The Money Ballers: Lewis Ratcliff 2010’s clutch king, Casey Powell takes weekly nod

Lewis Ratcliff is Insider's 2010 NLL Money Baller champ. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
Lewis Ratcliff is Insider's 2010 NLL Money Baller champ. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

It came down to the wire this past weekend, but with varying non-clutch type performances, not much changed on the leaderboard in our last week of tracking this year’s momentum changing, game clinching points via The Money Ballers.

Outside of Josh Sanderson eking out some clutch points in the Calgary Roughnecks one-goal win over the Colorado Mammoth, the other final week contenders were playing at opposite ends of the clutch spectrum. Lewis Ratcliff scoring, but most of his points buried after the Washington Stealth hammered the desperate Rochester Knighthawks, and Dan Dawson part of a game where his Boston Blazers trailed from virtually the opening buzzer against a suffocating Buffalo Bandits team.

Edmonton’s Gavin Prout, who finished fourth overall this year, already finished his regular season a week earlier, meaning that Ratcliff is Insider’s third ever (pro) Money Baller winner, added to a list that saw Athan Iannucci and Mark Steenhuis taking the title the previous two seasons.

Ratcliff had a sensational regular season, joining a Stealth side many felt would never be the same with Colin Doyle in Toronto. They were right. The Stealth were arguably even better than when Doyle headed up their O, and the consistent, clutch production from Ratcliff was a big reason the boys from Everett were as good as they were this year.

Although Ratcliff’s three game winning goals and four game winning points didn’t lead the NLL, his 19 goals that either tied, pushed ahead or won the game for the Stealth was easily the best in this year’s money rundown. If the Stealth needed a goal this year, especially late (and especially with Jeff Zywicki sidelined), more often than not, it was Ratcliff with the ball in his twig, seconds later in the back of the cage.

And although the Stealth’s Ratcliff and Necks’ Sanderson sit one-and-two on the final leaderboard below, pretty impressive to see the Rush with Prout, Ryan Ward and Ryan Powell all within the top ten this year. Ward was an almost winner of The Money Ballers two winters ago with the Minnesota Swarm and Powell put up heavy clutch numbers during the Portland Lumberjax’s post-season, one-goal-away Champion’s Cup run in ‘08 too. Hell, even Brodie Merrill, the first defensive-first player we’ve ever had land on the leaderboard to close down a campaign, has had his hand in some huge Rush goals this winter. Andy Secore and even a lately very impressive rookie¬†Corey Small, are just a couple points shy of landing on the rundown below. Even when a couple guys are slumping, Edmonton is spilling over with so many capable clutch performers, they should be hard as hell to stop this weekend in Calgary.

Ditto for the Stealth, who virtually see their entire starting offense on our season finale countdown, Rhys Duch, Luke Wiles, Zywicki and the often forgotten about, but potentially just as deadly, Cam Sedgwick, all joining Ratcliff as one of this year’s top money ball players.

Dawson, along with Gary Gait, led the NLL in game winners this year, both burying four GWG’s in 2010, but neither led the league in game winning points. That honour goes to Dane Dobbie and a pretty unlikely Paul Rabil, both players assisting on seven game winning goals this year, virtually every W their respective teams had this winter.

And we didn’t forget about our weekly nod, this being our last Clutch Performer of the Week award, handing this last regular season honour to Casey Powell, who not only helped setup that much debated and odd Chad Thompson OT winner against the Minnesota Swarm, but also had his hand in six of the Orlando Titans’ seven second half (and a bit) goals, including poaching that pretty late game tying goal too.

Anyways, check out out top clutch scorers from 2010 below, and check back this summer as we track the Junior A games top money go-to-guys in our Junior addition of The Money Ballers, Cody Jamieson and Andrew Potter our two previous winners.



