The National Lacrosse League’s runaway scoring leader, Paul Suggate of the Maryland Arrows, has been chosen as the league’s Most Valuable Player. The Rookie-of-the-Year award goes to Jim Lynch of Montreal’s Les Quebecois.
Balloting was carried out by the general managers and coaches of each of the six NLL teams. They could not, of course, vote for players on their own teams. They each submitted three votes in order of preference for the MVP and three votes in order of preference for the Rookie-of-the-Year award for which only junior or college players were eligible.
Suggate, the Arrows’ first draft choice, has led the NLL in scoring for the better part of the 1974 season. In 40 games, the 5-foot-10, 195-pound defenceman scored 115 goals and assisted on 124 others for 239 points and a shooting average of 31.3 per cent. A product of the Ontario minor lacrosse system, Suggate was one of the “big guns” on the Lakeshore Maple Leafs, 1970 winners of the Minto Cup. In 1971, the 25- year-old native of Toronto played his first year of senior ball with the Brantford Warriors, winners of the Mann Cup; he finished third in the League in scoring. In 1972 he finished only six points behind the scoring leader, and, last year he scored more than 100 points.
Experts rate Suggate as the best-all-round player in the game today for his running, checking and scoring abilities, as well as his stamina. Jim Lynch, the NLL’s Rookie-of-the-year, comes from Victoria, B.C. The 22-year-old forward was chosen sixth by Montreal in the NLL’s player draft. He scored 71 goals and set up 66 others for 137 points in 39 games this season. Lynch is 5-feet-ll inches and weighs 175 pounds. In 1973, his first year of junior lacrosse, he was voted M.V.P. by the Victoria Shamrocks.
ALL-STAR TEAM NUMBER ONE
Centre — Gaylord Powless, Syracuse.
Right Forward — John Davis, Montreal.
Left Forward — Rick Dudley, Rochester.
Right defence — Paul Suggate, Maryland.
Left Defence — Larry Lloyd, Philadelphia.
Goal — Wayne Platt, Philadelphia.
ALL-STAR TEAM NUMBER TWO
Centre — John Grant, Philadelphia.
Left Forward — Dale McKenzie, Montreal.
Right Forward — Dave Wilfong, Rochester.
Left Defence — Pat Differ, Syracuse.
Right Defence — Jim Higgs, Syracuse.
Goal — Merv Marshall, Rochester.
Powless, Syracuse’s second draft choice, began his lacrosse career in 1963 with the Brantford Warriors. He later joined the Oshawa Green Gaels and, with the coaching of Jim Bishop, helped the Green Gaels to four Minto Junior A championships. The 27-year-old forward still holds the all-time Junior scoring record with 191 points (71 goals and 120 assists). In 1969, Powless played pro with the Rochester Chiefs and. helped them win the North American championship. Subsequently, he rejoined the Brantford Warriors and led them to the Mann Cup in 1971. In 1974 he moved to Western Canada and was mainly responsible for the rejuvenation of the Coquitlam Adanacs – in the tough Western Lacrosse League. Powless ranked sixth in the NLL’s individual scoring race with 159 points on 72 goals and 87 assists in 37 games. He stands six feet and weighs 180 pounds.
Montreal’s first draft choice, Davis, finished second in the NLL’s scoring race with 183 points comprised of 78 goals and 105 assists in 40 games this season. A native of Peterboro, Davis joined the Oshawa Green Gaels in 1963 and helped them win three of their seven consecutive Minto Junior A championships. Davis was voted Most Valuable Player and received three top Junior A scoring trophies. In 1966, Davis joined the Peterboro Senior A team and won the Senior A Rookie-of-the-Year award; his team won the Mann Cup. The following year, Davis and his Mann Cup team were chosen to represent Canada in an International Field Lacrosse Tournament with the United States (gold medal), Australia (silver medal) and England competing. Canada won the bronze medal. Up until this year, when he joined Les Quebecois, the 160- pound, five-foot, nine-inch Davis had been, for eight consecutive years, the Peterboro Lakers’ Top Scorer and Most Valuable Player. As a member of the Lakers’ 1973 Mann Cup championship team, Davis is a two-time recipient of the Mike Kelly Award (Most Valuable Player in the Mann Cup series). Davis, who is 30, received the Most Valuable Player and Top Scorer awards for the Senior A League in 1973.
The league leader in penalty minutes with 181, Dudley was Rochester’s bonus pick in the NLL player draft. A former Canadian junior lacrosse player, Dudley, who plays professional hockey with the NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, picked up 139 points for this season on 81 goals and 58 assists in only 28 games. He stands ninth in the NLL’s overall scoring race: Dudley is 25.
