Oshawa Outlaws Preview

by Stephen Stamp

The Oshawa Outlaws appear to have a solid roster top to bottom, but the real strength may just be in goal. Zach Higgins won't be in the net for the team's first ever Arena Lacrosse League game—on Saturday January 7 at 7 pm against the Six Nations Snipers as the third and final contest in the league's Showcase Event to launch its first season—because he played the night before for the Calgary Roughnecks in their National Lacrosse League season opener.

When Calgary's Frankie Scigliano returns from suspension, though, Higgins will be expected to be the Outlaws' starting goalie. He's shown flashes of excellence in the NLL, Major Series Lacrosse and CLax. But the starting assignment may not be a sure thing if Lukas Coote has anything to say about it. Not only did Coote take over the starting job for the Durham Turfdogs and lead them to the Creators Cup title, he was a finalist for the CLax goalie of the year. Coote also once earned transition player of the week honours when he set up five goals with breakout passes.

Up front, Dylan Goddard leads a young but talented group. TJ Sanders has shown some promise with MSL's Brooklin Redmen and John St. John can play whatever style you need from him: he's a feisty grinder who put up 31 points for Cobourg in a solid MSL rookie season after being the first overall pick in last year's draft. While that trio is on the small side, the Outlaws boast some size, too. Cam Garlin just turned 18 in December but is 6'4” and 225 pounds with a nice overhand shot. Across the floor from that trio, Mike Triolo is a 6'8” righty who can play all over the floor and Nick Chaykowsky is a beast of an athlete who is going to be an absolute handful for whoever has to check him this summer in his final year of junior eligibility.

Tyler Roche is a big hitter with floor awareness and hands good enough that he was able to play forward successfully for Ireland at the 2015 world indoor championships. He'll anchor a back end that shouldn't suffer any shortage of get up and go. Zach Tomkinson will be one of the most dynamic transition players in the ALL while Gage Board and Josh Gilray add some speed out of the defensive zone. They have a pair of veteran leaders on board with faceoff man Graham Bergsma and Ryan McMichael, back in Ontario after a number of years in BC and raring to get back on the floor after not playing for a while.