Comeau back to face Rock

RYAN WOLSTAT -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:33 AM ET

Even though the Rock unceremoniously dumped Ed Comeau two seasons ago, the classy Rochester Knighthawks head coach says he does not feel vindicated now that he leads the NLL's top squad and will coach the East Division all-star team in Toronto later this month.

"A lot of people think that way, I don't," Comeau said. "That's the past. I'm in Rochester and I worry about Rochester and Rochester only."

Comeau, an assistant coach for four Rock titles under late Toronto coach Les Bartley, was fired after leading the club to a 2-4 record as interim boss in 2004. Comeau assisted long-time Rochester head coach Paul Day for a season and a half, before Day left to take over the expansion Edmonton franchise this year.

Comeau's Knighthawks roll into town tonight with a 4-1 record that includes a 14-9 pasting of the Rock last month.

TOUGH TO BEAT

The team boasts the NLL's top power play, the leading goal scorer in John Grant, arguably the loop's best goaltender in Pat O'Toole and a defence that allows the fewest goals per game.

"They've got the recipe for a great deal of success, as we feel we do," said Terry Sanderson, the man who replaced Comeau in Toronto.

Sanderson added that Comeau's stewardship has been a big reason why Rochester has played so well in 2006.

"I've always had a lot of respect for (him) and how he deals with his lacrosse teams," he said.

The last time the two squads met, Rochester rookie Shawn Evans, the NLL's penalty minutes leader, got under the skin of a number of Rock players.

Comeau, who spent 15 years as lacrosse coach at McMaster University, knows getting young players like Evans to control their emotions can be difficult.

"We want Shawn on the floor and not in the penalty box and we have told him that. He's a very effective lacrosse player when he's out there."

For his part, Sanderson believes Evans' impact on the previous game has been overblown.

"He's an agitator and if you let him get to you then he's effective," Sanderson said. "But we've got agitators too, we just didn't happen to have our agitators going that night I guess."


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