What a weekend of lacrosse! Actually, it was just the one night with all three National Lacrosse League games having been played Saturday night, but there was enough action and excitement for a whole weekend packed into those 182 minutes of play. Adam Jones was brilliant for Colorado; I’m not going to be coy and try to pretend you have to make the jump to find out he’s one of the stars. His 7-goal performance has him right at the top, both of the league goal-scoring list and this week’s IL Indoor NLL 3 Stars. There were other very good offensive performances as well, but we’re looking at the other end of the floor for our other two stars this week. You will have to make the jump to see who among the terrific defensive performers earned the honours, and who make it into the honourable mentions.
Adam Jones, Colorado Mammoth
7 goals, 1 assists, 4 loose balls
Jones scored in all kinds of ways, and he got those 7 goals on just 10 shots, which is a truly remarkable shooting percentage. Another great sign for the Mammoth faithful is that he’s playing without a knee brace and looking really confident in his leg. Jones was good his first two years in the league, but he’s taking his game to another level this winter. It’s true that his league lead in total goals is boosted by having played seven games, but his 3.3 goals per game is matched only by Stephan Leblanc and Dane Dobbie, so he’s a legitimately elite sniper.
Tyler Richards, Vancouver Stealth
49 saves on 58 shots, .845 save percentage
It’s tough for a goalie to get the second-star nod when his team lost, but if you watched Vancouver’s game Saturday you probably aren’t questioning this pick. 58 shots is a ton of rubber to face, and the 32 shots in the second half included a lot of high-quality looks. Richards kept them in the game with plenty of huge saves, the best of which, of course, was the spectacular heist of what looked like a sure Cory Conway goal just before intermission.
Dan MacCrae, Calgary Roughnecks
2 goals, 4 loose balls, 4 forced turnovers
MacCrae was a force in the defensive zone, looking solid and physical all night and he was rewarded with some transition chances. A pair of goals is a huge night for MacCrae, given that his season high for scoring is the 3 goals he recorded last year. Don’t expect to see him keep putting the ball in the net, but he’s definitely one of the underrated defenders in the league and you can expect to keep seeing him play consistently in his own end.
John Tavares (Buffalo): 4g, 4LB. If his awesome 4-goal effort is what the Bandits can expect after they give him a game off, look for them to rest him more through the season. Of course, that’s been the plan for a few years now but it’s always hard to sit him when he’s ready to go…Joel McCready (Rochester): 3g, 1a, 6LB. His first career hat trick almost got Rochester all the way back against hte Bandits…Chet Koneczy (Colorado): 3a, 7LB, 4FT. Stepped in for his first game of the season and looked like he had been in the lineup all year…Brodie MacDonald (Edmonton): 23/27, .852 save percentage. The big guy provided exactly what you want when you switch goalies, stepping in to change the momentum and help Edmonton remain unbeaten…Joe Resetarits (Buffalo): 3g, 1a, 5LB. Another first-time member of the hat trick club, Joey Rez is starting to look very comfortable in the Bandits offence…John Grant Jr. (Colorado): 3g, 1a. A hat trick is old hat for Junior, but he continues to amaze with goals like the splashy blind overtime stunner…Curtis Knight and Mark Matthews (Edmonton): 2g, 3a each. What a pair this duo make for the Rush…Rhys Duch (Vancouver): 3g, 2a. Of course it was Duch who scored the goal that pulled Vancouver back within one and gave them a late chance…Cody Jamieson (Rochester): 3g, 3a, 4LB. There’s no better off-side shooter in the game htan Jammer…Anthony Cosmo (Buffalo): 46/56, .821 save percentage. For about 55 minutes, Coz was in line for one of the 3 Stars, but Rochester suddenly found holes that just hadn’t been there earlier. All five of their late goals came on the power play or with an extra attacker.Stamp is a TV sports announcer and lacrosse lover whose skill set made him a defender but who always dreamed of being a goal-scorer. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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