What a race for first place in the National Lacrosse League’s West Division. The Washington Stealth beat the Calgary Roughnecks 12-11 last night while the Edmonton Rush fell 9-7 to the Colorado Mammoth to create a three-way tie atop the division, with the Stealth, Roughnecks and Rush all at 8-6. Minnesota throttled the wayward Buffalo Bandits 21-7 to lurk just a game and a half back at 6-7 while the Mammoth kept themselves in the conversation with their fourth win in five games to move to 6-8. Saturday night’s other game saw the Rochester Knighthawks pull into sole possession of second place in the East Division while keeping the Toronto Rock from clinching the East as they dumped the Philadelphia Wings 14-7.
Tyler Richards gave up just 4 second-half goals and Rhys Duch and Lewis Ratcliff scored hat tricks to lead the Stealth, who trailed 7-4 the half but went on a 5-goal run in the third quarter to pull ahead. Washington scored five times on the power play and added a shorthanded goal by Kyle Buchanan. Curtis Dickson had his third straight hat trick and eighth of the season to move into a tie with John Grant, Jr. for the league’s leading goal scorer (38), while Shawn Evans had 3 points to match Garrett Billings‘ 92 points atop the scoring table with a pair of games to play for each.
In Edmonton, Colorado stopped the Rush’s 5-game winning streak thanks largely to Tye Belanger. Edmonton outshot the Mammoth 55-35 but Belanger made 48 saves to lead Colorado to the win. Casey Powell was Colorado’s only multiple goal scorer with a pair and Jamie Lincoln and Grant each contributed a goal and 3 assists. Curtis Knight scored twice for Edmonton.
In Minnesota, the Swarm continued to prove they can win without Andrew Suitor while the Bandits continued to prove they can’t win no matter who they have in the lineup. Jordan MacIntosh scored 5 goals and added 3 assists while Callum Crawford hit double digits in points with 2 goals and 8 helpers. Shayne Jackson pitched in with a hat trick and 5 assists. All but three runners scored at least a point in the game as the Swarm tripled up Buffalo, setting team records for most goals in a game and largest margin of victory.
Veterans Shawn Williams and John Tavares each scored twice for the Bandits, who took only 19 minutes in penalties but paid the price for almost every one of them, surrendering 8 power play goals in 10 Swarm opportunities. The game was actually tied 3-3 after the first quarter, but Minny won the next three quarters 7-2, 5-0 and 6-2 to achieve the rout.
Rochester got a hat trick from Johnny Powless and 2 goals each from four other players as they dominated the Wings thanks to Matt Vinc’s 45 saves. Cody Jamieson scored 1 goal and added 6 assists for the Knighthawks. Seven different players scored for Philadelphia.
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