Standing six feet, four inches and weighing 195 pounds, Lloyd was Philadelphia’s draft choice second only to captain Carm Collins. The 26-year-old native of Oshawa sat out last year’s lacrosse season after being regarded as one of the most promising players in the Ontario Lacrosse Association. A former member of the Windsor Warlocks and one of the Green Gaels Minto Cup championship teams, Lloyd stood third this season in the NLL scoring race with 173 points on 82 goals and 91 assists in 39 games.
Platt, Philadelphia’s first draft choice goalie, assisted on 49 goals in 35 games this season. The 27-year-old native of Peterboro, Ontario, played Senior A for the Peterboro Lakers from 1971 to 1973. Prior to that, he played six years of Junior A in the Peterboro area. A member of the 1973 Peterboro Mann Cup champions, he is a four-time recipient of the Harry Lumley Senior A goaltender’s award. Platt, who stands five feet, 10 inches and weighs 190 pounds, was also a three-time winner of the Most Valuable Player award in Junior A lacrosse.
The tallest player in the National Lacrosse League at six feet, Six and a half inches, Grant ranked fourth in the NLL scoring race. The 23-year-old native of Peterboro was a key member of the Peterboro Lakers’ Mann Cup championship team in 1974. Philly’s third draft choice, he scored 78 goals and assisted on 89 others for 167 points in 39 games. Grant weighs 200 pounds.
MacKenzie was Montreal’s second draft choice behind John Davis. A 23-year-old native of Rexdale, he has been a steady player for Les Quebecois this season. Twelfth in NLL scoring 64 goals and 73 assists for 173 points in 40 games. He is five feet, 11 inches and weighs 175 pounds. MacKenzie was voted Rookie-of-the-Year by the Toronto Shooting Stars in 1973.
Rochester’s third draft choice, Wilfong scored 116 points on 78 goals and 38 assists in 32 games this season, standing 18th in the NLL’s scoring race. The 25-year-old native of Peterboro began playing minor lacrosse at the age of 12 in Brampton. In 1963 Wilfong started playing for the Brampton/Bramalea Junior A Excelsiors. He was voted Most Valuable Player and People’s Choice in 1969. That same year Wilfong was chosen to augment the Peterboro Senior A play-off team and helped them win the Mann Cup, emblematic of senior amateur lacrosse supremacy in Canada. For the last two years, Wilfong coached the Bramalea Junior A’s, leading them to the 1973 Eastern Canadian finals. While coaching, Wilfong continued to play for Brampton, the 1972 winners of the Senior B President’s Cup.
Syracuse’s fourth draft choice, Differ is a 23-year-old defenceman from Mississauga. He collected 167 points — 64 goals and 103 assists — in 40 games this season clinching fifth spot in the NLL scoring race. Differ won Rookie-of-the-Year award at the age of seven when he began his lacrosse career as a novice in Long Branch. A graduate of the Mississauga minor lacrosse system, he has won numerous scoring and MVP awards. Last year, he joined the Vancouver Burrards and won the top scoring title in the playoffs. Differ stands 5 feet, nine inches and weighs 170 pounds.
Higgs played in only 28 games for Syracuse and still picked up 117 points on 38 goals and 79 assists, putting him in 17th position in the NLL scoring race. Rated as one of the leading lacrosse players in Canada, Higgs joined the ‘Windsor Warlocks in 1972 after playing for the Brooklin Redmen in the OLA Senior A in 1971. He played Senior A in Huntsville in 1970. A native of Huntsville, he also played for the Oshawa Green Gaels for six consecutive Canadian Junior A championships. The 25-year-old Higgs is a graduate of Cornell University where he played defense on a hockey scholarship. He was Syracuse’s first draft choice. Higgs stands five feet, eight inches and weighs 180 pounds.
Marshall was Rochester’s second goalie draft choice and is considered one of the top goaltenders in Canadian lacrosse. A 27-year-old native of Huntsville, he joined the Senior B Windsor Warlocks late in 1970 after having played Senior A with the Brooklin Redmen. He won six consecutive Canadian Junior A championships with the Oshawa Green Gaels and has played on both Canadian Senior A and Senior B championship teams. He also saw considerable action as a pro with the Detroit Olympics in 1968. Marshall is the League’s highest scoring goalie with 65 assists this season. He stands five feet, 11 inches and weighs 170 pounds.