Oct 27, 2017

_WL24226.JPG(October 27, 2017)… The Rochester Knighthawks announced today that they have signed Cody Ward to a one-year deal. Ward heads to training camp after helping the Six Nations Arrows win the 2017 Minto Cup. 

“It is definitely a dream come true; I have been playing lacrosse since I was 3,” he said. “It’s really exciting to be offered a contract with a team like Rochester.”

Ward is coming off a season in which he posted career highs in goals (18), assists (35) and points (53). The 21-year-old also reached career bests during the Ontario Playoffs, scoring eight goals and adding 11 assists for 19 points. In the Minto Cup, the defenseman, who can also play transition, finished tied for fifth on the team with eight points in six games. 

“It was really exciting to win the Minto this year,” said Ward, who had never advanced past the first round of the playoffs in his junior career. “It was a lot of work throughout the season, especially in the playoffs.”

MintoCup2017.jpgBefore being dealt to the Arrows for the 2017 season, he was a member of the St. Catharines Athletics from 2013-16. Over his five seasons in the Junior “A” circuit, Ward scored 66 goals and added 115 points for 181 points in 93 games. It was during the 2014 season that he played for Mike Accursi, who was an assistant coach with the Athletics. 

“He is an athlete who can play both ends of the floor,” said Accursi, who works with the Knighthawks in a similar capacity. “He is in great shape and can get up the floor quickly and can bury the ball when he gets the opportunity. Cody is a tremendous athlete who has had success (throughout his career).”

Ward played his university lacrosse for the Western Mustangs, where he spent three seasons. From 2015 to 2016, he helped the Mustangs reach back-to-back Baggataway Cup Finals. In 2016, he was named to the All-Tournament Team as Western captured the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association championship.

The 5-foot-11, 180-pound defenseman/transition player also spent two seasons in the Canadian Lacrosse League (CLax), putting up 11 goals and nine assists in 13 games. In 2015, he played for the Niagara Lock Monsters. The following season, he finished tied for sixth on the Southwest Cyclops with 12 points in eight games. 

Next week, Ward will compete in his first National Lacrosse League training camp as the Knighthawks start preparing for the 2017-18 season. 

“I just need to go into camp thinking I am fighting for a spot,” he said. “I need to show my best and try my hardest. It will definitely be cool playing with those big-name guys I looked up to growing up, but I need to stay focused and just play my game. That’s how I will be most successful.”

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