By Brandon Astle
The first week of training camp is in the books for the Vancouver Stealth. Nearly 40 players were summoned to the LEC Fieldhouse for two practices and a scrimmage against the Saskatchewan Rush this past weekend. It was a spirited and competitive couple of days out on the floor, which pleased Head Coach Dan Perreault.
“I liked what I saw from everyone out there and it seemed the guys were excited to get going. The pace was good, the compete level was very high, and overall was happy with the effort.”
On the training camp roster there is a good mix of high profile veterans and young players looking to make a lasting impression on Stealth brass. After what Coach Perreault witnessed this past week, he expects it to be a battle right to the very end for roster spots.
“We want the players to make it tough on us in picking this team. It is going to be good competition the rest of the way and I told the guys that we want everybody to push one another out there on the floor. We like what we have seen so far and look forward to having the group back next week.”
Every player who practiced in the morning on Saturday, saw game action in the scrimmage against Saskatchewan. The Stealth dressed two separate teams per half, while the Rush had a different squad each quarter. In the end, the defending champions won by a score of 14-12, but the Stealth definitely made it interesting after being down 6-2 after 30 minutes.
“It was good measuring stick for us to match up against the defending champions right out of the gates. For the new guys coming in, it was a chance to see where they stack up against the league’s best, and for old guys like myself, we just want to help push and make sure we are ready to go,” said Captain Curtis Hodgson.
With only 20 roster spots up for grabs, there will be very qualified individuals who will find themselves on the outside looking in when the roster is announced on December 18. It is a good problem to have for the men in charge picking the squad, but for the players, it can be a little stressful.
“I think there is a nervous excitement from the guys. There are a lot of hungry players here at camp competing for jobs and want to get noticed by the coaches and management. The staff has made us all aware that spots are open and that everyone has to prove themselves,” Hodgson continued.
Week #2 of training camp begins on Saturday, December 5 at the LEC Fieldhouse with two practices scheduled. The first will take place at 9:00am, with the second to follow in the evening at 5:00pm. On Sunday, December 6, the Colorado Mammoth invade the Fieldhouse for a 10:00am scrimmage.