National Lacrosse League Power Rankings: Week 5

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There were only three games in week 5 of the NLL but each game was an exciting one goal decision. In Calgary, John Grant’s overtime winner was the type of goal that only he can score. After making a one handed catch with a defender draped all over him, Grant scored on a no-look over the shoulder shot. That victory gave Colorado a much needed second victory this season. In Vancouver the Stealth built up a 7-2 lead but were outshot 32-16 in the second half and more importantly outscored 7-1 to give the Edmonton Rush a 8-7 win and their fourth straight victory to start the season. The Buffalo Bandits also got their fourth straight victory by a final score of 11-10 and handed Rochester their first loss. If you want an example of why lacrosse is such an exciting game check out the last few minutes of that game. Buffalo was leading 11-5 with less than five minutes remaining when Rochester silenced the Buffalo crowd with 5 straight goals. Jay Thorimbert’s faceoff win with 19 seconds remaining allowed Buffalo to hang on for the victory and let the fans go home happy. There are some changes to the Power Rankings. Let’s check it out.

1(2)

Edmonton Rush
4-0
The Rush showed resilience on Saturday in their come from behind 8-7 victory over the Vancouver Stealth. They are the highest scoring team. They have the best goals against average and even though it’s still early in the NLL season they have shown they are capable of beating teams in different ways. Next week the Rochester Knighthawks are in Edmonton. Even though the defending champs are no longer undefeated, that won’t dampen the anticipation surrounding next week’s battle.

2(3)

Buffalo Bandits
4-1
A huge 11-10 victory over the Rochester Knighthawks confirms what we thought we were seeing. The Buffalo Bandits are back. After taking last weekend off John Tavares scored 4 goals for the Bandits and veteran goaltender Anthony Cosmo looks like he may have regained the form that made him one of the world’s best box goaltenders a few years ago. Next weekend the Bandits will host another rival, the hated Toronto Rock in their second battle of the year.

3(1)

Rochester Knighthawks
3-1
Despite a final score of 11-10, the Knighthawks lost their first game of the season to a Buffalo Bandits squad that was clearly the better team – at least for 55 minutes. The Knighthawks were without Dan Dawson for the second half of the game and if he is out for any length of time it will be a blow to their offence. Rochester will be meeting another very tough opponent next week when they travel to Edmonton.

4(4)

Toronto Rock
1-2
The Rock had this weekend off but will have a very important weekend coming up. On Friday they host Rhys Duch and the Vancouver Stealth and then will travel to Buffalo for a Saturday match. Both games will be telecast on TSN2 in Canada and ESPN3 in the U.S.

5(5)

Calgary Roughnecks
2-3
Calgary lost a 14-13 overtime decision to the Colorado Roughnecks. As expected, it was a high scoring game and Calgary had a difficult time stopping Adam Jones, who scored 7 times. Although the Roughnecks play an exciting brand of lacrosse, their defensive game needs improvement. Calgary will be off next weekend but travel to Minnesota for February 8th.

6(6)

Vancouver Stealth
2-3
After building a first half lead against the Edmonton Rush, the Vancouver Stealth were stifled and outscored 7-1 in an eventual 8-7 loss. You can dwell on the negative in this game or recognize that the Stealth lost a one goal decision against possibly the best team in the NLL. Vancouver will have very little time to lick their wounds as they go on a very important road trip next week with games in Toronto and Philadelphia.

7(7)

Philadelphia Wings
2-3
The Wings had this weekend off but will host Vancouver on February 1st.

8(9)

Colorado Mammoth
2-5
There’s a fine line between winning and losing in this league. Last week the Mammoth lost a 14-13 overtime game in Vancouver. This week it was the same score in Calgary but the Mammoth were the winners. Even though Colorado has struggled this season there is no question that Adam Jones is emerging as a league superstar. He scored 7 goals on Saturday and leads the league with 23 goals. Colorado host the Minnesota Swarm on Saturday.

9(8)

Minnesota Swarm
1-3
Minnesota had the weekend off but will travel to Colorado next weekend for a game against the Mammoth.
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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