There have been 16 games played so far in the National Lacrosse League’s 2013 season. Nine of them have been decided by a single goal and another was a two-goal game in which the final goal was an empty-netter with five seconds to play. That means that 62.5% of this year’s games have been up for grabs literally until the final buzzer. Welcome to the age of parity in the NLL. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.
The trend continued last night with two of the three games going to the wire. Luke Wiles‘ power play goal with 24 seconds to play gave Buffalo a 14-13 win over Philadelphia after Drew Westervelt had tied it up with a shorthanded goal just 19 seconds earlier. Washington also scored a last-minute power play goal but came up just short of managing a comeback, falling 15-14 to Minnesota for the Swarm’s first win of the season. And finally, in what is a blowout by this season’s standards, the Toronto Rock dropped the defending champion Rochester Knighthawks to 0-3 with an 11-7 win.
Shawn Williams had six assists for the Bandits while Mike Hominuck had a hat trick and Dhane Smith, Chad Culp and David Brock each scored twice. Kevin Ross (4g, 2a), Westervelt (3,3) and Jordan Hall (3,3) all had six-point nights for the Wings. Philadelphia had been the last undefeated team in the league but they now fall behind the Rock for first place in the East.
Ryan Benesch (3,4), Shayne Jackson (3,3) and Kiel Matisz (3,2) all scored hat tricks for the Swarm. Minnesota captain Andrew Suitor returned from a season-opening suspension to score a goal, left the game after falling to the floor and clutching his right knee, then roared back into the game wearing a knee brace and proceeded to score the eventual winning goal.
Rhys Duch and Lewis Ratcliff each put up 3 goals and 5 assists for the Stealth while Athan Iannucci had a hat trick and 1 assist. The Stealth sit atop the West at 3-2 while all four of the other teams in the division are 1-2.
Garrett Billings, Josh Sanderson and Kasey Beirnes each scored twice for Toronto and Nick Rose stopped 41 of the 48 shots he faced as Toronto moved to 4-1 and took over top spot in the East. Cody Jamieson led the Knighthawks with 3 goals and 2 assists and Cory Vitarelli added a pair of goals.
Calgary visits Philadelphia at 4 pm ET today to wrap up a busy seven-game weekend in the NLL.
Buffalo 14, Philadelphia 13
Toronto 11, Rochester 7
Minnesota 15, Washington 14
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