National Lacrosse League Power Rankings: Week 14

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Finally things are shaking up a little bit in the Power Rankings. Obviously nothing has changed at the top where the 13 – 0 Edmonton Rush sit alone but there is a bit of movement below. Edmonton defeated the Rochester Knighthawks 15-11 on Saturday then took care of the Toronto Rock 13-11 on Sunday. The lesson here is don’t bet against the Rush. In other games the Vancouver Stealth finally got another win as they defeated Buffalo 12-8 , giving the Bandits their third straight loss. In Calgary the Roughnecks held off the Minnesota Swarm for a 15-11 victory while the Philadelphia Wings earned a win in Colorado by defeating the Mammoth 14-12. Let’s check out the Power Rankings.

1(1)

Edmonton Rush
13-0
For the third week in a row the Edmonton Rush met one the NLL’s next best teams and for the third week in a row the Rush soundly defeated the challenger. Edmonton’s 15-11 final score over the Rochester Knighthawks does not sound as dominant as their 15-7 win over Calgary or their 14-5 win over Buffalo but the reality was that Edmonton went into cruise control with a 14-7 fourth quarter lead. They had to rest for their game in Toronto 18 hours later. Yes, and they won that game 13-10 to become the first NLL team to win 13 straight games in a season. Next week the Rush will host the Colorado Mammoth.

2(2)

Rochester Knighthawks
9-4
As I just said, even though the final score was 15-11, the Rochester Knighthawks were schooled by the Edmonton Rush just like the Buffalo Bandits and Calgary Roughnecks were in the last two weeks. If these teams meet again this year, it will be a Championship game in Edmonton. The Knighthawks play back to back games against Minnesota next weekend.

3(4)

Calgary Roughnecks
8-5
The Calgary Roughnecks had their hands full with the Minnesota Swarm on Saturday but when push came to shove, Daryl Veltman’s two goals within 40 seconds helped the Roughnecks stretch their fourth quarter lead and gave them a 15-11 victory and their 8th win of the season. Next week the Roughnecks play in Philly on Friday and then in Buffalo on Saturday on the TSN2 game of the week.

4(3)

Buffalo Bandits
8-5
The Buffalo Bandits ran their losing streak to three games with an uninspired effort that led to a 12-8 loss in Vancouver. Everything that was wrong with the Bandits in 2013 came back to rear its ugly head for the Bandits as their game was marred by undisciplined penalties and anemic offence. The good news for the Bandits is that next week they are back to the friendly confines of the First Niagara Center where they have a 6-1 record and have not lost since the first game of the season. Their opponent next week will be the Calgary Roughnecks.

5(7)

Philadelphia Wings
5-9
The Philadelphia Wings got their second straight victory (14-12 over Colorado) when 14 year veteran Tracey Kelusky gave his team the final lead in the last minute of the game with his 20th goal of the season. The Wings winning streak could not come at a better time as they battle the Toronto Rock for the last playoff spot. Next week the Wings will host the Calgary Roughnecks on Friday.

6(5)

Toronto Rock
5-9

The Toronto Rock lost their 5th game in their last 6 contests when the Edmonton Rush rolled into town and defeated them by a final score of 13-10. Like many of their losses this year the Rock played great lacrosse for part of the game. Toronto was leading 7-6 at the half when their power play allowed 2 shorthanded goals to start the 2nd half and Toronto never regained the momentum. Next week the Toronto Rock travel to Vancouver to take on the Stealth.

7(6)

Colorado Mammoth
5-9
In a back and forth game where no team ever got ahead by more than two goals, it was the Colorado Mammoth who blinked first. Colorado rookie goaltender Dillon Ward was very good as he faced 62 Philadelphia shots including 18 in the fourth quarter. The Wings’ Kevin Crowley and Tracey Kelusky scored clutch goals late in the game to seal the victory for Philadelphia. Athan Ianucci scored 4 goals for the Mammoth and Adam Jones scored 2 goals and 3 assists in his first game since February 1st. Next week the Mammoth travel to Edmonton to meet the red hot Rush.

8(9)

Vancouver Stealth
4-9
As fellow ILIndoor writer Bob Chavez said “the Stealth are too good to keep losing”. With the score tied 3-3 the Vancouver Stealth opened the 2nd quarter with four straight goals and never let the Bandits closer than three goals for the rest of the game. It should come as no surprise that Rhys Duch led the offence with 5 goals and 4 assists. The Stealth took advantage of Buffalo’s undisciplined play and scored 5 goals on 11 power play opportunities as they peppered 62 shots at Anthony Cosmo. The Stealth will welcome Langley’s own Garrett Billings and the Toronto Rock next week.

9(8)

Minnesota Swarm
3-10
Minnesota played well but came up on the losing end of a 15-11 game in Calgary on Saturday. Next weekend the Swarm will play a home and home series against the Rochester Knighthawks and anything less than a split will likely kill the Swarm’s playoff hopes.

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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