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Warriors Face Toronto Rock in Weekend Matchup

The Vancouver Warriors (2-7) face a tough test, taking on the league leading Toronto Rock (7-2) in NLL action this weekend in Hamilton.

The two teams faceoff at FirstOntario Centre Saturday, February 24th at 4 p.m. PT.

The Warriors have had a weekend off, their final bye week of the season, before preparing for the Rock and the start of their second half of the season which will see Vancouver play in each of the final nine weekends of NLL play.

On February 10th, the Saskatchewan Rush scored four times in the final quarter to pull away from Vancouver 13-9 in what had been a tight contest heading into the final 15 minutes.  Adam Charalambides once again led the charge, scoring a hat trick and adding three assists for a six-point night for Vancouver.

The Warriors have numerous Ontario products (Jackson Suboch, Owen Grant, Adam Charalambides, Aden Walsh, Kyle Killen, Connor O’Toole, Ryan Dilks, and Chris Willman) who will have a chance to play in front of their families and get some home cooking in this weekend.

Suboch is looking forward to playing his second NLL game at FirstOntario Centre, a place he has fond memories of watching Rock legend Jim Veltman.

Leading the way offensively for Vancouver are Adam Charalambides and Keegan Bal. Charalambides has 44 points (21-23-44) through nine games while Bal has tallied 15 goals and 26 assists, good for 41 points.

Vancouver’s solid defense has caused 119 turnovers and the group isn’t afraid to put their bodies on the line, blocking a whopping 64 shots compared to the Rock’s 45. Their power play has a 37% success rate with 30 opportunities on the man-advantage.

The Rock are fresh off a 16-10 win over the New York Riptide and Toronto forward Mark Matthews led his team with 11 points, four goals and seven assists. Corey Small had four goals, Dan Craig potted three, Josh Dawick chipped in two and Tom Schreiber, Dan Linter, and Justin Martin all had singles.

Matthews is the top scoring player for Toronto with 44 points (16-28-44) so far this season and Craig is second for point production with 18 goals and 20 assists.

Goaltender Nick Rose is 7-1 on the season with a .805 save percentage.

The Rock lead the Warriors in the faceoff circle with a 63% success rate compared to the Warriors 50%. Toronto is 59% on the power play and has 115 turnovers caused.

Rock forward Challen Rogers was placed on injured reserve this week with an upper body injury and will be out of the lineup against the Warriors and forward Marley Angus is now on the active roster and maintains the practice player tag.

Forward Zack Kearney remains on the active roster and in the Toronto Rock Total Podcast, Rogers describes the younger players in the lineup like 24-year-old Kearney as a “sparkplug” for the team, seamlessly fitting into the forward group.

The Vancouver Warriors this past week have signed faceoff specialist Tyrell Hamer-Jackson to a one-year agreement and have placed him on the evaluation list.  Hamer-Jackson has a career 59 percent average in the faceoff circle and had been rehabbing from a long term injury.

Vancouver Warriors