Lefty's a charm

TY PILSON -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 7:08 AM ET

The Calgary Roughnecks don't need a four-leaf clover or a rabbit's foot -- they have Brad MacDonald.

The National Lacrosse League champs are a perfect 9-0 with the 5-ft. 11-in., 185-lb. Orangeville, Ont., product in the lineup.

The rookie played in six 2004 regular-season games and earned a spot in the starting lineup before playing all three playoff contests, including Calgary's 14-11 victory over the Buffalo Bandits in the NLL championship game at the Saddledome.

The 21-year-old MacDonald comes into the team's selection camp trying to avoid a sophomore jinx.

The Roughnecks open the 2005 season in Denver against the Colorado Mammoth Jan. 1.

"It's tough to come into this league and do your thing and start right away," said MacDonald, who took part in camp along with the rest of the Riggers this weekend in Vancouver. "I look at this season the same way as last year. I'm not coming into camp thinking I'm some big guy now and I have a spot. I know I have to work for it."

He's partially right. He has to keep showing he's good enough but a starting spot is already his, according to Roughnecks head coach Chris Hall.

"He earned it and there's no reason we wouldn't start him," said Hall.

"He earned his way and played through the year and was a strong performer on a championship team.

"So I think Brad MacDonald has earned himself a starting spot and it's up to someone else to take it away from him, not for Brad to struggle to make the team again."

MacDonald, who captained the Orangeville Northmen this summer in his last year of junior A ball, fits perfectly into Hall's run-and-gun style of play.

The lefty is solid defensively, said Hall, and he can move the ball up the floor quick on turnovers and can score if needed.

"I'm looking to be the same type of player but maybe do a bit more on offence," said MacDonald.

"Get up into the play if the chance is there and maybe score a couple of goals here or there. If I can do that, great. If not, no big deal. They're not looking at me to score 10 goals or anything. I need to play good defence and go from there."


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