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KEOGH RAISING DIFFERENT CUP THESE DAYS
08/18/2013 - 11:35am

By Craig Rybczynski -- Growing up in Toronto, Stephen Keogh shared the dream of thousands of kids in Leafs Nation: Winning the Stanley Cup. As a young hockey player in the Greater Toronto Hockey League (GTHL), he pictured himself raising the Stanley Cup at the Air Canada Centre with the hometown Toronto Maple Leafs. 

Fast forward to 2013 and Keogh still loves his Leafs, and the Stanley Cup – although not in his possession – resides minutes from his house at the Hockey Hall of Fame. Despite not hitting the ice at the ACC, Keogh has flourished in another professional sport that does take him to the home of the Maple Leafs. The former Syracuse and Orangeville lacrosse standout plays in the National Lacrosse League with the back-to-back World Champion Rochester Knighthawks. 

It was at age 19 that he decided that lacrosse, not hockey, would be his sport of choice. His path from Brewster Academy (NH) led him to Syracuse University and two National Championships, which was followed by his selection in the first round of the 2011 NLL Entry Draft held in Toronto four months later. 

“I was a more talented lacrosse player and I loved the sport all the up,” he said. “I thought the opportunities for lacrosse were a lot better for me and I ended up at Syracuse, and then playing for Rochester and winning two titles. I am pretty happy with my decision.”

Last week, Keogh finally was the keeper of the Champion’s Cup for an entire week. It was a chance to show off the NLL trophy to everyone who could not travel to Langley, BC in May to witness Keogh win his second straight championship.

“It was cool to be able celebrate with my friends and family. In BC, only my mom could make it out. They were happy to have it at the house, especially in the Beaches,” said Keogh about the festivities at his parent’s home in the outskirts of downtown Toronto.

Keogh also shared his recent success with young lacrosse fans at the annual Ontario Lacrosse Festival in Whitby, Ontario from August 6-11. At the largest youth lacrosse event in North America, he joined Evan Kirk and teammates Johnny Powless, Cody Jamieson and Craig Point, as they showcased the NLL’s championship trophy at the Under Armour® tent. Youth teams from as far away as British Columbia, Alberta, Nova Scotia and Manitoba played in the tournament.

“It’s always awesome to get out in the lacrosse community and meet people. It was cool to show off the Cup to guys in Quebec and Nova Scotia. I don’t think they have ever seen the Champion’s Cup in person,” said Keogh. “It was great for them to able to look at the Cup and take pictures with it. It’s always good to just talk to the young kids and give them advice.”

Keogh burst in to the professional lacrosse world in 2012 and was an instant hit, scoring two goals and adding four assists in a win over Philadelphia. He finished the regular season third on the team with 58 points and third among rookie point producers en route to being awarded NLL All-Rookie Team honors. He also captured his first Champion’s Cup. 

On May 11th, he hoisted the Cup for the second time, as Rochester edged the Washington Stealth 11-10. Keogh played in two playoff games to help Rochester win consecutive titles for the first time in the team’s history. It has been an amazing introduction to pro lacrosse for the 26-year-old. 

“Both years going into preseason we knew the team was something special. We had a lot of great players and we came together at the end of both seasons and put a run together,’ said Keogh. “It’s not easy being back-to-back champions. I was lucky enough to do that at Syracuse my freshman and sophomore years and my first two years as a pro. It’s been awesome and I can’t wait to come back with the Knighthawks.”

 


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