Rock solidify East lead, West race tightens up in Week 11 NLL play

Colorado wore the green and won the game. John Grant, Jr. had 8 points. (Photo: NLL.com)
Colorado wore the green and won the game. John Grant, Jr. had 8 points. (Photo: NLL.com)

The Toronto Rock are leaving little doubt who the best team in the National Lacrosse League’s East Division is, but there is little but doubt about who will emerge atop the West Division after last night’s games. Toronto took a 2.5 game lead over second-place Philadelphia by dumping the Wings 13-8 in an afternoon game in Philly. Rookie Kyle Belton had quite an afternoon for the Rock. He scored his first 3 NLL goals. Josh Sanderson had 4 goals and an assist and Colin Doyle a goal and 6 helpers for Toronto. Kevin Crowley scored 4 goals and 1 assist for the Wings. Nick Rose made 45 saves to earn the win in goal.

The West Division lead is far less settled. Washington, after losing 12-5 to Minnesota last night, sit at 7-5 and just half a game ahead of Calgary and Edmonton, who beat Rochester 11-9 last night. Colorado downed the Buffalo Bandits 16-13 to keep pace with Minnesota at 4-7, 2.5 games out of first in the division.

An 8-point night from Callum Crawford (4g, 4a), a hat trick from Ryan Benesch and 5 assists from Jordan MacIntosh showed that the Swarm are learning how to win without captain Andrew Suitor. It didn’t hurt that Tyler Carlson stopped over 90% of the shots he faced (48 of 53) to keep the Stealth well below double digits in goals. Or maybe it was the all-green St. Patrick’s Day themed jerseys. Rhys Duch led the feeble Washington offence with 2 goals and 2 assists.

Zack Greer’s 4 goals topped the charts for the Rush, while Ryan Ward added 2 goals and 4 assists and Mark Matthews had a hat trick. Cody Jamieson led the way for the Knighthawks with 2 goals and 5 assists.

The Mammoth tapped into the luck of the Irish as well thanks to a 3-goal, 5-assist effort fromĀ John Grant, Jr. and a 4-goal performance (along with 2 assists) by Jordan McBride. Derek Hopcroft’s first game for the Bandits was a productive one. The former Mammoth forward scored a hat trick and 2 assists against his former mates.

Toronto 13, Philadelpia 8
NLL.com story
Game sheet

Minnesota 12, Washington 5
NLL.com story
Game sheet

Edmonton 11, Rochester 9
NLL.com story
Game sheet

Colorado 16, Buffalo 13
NLL.com story
Game sheet

Stamp is a TV sports announcer and lacrosse lover whose skill set made him a defender but who always dreamed of being a goal-scorer. He can be reached at stamplax@hotmail.com.

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