Archive for the ‘National Lacrosse League’ Category


Thul living the dream with NLL’s Wings

How well as American Garrett Thul adapted to box lacrosse? He cut the palms from his gloves. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
How well as American Garrett Thul adapted to box lacrosse? He cut the palms from his gloves. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

Some people call them choices. Garrett Thul calls them options. Either way, he’s living in a dream world as a professional lacrosse player for the National Lacrosse League’s Philadelphia Wings while working his way toward another goal of being an infantry officer in the United States military. Without much experience as an American, the West Point graduate has caught on nicely and has plans to continue playing, unless his other option overtakes the game. He still has military duty to fulfill for the U.S. Army but has been granted an extension as he prepares to play for Team USA this summer in Denver. After that, it’s off to Fort Benning in Georgia for a leader course in hopes of that leading to the 82nd Airborne in North Carolina. “I love playing lacrosse,” Thul told Philly.com. “The thing is, I can’t keep doing it if it impacts how well I do my job. Ultimately, especially in the infantry branch, not being good at my job could potentially lead to casualties or fatalities, and that is not acceptable to me. If there is a point where I can’t do my job, then I am going to stop playing lacrosse.”


Rookie Report: Leung, Schuss, Ward showing off their shine down the stretch

Calgary's Karsen Leung (21) has been as consistent as they come among NLL rooks this season. (Photo: Brad Watson)
Calgary's Karsen Leung (21) has been as consistent as they come among NLL rooks this season. (Photo: Brad Watson)

By this point of a season, roles are pretty well defined and set. But this is the National Lacrosse League, where surprises are the norm. And that’s where we find ourselves today with the Rookie Report because it’s been a tough season. Tough in the sense that there really hasn’t been a clear-cut frontrunner with so much talent running the floor. But this week, we’re seeing a bit of a shakeup among our Top 5. The top spot has been a comfortable perch for most of this season, but that spot has had plenty of contenders who have turned up the heat over the last few weeks and finally, moves had to be made. Find out who is where after Week 17. READ MORE »


Reeling Bandits remaining calm in face of their 7-game losing streak, plus the links

Celebrations by opponents are becoming an all-too-familiar scene for the Bandits. (Photo: Ward Laforme Jr.)
Celebrations by opponents are becoming an all-too-familiar scene for the Bandits. (Photo: Ward Laforme Jr.)

If you’re a fan of cowboy movies or The Clash, The Magnificent Seven is something you’re familiar with. If you’re a Buffalo Bandits fan, you’re familiar with it as well, but for all the wrong reasons. The Bandits went 0-2 on the weekend, stretching their National Lacrosse League losing streak to 7 straight games with road losses to the Toronto Rock and Rochester Knighthawks. At 8-9 heading into their regular-season finale on Saturday, it’s not a pretty sight when you remember that the Bandits were 8-2 in their first 10 games. “It’s stunning,” forward Joe Resetarits told the Buffalo News. “You’ve got to expect that during a long season, you’re going to go through some lows. We’ve got to fight through this.” READ MORE »


Money Ballers: Dickson makes big push to gain ground on Grant and Dobbie

John Grant Jr. maintains his lead in the Money Baller standings with 1 week left in the season. (Photo: Colorado Mammoth)
John Grant Jr. maintains his lead in the Money Baller standings with 1 week left in the season. (Photo: Colorado Mammoth)

This past weekend was the second-last of the regular season and fittingly, we saw the second-lowest scoring game in National Lacrosse League history, Curtis Dickson’s second sock-trick of the year, and Edmonton’s second loss of the season. In addition, the second-to-last playoff decision was made, as the Mammoth clinched the final playoff spot. The only remaining decision is where the Rock/Bandits first-round game will be played. Let’s take a second or two and look over this week’s games and their implications to the Money Ballers race. READ MORE »


Balance is key for resurgent Mammoth down stretch of NLL season, plus the links

John Grant Jr., left, and Adam Jones have combined for 13 goals in the last 2 Colorado games. (Photo: Bartley Young)
John Grant Jr., left, and Adam Jones have combined for 13 goals in the last 2 Colorado games. (Photo: Bartley Young)

The Colorado Mammoth needed it, so they went out and got it. But Saturday’s 18-12 win over the Minnesota Swarm was much more than a win that clinched the final National Lacrosse League playoff berth for the 2014 season. It was a win that solidified and extended confidence. Consider: The 18 goals was a season-high for the Mammoth offense. John Grant Jr. scored his 600th career goal. Adam Jones scored 4 goals in the first 18 minutes, and Dillon Ward made a career-high 51 saves. “Slowly but surely, the team’s coming together,” Grant told the team’s website. “We’re getting contributions from different players all the time.” But can a team that’s won 2 straight games be in the conversation of which team is the hottest in the NLL? READ MORE »


Mammoth complete National Lacrosse League playoff field

Matt Vinc stopped 45 of the 49 shots he faced as Rochester beat Buffalo 8-4. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
Matt Vinc stopped 45 of the 49 shots he faced as Rochester beat Buffalo 8-4. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)

The Colorado Mammoth  (7-10) made sure they were headed to the playoffs by putting up their biggest offensive output of the year in an 18-12 win over the Minnesota Swarm (4-13). Colorado clinched third place in the West Division and a first-round playoff date in Calgary by scoring at least 4 goals in each quarter against the Swarm, despite being outshot 63-48 in the game. Everything just seemed to find a way behind the Minnesota goaltenders, especially in the fourth quarter when the Mammoth scored 5 goals on just nine shots.

