Wednesday, February 27, 2008

2/25/2008 - Brodie Merrill Named All-Star Starter

PORTLAND - Portland LumberJax defenseman Brodie Merrill has been named a starter in the 2008 National Lacrosse League All-Star Team, as announced by the league today. Merrill will be joined by forward Jeff Zywicki of the San Jose Stealth, forwards Dan Carey and Gavin Prout of the Colorado Mammoth, defenseman Eric Martin of San Jose and goalie Gee Nash of Colorado as starters for the West Division. The NLL's eighth All-Star Game will be held at Rexall Place in Edmonton on Sunday, March 16 at 1 p.m.

Now a three-time All-Star, Merrill was selected to last year's All-Star team, but was unable to play due to injury. In 2006, Merrill added an assist and collected 13 loose balls as the West edged the East, 14-13.

"I believe Brodie is the most complete lacrosse player in the NLL," said Head Coach/General Manager Derek Keenan. "Every game we assign him to check our opponent's top offensive players and he responds by completely disrupting their offense."

Arguably the league's top defenseman, Merrill leads the league with 97 loose balls collected. He's also amassed 18 points on nine goals and nine assists through the first eight games for the Jax (3-5). Last weekend, Merrill collected his 500th career loose ball and scored five points (two goals, three assists) as Portland rolled to its second straight win, defeating the Calgary Roughnecks 13-9.

"Fans across the league - and in particular here in Portland - understand that he's not only an All-Star, but a Most Valuable Player candidate," added Keenan.

Voting was determined by a combination of fan, league media, and GM/Head Coaches. Reserves will be selected by each All-Star coach and will be announced later this week. Each All-Star team will have 18 players, which includes 16 runners and two goalies. All of the league's 12 member clubs will be represented by at least one of their players in the All-Star Game.

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