Buffalo’s Shawn Williams is set to play in 200th straight NLL game, plus the links

Forward Shawn Williams isn't thinking about his streak. He's just thankful to still be playing. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
Forward Shawn Williams isn't thinking about his streak. He's just thankful to still be playing. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

Yeah, Shawn Williams knows about the streak. No, he doesn’t care. “To be honest, I don’t think about that,” Williams told NLL.com. “But as you get older, you definitely enjoy stepping on the floor every chance you get.” Willy will step on the floor for his 200th consecutive National Lacrosse League game Saturday night when the Buffalo Bandits play the Philadelphia Wings, a testament to his endurance and ability to avoid injury. Last season, Williams broke the NLL’s consecutive-games played streak when he played in his 189th straight game. Colin Doyle and Steve Toll shared the record at 188, but Williams matched it and exceeded it. And it is by no means a token streak. Williams, 38, continues to produce and this season is the Bandits’ leading scorer that includes an 8-point effort (2 goals, 6 assists) in last weekend’s win over Rochester.

The NLL.com story points out that Williams started his streak on March 11, 2000, when he was a member of the Buffalo Bandits. At the time, Bandits coach Darris Kilgour was a teammate. And the game that he missed was because of a broken orbital bone suffered when a shot by Chris Driscoll hit him in the facemask. Driscoll is now a scout for the Rochester Knighthawks.

“I went to practice on the Tuesday expecting to play on the Friday and they informed me that they put me on the (IR) for the week, so I had to sit out,” he said. “I was obviously disappointed, but it was probably for the better.”

Williams has had NLL stops in Ontario, Toronto, Buffalo, Rochester, Edmonton and now back to Buffalo. And he has no concrete plans to retire anytime soon, but knows that credit is due back home with his family for being so supportive of his many weekends away from home.

“They’re always watching if they can get down to the game, if not they’re always watching on NLL.com and YouTube now. They’re definitely always rooting for me and they don’t want it to end just like I don’t want it to end.”

Plus the links

With 14 points through 2 games, Edmonton Rush rookie Mark Matthews has been impressive. And now comes the scary part for opponents: He’s feeling more comfortable with 2 games under his belt. “We were all nervous to get that first game over with. Being able to be a little more familiar with the league and how the players play and kind of more familiar with the guys on our team and how they play (helped).” (Edmonton Journal) … Minnesota Swarm defender Jeff Gilbert once was a proud member of the Toronto Rock, until they traded him. Tonight, he’s back in Toronto for the first time as an opponent, with the Minnesota Swarm. “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have this one circled.” (Toronto Sun) … If you’re heading out to Sunday’s game between the Calgary Roughnecks and Philadelphia Wings in Philadelphia, bring some non-perishable food items. The Wings are taking a collection for the Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 133 and avid Wings fan Matt Kacinski, who is stationed in Afghanistan. The Wings will play the game in camouflage jerseys, which will be auctioned after the game to benefit The Wounded Warrior Project. (PhillySportsLive.com) … OT losses are tough, but the Calgary Roughnecks are eager to level the field with the Colorado Mammoth team that handed the Riggers one of those painful defeats last weekend, said coach Curt Malawsky. “It’s nice to jell and come together on the road and what better place to do it than in a hostile environment like Denver. We’ve got redemption on our mind.” (Calgary Herald).

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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