National Lacrosse League Power Rankings: Week 13

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There were five games in the NLL this weekend. The Toronto Rock split their weekend getting an 18-11 win over the Buffalo Bandits on Friday while losing to Matt Vinc and the Rochester Knighthawks 12-8 on Saturday. The Philadelphia Wings lost both of their games this weekend to the Minnesota Swarm and Colorado Mammoth, by scores of 20-11 and 10-9. With the Edmonton Rush having the weekend off the Calgary Roughnecks and Washington Stealth battled to take a share of first place in the west with Calgary ending up victorious by a score of 13-11. There was not much changing at the top of the Power Rankings but there sure was a lot of movement at the bottom.

Let’s check it out.

1 (1)

Edmonton Rush
8-5
Edmonton had the weekend off but will host the improved Colorado Mammoth next Saturday.

2 (2)

Toronto Rock
9-5
Toronto rebounded from last week’s whipping at the hands of the Edmonton Rush by laying a beating on the Buffalo Bandits. The Rock scored 9 straight in the second half to turn on close 7-6 game into an 18-11 embarrassment for the Bandits. Too bad the Rock didn’t save any scoring power for Saturday. The Rock went down 4-0 in the first quarter and despite outshooting the Knighthawks 31-20 in the second half they were still outscored 7-5 and lost by a final score of 12-8. Toronto host Rochester next Sunday and then end their regular season in Philadelphia the April 13th.

3 (3)

Calgary Roughnecks
8-5
The Calgary Roughnecks used the NLL’s most deadly power play to score three goals on a 5 minute major penalty being served by Washington goaltender Tyler Richards. Calgary ended up scoring 4 goals (one while playing five on five) while Richards served his time and they turned a 10-8 Washington lead into a 12-10 score. The Roughnecks held on for a 13-11 victory that puts them in a tie with Edmonton for first place in the West. Calgary and Washington will go at it again next Saturday in Calgary.

4(4)

Washington Stealth
7-6
The Washington Stealth had just scored 3 quick goals to take a 2 goal third quarter lead on the Calgary Roughnecks when Tyler Richards was given a game changing 5 minute major penalty for high sticking. From what I saw of the play, (one angle on Youtube) it was a two minute minor. Calgary scored 4 goals on a cold Matt Roik to win the game. They will get a chance for revenge next week in Calgary.

5 (7)

Rochester Knighthawks
5-6
The Knighthawks jumped out to a 4-0 lead against the Toronto Rock and cruised to an eventual 12-8 victory behind the usual stellar goaltending of Matt Vinc and a hat trick from veteran Mike Accursi. While the Knighthawks have been underwhelming this season, they do play a low scoring style of lacrosse that is often effective in playoffs. Sounds a little bit like last year. The Knighthawks will host Philadelphia next Saturday and then travel to Toronto for a Sunday afternoon match.

6 (9)

Minnesota Swarm
5-7
It appears that the Minnesota Swarm has their Mojo back as they have won their second straight convincing victory, this time by a 20-11 score over Philadelphia. Next week the Swarm will host Buffalo and then travel to Philadelphia.

7(8)

Colorado Mammoth
5-8
Colorado built up a 10-4 first half lead and despite being shut out in the second half they hung on for 10-9 victory. The down side of the one goal victory is that Philadelphia , who defeated the Mammoth by two goals earlier in the season, holds the head-to-head tiebraker against the Mammoth should they end up tied for the last playoff spot. Next week the Mammoth travel to Edmonton.

8 (5)

Philadelphia Wings
5-7
The Wings have Brodie Merrill back and Brendan Mudorf played his first two games of the season but they still lost both games this weekend (20-11 to Minnesota and 10-9 to Colorado) to make it four losses in a row. Next week Philadelphia travels to Rochester and then hosts Minnesota on Sunday. If the Wings don’t get a victory soon they will be life and death for the last playoff spot.

9(6)

Buffalo Bandits
5-8
Hours before Friday’s 18-11 loss to the Toronto Rock, Buffalo head coach Darris Kilgour told me that the Bandits biggest problem this year (and last) is that they never put in a full 60 minutes. The third quarter was a perfect example of his statement as as Buffalo’s defense disintegrated as they were outscored 7-0 to break open what was a very tight 7-6 game. The loss was Buffalo’s fifth in a row. The Bandits are at a risk to miss the playoffs for the first time since Kilgour took over 10 years ago. Buffalo travels to Minnesota next weekend and will finish their season with games against Washington and then Rochester.
A longtime TV analyst for lacrosse, Shanny calls games for TSN. Shanny won five Mann Cups as a player and is the voice of boxla in Canada. Email him at brian.shanahan@nllinsider.com or follow him at @sbdshanny.

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