(Press Release via the NLL)
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The National Lacrosse League has announced three finalists for the 2014 NLL Rookie of the Year award. Edmonton Rush forward Robert Church, Minnesota Swarm forward Logan Schuss and Colorado Mammoth goaltender Dillon Ward were the top trio of rookie vote recipients for their play this season.
Church finished third among NLL rookies in points (52) and assists (31), tied for third in goals (21), second in power play goals (5), and seventh with 51 loose balls in 2014. Church ranked sixth on the team in scoring as the Rush started the season with a league-record 14-0 run before finishing atop the West Division and overall standings at 16-2 while scoring the second-most goals in the league (220). Church recorded at least one point in all of his 17 games played and posted three or more points in 11 of those contests. The Coquitlam, B.C. native, who played collegiately at Drexel University, was the fifth overall selection in the 2013 NLL Entry Draft.
Schuss led all rookies in goals (36), assists (37), points (73) and power play goals, and finished fourth in loose balls (77) this year. The 36 goals by Schuss were tied for the sixth-most in the NLL and his 73 points ranked second on the Swarm and 16th in the league overall. Schuss recorded at least one point in all 18 games played and four or more points in 10 contests. Schuss won the NLL Rookie of the Month award three-straight times from February to April. The Ladner, B.C. native played collegiate lacrosse at the Ohio State University and was the first overall pick in the 2013 NLL Entry Draft.
Ward ranked fourth in the NLL in saves (592), fifth in save percentage (.773), wins (7) and minutes played (901:13), and seventh in goals against average (11.58) en route to a 7-7 record in net and a playoff berth for the Mammoth. Ward recorded 40 or more saves in five games including a 51-stop effort, the third-most saves by an NLL goalie in a single game this year, as Colorado allowed the third-most shots per game on average (50.6). The Orangeville, Ontario native, who played collegiately at Bellarmine University, was the third overall pick in the 2013 NLL Entry Draft, the highest selection for a goalie in the league since 1999.
The 2014 NLL Season Awards are determined by a vote of the league's Board of Governors, General Managers and Head Coaches at the end of the regular season. The winners will be announced at the first-ever NLL Season Awards Ceremony on Sunday, Sept. 21 in Oakville, Ontario.
Remaining schedule of finalist announcement for the 2014 NLL Season Awards:
Thursday, June 19: Most Valuable Player award finalists
Monday, June 23: Executive of the Year award finalists
Tuesday, June 24: Media Person of the Year (The Tom Borrelli Award)