Week 16   FIRST
THREE PERIODS
FOURTH
PERIOD
OT  
  TIE AHEAD GWG TIE AHEAD GWG GWG  
Player Team G A G A G A G A G A G A G A Pts
  Lewis Ratcliff (2) WSH 8 3 5 10 1 0 2 2 1 2 2 1 0 0 45.0  
Josh Sanderson (1) CAL 4 7 5 13 2 0 1 2 1 2 0 2 1 0 43.5
Dan Dawson (6) BOS 3 6 5 12 1 1 0 1 2 1 3 0 0 0 42.0
Gavin Prout (21) EDM 3 3 4 8 1 0 0 4 2 1 2 2 0 1 42.0
Ryan Ward (T16) EDM 2 6 7 7 1 2 2 1 1 0 1 0 0 1 36.5
Mark Steenhuis (4) BUF 8 5 7 5 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 2 0 1 34.5
Ryan Powell (T33) EDM 1 4 4 7 0 0 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 0 33.5
Dane Dobbie (T14) CAL 2 2 6 3 0 4 0 2 3 0 0 2 0 1 33.0
Rhys Duch (7) WSH 5 6 3 9 1 0 1 1 2 3 0 0 0 0 31.0
Tracey Kelusky (26) CAL 2 3 4 6 2 1 3 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 31.0
Casey Powell (T14) ORL 3 3 3 7 1 0 1 1 0 1 2 1 0 1 31.0
Daryl Veltman (T23) BOS 0 5 8 6 2 0 0 2 0 2 0 1 0 1 30.0
Luke Wiles (T36) WSH 2 4 4 6 0 0 2 0 1 0 2 1 0 0 30.0
Blaine Manning (T12) TOR 4 5 3 7 1 2 1 2 0 1 1 1 0 0 28.5
Callum Crawford (3) MIN 7 5 3 8 1 0 0 2 1 1 0 1 0 0 28.0
Alex Gajic (T38) COL 7 3 6 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 28.0
Jeff Zywicki (19) WSH 0 4 7 5 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 2 0 0 27.5
Jamie Shewchuk (22) COL 3 4 5 7 1 0 2 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 26.5
Brodie Merrill (32) EDM 2 1 3 7 0 1 1 2 1 1 0 1 1 0 26.0
Cam Sedgwick (29) WSH 3 4 3 8 0 0 1 0 0 2 1 2 0 0 25.5
Ryan Benesch (T9) MIN 4 9 2 6 1 1 1 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 24.0
Brenden Thenhaus (T50) BOS 5 2 3 8 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 23.5
Ryan Boyle (28) ORL 3 4 3 11 2 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 23.0
Colin Doyle (8) TOR 1 6 4 6 0 2 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 1 22.5
Stephan Leblanc (T12) TOR 2 4 2 4 0 2 2 0 0 2 1 0 0 1 22.5
Aaron Wilson (5) MIN  3 3 5 2 0 3 1 1 1 0 0 1 0 0 22.5
               
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Player’s regular season scoring ranking in brackets

Week 16
Leader – Lewis Ratcliff, Washington Stealth
Performer – Casey Powell, Orlando Titans

Week 15
Leader – Lewis Ratcliff, Washington Stealth
Performer – Gavin Prout, Edmonton Rush

Week 14
Leader – Lewis Ratcliff, Washington Stealth
Performer – Gary Gait, Rochester Knighthawks

Week 13
Leader – Lewis Ratcliff, Washington Stealth
Performer – Ryan Powell, Edmonton Rush

Week 12
Leader – Lewis Ratcliff, Washington Stealth
Performer – Lewis Ratcliff, Washington Stealth

Week 11
Leader – Ryan Ward, Edmonton Rush
Performer – Dane Dobbie, Calgary Roughnecks

Week 10
Leader – Mark Steenhuis, Buffalo Bandits & Ryan Ward, Edmonton Rush
Performer – John Tavares, Buffalo Bandits

Week 9
Leader – Ryan Ward, Edmonton Rush
Performer – Dane Dobbie, Calgary Roughnecks

Week 8
Leader – Ryan Ward, Edmonton Rush
Performer – Tim Campeau, Minnesota Swarm

Week 7
Leader – Ryan Ward, Edmonton Rush
Performer – Sean Morris, Boston Blazers

Week 6
Leader – Jeff Zywicki, Washington Stealth
Performer – Jeff Shattler, Calgary Roughnecks

Week 5
Leader – Jeff Zywicki, Washington Stealth
Performer – Blaine Manning, Toronto Rock

Week 4
Leader – Ryan Ward, Edmonton Rush
Performer – Cam Sedgwick, Washington Stealth

Week 3
Leader – Jamie Shewchuk, Colorado Mammoth
Performer – Jamie Shewchuk, Colorado Mammoth

Week 2
Leader – Gary Gait, Rochester Knighthawks
Performer – Ryan Ward, Edmonton Rush

Week 1
Leader – Gary Gait, Rochester Knighthawks
Performer – Gary Gait, Rochester Knighthawks

The foremost boxla writer, Tutka is a former NLL scout and a longtime Inside Lacrosse contributor. Email him at paul.tutka@nllinsider.com.

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