Stealth release 2013 roster

  • By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
  • Thursday, December 20, 2012 12:54am
  • SportsSports

The National Lacrosse League’s Washington Stealth released defenders Eric Martin and Kyle Ross on Wednesday, completing the team’s final cuts in preparation for the 2013 season.

The Stealth also announced that forwards Brett Hickey and Mike Mallory and transition player Justin Salt have been signed to the three-man practice roster. Defenseman Bill Hostrawser and transition player Drew Snider were placed on the team’s injured reserve list. Hostrawser and Snider will be eligible to be placed on the active roster three weeks from Jan. 5, the date of the team’s first game of the season against defending NLL champion Rochester.

Of the 26 players on the active roster and practice squad, eight are rookies and two others have just one year of NLL experience.

Stealth head coach Chris Hall said the youth movement was intentional.

“I think we sort of collectively thought that it was time for some change and time to sort of re-energize and re-tool the roster a little bit and bring in some youth and high-energy guys,” Hall said. “I think we realized that we still have a solid really good core group of guys. We have some very top-tier players, but I think that the depth of the roster needed an infusion of energy and some athleticism. I think it was time to make that change.”

The addition of so many rookies meant that some of the players many Stealth fans are familiar with over the past three seasons in Everett became casualties when it came time to make cuts. The biggest of those names was forward Jeff Zywicki, who the Stealth released on Tuesday.

“I think it was difficult in the vein that he had been here for an awful long time and he was a great lacrosse player and he had been with us through the championship years and he was a top-line player,” Hall said. “Jeff has struggled with injuries and so the injuries and trying to get back to the fitness level that you need to be at to play in this league has been difficult for him the last few years.”

In 88 games with the Stealth Zywicki scored 394 points (191 goals, 203 assists).

Rookie Kyle Buchanan’s showing at Stealth training camp made releasing Zywicki an easier decision to make.

“I think with the emergence of Kyle Buchanan, who we think a lot of, it seemed to be the time to part with ‘Z’ as a player,” Hall said.

The movement to a younger team isn’t unprecedented. Many teams are going younger like last year’s Minnesota Swarm, who finished the regular season 9-7 and made it to the league’s West Division championship game.

“Once we start the season we will be able to validate what we think is right,” Hall said. “From what we’ve seen so far and what we think in our experience is that these kids can jump in and play right away. Minnesota proved that last year with everybody at the beginning of the season thought that (the Swarm) might not win a game with all the rookies that they had. But the quality of lacrosse players coming out of junior lacrosse and coming out of the NCAA today is extremely high and these kids can step in and play right away. They are enthusiastic. They are highly motivated. They are fit. They are aggressive and they want to play.”

Here is the Stealth’s active roster as well as practice squad member and players on injured reserve going into the 2013 season:

Active Roster

Matt Beers D

Kyle Buchanan F

Brett Bucktooth F

Rhys Duch F

Tyler Garrison D

Mike Grimes D

Tim Henderson D

Dean Hill F

Curtis Hodgson D

Athan Iannucci F

David Joyce D

Chris McElroy D

Mitch McMichael T

Jeff Moleski D

Chris O’Dougherty D

Patrick O’Meara D

Nick Patterson G

Justin Pychel D

Lewis Ratcliff F

Tyler Richards G

Cliff Smith F

Bob Snider T

Kyle Sorensen D

Practice Roster

Brett Hickey F

Mike Mallory F

Justin Salt T

Injured Reserve

Bill Hostrawser D

Drew Snider T

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