After months of preparation and anticipation, the San Jose Stealth began the 2006 regular season in grand fashion, earning a 10-9 overtime win in Edmonton. Headlined by a new head coach and a team full of returning veterans and exciting rookies the Stealth will open their home schedule on Jan. 14 at 7:30pm when they host the Colorado Mammoth.
The Stealth held several training camps beginning in early November, and recently wrapped up their only camp on their home turf at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. As the team entered the familiar setting of their home venue, they were greeted by Season Ticket holders who had been invited to get a sneak preview of the 2006 edition of their favorite team. Ticket Holders will also received the opportunity to meet and greet with their favorite players and will take home a commemorative Stealth mug.
“It is real nice to see a number of people show up and be excited about the team”, said Stealth General Manager Johnny Mouradian of the crowd, “I know the guys get a little bit more energized when there are fans there rooting them on.”
The Stealth return several stalwarts from the 2005 roster, including last year’s NLL Rookie of the Year Ryan Boyle (22 goals, 42 assists) and the Stealth’s leading scorer Gary Rosyski (28 goals, 40 assists).
Bolstering the offense is rookie Jeff Zywicki who led the Stealth to their opening night win. The rookie from the University of Massachusetts tallied a hat trick in his professional debut, including the game-winner in overtime. Fellow first-round draft pick Matt Vinc (Canisius College, a three-time MAAC All-Academic selection), a highly touted goalie, will add even more talent to the already deep position.
“I am excited to get this season underway,” claimed Shaydon Santos, who is returning to the field after serving on bench last season as defensive coordinator.
“Getting back on the turf feels good, it is as if I had never left,” Santos added. “I cannot wait to help this team get back to the playoffs.”
In addition to the players on the team, the presence of a new head coach has the Stealth on the radar of the other teams around the league. Walt Christianson comes to the Stealth after being the offensive coordinator for the Colorado Mammoth the last two seasons. With a wealth of experience and several championships to his credit both as a head coach and an assistant, he is a longtime veteran of Lacrosse and this past summer lead Victoria to the prestigious Mann Cup this summer. He is eager to get the Stealth on track.
The home opener will take place on January 14, 2006 at the HP Pavilion in San Jose. The first 5,000 fans will receive a Stealth Beanie Cap brought to you by Channel 104.9. Tickets can be purchased at Ticketmaster locations or by calling 408-999-5700.