Triolo taking advantage of another opportunity in the national leagueFeb 6, 2024
Who would have thought when Mike Triolo was drafted by the Buffalo Bandits in the third round of the 2015 NLL Entry Draft, that he'd be scoring clutch goals nine years later, in Saskatchewan?
Originally from Ontario, Triolo's journey to the Saskatchewan Rush has been anything close to normal.
Despite an incredible NCAA career at Pfeiffer University, Mike Triolo was cut by the Bandits, before breaking into the league with the original Rochester Knighthawks in 2019, where he put up seven points in six games. From there, he was out of the league until 2022 when Panther City picked him up after the COVID season. While playing a large role in Fort Worth, Triolo put up 24 points in eight games. Once moved on from Texas, Mike Triolo was picked up by Saskatchewan where he's made his mark as a depth forward, with a niche for scoring clutch goals.
Playing against his former team in PCLC on February 3rd, Triolo scored the game-winner late in the fourth quarter.
"Churchy said, ‘You get the ball on the floor and I'm going to come set a pick for you’. I was just the guy who was lucky enough to have the ball on his stick for that moment.”
Triolo now has five goals in four games, but none of them as big as this past weekend at SaskTel Centre in front of a rocking crowd.
"This one meant a lot more to me. It was unbelievable after a couple tough years and I’m sure you could see the emotion on my face.”
The addition of Derek Keenan to the bench also clearly brought on a new dynamic, one that's led by accountability in a calming presence.
"There's moments where they start to go on their runs and even (Jimmy Quinlan) at the front door is more in our face now and he's like 'what's next?' Before the game, they said no memory or quick memory, and it really was because you'd turn around on the bench and (Derek Keenan) doesn't look fazed at all when things don't go our way."
For the 32-year-old forward who stands at 6'8, many would doubt his ability to get back to the league, but he won't let the outside noise stop him from chasing his dream of winning a National Lacrosse League championship.
"People can write and say whatever they want, but I feel great and know there's still another gear we can find."