth Nation…what happened this past weekend in Calgary you ask?
Answer: We were stomped by the Roughnecks!

As you all know by now we were humiliated in the Western Finals by the always tough Calgary Roughnecks. The game at times didn’t even seem real. The wheels fell off before the first whistle ever blew - with our floor general, Colin Doyle, contracting a Canadian strain of the swine flu late in the week (kidding guys! Don’t call CNN!). Colin was so sick he missed the majority of game day preparations - breakfast, team meetings, film, shoot around, and lunch. The first time I saw him was on the team bus, and he looked exhausted…the kind of tired you see after a long east coast, doubleheader weekend. As we unpacked the bus and hustled into the Saddle Dome, Colin assured us he would indeed play and focused our attention on beating Calgary.

I figured Colin Doyle with the flu is still a top ten player in the league, and I prepared mentally and physically for the game. Warm ups were sharp and crisp. Coach Hall, who is the man, gave a great pre-game speech, and we took the field fired up! I sang a bit of O Canada, then after some pushing and shoving with a couple Canadians, the game was on. Well, they were on – firing on all cylinders in every facet of the game. The first quarter was a blur. The opposing offense scored at will, and their defense capitalized on our dumb mistakes.

I could go into more detail about our fumbled game plan, about their sharp shooters picking corners on our extended pressure defense, and about their goalie standing on his head, but I won’t bore you. Lacrosse is an easy game; the team that catches and throws better, communicates, and hustles more is most often the victor. Every Stealth player and coach and even Hawkeye (the equipment guy) knew it was bad when the Calgary goalie, Matt King, scored an empty net goal to end a depressing Stealth first quarter. This was the 6th goal of the game, and the eventual game winner, as we only recorded a season low 5 goals in the entire game. Another sign of our lingering apocalypse was when 10,000 Roughneck fans cheered our first goal, over three quarters into the match…or when mismatched, stinky socks were tossed to the turf, celebrating Calgary captain, Tracy Kelusky’s, supposed sock trick. Attention Roughneck fans – A real sock trick is 6 goals not 5, but his performance was impressive nonetheless. Trust me it felt like he scored 6.

It’s Thursday, and by now everyone has said their goodbyes to coaches, teammates, trainers and the rest of the Stealth staff. We all learned a lot this year, which is usually the case. We always seem to fight our way from the basement of the West and into the postseason. Hopefully, next year we can play the way Calgary has in ’09.

I’ll definitely revisit the season in a future blog, but it’s still too soon to deeply reflect right now. When I close my eyes I can still see those stinky, Canadian socks littering the Saddle Dome floor. Right now I’m off to John Muir Elementary in SF to spread the game! Check out the website onecitylax.org…we are accepting gear donations soon.

Over and out!

Eric Martin

20090508hartzellJust getting back from the golf course and taking it easy on a beautiful day here in San Jose. We played well in the Western semi-final and beat the Portland LumberJax 20-16. From the first whistle to the end we were all over them. They pulled their starting goalie Matt Disher after the first quarter. Our offense played really well and didn’t give the Jax’ defense any rest.

This weekend may 9th we play the number one seeded Calgary Roughnecks for the Western Final in the Saddle Dome.  We are only one game away from going to the NLL Championship!!!!  Guys play for years and years and never get the opportunity to play for a championship. Coach Chris Hall tells us every weekend, “winning an NLL championship will change your lives.”

This league is filled with the best talent in the world so winning the Championship sets you apart from all the rest in the lacrosse world. We are one game away from getting there and this weekend we will see who comes to play and which team wants it more. I think with the leadership and talent that we have on this team, I don’t see why we can’t walk away this weekend as the Western champs.

Tune in this weekend at 9pm Eastern Time on www.nll.com to watch the action!!!

Western Final
San Jose Stealth @ Calgary Roughnecks 9pm ET

Eastern Final
Buffalo Bandits @ New York Titans 7:30pm ET

2009051_lbIt’s been a week or so since I checked in not much lacrosse going on since the playoff bye week. Has anyone been watching playoff hockey!? That’s what I have been doing this past week. Every game is end-to-end action. My team the Capitals won game seven in Washington, which was a huge win. The Caps’ next series is against the Penguins who they will dominate.

The NLL playoffs start this weekend.

Today (May 1st) we play the LumberJax in the first round of the NLL playoffs. The team is anxious to get back into action. We arrived in Portland today and in the team film session you could tell everyone is focused and ready to go.

The LumberJax knocked the Stealth out last year for the first round so tomorrow is a pretty big grudge match. Everyone knows that if we lose that there is no tomorrow. Portland always has a huge crowd of 9,000+ so it’s going to be loud and a very exciting environment to play in. This is my first time back in playoff contention since college, but now on a bigger stage.

This has been an up and down season and a long one for us, but I don’t want it to end tomorrow. Only three games stand between us and a NLL Championship. Hopefully after tomorrow there are only two games between the championship and us. Tune in tomorrow on NLL.COM at 7:30p.m Pacific, 10:30p.m Eastern to see us take on the LumberJax!!

Western Playoff games
San Jose vs. Portland LumberJax
Colorado Mammoth vs. Calgary Roughnecks

Eastern Playoff games
New York Titans vs. Rochester Knighthawks
Boston Blazers vs. Buffalo Bandits

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