(Duluth, GA) – The National Lacrosse League named Georgia Swarm goaltender Mike Poulin the 2017 Teammate of the Year on Monday, June 26. This is his second straight year winning Teammate of the Year, having won it in 2016 with the Calgary Roughnecks.
“I like this award because it’s voted by peers and by fellow players,” Poulin said. “So the fact that it’s not just my team but around the league, to be considered somebody with good character and leadership qualities for the team and community, it means a lot.”
In the first season of his three-year contract with Georgia, Poulin finished with a 12-4 regular season record and 4-0 in the postseason—both the best in the league. The Kitchener, Ontario native made 646 saves (second in the league) in the regular season, finishing with an 11.77 GAA and a .781 SV% (third-best in the league). In 241:17 min. of postseason action, Poulin made 165 saves—an 11.19 GAA and a .786 SV%—to help Georgia sweep its way to its and his first-ever Champion’s Cup title.
Throughout the season, coaches and teammates regularly praised Poulin’s presence and mentioned his effect on having the young Swarm defense come together and improve each and every game.
“Not having coached Mike before, I didn’t really know what to expect,” head coach Ed Comeau said. “I heard a lot of good things about him from other teammates, from management, coaches. He certainly met and exceeded our expectations in terms of being a great teammate, bringing leadership. His play on the floor was outstanding, but it may have been even more important what he did off the floor, the leadership he brought. He really was a guy that came in and brought this whole group together. That’s what a great teammate does, and we’re happy for Mike, very deserving of this award.”
Swarm Owner and General Manager John Arlotta signed Poulin on the first day of free agency in 2016 to a three-year contract. Poulin cited his desire to win a Champion’s Cup as the primary motivation for signing with Georgia and was able to achieve his goal in the first year.
“I’ve won individual awards before, and you always kind of look back and say, ‘I’d much rather have a championship,’” Poulin said. “So to be able to win the Cup and still receive something like this, it’s just kind of the ice cream on top of the cake. It’s been a great year from the second I signed with the Swarm to today and continuing on with all the work we’re doing in Georgia right now. It certainly means a lot. To cap off this year with an award like this is extra special.”
Also nominated for the award were Kyle Buchanan (New England) and Joel McCready (Vancouver). The 31-year-old also finished second in the voting for NLL Goaltender of the Year.
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