Oct 11, 2016

Lomas and Rice.jpg(October 11, 2016)… The Rochester Knighthawks announced today that the team has signed Dan Lomas and Brine Rice. Both players were selected by Rochester in the 2016 National Lacrosse League Entry Draft. Lomas agreed to a two-year deal, while Rice signed a one-year contract.

“It’s obviously a dream come true,” said Lomas. “I am excited to have the opportunity. The work starts now.”

Lomas was taken 16th overall after Rochester acquired the pick from the Buffalo Bandits. The 23-year-old Burlington, Ontario native brings with him a penchant for scoring goals. At the collegiate level, Lomas left High Point University as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 159 goals. His list of accolades also includes two Southern Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors and three all-conference selections. In 2016, he made program history by becoming the first player in the school’s Division I era to earn All-American honors three times. He credited his four years at High Point for giving him the tools to succeed at his new profession.

“It was something that was ingrained in our program at High Point. It’s the life of a professional,” he said. “You are not a normal student who gets to relax. You have to take care of your body and put in the extra work in order to keep getting better because everyone is doing the same thing. It got me prepared.

“Now I am a person who has a pretty structured life. It’s working out, working on deficiencies and trying to get better throughout the day to keep my job. It’s cool to be able to say that it’s my job now to play the sport. That’s something I am pretty excited to pursue.”

Lomas, who was also a prolific scorer with the Junior “A” Burlington Chiefs, will now take the next step in his lacrosse career as he attempts to make the jump to the pro ranks with the Knighthawks. The team-first forward said he is willing to do whatever it takes to play in Rochester this season.

“I think it’s just doing everything they ask of me, all the little things,” he said. “They picked me for a reason. They like my game, so I need to just stay true to what my game is and not try to do too much. My goal is to get a roster spot out of training camp and do everything in my power to maintain a lineup spot. If that means getting loose balls and making simple plays out there, that is what I am going to do.”

Rice will join Lomas in training camp as two of six draft picks who are poised to show coaches and management that they belong in the NLL. The speedy forward joined the Knighthawks after being selected in the sixth round, 51st overall, in the 2016 NLL Entry Draft.

“I was feeling nervous when I was waiting to hear my name called,” said Rice. “When I found out Rochester drafted me, I thought about all the games I went to – all the preseason games and the games I saw last year – and being in The Blue Cross Arena. Now I have a chance to play there.”

Rice made it official by signing his first pro contract with his favorite team.

“Once I received it in my email, I printed it out right away. It was great to sign it,” he said. “I have always thought about this day and signing (a pro contract). It felt great.”

This past summer, Rice played at the Junior “A” and Junior “B” levels. He spent 13 games with the hometown Kahnawake Hunters, where he posted 24 goals and 24 assists. He also split time with the Junior “A” Peterborough Lakers and the New Westminster Salmonbellies. He credited his tenure out west with the Salmonbellies with helping him improve his game before the NLL Draft.

“It was great going there,” he said. “I played more offense than I did on transition. Whatever the coaches needed, I adapted to and played wherever I was needed. It helped me get ready for the draft. Now I am focused on getting my weight up and working on my speed and explosiveness. I am going to bring everything I have to training camp.”

Throughout his career, he has shown that he can contribute at both ends of the floor. Over two seasons at the Junior “A” level, Rice put up 34 points (14+20) in 19 games. The Kahnawake lacrosse product was also a key member of the Junior “B” 2012 Founders Cup champion Six Nations Rebels. At the collegiate level, the 20-year-old forward was a standout at one of the winningest junior college men’s lacrosse programs in the country.

While at Onondaga Community College, he won the 2015 NJCAA Championship and earned NJCAA Second Team All-American honors. That season, Rice ranked third on the team and 12th in the nation with 64 points, while his 33 goals were fifth among his teammates. He also garnered Mid-State Athletic Conference honors and was selected First-Team All-Region. Having that routine at OCC is something Rice believes has prepared him for the rigors of pro lacrosse.

“It was great just having the stick in your hand every day and passing around, and working out,” he said. “I feel like that is going to help me a lot.”

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