NLL Power Rankings Week 5: Rock Roll to Top Spot

Photo Credit: George Fourlaris

There was a full slate of action again this week in the NLL, and once again we had some thrillers. Buffalo battles back in second half, but the tank went dry. Calgary is still winless, Stealth get revenge over Mammoth, Knighthawks and Rush now on two game win streaks, Black Wolves get doubled up.  Where will they fall this week in the Power Rankings????

NLL Power Rankings  Week 5

(2)1—Toronto Rock (4-1) Toronto regains the top spot with a 12-11 victory over the Roughnecks. In a game that Toronto took control of, the Roughnecks battled back to tie it at 11 with three minutes to go. But Josh Sanderson notched the game winner with less than two minutes remaining. Toronto is off this week as they prepare for a home and home weekend with the Swarm on the 13th & 14th.

(1)2—Colorado Mammoth (3-1) Fell from the top spot after a 16-13 defeat at the hands of the Stealth. A third quarter collapse put the Mammoth down 12-7, a deficit they could not overcome.  Drew Westervelt led the offense for the Mammoth with 3 G/3 A, while Adam Jones and John Grant Jr. combined for 1 G/9 A in the loss. Colorado is off this week as they prepare for a huge home and home with the Edmonton Rush on the 13th & 15th.

(5)3—Buffalo Bandits (3-3) Buffalo split their weekend matchups. On Friday they defeated the Swarm 15-12. Jerome Thompson played huge in place of the injured John Tavares by registering 4 G/1 A. Mark Steenhuis 3 G/4 A and Ryan Benesch 3 G/2 A paced the offense.  On Saturday night they fell to Rochester 17-11 after coming back from a 1-4 halftime deficit.  Steenhuis, Benesch, Smith, Hill and Thorimbert all had two goals apiece in the loss. Buffalo looks to get back on track as they face winless Calgary Saturday night 9 pm.

(8)4—Edmonton Rush (2-2) Edmonton opened up a 4-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and never looked back as they defeated the Black Wolves 18-9. Edmonton stayed on pace as they scored four goals in the middle two stanzas to hold a 12-9 lead into the final quarter.  Then a six goal blitz spelled victory for the Rush. Mark Matthews 6 G/2 A, and rookie Ben MacIntosh 4 G/4 A paced the offense.  Zack Greer also had four goals, three of them being the final ones in the Black Wolves coffin. Edmonton has off this week as they prepare for an important home and home series with the Mammoth on the 13th & 15th.

(4)5—Minnesota Swarm (2-2)   Fell behind early and never could recover as they fell to Buffalo 15-12. The Swarm were outscored 6-1 in the second quarter to fall behind 11-3 at the half.  They chipped away in the third quarter and outscored Buffalo 6-3 in the final 15 minutes but it wasn’t enough. Callum Crawford 2 G/6 A paced the offense. Shayne Jackson, Jordan MacIntosh, Logan Schuss and rookie Miles Thompson all scored twice. The Swarm will face division rival Rochester Friday night 8:30 pm.

(7)6—Rochester Knighthawks (2-2)   Knighthawks are now on a two game winning streak after a 17-11 win over Buffalo, but it wasn’t easy. After building a 10-4 halftime lead, Rochester allowed Buffalo to go on a seven goal run to take an 11-10 lead.  Angus Goodleaf relieved starter Matt Vinc when it was tied at 10, but Rochester would finish the game on their own seven goal run to cruise to victory. Cody Jamieson 4 G/4 A, Dan Dawson 11 A, and Joe Walters had a career night with 5 G/2 A. Knighthawks look to make it three in a row as they visit the Hive and face the Swarm Friday night 8:30 pm

(4)7—New England BlackWolves (2-2) Has now suffered a second huge loss. This one to Edmonton 18-9.  The much praised defense in the first two games has now allowed 37 goals in the last two. Looks like it’s back to square one for the defense, as well as the offense as they have scored 22 goals in the last two losses compared to 29 in the two victories. Pat Saunders and Kevin Crowley were the only multiple scorers in the game for the Black Wolves. The Black Wolves are off this week as they prepare for the Knighthawks on Sunday Feb 15th.

(8)8—Vancouver Stealth (2-3)  Ended their three game losing streak by defeating Colorado 16-13. This was a lineup without Lewis Ratcliff. Johnny Powless and Joel McCready combined for 7 G/4 A to lead the Stealth. Rhys Duch and Corey Small each with 2 G/5 A, and Tyler Digby 1 G/7 A were huge in the much needed victory. Vancouver is off this week as they prepare for a Valentine’s Day matchup against the Roughnecks.

(9)9—Calgary Roughnecks (0-4) Is it time to panic in Calgary??  I think so. The team has come close in a few games but moral victories do not count in the standings. Frank Scigliano got the start and played well, and Shawn Evans registered 4 G/6 A, but it just wasn’t enough.  It doesn’t get easier for Calgary.  This week Buffalo shuffles in for a game Saturday night 9 pm.