Archive for February, 2013


NLL Week 9 Staff Picks

Can the Stealth stay on top of the West Division? Washington hosts Minnesota Swarm Sunday at 6pm EST (Photo: Richard Olson)
Can the Stealth stay on top of the West Division? Washington hosts Minnesota Swarm Sunday at 6pm EST (Photo: Richard Olson)

There are five games on the schedule in week 9, spread out from Thursday evening to Sunday afternoon involving all nine teams.

On Thursday, each coming off a bye week, Shanny’s Power Ranking leaders, the Toronto Rock (6-2) host east division rivals the Buffalo Bandits (4-3). The two met in week 5 when the Rock beat Buffalo in Banditland. In the single game on Friday, the Bandits return home to host the Philadelphia Wings (4-3). The Bandits and Wings have met twice so far this season, each with a home win. READ MORE »


Tavares and Giles added to active roster ahead of Bandits trip to Toronto


The National Lacrosse League transactions wire shows a busy time for the Buffalo Bandits as they prepare to face the Rock in Toronto’s Air Canada Centre tonight. John Tavares, who has missed the last three games, has been returned to the Active Roster from the Injured Reserve. Making the same move is fellow forward Mat Giles, who looks to make his first appearance this season after starting the year out of the lineup with an injury. Mike McNamara has also returned to the Active Roster; he’s played four games so far this year. To create space on the roster for those three players, the Bandits have moved forward Tracey Kelusky to the Injured Reserve and have released rookie transition players Hayden Smith and  Kevin Brownell.


CLax Players of the Week: Hopcroft, Preece, Poulton and Danko

Derek Hopcroft
Derek Hopcroft

The Canadian Lacrosse League Surge Apparel Players of the Week for the week ending February 24th are Derek Hopcroft (Toronto) Offensive, Jay Preece (Brampton) Defensive, Russell Poulton (Durham) Transition and Connor Danko (Niagara) who takes home Rookie of the Week honours.

Offensive: Derek Hopcroft (Toronto Shooting Stars)

This past week Derek Hopcroft registered seven points including three goals and four assists in the Shooting Stars one goal loss to the Ohsweken Demons. He currently ranks 15th in CLax scoring with 22 points in six games (11G, 11A). READ MORE »


Perspective sharpens for Jordan Hall as he adjusts to life in Philadelphia with Wings

perspective-sharpens-for-jordan-hall-as-he-adjusts-to-life-in-philadelphia-with-wings

Jordan Hall admits the news was tough to swallow at first. A little like a punch in the gut, to be honest. When he found out he had been dealt from the defending champion Rochester Knighthawks to the Philadelphia Wings in the off-season, it felt like he got dumped.
His feelings were hurt. I mean, he got rejected by someone — well, more like something — he loved. Hollywood makes a fortune churning out movies about this type of stuff. “Anytime you find out you’re getting traded it’s tough,” said Hall. “I hadn’t really gone through that before. It feels a little bit like a breakup. You’re with somebody and you’re told things (and then it all changes). I had my flights booked throughout the season already and plans for how I was going to travel.” READ MORE »


NLL Team Reports for Week 9: ‘We put less emphasis on talking and more on getting it done’ – Wings forward Drew Westervelt

The Buffalo Bandits return to Toronto for the first time since their playoff loss there last season. (Photo: Ward Laforme Jr.)
The Buffalo Bandits return to Toronto for the first time since their playoff loss there last season. (Photo: Ward Laforme Jr.)

If you love lacrosse like we do, you’re in luck. Starting with tonight’s Buffalo Bandits at Toronto Rock game, there’s a National Lacrosse League game every day this weekend through Sunday. And we should be in for a real treat with some intense games as all but 1 are division games, including Saturday’s Edmonton at Calgary tilt. The Edmonton Rush lost by 1 goal their last time out against the Roughnecks and are as close as ever to carding their first regular-season win over Calgary since Jan. 30, 2010. The Rush have been outscored 163-125 in their 12 straight regular-season losses to Calgary with 2 of those losses coming in overtime and 2 others coming by 1 goal. Is this the weekend the Rush end that streak? But there’s much more going on besides the Battle of Alberta, and ILIndoor has a weekend primer after the jump. READ MORE »


Wings’ Wins a Harbinger for the Future?

The Wings dress far more Americans than any other NLL team. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
The Wings dress far more Americans than any other NLL team. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

I will be the first to admit that I had the Wings going 0-2 this past weekend. They have to be psyched even if the W’s are over the 2 teams with the worst records in the NLL. At the start of the season I wrote about the NLL trend of signing rookies to save money, but had neglected to point out that the Wings were toping the charts with 7 on their roster (and 5 sophomores) at that time. Over their 3 game slide the inexperience, especially on the D end, was glaring.

