NLL 3 Stars: Week 11

Mark Steenhuis was on his game for the Bandits Saturday. (Photo: Bill Wippert)
Mark Steenhuis was on his game for the Bandits Saturday. (Photo: Bill Wippert)

It wasn’t a particularly high-scoring weekend in the National Lacrosse League. Six of the eight teams in action scored 10 goals or fewer and, as the math dictates it would have to be, a pair of those pulled out wins. So there aren’t a lot of gaudy points totals to dominate the IL Indoor NLL 3 Stars. That doesn’t mean there weren’t some great performances, though. We saw strong goaltending, in-your-face defence, enough scoring to keep things lively and a heart-warming surge of inspiration. To see how it all shakes down, who winds up wearing the laurels and who earns honourable mentions, make the jump.

First Star

Mark Steenhuis, Buffalo Bandits
4 goals, 2 assists, 5 loose balls
Steenhuis was in on half of the Bandits goals in their win over Minnesota and he saved the best for last, potting his fourth after pinballing around through a trio of Swarm defenders and slipping to daylight to bury.

Second Star

Kyle Rubisch, Edmonton Rush
13 loose balls, 8 forced turnovers
Vancouver played well, transitioned the ball effectively and got solid defence. But with Rubisch leading the way in the Rush back end, the Stealth just couldn’t connect for more than a handful of goals in the set offence. Rubisch is always good; but 13 loosies and eight forced turnovers? That’s a tour de force performance.

Third Star

Sean Pollock, Colorado Mammoth
3 goals
Okay, I’ll admit it. This pick is influenced a bit by emotion. Pollock was very good for Colorado with his hat trick. But who didn’t get a little choked up seeing him celebrate the overtime winner with the name of his wife Jenna, a breast cancer survivor, on the back of his Lacrosse Out Cancer-themed jersey? Sorry, Jammer, you can have the first honourable mention.

Honourable Mentions

Cody Jamieson (Rochester): 4g, 1a. Another big Rochester win, another line in the burgeoning legend that is the career of Cody Jamieson…Jordan Hall (Philadelphia): 3g, 2a. He’s quick, he can shoot and he has great floor vision. He used all those traits again Saturday…Jeff Shattler (Calgary): 4g. Two in the first and two in the fourth for the Roughnecks’ sniper…Tyler Garrison (Vancouver): 1g, 1a, 4LB, 4FT. Along with Nick Weiss and Mike Grimes, he’s making the Stealth transition game click…Shawn Evans (Calgary): 6a. Regained the league lead in assists…Steve Priolo (Buffalo): 4a, 6LB, 4FT. Another great night for a guy who is making everyone at least think about who the best defender in the league is, plus a pretty good tilt with Andrew SuitorJosh Gillam (Minnesota): 3g. With the Swarm still struggling to score, it’s huge for them when Gillam can contribute some goals…Dillon Ward (Colorado): 35/44, .795 save percentage. He didn’t have the best numbers of the goalies on the weekend, but Ward came up big when the Mammoth needed him; there’s a reason he was picked first star of the game by the media…Anthony Cosmo (Buffalo): 46/55, .836 save percentage. Cosmo did put up the best numbers…Stephen Keogh (Rochester): 2g, 4a. When Keogh is at his grinding, talented best, the Knighthawks’ offence is awfully tough to stop…Dhane Smith (Buffalo): 3g, 2a. Another step on the journey to being one of the top players in the league for Great Dhane, and he doesn’t have far to go if he hasn’t arrived yet…Aaron Bold (Edmonton): 41/50, .820 save percentage. Bold doesn’t always face 50 shots in a game, but when he does he stops a lot of them.

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 stamplax@hotmail.com.

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