Rookie Report: Matthews posts another big game, but Bandits’ Smith is hot on his heels

Dhane Smith, right, was 2-2 in Buffalo's big road win over Rochester on Saturday night. (Photo: Ward Laforme Jr.)
Dhane Smith, right, was 2-2 in Buffalo's big road win over Rochester on Saturday night. (Photo: Ward Laforme Jr.)

Yeah, Mark Matthews put up 9 points in Sunday’s big road win for the Edmonton Rush over the Washington Stealth. But something tells us we’re pretty much going to see strong numbers from him every weekend. So don’t hand him the Rookie of the Year award just yet. There’s a kid in Buffalo who’s pretty sharp too and if he’s not putting up the sexy O stats like Matthews, it’s because Dhane Smith is busy doing other things. Like defense. Like transition. Like being a sparkplug. Smith looked fantastic in Saturday night’s big win over rival Rochester and while Buffalo admitted before the season that it wasn’t sure how it would utilize this multi-faceted transition man, this much we know: The kid’s got serious game.

1. Mark Matthews, Edmonton Rush: For the second straight week, Matthews scored the game’s first goal inside the first minute. On Sunday, it was 31 seconds in as it helped the Rush in their 18-10 win over the Stealth. The left-handed forward out of Oshawa finished with 4 goals (on 6 shots) and 5 assists. With 7 goals and 7 assists through 2 games, he’s the rookie scoring leader at 14 points.

2. Dhane Smith, Buffalo Bandits: He said he got the nerves out last week and it showed in Saturday’s road win over Rochester. The right-handed transition man out of Kitchener, Ont., looked superb and collected with 2 goals and 2 assists. His second goal, which tied the game 9-9 in the third quarter, was an absolute laser. He’s second among all rookies in scoring with 10 points (6-4).

3. Curtis Knight, Edmonton Rush: The right-handed forward out of Oshawa scored 1 goal and had 3 assists in Sunday’s road win over the Stealth. His goal was part of a 3-0 run Edmonton used to open the fourth quarter that put the clamps on Washington’s run at the end of the third. He’s got 9 points on 4 goals and 5 assists this season.

4. Joe Resetarits, Calgary Roughnecks: The right-handed forward out of Hamburg, N.Y., had 1 goal and 2 assists in Saturday’s overtime loss at home to Colorado. His 2 assists came in the third quarter and helped the Riggers build a 10-6 lead before the Mammoth rallied. Still, Resetarits is playing with the sort of composure and poise that could make him a regular in this star-studded Calgary lineup.

5. Shayne Jackson, Minnesota Swarm: The left-handed forward out of Bowmanville, Ont., had the weekend off.

6. Kyle Buchanan, Washington Stealth: The right-handed forward out of Nepean, Ont., had 2 assists and 1 LB in Sunday’s home loss to the Edmonton Rush. He was scoreless on 2 shots and was held to 2 points after scoring 4 points in his first game and 5 points in his second.

7. Tyler Garrison, Washington Stealth: The right-handed defenseman out of Coquitlam, B.C., had 2 loose balls in Sunday’s home loss to Edmonton.

8. Ethan Farrell, Philadelphia Wings: The right-handed forward out of Nantuckt, Mass., didn’t have a point in Saturday’s road win at Toronto, but he scooped a pair of loose balls as the Wings moved to 2-0.

9. Brock Sorensen, Minnesota Swarm: The big left-handed transition man out of Peterborough had the weekend off.

10. Mike Manley, Philadelphia Wings: The big defender out of Penn Yan, N.Y., and Duke University had the most productive game of his young career with 7 LBs and a forced turnover in Friday’s road win over Toronto. Veteran T Brodie Merrill has said he’s been pleasantly surprised at how quickly some of the young Americans have picked up on the indoor game in Philadelphia and Manley is a great example of that.

Honorable mention: Wings D Rob Campbell, who was in the No. 10 slot in these rankings last week, did not dress against Toronto on Friday night … Toronto D Kyle Belton had 3 LBs in Saturday’s home loss to the Wings … Calgary Roughnecks F Matthew Dinsdale had 2 loose balls in Saturday’s home loss to Colorado … Washington D Tim Henderson, who played after filing an appeal of a 1-game suspension handed out after a Week 2 game, scooped 2 loose balls in Sunday’s home loss to Edmonton.

Chavez is an avid lacrosse player in Rochester and a journalist for the Democrat and Chronicle as well as a longtime Inside Lacrosse contributor. Email him at bob.chavez@nllinsider.com or go to RochesterSports.com.

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