April 28, 2009 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - Portland Lumberjax
In 2006 the expansion Portland LumberJax won the West Division and hosted the franchise\'s first playoff game. Three seasons later the defending West Division Champion Jax are set to host another playoff game in the Rose City. On Friday, May 1st, Portland hosts the San Jose Stealth in a West Division Semifinal playoff game at 7:30 p.m. at the Rose Garden Arena. Tickets start at just $10, but the arena is filling fast. Seats can be reserved by calling the Jax Ticket Line at 1-866-983-5656, at the Rose Quarter Box Office or through most TicketsWest Outlets.
The winner of the Portland and San Jose game will face either the Calgary Roughnecks or Colorado Mammoth in the West Division Championship during the weekend of May 8-10.
The Jax (9-7) finished second in the West after winning three of their final four games. Portland relied heavily on a balanced scoring attack and a physical defense all season.
The team was 5-1 this season when seven or more players scored goals. Portland also saw four different players score 50+ points, which was a franchise best. The team even dished out a franchise-high 280 assists.
Forward Ryan Powell (18 goals, 44 assists) led the team with 62 points. His assist total was a career-high and epitomized the unselfish nature on the offensive end that Head Coach/General Manager Derek Keenan has preached since training camp in November.
On the defensive end, goalie Matt Disher set the tone early on. The cagey veteran finished with 502 saves and only allowed 10.80 goals-per-game. In fact, Disher was at his best when facing a deluge of shots. Portland went 7-2 in games that Disher faced 45 shots on goal or more.
San Jose (7-9) is no stranger to this Portland squad. This will be the fourth time the two rivals have met this season. The Jax won two of the three matchups and split the season series in Portland. Overall, Portland leads the series history, 8-5.
Like Portland, San Jose had a very historic season. The Stealth became the fifth team in National Lacrosse League history to outscore their opponents, yet finish with a losing record.
This will be the second consecutive year that the two clubs have met in the postseason. Last year in the West Division Semifinals, Portland traveled to San Jose and dropped a then franchise-high 18 goals on the Stealth in an 18-16 win.
Portland\'s goal early in the season was to first earn a playoff berth, then clinch a home playoff game. The Jax have done both. Now, the focus shifts to advancing to the West Division Championship.
MORGAN BROS LAX CAMP
The brother tandem of David, Peter and Richard Morgan want to help you become the best. On Saturday, May 30th from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Sunday, May 31st from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Indoor Goals in Beaverton, the Morgan brothers will hold a lacrosse camp for all ages.
The cost is $100 per participant. Interested parties should email the Morgan\'s at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name, age, level of lacrosse experience and contact information.
Assistant Coach, Community Relations and Creative Design Director and Hall of Famer Dallas Eliuk will be a featured instructor both days. Eliuk retired prior to the 2009 season as the league\'s all-time saves leader with 6,356 saves, a nine-time All-Pro and four time Champion\'s Cup winner.
Through Pacific Power\'s Jax School Program, Eliuk and the Morgan\'s have successfully promoted the importance of a healthy lifestyle while teaching the sport of lacrosse to local Oregon and Washington youth. They are continuing their efforts by offering lacrosse camps for all ages to enjoy and relish. A portion of the profits will be donated to schools who can\'t afford lacrosse equipment.
"It amazes me to see the growing popularity of the sport," said P. Morgan. "However, many schools can\'t afford to purchase sticks and other pieces of equipment. We believe that everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy the great game of lacrosse."
There are two sessions to choose from, based on skill and experience:
Session One: Beginners Camp Saturday, May 30th 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Equipment will be provided
Session Two: Intermediate Camp Sunday, May 31st 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Please bring your stick, helmet and gloves
D. Morgan is part of Portland\'s physical defense, collecting 23 loose balls and adding two assists in 15 games of action this season. P. Morgan, a two-time All-Star, led the Jax with 29 goals and finished with over 50 points for the third time in his career. R. Morgan scored seven goals and added nine assists in 2009 for the Jax.