The NLL season has all too quickly come to an end, and after 16 weeks of incredible goals why would anyone expect the last week to be any different?
The Colorado Mammoth clinched a playoff spot in the final week of the NLL season in Minnesota. The Mammoth owe much of their success in the heated battle to Adam Jones, who had a monster 5-goal, 3-assist performance. Jones had two especially remarkable goals Saturday night. Jones rode Swarm transition man David Earl hard while Earl tried to work the ball out of the zone. Jones’ defensive effort translated into an offensive opportunity, as he eventually stripped Earl and went on the breakaway for a goal. Jones wowed all 12,243 fans at the Xcel Energy Center again later in the game. With just under a minute left in the third quarter, Jones, coming off the bench on a partial break, dove through the crease and deposited the ball over the shoulder of Tyler Carlson.
While the Swarm couldn’t fend off the Mammoth, Minnesota put up a valiant effort in their last game of the year, keeping it a close contest right up until the end. Shayne Jackson scored a beauty to bring the swarm within one midway through the fourth. Jackson had some time alone in the slot and opted to rip a backhanded bouncer just inside the right post past Tye Belanger.
As the last week of the season came to a close, so did this year’s battle of Alberta. The Roughnecks and Rush met for the fourth time this year and, as we’ve come to expect from these western powerhouses, there were some fireworks. Edmonton dominated early. Ryan Ward put the Rush up by five early in the second with a quick stick goal. Ward, cutting through the middle, caught a pass from Zach Greer and managed to rocket the ball past Mike Poulin while he was off balance in the middle. After this the Rush fell apart.
Calgary went on a four goal run capped off by Curtis Dickson’s goal where he danced around three Edmonton defenders to find open floor and fire a hard side arm past the hip of Aaron Bold. Edmonton held on to the lead late in the game, but the Roughnecks kept chipping away. Most memorably when Daryl Veltman spun off his man, stayed low to the floor while breaking at the net, and dove and tucked the ball inside the far post. Eventually the Roughnecks would complete the comeback, and win the game in overtime.
Finally, Washington and Philadelphia met in the last week of the NLL season. Washington looked playoff ready, answering a shaky first quarter with a huge six-goal effort in the second. This second quarter explosion was set off by Rhys Duch, who used his defender as a screen, planted his feet and whipped the ball short side to ignite the Stealth. While Philly couldn’t overcome their second quarter, they weren’t lying down and dying either. Jordan Hall tried to fire up the Wings, swimming over his man, getting the edge of the crease and launching himself through the crease to score Philly’s 11th of the night. But in the end it would not be enough to overcome the Stealth.
Some of the best goals from the last week in the National Lacrosse League are below. Vote for your favourite in the poll.
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