Veteran Bob Watson, the Toronto Rock goalkeeper for all 10 years of their existence, yesterday won the National Lacrosse League’s goaltender-of-the-year award for the third time.
The 37-year-old, certainly one of the most consistent aspects of a 7-9 team that missed the playoffs for the first time, captured the honour in both 2000 and 2001.
A Guelph native, Watson posted a 78.6 per cent save percentage and a 10.34 goals-against average, respectively ranked fifth and third in the league, while logging 825 minutes in net.
The 10.34 average was his best since his 10.06 in 2003 but his best ever was an 8.89 in 2001 — one of the Rock’s five championship seasons.
Watson, who broke in with the NLL with the 1996 Baltimore franchise, was also a member of the one-season (1998) Ontario Raiders, forerunners to the Rock.
Minnesota Swarm president Tom Garrity was named the NLL’s executive of the year, while the Rock’s Terri Workman was named the league’s top public relations executive.
Meantime, the league’s sudden-death semifinals are set for Saturday with the Buffalo Bandits home to the New York Titans in the East final, while the Calgary Roughnecks will settle the West by hosting the Portland LumberJax.