I applaud Mike French and the Wings’ executives on taking a chance on so many American players. The reality is that American players who have never played box learn by making mistakes. We saw Wings rookie defensemen get schooled throughout the early weeks of the season. It is apparent that the Wings are committed to bringing in top “local” talent both experienced and raw. READ MORE »


Self and Evans passing on their love of the game with Nationwide Lacrosse

Nationwide Lacrosse founders Shawn Evans (left) and Brad Self in their home office. (Photo: Stephen Stamp)
Nationwide Lacrosse founders Shawn Evans (left) and Brad Self in their home office. (Photo: Stephen Stamp)

If you’re a young lacrosse player, Nationwide is on your side. Nationwide Lacrosse is the new company founded by National Lacrosse League and Major Series Lacrosse players Brad Self and Shawn Evans. Their goal is to provide youngsters with lacrosse skills that will allow them to enjoy the game while playing it the right way. By that, Self and Evans mean they want to teach young players the fundamentals like throwing, catching, shooting and picking up the ball properly.

“Lacrosse it taking off in a lot of places, but there aren’t always people available to teach the kids the proper basics of the game,” Self says. “There are lots of volunteers who are very generously giving their time so that kids can play, but not many of them have the background to coach the kids the way that Shawn and I can.” Therefore, Self and Evans say, Nationwide is offering camps and clinics to help young players learn the game. Just as importantly, the pair of Peterborough Lakers (Self plays for Rochester in the NLL and Evans for Calgary) will be conducting clinics to train the folks who will be coaching the players. READ MORE »


Scott Ranger traded to the Victoria Shamrocks for Emms, Dexter and picks

Scott Ranger has led the WLA in goals and points each of the last two summers. (Photo: Dan Brodie)
Scott Ranger has led the WLA in goals and points each of the last two summers. (Photo: Dan Brodie)

While the National Lacrosse League season heats up, teams in Canada are preparing for the summer loop and the Victoria Shamrocks are looking to make some noise as they hope to host the 2013 Mann Cup. WLA Commissioner Casey Cook has confirmed that the Shamrocks have completed a trade with the Nanaimo Timbermen for two time WLA Scoring champ Scott Ranger. In exchange for the high scoring right-hander, the Shamrocks will send the Timbermen the playing rights to Kyle Dexter and Jake Emms as well as two second round conditional draft picks (one of those picks will become a first round pick, if the Rocks are able to get to the Mann Cup). READ MORE »


NLL Week 8 Players of the Week: Duch, MacIntosh, Miller, Matisz

After a 10 point performance on Saturday, Washington Stealth's Rhys Duch named Offensive Player of the Week (Photo: Henry Valentine/Washington Stealth)
After a 10 point performance on Saturday, Washington Stealth's Rhys Duch named Offensive Player of the Week (Photo: Henry Valentine/Washington Stealth)
The National Lacrosse League has announced its Player of the Week awards for Week 8 of the 2013 NLL regular season which featured seven of the nine teams in five games on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

The Calgary Roughnecks have won all five games they have played in Everett, WA. On Saturday, despite the Roughnecks’ attempted comeback, the Washington Stealth secured their first win against the ‘necks since the 2011 divisional final. The Minnesota Swarm and Edmonton Rush played a home-and-home series last weekend, each picking up a road win.

The Philadelphia Wings, now tied for second in the east division, got their first win of the weekend in Rochester, in a rematch of their week 6 blowout against the Knighthawks and their second win of the weekend at home against a struggling Colorado Mammoth. The Toronto Rock and Buffalo Bandits both had a bye last weekend. READ MORE »


The Walrus magazine takes a look at Rock captain Colin Doyle and the NLL

Colin Doyle, Toronto Rock captain. (Photo: Graig Abel)
Colin Doyle, Toronto Rock captain. (Photo: Graig Abel)

It’s always interesting to see our great game through the eyes of an outsider, particularly so when that outsider is an esteemed magazine like The Walrus. A writer for the monthly checked out some National Lacrosse League action, following in the footsteps of Toronto Rock captain Colin Doyle. In his story for the March issue, called The Northern Star, Sam Sutherland does a creditable job of capturing the Catch-22 at the heart of lacrosse’s niche somewhere below “big-time” sports. It would be great, he points out, if the best players in the world could make a living from the game that allowed them to focus just on playing–imagine how good these guys could get if they didn’t have to hold day jobs? On the other hand, “It could also spoil a league currently positioned somewhere between the grandiose, big-ticket spectacle of professional hockey and the gritty charm of a well-executed backyard wrestling round robin.”