Week 16 is completed and the playoff picture is starting to take shape. The Edmonton Rush have clinched first in the west. Colorado is the number two seed, and will face the winner of Calgary vs Vancouver on May 2. In the east, Toronto’s magic number to clinch best overall and the east title is one. Rochester is a No. 2 seed and can move up by winning their final two games and Toronto losing their final game. Buffalo is one game away from clinching the final spot in the east. A Buffalo win or a New England loss will finish things in the east. But if New England wins out and Buffalo loses out, the Black Wolves get the final spot.
NLL Power Rankings Week 16
(1)….1—Toronto Rock* (13-4) The Rock are now a game away from clinching the east and the No. 1 seed overall. A 15-12 win over the visiting Black Wolves draw the Rock closer. Brett Hickey (3 G, 5 A) led the way for the Rock, as fan favorite Garrett Billings made his return to Toronto, but for the opposition. Toronto is in action next Friday, May 2 at New England 7 pm.
(2)….2—Rochester Knighthawks* (11-5) After staying close for the first half, the Knighthawks found themselves down 11-5 going into the final quarter. They went on to score the final five but fell short 11-10 to Colorado. Cody Jamieson (3 G, 2 A) and Dan Dawson (1 G, 7 A) led the way for the ‘Hawks. The following night they rebounded with a 13-9 win over the Stealth. Corey Vitarelli led the way with four goals and three assists. Rochester hosts New England Saturday 7:30 pm.
(3)….3—Edmonton Rush* (11-5) Defeated the Mammoth 13-12. With the win the Rush have clinched the west and have a first round bye in the playoffs. Mark Matthews (4 G, 5 A), Zack Greer (4 G, 2 A), Ben McIntosh (3 G, 5 A) led the Rush attack. Edmonton visits the Swarm Saturday 8 pm.
(4)….4—Colorado Mammoth* (9-8) Split their games this weekend. An 11-10 win over Rochester, and a 13-12 defeat to Edmonton which clinched the west for the Rush. Against the Hawks they opened an 11-5 lead and held off a late rush for the victory. Saturday they battled back from a 13-6 deficit and fell a goal short. Adam Jones had a combined 11 goals and four assists in the two games for the Mammoth. Mammoth are off this week. Host Edmonton May 2, 9 pm.
(5)….5—Buffalo Bandits (8-7) Were off this past week, but saw their playoff bid draw closer. A win in either game this weekend or a New England loss will give Buffalo the playoff spot. Buffalo are in action twice this weekend. Saturday they host Vancouver at 7:30 pm, then visit New England Sunday 6 pm.
(7)….6—Calgary Roughnecks (6-11) With their 10-6 win over the Swarm, the Roughnecks have set up a win and in scenario on May 2. Shawn Evans led the way with four goals and two assists. Calgary is off this week as they prepare for the big game of the regular season on May 2 versus Vancouver.
(6)….7—Vancouver Stealth (5-11) A big loss to the Knighthawks 13-9 has placed Vancouver into a win and in scenario on May 2 vs Calgary. Joel McCready (5 G, 1 A) and Rhys Duch (1 G, 6 A) led the way for the Stealth in defeat. Stealth visit Buffalo Saturday 7:30 pm.
(8)….8—Minnesota Swarm (5-11) Swarm fell for the 11th time this season. This time Calgary came out on top 10-6. Johnny Powless (2 G), Shayne Jackson (1 G, 3 A) led the Swarm in defeat. Minnesota will host Edmonton Saturday 8 pm.
(9)….9—New England Black Wolves (4-10) Fell to Toronto 15-12 and just about sealed their playoff fate. Pat Saunders (3 G, 2 A) and Brett Bucktooth (2 G, 3 A) led the way for the Black Wolves. New England must win their remaining four games, while Buffalo must lose the last three to get into the playoffs. Black Wolves start that task this weekend. Saturday night they visit Rochester 7:30 pm, then return home Sunday to host Buffalo 6 pm.