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05/02/2013 - 12:37pm

Knighthawks netminder set league record for saves, becomes first goalie to win award three times

(May 2, 2013)… The National Lacrosse League has announced that Matt Vinc from the Rochester Knighthawks has won the Goaltender of the Year Award for the 2013 NLL season.

Vinc, who set the new NLL single-season record with 662 saves and now owns three of the top five totals, also led the league in goals against average (10.17) and save percentage (.803), along with 955:28 minutes played out of the team's total of 960:00 (99.5%). Backstopping Rochester's defense that allowed the fewest goals in the NLL, Vinc won three Defensive Player of the Week Awards this year.

"He's been the guy we depend on to make the big save and bail us out when we make mistakes," said Knighthawks head coach Mike Hasen. "He has done that consistently throughout the season. He works hard both on and off the floor. The award is well deserved."

Vinc, who helped lead Rochester to a win in the 2012 NLL Championship Game, becomes the first NLL goalie to win the Goaltender of the Year Award three times after earning the honor in 2010 and 2011. He is also the only Knighthawks netminder in franchise history to win the award twice.

“Definitely a huge honor and something I am proud of, but with the timing of the award, I am focused on this weekend,” said Vinc. “It is a huge accomplishment for the team and our defense. Hopefully, we continue our strong defensive play on Saturday.”

The defending champion Knighthawks will host the Minnesota Swarm for their East Division Final playoff game on Saturday at 4:00 p.m. with the winner advancing to the 2013 NLL Championship Game the following weekend.

In 2013, Vinc became the first Rochester goalie to make over 600 saves and record a save percentage over .800, breaking franchise records in both categories held by Knighthawks Hall of Fame goalie Pat O’Toole. In addition, Vinc passed Steve Dietrich for second all-time in saves as a Knighthawk. He now has 1,830 since coming to Rochester prior to the 2011 season.

Vinc could join Dietrich as the only goaltender to be crowned the NLL’s Goaltender of the Year and MVP. In 2006, Dietrich led the league in goals-against average and save percentage while backstopping the Buffalo Bandits to an appearance in the Champion’s Cup, and was rewarded with both league honors.

An eight-year NLL veteran and St. Catharines, Ontario native, Vinc played collegiately at Canisius College and was drafted in the first round (6th overall) of the 2005 NLL Entry Draft.

Brandon Miller from the Philadelphia Wings was the runner-up for the award, while the Toronto Rock's Nick Rose finished third in the voting. The 2013 NLL Season Awards are determined by a vote of the league's Board of Governors, General Managers and Head Coaches. The announcement of Season Awards continues on Monday, May 6 with the All-Rookie Team.

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