Saturday night was one for milestones in Rochester, and none was bigger than what happened for Shawn Evans.
With 1:58 remaining in the first quarter of play, Evans assisted on a Kevin Crowley goal for his fourth point of the night and the 1,000th of his career. The Black Wolves forward is just the eighth player in National Lacrosse League history to reach the milestone. He finished the game with six points and now has 1,002 for his career.
A two-time NLL Most Valuable Player, Evans joins John Tavares (1,749), John Grant, Jr. (1,441), Colin Doyle (1,384), Josh Sanderson (1,357), Dan Dawson (1,264), Gary Gait (1,165) and Shawn Williams (1,152). He is just the second currently active player, in addition to Dawson, on the list.
“He’s joining an elite group, guys that make other players better,” Tavares said. “To be in that club says a lot about his game. It’s not just goals but giving the ball to your teammates. He’s the kind of guy you hate playing against but you want on your team. I’m a big fan of Shawn and know he won’t stop at 1,000. He’s got a lot of years left in him.”
The second overall pick in the 2005 NLL Entry Draft by Rochester, Evans spent six seasons with the Knighthawks before joining the Calgary Roughnecks in 2012. The following year he won the first of his two MVP awards and began a string of four consecutive 100 plus point seasons – the only person in NLL history to do so.
“It’s not easy to put up 1,000 points in this league,” said Sanderson. “Evy is as good as anyone in the game right now and the way he’s producing, he’s still going to pile up a lot more points before his career is done.”
The Black Wolves captain has seen action in 16 games this season and currently has 95 points heading into the regular season finale on Saturday.
“I’m very honored to have reached 1,000 points in the National Lacrosse League,” Evans said. “It’s been a great 12 years and I have many more years left in me. This accomplishment doesn’t happen without great teammates and coaches surrounding me over the years. The support from my wife and kids at home and the help from my parents doesn’t go unnoticed and I love them all so much. I could not have done this without them all. It’s great to be in a group of talented players who have given so much for the sport of lacrosse and the NLL.”
Ironically, the assist that gave Evans his 1,000th point was also a milestone for another teammate. The goal that Crowley scored on that play was the 200th of his career. Crowley has already eclipsed his single-season career high for goals in a season and has 40 with one game remaining.
Later in the game, veteran forward Chad Culp picked up his 500th career point with an assist on a goal by Seth Oakes 2:35 into the second quarter. In his first season with the franchise, Culp has been a consistent offensive presence for New England.
Black Wolves goalie Evan Kirk had 44 saves in Saturday night’s contest and now has 663 on the season. That is both a career-high and a franchise record for the 2016 NLL Goalie of the Year.