Athan Iannucci led all scorers with 8 points on 2 goals and 6 assists. Adam Jones scored 4 goals–including one on the power play and one shorthanded–and added as assist. John Grant Jr. had a hat trick and 2 assists. The first goal was a big one as it was the 600th of his career, making him just the third player ever to reach that milestone (along with Gary Gait and John Tavares). Logan Schuss led the way for the Swarm with 4 goals and 3 assists. READ MORE »


Roughnecks to open NLL playoffs May 3

Coach Curt Malawsky and the Roughnecks will play their 9th straight home playoff game on May 3. (Photo: Brad Watson)
Coach Curt Malawsky and the Roughnecks will play their 9th straight home playoff game on May 3. (Photo: Brad Watson)

The Calgary Roughnecks have good news for their fans. Not only do you have a National Lacrosse League playoff game to attend in Calgary, you can book your plans right now. The Roughnecks don’t know who they’re playing — it’s either the Colorado Mammoth or Vancouver Stealth — but whoever the opponent is, it’ll be there for a May 3 game at 9 p.m. (EST). A banner ad on Calgary’s website makes the announcement along with how to purchase tickets for the game. The Roughnecks, who play at the rival Edmonton Rush tonight, are in the NLL playoffs for the 11th straight season as they pursue the third Champion’s Cup in franchise history. Of the 18 playoff games in team history, 13 have been home games for the Riggers, including the last 9.


Rock defeat Bandits to keep alive hopes of hosting first-round NLL playoff game

Stephan Leblanc and Rob Hellyer again had big nights as the Toronto Rock won their third straight game. (Photo: Graig Abel)
Stephan Leblanc and Rob Hellyer again had big nights as the Toronto Rock won their third straight game. (Photo: Graig Abel)

The Toronto Rock (8-9) are getting hot at the right time while the Buffalo Bandits (8-8) desperately need to change the path they’re on. Toronto won its third straight game with a 13-9 victory over the Bandits, who dropped their sixth in a row to tie the franchise-record losing streak they set last year. The Rock have allowed just 9 goals in each of their three straight wins while it was the fifth time in the six straight losses that Buffalo has scored fewer than 10 times. Stephan Leblanc and Kevin Ross each had hat tricks and Rob Hellyer continued his stellar play with a goal and 6 assists for the Rock, who were without Garrett Billings (out for the season with an ACL tear) and Josh Sanderson (flu) on the offensive end of the floor. John Tavares was the only multiple-goal scorer for the Bandits with two and he added a pair of assists. Nick Rose got the start in goal for Toronto and was excellent, stopping 48 of the 57 shots he faced. READ MORE »


NLL Week 17 Staff Picks

Win and they're in! With a W over the Swarm on Saturday the Mammoth secure the NLL's last playoff berth. (Photo: Alex Carroll)
Win and they're in! With a W over the Swarm on Saturday the Mammoth secure the NLL's last playoff berth. (Photo: Alex Carroll)

There are five games in week 17 of the NLL, four of which hold playoff implications with Vancouver and Colorado fighting for the last spot in the West Division and Buffalo and Toronto going head to head for a home playoff game in the East Division.

The Bandits (8-7) have defeated the Rock (7-9) by a score of 12-10 twice this season, once in Buffalo, once in Toronto. On Friday, the Bandits return to Toronto looking to snap a five game losing skid and sweep the series. Also on the line? A home playoff game; if Buffalo wins they’ll host Toronto in Banditland.
READ MORE »


Dirty Dozen: Projecting JT’s goals, awkward debut in Edmonton and ‘O’ woes in Buffalo

How many goals would John Tavares, right, have if he had a 16-game schedule for his entire career? (Photo: Dan Brodie)
How many goals would John Tavares, right, have if he had a 16-game schedule for his entire career? (Photo: Dan Brodie)

Ever since John Tavares scored his 800th National Lacrosse League goal on April 5, the obvious question has been floating around: How many goals would Tavares have if the NLL had a 16-game schedule for each of the 23 seasons he’s played? It’s an interesting question and a fun one, because it’s based on speculation, of course. And since we’re not one to back down from a challenge, we put on our thinking caps and came up with what we think could be an answer. We took it a step further and took a look at the league’s current Top 5 in career goals to project where they’d be as well if they’d all had 16-game seasons for the duration of their careers. READ MORE »