If you like lacrosse, you’re in the right place. If you like lacrosse AND history, then this weekend of National Lacrosse League games will be a real treat. As ColoradoMammoth.com so keenly points out, this weekend’s NLL matchups will feature some of the game’s heaviest hitters on offense. Specifically, the 1,000-point club. It’s rarified air, occupied by just 6 players in NLL history. But this weekend, 5 of those 6 players will be in action against each other at various times. Friday’s game in Toronto features the Mammoth’s John Grant Jr. (1,139 points, No. 4 all-time) against the Rock’s Colin Doyle (1,225, 2) and Josh Sanderson (1,119, 5). And Saturday’s game in Buffalo puts Grant Jr. up against the Bandits’ John Tavares (1,650, 1) and Shawn Williams (1,080, 6). That’s what’s up.
Of course, Friday’s matchup also reunites the 2 players — Grant Jr. and Garrett Billings — who battled down the stretch for the league scoring crown last season. Grant Jr. won with 116 points to Billings’ 114. Both are producing again this season, but Billings tore it up in February, scoring 30 points (12-18) in 4 games to be named the NLL’s Player of the Month.
But the only stat the Mammoth are concerned with right now is winning. They’re sorely lacking in that department and are riding a 4-game losing streak coming into Toronto. No one in Colorado is panicking just yet, but with a 2-6 record, the urgency is starting to intensify.
But as anyone familiar with the NLL will tell you, nothing comes easy in this league. Especially in Toronto or Buffalo.
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The Mammoth aren’t the only team feeling the pressure. The Minnesota Swarm are trying to figure out how to get on the right side of momentum as they prepare for Friday’s game at Calgary. The Swarm scored 16 goals against the Roughnecks on Feb. 16, but still lost, 17-16. And with a 3-6 record, time is running short. “This is the biggest game of the year. This weekend is incredibly important not just to show what we’re made of, but to make a run at those teams that are ahead of us in the division,” said coach Joe Sullivan. (MNSwarm.com) … The eighth annual Tip-A-Knighthawk, to benefit CURE Childhood Cancer Association, is set for March 18 at The Distillery on Mt. Hope Distillery. Fans can meet Knighthawks players Joe Walters, Tyler Burton and Cody McLeod, along with Knightingales dance team members. (Knighthawks.net) … The Calgary Roughnecks are eager to right the disappointment of losing to Edmonton last weekend, but they know it won’t be easy against the Swarm. “They make it hard on you. They are talented, athletic, youthful and they are guys are passionate about lacrosse. It’s a scary combination,” said Riggers transition man Geoff Snider. (CalgaryRoughnecks.com) … The Philadelphia Wings have won 3 straight, but they’ve also had to rally from first-quarter deficits in each of those games. It’s a trend they hope ends at home against the Washington Stealth on Saturday night. “They’re an explosive team but we hope to get a jump early and build on that, so we aren’t constantly playing from behind,” said forward Kevin Crowley. (WingsLax.com) … Buffalo’s game on Saturday against the Mammoth is “Scout Night” and discounted tickets are available for all members of the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. And $2 from each ticket purchased will be donated to the Scout organization. Come to the game dressed in your Scout uniform and receive a free Bandits lithograph poster. (Bandits.com).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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