There were three teams fighting for the two remaining playoff berths last weekend in the National Lacrosse League.
In front of a record-breaking 19,070 fans, the Buffalo Bandits dropped their 10th game this season and missed the post-season for the first time since 2002 as the Rochester Knighthawks defeated the Bandits last Saturday night. Scoring seven fourth quarter goals secured the Mammoth’s spot in the playoffs as Colorado beat the Minnesota Swarm for the second time this season. In the fourth Battle of Alberta, the Calgary Roughnecks returned to their winning ways thwarting the Rush’s chance of being league leaders with an overtime win in Edmonton. Bouncing back from 2012 which saw Washington miss the playoffs, the Stealth not only secured a berth a few weeks ago, but acquired a home field advantage when they defeated the Philadelphia Wings on Saturday night. The Toronto Rock, the only team not to play in week 16 have regained the pole position of Shanny’s Power Rankings as they head into the playoffs.
As the regular season comes to a close, the fans picks record for 2013 is 32-34-6 with the fans going 2-2 in week 16. Y’all overwhelmingly (in both cases) chose the Knighthawks over the Bandits and the Stealth over the Wings. I’m on a bit of a roll as my 12-3 in the last three weeks (much better than 1-9 of the first three weeks) allowed me to finish the season well above .500. I’ve got my fingers crossed my picks train keeps on rolling through the playoffs.
There are no strangers as the divisional semifinals kick off on Saturday evening as Minnesota and Toronto have met twice previously and all others have faced off three times in 2013. You don’t need to love stats as much as I do to find the previous match-ups between these playoff pairings oddly fascinating. The ‘hawks have doubled up twice on the Wings; in each of the three Rush-Stealth games, the losing team scored 10 goals; when Colorado and Calgary met, the home team scored 12 goals; and in both Swarm-Rock games, the winner scored 13 and the loser 12.
Before you cast your vote, let’s take a look back at how the 2013 playoff pairs fared earlier this season:
Rochester Knighthawks (8-8) – Philadelphia Wings (7-9)
Week 6: Rochester Knighthawks 20 @ Philadelphia Wings 10
Week 8: Philadelphia Wings 10 @ Rochester Knighthawks 8
Week 14: Philadelphia Wings 7 @ Rochester Knighthawks 14
|Philadelphia Wings at Rochester Knighthawks|
|Saturday, April 27th - Blue Cross Arena - 5:00 PM EST|
Who Ya Got?
- Philadelphia Wings (50%, 345 Votes)
- Rochester Knighthawks (50%, 345 Votes)
Total Voters: 690
Edmonton Rush (9-7) – Washington Stealth (9-7)
Week 3: Edmonton Rush 18 @ Washington Stealth 10
Week 4: Washington Stealth 12 @ Edmonton Rush 10
Week 7: Washington Stealth 10 @ Edmonton Rush 15
|Edmonton Rush at Washington Stealth|
|Saturday, April 27th - Comcast Arena - 7:30 PM EST|
Who Ya Got?
- Edmonton Rush (50%, 296 Votes)
- Washington Stealth (50%, 296 Votes)
Total Voters: 592
Colorado Mammoth (7-9) – Calgary Roughnecks (9-7)
Week 3: Colorado Mammoth 13 @ Calgary Roughnecks 12
Week 4: Calgary Roughnecks 19 @ Colorado Mammoth 12
Week 12: Colorado Mammoth 11 @ Calgary Roughnecks 12
|Colorado Mammoth at Calgary Roughnecks|
|Saturday, April 27th - Scotiabank Saddledome - 9:00 PM EST|
Who Ya Got?
- Colorado Mammoth (50%, 283 Votes)
- Calgary Roughnecks (50%, 283 Votes)
Total Voters: 566
Toronto Rock (10-6) – Minnesota Swarm (7-9)
Week 4: Minnesota Swarm 12 @ Toronto Rock 13
Week 6: Toronto Rock 12 @ Minnesota Swarm 13
|Minnesota Swarm at Toronto Rock|
|Sunday, April 28th - Air Canada Centre - 3:00 PM EST|
Who Ya Got?
- Minnesota Swarm (50%, 263 Votes)
- Toronto Rock (50%, 262 Votes)
Total Voters: 525
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