Tyson Kirkness made his way from the practice roster to the scoresheet for the Vancouver Warriors with a highlight reel worthy goal against the Colorado Mammoth at home in Rogers Arena.
Kirkness and Reid Bowering were both barreling toward a loose ball against the wall when Bowering scooped it up and tossed it to Kirkness for the breakaway.
“Bowering ended up making a great pass before he got hit and then I took one quick look, and no one was around me and I was just lucky enough to score on one of the best goalies in the league,” Kirkness said.
He waited for Colorado Mammoth goaltender Dillon Ward to move before he picked his spot.
He’s been working on shooting and picking his spots with Player Development Coach Tyler Richards and his buddy Bowering.
“Bowering’s a great goal scorer and defensive player and we’ve played together before, so we have a good relationship and I just love bouncing things off him,” Kirkness said.
“I’m not good at throwing a million fakes so I have a couple spots I like to pick and first time I’ll try one and if that doesn’t work, I’ll go to my second one, I have my go-to’s and I’m waiting for the goalie to hopefully move on the first one and then after that I know exactly where I’m going.” he said.
Not only did he notch his first NLL goal, but he also picked up five loose balls, had one caused turnover and one block.
Kirkness picked his spot and sniped his first NLL goal and Head Coach/General Manager Curt Malawsky couldn’t be happier for him.
“It’s great. Kirky’s been working hard you know, he started on the practice roster, he got hurt in training camp, he didn’t say anything, just battled and battled and battled and there was an opportunity for him to get in the lineup and he got in and he never looked back,” Malawsky shared. “He’s athletic, he cares, we talk about good people make good teams, we go on the road to Rochester he’s picking up all the bags for all our trainers, that doesn’t go unnoticed with us. He’s just a good overall person, he’s a great athlete, and it’s so good to see him get rewarded.”
The Chilliwack native credits his parents and his role models inside and outside of lacrosse for life lessons to always pitch in and help out where he can.
“I learned you take care of the people that take care of you, Al [Varley] and Jenn [Varley] care and they take care of us extremely well. Doing a little thing like just putting their bags on the on the cart is nothing at the end of my day, it takes 30 seconds for me,” Kirkness said going on to add, “A lot of the guys on the team do it too. And if I can do a little bit to give back to them to make their life a little easier then absolutely, we’re a big family and even the little things matter in the long run.”
The 26-year-old is in his second NLL season after taking a brief hiatus to focus on firefighting and says he looks up to the whole defensive group, the veterans and the rookies, saying he can learn something from all of them.
Coming into last season halfway through, he played summer ball this past offseason and is focusing on his fitness and is putting in the hours in the gym. He doesn’t take anything for granted, every time he takes the floor and enjoys the small things of playing in the NLL.
“I like to show up two and a half hours before to stretch, tape my stick and go sit on the bench and enjoy the moment because I’m lucky enough to even be here.”