Week 7 of the National Lacrosse League featured four close games and a blowout in one of the most exciting weekends we’ve seen yet; it also featured two amazing career feats, both by Philadelphia Wings. On Friday in a 20-10 loss in Toronto against the Rock Tracey Kelusky had three goals; his third being his 800th National Lacrosse League regular season point. Then on Saturday, Wings netminder Evan Kirk made his 800th regular season save with his 11th stop of the first quarter.
This week’s Three Stars could have easily been all Toronto Rock players as several guys stepped up in their 20-10 pounding over the Wings. Kasey Beirnes and Stephan Leblanc each had four goals with two assists while Colin Doyle chipped in four goals to go along with three assists.
Although each star could have gone to a member of the Rock there were other guys who played just a bit better and were able to nudge all but one man from Toronto off this week’s list. Here are the NLL Week 7 Three Stars:
Third Star – Brad Self of the Rochester Knighthawks
Self was solid once again as the the Knighthawks flew past the Bandit 9-6 at home on Saturday. He had three assists, 10 loose balls and was a huge reason why Rochester was able to contain Buffalo to just six goals while ending their five-game winning streak in the process. We saw Self’s trademark speed on several occasions as well as a couple of pick off passes at the top of the defensive end which we’ve become quite accustomed to seeing from No. 25. Self coached his Nationwide Lacrosse Hawks to a tough loss on Thursday against Paul Evans’ Stealth so it was good to see him bounce back with a great game Saturday.
Second Star – Dillon Ward of the Colorado Mammoth
The Mammoth squeaked out a hard fought 10-9 win in Vancouver against the Stealth and Dillon Ward was the main reason they were able to come out on top in that one. Ward shut the door completely in the first quarter on route to his fourth win of the season and third in a row. Ward made several huge saves throughout the game but his biggest came in the last three minutes with Vancouver pressing hard for the equalizer. Ward and the Mammoth bring their three game win streak back home to the Pepsi Centre Saturday where they will show no love in a Valentine’s Day rematch versus the Stealth.
First Star – Garrett Billings of the Toronto Rock
It was Garrett Billings bobblehead night at the Air Canada Centre on Friday and No. 13 drove the re-selling price of these collectables through the roof by producing his best game of the season thus far. Billings led all National Lacrosse League scorers in Week 7 with six goals on seven shots to go along with six helpers and is now averaging over seven points per game this season. He is well on pace to shatter his previous career high of 114 points which he set for himself in the 2012 regular season. After the game Billings was very modest while down playing his 86 shooting percentage, saying “I think it must have been six (goals) on seven (shots) on net but I don’t think every shot was going in; otherwise that’s better luck than I normally have.”