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UMass alum and All-American lacrosse player Jeff Zywicki will be playing for his second straight National Lacrosse League title this afternoon. Watch Zywicki (No. 67) and his Washington Stealth as they play at the Toronto Rock in the NLL Title game, televised on VERSUS at 2 p.m.

Here are some stories on the game that include Zywicki.

Zywicki AIming For Back-To-Back NLL Titles

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UMass 2005 grad Jeff Zywicki is looking forward to this weekend when his Washington Stealth of the National Lacrosse League seek their straight league championship. Here are various stories including the former UMass All-American. Zywicki and the Stealth take on the Toronto Rock on Sunday, May 15 at 2 p.m., on VERSUS.

• The Chronicle Herald: Goaltending key in final
After missing most of the season with an injury, UMass alum Jeff Zywicki has returned to star for the Washington Stealth in the National Lacrosse League playoffs. The 2005 grad of UMass scored three goals and added three assists to lead the Stealth past Calgary, 10-8 in the NLL Semifinals. They will rematch with the Toronto Rock in the 2011 Championship game next weekend. Here are several stories on Big Z, who played just three regular-season games before returning for the postseason.

• Calgary Sun: Ian Busby Calgary Sun

The Toronto Rock (12-6) will face the Washington Stealth (10-8) in the 2011 NLL Championship Game on Sunday, May 15th at 2PM Eastern. The Rock will host the Championship Game at Air Canada Centre. The game airs live on VERSUS and The NLL Network.

Last season, Washington defeated Toronto 15-11 as the Stealth won their first championship in franchise history. 

Reid Heads To NLL Playoffs With Boston Blazers

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The matchups are now set for the Divisional Semifinals of the National Lacrosse League 2011 Playoffs, which open on the weekend on April 29th. In the Eastern Division, it's the top-seeded Buffalo Bandits vs. the Boston Blazers, while the Toronto Rock face the Rochester Knighthawks.

Former UMass All-American Jack Reid helps lead the Blazers into the postseason after a 16-9 win over Buffalo in the regular-season finale. Reid scored a goal -- his second of the season and second of his pro indoor career. Reid heads into the postseason and 31 loose balls.


Updating UMass Alums In NLL Lacrosse

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Several former UMass lacrosse players are in action in the National Lacrosse League. There are three weeks of action left in the NLL season. Here's a look at former Minutemen.

• With the Boston Blazers two 2006 All-American have seen action. Jack Reid has played in 13 games on defense and has a goal and 28 loose balls. Sean Morris has played in five games and has three goals and four assists for seven points. 

• 2005 All-American Jeff Zywicki has played in three games with the Washington Stealth, missing most of the season with a lower body injury. He has four goals and four assists for eight points. Craig Conn, who only played one year at UMass, replaced Zywicki when he was hurt early in the season. He has 11 goals and 15 assists for 26 points. 

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Washington Stealth forward Jeff Zywicki (left) tries to get past Calgary Roughnecks defenseman Dayne Michaud (Credit: Richard Olson).

Reid, Zywicki Updates From The NLL

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Here's a look at UMass alums in the National Lacrosse League.

Jack Reid has played in seven games with the Boston Blazers and has 17 loose balls.

Jeff Zywicki continues to be on the injured list with the Washington Stealth. He played in the season opener and had three goals and two assists before suffering a lower body injury.

The Herald in Everett reports: the 2005 UMass alum is "ahead of schedule" and could potentially come off the injured reserve on Feb. 23 with the team looking at a March 5 return date as more possible.

Zywicki Goes On IR With Wash. Stealth; Conn Signed

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The Washington Stealth announced today that three-time NLL All-Star forward Jeff Zywicki will be placed on the injured reserve list after suffering a lower body injury in the Stealth's season opener in Colorado on January 8. The Stealth also announced that seven-year National Lacrosse League veteran Craig Conn, a former UMass lacrosse player, will replace Zywicki, a UMass All-American, on the active roster, Conn signing a contract for the 2011 season that is pending league approval. 

Zywicki was a major contributor is the Stealth's 11-10 overtime win over the Mammoth last weekend, recording three goals and two assists. Last season, Zywicki missed three games due to injury, but still managed to tally 71 points on 30 goals and 41 assists during the regular season. He was instrumental in the Stealth's postseason success with nine goals and four assists in three games.

"Obviously losing a player of Jeff's caliber is a serious blow to our team," said Stealth Head Coach Chris Hall. "He's a huge part of our offense as he demonstrated in Colorado, and he's a respected leader in our locker room. Our hope is that his recovery goes smoothly and we'll have him back in six weeks for the remainder of the season." 

Conn joins the Stealth for his eighth NLL season. The 5'11", 205-pound forward has played for five teams prior to joining the Stealth, most recently playing for the Calgary Roughnecks a year ago. With the Roughnecks, Conn appeared in all 16 regular season games, scoring 19 goals and adding 23 assists. In his career, Conn has appeared in 84 games and accumulated 298 points (137g, 161a) including back-to-back years with the Arizona Sting with 60-plus points. In 2006, he tallied a career-high 44 goals and added 23 assists with 91 loose balls. A year later, he set career-highs with 55 assists, 76 points and 106 loose balls. Conn was originally drafted in the first round (4th overall) by the Vancouver Ravens in the 2033 NLL Entry Draft. 

"You can't replace a Jeff Zywicki, but we needed to go out and get a goal scorer and we did just that with Craig Conn," added Hall. "It was a quick and easy decision to get him signed and we are very fortunate to be able to get a proven goal scorer to step in and fill the void left with Zywicki out of the lineup."

Zywicki Scores 3 Goals In NLL Opener

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UMass alum Jeff Zywicki scored three goals and assisted two more as the Washington Stealth downed the Colorado Mammouth 11-10 in OT on the National Lacrosse League's opening day, Saturday.

Here are a few stories on the game with mentions of Zywicki:

• Seattle Times: Washington Stealth opens lacrosse season with victory

• Denver Post (with quotes from Zywicki): Mammoth lose home opener as power play lifts Stealth

• Everett Herald: Stealth win on Duch's OT goal

• Bleacher Report: Stealth Begin Championship Defense With 'Mammoth' Win: NLL Week 1 Recap

Zywicki was hurt in the opener and didn't play in Sunday's loss to Calgary. Zywicki took a hard knock during that game and was scratched from Sunday's contest. "We're not quite sure what's happing there yet," Coach Chris Hall said of Zywicki's injury. "... He's so key to our power play at times and our power play was pretty average tonight at best." 

With the Boston Blazers, Jack Reid had a groundball and won a face-off in a 10-6 road win at the Philadelphia Wings on Saturday.

Three Former Minutemen On NLL Lacrosse Rosters

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The National Lacrosse League season gets underway on Saturday as the premier professional indoor lacrosse league in North America. Three former Minutemen are on rosters for the start of the 2011 season. The Boston Blazers feature a pair of stars from the 2006 UMass National Finalist team in attackman Sean Morris and defenseman Jack Reid. Both players have played with the Blazers for the last few years in addition to the outdoor Boston Cannons.

2005 grad and All-American Jeff Zywicki is back with the Washington Stealth after winning the NLL title last season. He finished the 2010 regular season with 30 goals and 41 assists for 71 points and grabbed 41 loose balls. He scored nine goals and added four assists and eight loose balls in the playoffs.

Boston plays at the Philadelphia Wings on Saturday while Washington hosts Calgary on Sunday.

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