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NLL Hands out Awards

May 12, 2010 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) News Release


The National Lacrosse League has announced that Edmonton Rush transition player Brodie Merrill has won Transition Player of the Year, Toronto Rock defenseman Sandy Chapman has been named Defensive Player of the Year and Orlando Titans goaltender Matt Vinc has won the Goaltender of the Year Award for the 2010 season.

This is the second straight Transition Player of the Year Award for Merrill. A key cog in Edmonton's five-win improvement from the 2009 season, the assistant captain tied his career high in goals (17) and set a new career high in assists (36). In addition to his 190 loose balls, he was named Player of the Month for April, during which time he tallied nine goals, 11 assists and 60 loose balls during the Rush's push into the playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

"I'm very honored. All these awards, they're team awards, really. I had a really good time with that group of guys in Edmonton. With the kind of system we play and the teammates around me, it made it easy to step in and contribute in that area of the game," said Merrill. "It's a little bittersweet with the way things ended on the weekend, but we got beat by a very good team. I think we have a very good team with few regrets and have a lot of reasons to be optimistic for the future."

Chapman played an integral role in the Toronto Rock's revamped defense under first-year Rock head coach Troy Cordingley. After playing for the Rock from 2002-2005, Chapman returned to Toronto this season and enjoyed a standout season on the back end. He played in all 16 games, totaling career highs in loose balls (86) and penalty minutes (27). With the help of Chapman, the Rock averaged the second least goals against (9.75) during the regular season. He also chipped in with the second most goals of his career, netting four scores.

"I'm a little surprised, but it's a great honor. I don't think our defense demonstrates great one-on-one defensive ability, so it's surprising to get this award," said Chapman. "I was a bit surprised how quickly the new defensive system worked, but we have some great athletes back there. It usually takes a little time for people to get comfortable back there, but considering how fast and athletic everyone is on our back end, it definitely helped."

In his fifth year in the league and fourth season with the Titans franchise, Vinc enjoyed the best statistical season of his career. He set or tied career highs in goals against average (9.51), saves (609), save percentage (.810) and wins (10). Vinc finished first amongst all goaltender in saves, save percentage and wins, and third in goals against average. He was the only goaltender in the league with more than eight wins and accounted for 10 of Orlando's 11 victories.

The NLL Championship Game will take place Saturday, May 15 at 10:30 p.m. EST between the Washington Stealth and Toronto Rock. The game will be aired live on the NLL Network at NLL.com, as well as on Versus on Sunday, May 16 at 2 p.m. EST. The game will also air in Canada on TSN2.

The National Lacrosse League will conclude the announcements for the 2010 season awards Thursday, May 13 with the Rookie of the Year Award, All-Rookie Team, All-Pro Teams & MVP Award.

The league awards are determined by a vote of the league executives, general managers and head coaches.


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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.


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