Week 9 NLL Power Rankings
The cream rose to the top this weekend. The eastern conference was very busy as each team played a pair of games. Georgia swept their games, Friday 13-12 at Toronto and 15-9 versus Rochester. New England and Buffalo played a home and home series and split the games with the Black Wolves winning 14-11 in Buffalo on Friday, and Buffalo returning the favor in New England winning in overtime 16-15. Toronto split their pair of games, while the Knighthawks dropped both contests.
In the west, Saskatchewan rolled along with a hard fought 8-7 win over Colorado, while the Roughnecks dropped their second straight 13-10 to Vancouver.
No change in the top three, but four through nine does some shuffling.
This week is another MUST win game for Buffalo as they host Toronto, Saskatchewan will try to extend their lead in the west as they host Calgary, Rochester visits Vancouver as both teams try to get fully on track, and New England hosts Colorado in what should be another classic matchup to end the weekend.
1-Georgia Swarm (7-1)
The Swarm did what was expected of them sweeping both contests. Friday night was an overtime 13-12 win on the road at Toronto. Lyle Thompson (1G/8A) led the way. Thompson continued his onslaught with a 10 point game (6G/4A) as the Swarm took down Rochester 15-9. This young group of players have finally put it all together, as it looks like no one can stop them right now. Georgia is off this week and will visit Calgary on March 4.
2-Toronto Rock (5-2)
Toronto split their set of games, falling to Georgia in overtime 13-12, but rebounding in Rochester 10-6. Tom Schreiber led the way both nights compiling 10 points (3G/7A). Nick Rose faced 110 shots over the weekend stopping 91, while also scoring an empty net goal Saturday night. The Rock shuffle off to Buffalo 7:30 pm Saturday.
3-Saskatchewan Rush (5-2)
Saskatchewan was in a dog fight as they squeaked by Colorado 8-7. The Rush scored the first four before Colorado turned and did the same. The game could have been more of a runaway for the Rush if it wasn’t for Dillon Ward. Ward stopped 56 of 63 shots faced, while Aaron Bold only faced 34 shots, stopping 27. Ben McIntosh led the way with a pair of goals and an assist. Saskatchewan hosts Calgary 8:30 pm Saturday.
4-Colorado Mammoth (4-4)
The Mammoth fall to Saskatchewan 8-7. The Mammoth started slowly allowing a four goal run to start the game, before they came to life scoring the next four to tie the game at the half. The offense didn’t produce many shots, only 34. Dillon Ward was the star for the Mammoth this game as he stopped 56 of 63 shots keeping the Mammoth in the game the entire time. Colorado visits New England Sunday at 1 pm. This is sure to be a classic match up.
5-New England Black Wolves (3-5)
The Black Wolves split their home and home with Buffalo, winning 14-11 Friday, but dropping the back end 16-15 Sunday. Shawn Evans was held without a goal Friday for the first time in almost two years. Evans rebounded with 12 points (6G/6A) on Sunday and ended with 16 total points for the weekend. Kyle Buchanan and Kevin Crowley also registered 11 points over the weekend. New England will host Colorado Sunday at 1 pm.
6-Vancouver Stealth (3-5)
Vancouver defeated Calgary 13-10 which was their first win since starting the season 2-0. The Stealth took control with a five goal run to start the game and never looked back. Corey Small (4G/4A) and Logan Schuss (4G/2A) led the way for the Stealth as Tye Belanger stopped 44 of 54 shots. The win put Vancouver back into the playoff race and leaves them only one game out of second place. Vancouver hosts Rochester Saturday 10 pm.
7-Calgary Roughnecks (3-4)
The Roughnecks fell to Vancouver 13-10. This was Calgary’s third consecutive loss. Calgary has gone from to division leader to a half step from the basement. Curtis Dickson (3G/3A), Dane Dobbie (3G/4A) and Wes Berg with a hat trick led the offense. This week will not be easier as Calgary visits Saskatchewan Saturday 8:30 pm.
8-Buffalo Bandits (2-5)
Buffalo split their home and home with New England. A 14-11 loss Friday, followed with a huge win Sunday 16-15. Buffalo could have used a series of wins, but escape with a split. Dhane Smith led the Buffalo offense with 12 points (7G/5A). Buffalo has another must win as they host Toronto Saturday 7:30 pm.
9-Rochester Knighthawks (2-6)
Rochester dropped both contests 10-6 to Toronto and 15-9 to Georgia. If Rochester ever needed two wins this was it. This once high-powered offense only registered 15 total goals in two games. Rochester will visit Vancouver Saturday 10 pm.