The Wings 2022 season came to an end in a one-goal game in the quarterfinals, their first appearance in the playoffs in the last ten years. Fortunately for Wings fans, their favorite players are still active during the NLL offseason in preparation for the 2022-2023 season! Halfway through the summer, I wanted to take a look at how some of the guys are doing in their respective leagues.
A number of Wings players play in the Premier Lacrosse League (PLL). The PLL, which held its inaugural season in 2019, recently absorbed the Major Lacrosse League and is the primary outdoor league in North America. Matt Rambo, Trevor Baptiste, Blaze Riorden, John Ranagan, Kyle Jackson, Isaiah Davis Allen, Bryan Costabile, Matt Moore, and Koby Smith all play in the 8 team league. Trevor Baptiste leads the PLL with a 72% faceoff percentage and 53 ground balls. On June 25th vs the Archers, Baptiste went 19-for-22 at the faceoff X, with 15 groundballs, and 1 goal. Through 5 games Baptiste has been dominant going 84/117 on faceoffs and collecting 4 goals and 3 assists. As a captain of the Atlas Lacrosse Club, he has his team tied for 1st place going into the All-Star Break. Matt Rambo, attackman for the Whipsnakes, has his team team tied for first with the Atlas and Chrome at a 4-1 record. Rambo has 14 points (9 goals and 4 assists) so far this season. Blaze Riorden, who plays forward for the Wings, spends his summers between the pipes for the Chaos Lacrosse Club. As a captain for the Chaos, he has a 54% save percentage through 4 games, recording 71 saves (the most in the PLL), 9 groundballs, and 1 assist. Kyle Jackson teams up with Riorden for the Chaos. Through 5 games he has 6 goals and 2 assists. Isaiah Davis-Allen plays defensive midfield for the Redwoods Lacrosse Club and has collected 4 groundballs through 4 games. His Redwoods team is currently 1-4. John Ranagan serves as team captain for the 4-1 Chrome Lacrosse Club. He has played in one game so far this season. Rookie Matt Moore has been a star in his first season with the Archers Lacrosse Club collecting 9 goals and 5 assists for 14 points. Although Moore hasn’t played in the NLL yet, he could be a welcome addition to the Wings offense next season.
In the Major Series Lacrosse league (MSL), the indoor lacrosse league based in Eastern Canada, the Wings have 9 players represented this summer. Six out of the nine are playing for the Peterborough Lakers including Eric Shewell, Corey Small, Cory Vitarelli, Ian Llord, Alex Pace, and Kiel Matisz. Matisz, the Wings captain, has been a force for the Lakers recording 5 goals and 13 assists for a total of 18 points through 6 games. Sam LeClair has had a great start to the season so far for the Six Nation Chiefs collecting 9 goals and 6 assists in his first 8 games. LeClair has led his team to sit at first in league with a record of 6-1-1. Finally, Ben French plays for the Coburg Kodiaks and is one of Coburg’s top 3 scorers. French has scored 6 goals and has 8 assists through the first 8 games of the season. French is another offensive star who may be an important part of the Wings future.
In the Western Lacrosse Association, the counterpart indoor lacrosse league in Western Canada, Wings goalie Zach Higgins puts on the pads for the New Westminster Salmonbellies. Higgins has made 530 saves in the first 12 games. With an 81.2% save percentage, he sits at third in the league in save percentage. The Salmonbellies are in fifth place with a record of 4-8.
I know we all cannot wait for our guys to get back to Wells Fargo Center in a couple of months, but until then you can still watch your favorite players scoring goals, making big hits, and chirping each other all summer long.