National Lacrosse League Power Rankings: Week 7

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There were five games on weekend 7 of the 2014 NLL season. On Friday the Toronto Rock exploded for a 20-10 victory over the Philadelphia Wings. Just over a week ago we were talking about Garrett Billings slow start to the season. On Friday he scored 6 goals on 7 shots and also added 6 assists to challenge for the league scoring lead. On Saturday the marquee matchup was the Buffalo Bandits at Rochester. Rochester survived a second half surge by the Bandits to win 9-6 in a game that showed the Bandits and Knighthawks hate each other as much as the Bandits and Rock do, Edmonton won their 6th in a row in Philly by and 8-6 margin, giving the Wings two losses on the weekend. In Minnesota the visiting Roughnecks had a 15-13 victory and in Langley BC, the Colorado Mammoth (without Adam Jones) defeated Vancouver Stealth (without Rhys Duch) 10 -9. Let’s check out the Power Rankings.

1(1)

Edmonton Rush
6-0
The Rush were by no means offensively dominant in their 8-6 win over Philadelphia but defensively they gave very few chances to the Wings and the bottom line is that Edmonton is 6-0 to start the season. Next week Edmonton is in Minnesota to face the Swarm.

2(2)

Buffalo Bandits
5-2
The Buffalo Bandits suffered their second loss of the season – and their first since opening night – after losing to the Rochester Knighthawks 9-6 on Saturday. On the bright side, the Bandits played very well in the second half after falling behind 5-0. On the negative side, Buffalo seemed more interested in getting their “hacks and slashes” in during the last few minutes than mounting a comeback. Next week the Bandits will welcome the Philly Wings to Buffalo, the team that ruined Buffalo’s home opener.

3(3)

Rochester Knighthawks
4-2
The Knighthawks put an end to their two game skid by defeating the Bandits. So far this year the Rochester Knighthawks have allowed an average of only 8 goals against per game. On most nights Cody Jamison, Dad Dawson, and the rest of their talented forwards can score enough goals to compliment Matt Vinc and the defence and get a win. Next week could be interested as Rochester travels to the unfriendly Air Canada Centre to face a Toronto team that has been averaging almost 18 goals per game at home.
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4(5)

Toronto Rock
3-3
We are starting to see a pattern emerge with the Toronto Rock. Lose on the road and kick butt at home. After their 20-10 victory against the Philadelphia Wings the Toronto Rock are a dominant 3-0 at home. Of course the flip side is that they are 0-3 on the road but they won’t have to worry their road record next week when the Rochester Knighthawks come to town,

5(6)

Calgary Roughnecks
3-3
The Calgary Roughnecks defeated the Minnesota Swarm 15-13 on Saturday night in Minnesota. It sounds like an old record but even though Calgary can put the ball in the net they won’t go far if they continue to have worst goals against average in the NLL. However in today`s NLL any win on the road is a good win. Next week the Roughnecks will host a potentially desperate Vancouver squad.

6(7)

Colorado Mammoth
4-5
Things appear to be going in the right direction for the Colorado Mammoth as they won their third game in a row by defeating the Vancouver Stealth 10-9 in Langley. Rookie goaltender Dillon Ward has settled in nicely and it looks like he has taken the number one job. I hope Drew Westervelt bought Ward a beverage after last night’s game. Ward saved his butt after Westervelt made an inexplicable give away with less than 5 second remaining in the game. Next week the Mammoth will meet the Vancouver Stealth for the fourth and final time this season.

7(3)

Philadelphia Wings
3-5
It was a tough weekend for the Philadelphia Wings as they lost both games, 20-11 in Toronto and 8-6 to Edmonton in Philly. It didn’t help that the Wings were without their leader Jordan Hall for both games because of work commitments, On the bright side, the Wings were much better on Saturday than they were in Toronto. They welcomed goaltender Brandon Miller back after holding out for the early part of the season. Philly is hoping that the Brandon Miller- Evan Kirk goaltending tandem can be as successful as they were last summer when they backstopped the Six Nations Chiefs to the Mann Cup. The Wings travels to Buffalo next weekend.

8(6)

Vancouver Stealth
2-6
The Vancouver Stealth lost their 5th game in a row when they were defeated 10-9 by the Colorado Mammoth in Langley on Saturday. The Stealth were without superstar Rhys Duch, who served his one game suspension, and competed well but still came up short. Next weekend the Stealth travel to Colorado Friday and Calgary on Saturday in what might be their most important weekend of the season.

9(9)

Minnesota Swarm
1-5
Minnesota just can’t put it together so far this season. For the first few weeks their goals against were great but they couldn’t score. For the last few weeks, including Saturday`s 15-13 loss to Calgary, they have been putting the ball in the net but they can’t shut down their opponent. Next weekend might be their biggest challenge of the season so far when they host the undefeated Edmonton Rush.

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