National Lacrosse League Power Rankings: Week 11

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I’m glad my wife likes sports because she didn’t mind that we spent our Saturday night watching Hockey Night in Canada and four NLL lacrosse games. We saw the top three NLL teams, the Edmonton Rush, Buffalo Bandits and Rochester Knighthawks all turn up the power when they needed to secure victories against the Vancouver Stealth, Minnesota Swarm and Philadelphia Wings. We also saw the Edmonton Rush put themselves in the record book for the best start ever to an NLL season ever with nine straight victories. My wife went to bed late in the final game between the Colorado Mammoth and Calgary Roughnecks on TSN2 but I stayed up to see a remarkable, and fitting, finish to the “Lacrosse Out Cancer” night in Denver. Read on to find out more and to see how the results affected the Power Rankings.

1(1)

Edmonton Rush
9-0
As I watched this game I started to believe that the Edmonton Rush would tasted defeat for the first time in 2014. Vancouver battled every step of the way and appeared to have the edge. When Edmonton rookie Riley Loewen left the game with a shoulder injury it looked as if Edmonton’s luck was going south. Cory Conway and Robert Church came up clutch for the Rush to help secure there spot in the NLL record book as the lone team to start a season with 9 straight victories. Next week the Rush will play in Calgary on Friday.

2(2)

Buffalo Bandits
7-2
The Buffalo Bandits recovered from an early 6-2 deficit against the Minnesota Swarm and didn’t take their first lead of the game until the fourth quarter when they outscored the Swarm 4-0 to get a 12-9 victory at home. Mark Steenhuis led the way for Buffalo with 4 goals and 2 assists. The Bandits host the Colorado Mammoth next Saturday.

3(3)

Rochester Knighthawks
7-3
The Rochester Knighthawks were tied at 5 with the Philadelphia Wings at halftime but outscored the Wings 8-3 the rest of the way to get their seventh victory of the season. Cody Jamieson scored 4 goals and added 2 assists for Rochester. Next week the Knighthawks will travel to Toronto on Saturday and Philadelphia on Sunday

4(4)

Calgary Roughnecks
6-3
When Calgary scored the first five goals of the game in Colorado it looked like it was going to be a repeat of their their offensive explosion against the Toronto Rock last week. However the Roughnecks went 40 minutes before they scored their 6th goal and by that time they were down 9-5. They scored 4 goals in the last 6 minutes, including 2 with their goaltender pulled, to put the game in overtime but when the final buzzer sounded it was a 11-10 loss for Calgary and their second overtime defeat against the Mammoth this season. Next week the Calgary Roughnecks will host the 2nd of four games in the 2014 NLL Battle of Alberta.

5(5)

Toronto Rock
4-6
The Toronto Rock had the weekend off but will have a “make or break” weekend coming up with a home game Saturday against Rochester and a road game in Minnesota on Sunday.

6(6)

Colorado Mammoth
5-7
Colorado’s 10-9 win under new coaches Dan Stroup, Chris Gill and Pat Coyle was impressive on many fronts. First the Mammoth were able to shut out the powerful Calgary offence for almost 40 minutes. Second Colorado regained their composure after Calgary scored 4 late goals to come back from a 9-5 deficit and force overtime. Finally, who better to score the winning goal than Sean Pollock, who was playing for his wife Jenna, a cancer survivor, on ‘Lacrosse Out Cancer’ night? Next week the Mammoth travel to Buffalo to face the Bandits on Saturday night.

7(8)

Vancouver Stealth
3-8
The Vancouver Stealth played a great game and looked like they were going to give the Edmonton Rush their first defeat of the season but when the dust had settled the Stealth lost their 7th game in the last 8 outings. Vancouver has another weekend off next week but will then play their next three games at home starting March 21st against the Calgary Roughnecks.

8(7)

Philadelphia Wings
3-8
The Philadelphia Wings lost their 5th game in a row when they were defeated by the Rochester Knighthawks 13-8 on Saturday. Next week they will meet again in Philadelphia on Sunday.

9(9)

Minnesota Swarm
2-7
Like Vancouver, the Swarm played a good game on Saturday. Their fourth quarter lapse gave the Bandits a 12-9 victory. Next week the Swarm will host the Toronto Rock on Sunday.

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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