The National Lacrosse League has announced the starting lineups for the 2012 NLL All-Star Game, at First Niagara Center in Buffalo on Saturday, February 25. The East & West All-Star Team starting lineups were selected by a vote of NLL fans, the league’s General Managers & Head Coaches, as well as members of the media.
Starting Lineup, West All-Stars:
Forward – John Grant Jr. (Colorado Mammoth)
Forward – Adam Jones (Colorado Mammoth)
Transition – Andrew Suitor (Minnesota Swarm)
Defenseman – Rory Smith (Colorado Mammoth)
Defenseman – Kyle Rubisch (Edmonton Rush)
Goaltender – Chris Levis (Colorado Mammoth)
The Colorado Mammoth dominated the West vote, landing four of the six spots in the starting lineup. January Player of the Month John Grant Jr. and Rookie of the Month Adam Jones were selected as the starting forwards. This will be the 8th career All-Star selection for Grant, and the second for goaltender Chris Levis. Rounding out the Mammoth quartet is defenseman Rory Smith, earning his first All-Star selection.
Edmonton Rush defenseman Kyle Rubisch has now made the All-Star team in both of his first two seasons in the league. Minnesota Swarm transition player and Swarm team captain Andrew Suitor makes his first All-Star team.
Starting Lineups, East All-Stars:
Forward – John Tavares (Buffalo Bandits)
Forward – Cody Jamieson (Rochester Knighthawks)
Transition – Brodie Merrill (Philadelphia Wings)
Defenseman – Billy Dee Smith (Buffalo Bandits)
Defenseman – Pat McCready (Rochester Knighthawks)
Goaltender – Mike Thompson (Buffalo Bandits)
The Buffalo Bandits landed three players in the starting lineup. Bandits forward John Tavares has been selected to his 10th career All-Star Game, becoming the first player in league history to reach double digits in this category. Fellow Bandits Billy Dee Smith and Mike Thompson are both first time selections.
A pair of Rochester Knighthawks were selected in Pat McCready & Cody Jamieson. McCready, the league’s 2011 Defensive Player of the Year winner, is selected to his third All-Star Game. Jamieson has now been selected in both of his first two NLL seasons. Rounding out the group is Philadelphia Wings transition player Brodie Merrill, who is selected for the sixth time in his career and will play for the East for the first time.
Earlier the league announced that Toronto Rock head coach Troy Cordingley will serve as head coach of the East team, assisted by Buffalo Bandits head coach Darris Kilgour. Washington Stealth head coach Chris Hall will serve as head coach of the West team, assisted by Edmonton Rush head coach Derek Keenan.
The are still 24 more players who will be named to the All-Star teams. The 12 remaining players on each team will be announced later this week.
The 2012 NLL All-Star Game takes place on Saturday, February 25 at First Niagara Center in Buffalo, home of the Buffalo Bandits. Gametime is 7pm Eastern. Tickets can be ordered by clicking here. Fans can watch the game on ESPN3 in the US and The NLL Network at NLL.com in Canada and worldwide.