So far this season, it’s pretty clear who the most effective scoring rookie is in the National Lacrosse League. No one’s gonna argue Mark Matthews. But what about after that? There is plenty of talent on the list, but the thing about this year’s crop of rookies is that the talent is so diverse. Shayne Jackson is showing off his slick skills week in and week out in Minnesota, and teammate Kiel Matisz has been a steady producer as well. Joe Resetarits is doing Americans proud in Calgary and defenders Michael Manley and CJ Costabile were doing their part in a big weekend sweep for the Wings. And in Buffalo, Dhane Smith is showing he can do a little bit of everything for the Bandits. It all depends on which facet of the game you like best, but the point here is that there is talent up and down the floor for this year’s rookies. The latest installment of the Rookie Report follows.
1. Mark Matthews, Edmonton Rush: What a difference a weekend makes, eh? After scoring 11 goals in 2 games last weekend, the left-handed forward out of Oshawa started his encore with just 1 goal (on 14 shots) in Friday’s home loss to Minnesota. He added 1 goal (on 1 shot) and 2 assists in Sunday’s road win over Minnesota to push his season total to a team-leading 42 points (25-17). His 25 goals lead the NLL.
2. Shayne Jackson, Minnesota Swarm: The left-handed forward out of Bowmanville, Ont., scored 2 goals in Friday’s win over Edmonton. His second goal came early in the fourth quarter and it was the first of 4 straight Minnesota goals that helped the Swarm pull away. In Sunday’s home loss to the Rush, he was 1-3 with all 4 points coming in the fourth quarter as Minnesota’s big rally fell short. His 32 points (12-20) for the season rank third on the team in scoring and he’s scored 4 or more points in 6 of 8 games this season.
3. Dhane Smith, Buffalo Bandits: The right-handed transition man out of Kitchener, Ont., had the weekend off. He’ll take his 20 points (11-9) into next weekend’s doubleheader that starts with a Thursday game against Toronto and a Friday game at home against Philadelphia.
4. Kiel Matisz, Minnesota Swarm: The right-handed forward out of Stoney Creek, Ont., had 3 goals on 5 shots and scooped 7 loose balls in Friday’s win over Edmonton. He added 1 goal, 4 assists and 6 loose balls in Sunday’s loss to the Rush. He upped his season totals to 30 points (15-15) and has scored at least 1 goal in 7 straight games.
5. Curtis Knight, Edmonton Rush: The right-handed forward out of Oshawa had 0 goals and 6 loose balls in Friday’s home loss to the Swarm, but had 2 goals and 2 assists in Sunday’s road win over the Swarm. Both of his goals Sunday game in the first quarter to help the Rush build a 5-0 lead. He is fourth in team scoring with 28 points (9-19).
6. Brock Sorensen, Minnesota Swarm: The left-handed transition man out of Peterborough scooped 2 loose balls in Friday’s road win over Edmonton and then 2 more in Sunday’s home loss to the Rush.
7. Joe Resetarits, Calgary Roughnecks: His goal in the second quarter kept the Roughnecks within a goal during Saturday’s road loss to the Stealth. The right-handed forward out of Hamburg, N.Y., has 3 goals in his last 4 games to push his season total to 10 points (5-5).
8. Kyle Buchanan, Washington Stealth: The right-handed forward out of Nepean, Ont., did not play in Saturday’s home win over the Calgary Roughnecks. Still, he’s got 19 points (3-16) despite not dressing for the second time this season.
9. Tyler Garrison, Washington Stealth: The defender out of Coquitlam, B.C., scored 1 goal in Saturday’s home win over Calgary. It’s third of the season and first since Jan. 26 against the Swarm.
10. Alex Crepinsek, Minnesota Swarm: The right-handed defenseman out of Oakville, Ont., scored his second goal of the season, and empty-netter, late in Friday’s road win over the Edmonton Rush. He scooped 3 loose balls in Sunday’s home loss to the Rush.
Honorable mention: Philadelphia D Michael Manley scooped 4 loose balls and got into his first NLL fight in Saturday’s road win over Rochester. In Sunday’s home win over Calgary, he scooped 3 loose balls … Philadelphia D CJ Costabile scooped a career-best 9 loose balls and had 1 assist in Sunday’s home win over Colorado … Calgary F Matthew Dinsdale scored his first NLL goal in Saturday’s road loss to Washington … Washington D Tim Henderson scooped 3 loose balls in Saturday’s home win over Calgary … Washington T Mitch McMichael scored a goal in Saturday’s home win over Calgary, his first since scoring 2 against Colorado on Feb. 9.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 firstname.lastname@example.org or go to RochesterSports.com.
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