With only two games on the schedule this week a lot happened. Both games were exciting from beginning to end and both went to overtime. The Swarm buzzed into second place with an overtime win at home over Rochester, and Calgary is still winless as they fell in overtime again, this time to Buffalo.
This weekend we have seven games, some teams playing twice. A lot can change after Valentine’s weekend, or will there be little change? Tune in and find out.
NLL Power Rankings Week 6
(1)1—Toronto Rock (4-1) Like many teams the Rock had off this week. But this week is a big week. They face the 3-2 Swarm who are buzzing in a home and home series. Toronto holds a slim one game lead. Friday night the Rock roll into Minnesota for an 8:30 game, then return home to the ACC for a 7 pm start Saturday night. A weekend sweep by the Rock can put some separation in the division.
(2)2—Colorado Mammoth (3-1) Colorado also returning from a bye week will face the 2-2 Edmonton Rush in a home and home series battle for first place in the west. Colorado is coming off their first loss of the season as they look to rebound. A sweep by the Mammoth will start to put space between them and the rest of the west. First game is Friday in Colorado 9 pm, then they travel to Edmonton for a 4 pm Sunday matchup.
(3)3—Buffalo Bandits (4-3) The Bandits needed overtime to gain their fourth win of the season 15-14 over Calgary. In a game that had up and back action, neither team held more then a two goal lead. Buffalo fell behind 12-11 with nine minutes remaining before they went on a three goal run to take the lead, only to have the Roughnecks tie it with nine seconds remaining. Bandits escaped defeat a couple times in the overtime period before Jerome Thompson’s game winner at 4:18. Buffalo hosts Rochester Saturday 7:30 pm.
(5)4—Minnesota Swarm (3-2) Defeated the Rochester Knighthawks 7-6 in overtime in a game that was very well played defensively. Logan Schuss’ natural hat trick in the second quarter had the Swarm up 5-1 at the half, but Rochester scored five times in the third to take a one goal lead. Andrew Suitor tied the game with six minutes to go. It wasn’t until 2:21 of overtime when Callum Crawford just didn’t score the game winner (only goal of game), but it was his 200th career goal. Swarm now prepare for home and home against the Rock. Friday at the Hive 8:30 pm, then a return match Saturday 7 pm. A sweep for the Swarm will vault them into first in the east.
(4)5—Edmonton Rush (2-2) Edmonton coming off a bye week will be facing the division leading Colorado Mammoth in a home and home series. Edmonton’s Ben MacIntosh, the Rookie of the Month for January, looks to carry that play into this weekend. Friday night they travel to the Pepsi Center for a 9 pm start. They wrap up the weekend series on Sunday in Edmonton at 4 pm.
(6)6—Rochester Knighthawks (2-3) Stephen Keogh returns but the Knighthawks fall to the Swarm in overtime 7-6. Game was a defensive battle. After falling behind 5-1 at the half, the Knighthawks would score five times in the third to take a one goal lead, their only lead. Minnesota would score one in the fourth to tie and then the game winner in overtime. Two huge games for the ‘Hawks. Saturday 7:30 they travel to face the Bandits, then a rematch Sunday at 6 pm as the travel to face the New England Black Wolves.
(7)7—New England Black Wolves (2-2) After starting 2-0 the Black Wolves have lost the last two. This weekend they face the Knighthawks. Last time they met on January 10 the Black Wolves rolled to a 17-7 victory. Since then New England is 0-2 while Rochester is 2-1. Defense needs to tighten up, if not the Hawk offense could take advantage. Faceoff Sunday 6 pm.
(8)8—Vancouver Stealth (2-3) Coming off a 16-13 victory two weeks ago the Stealth will now face the Roughnecks. They defeated the Roughnecks in the opener for both teams 18-14. This will be the first game without the now retired Lewis Ratcliff. A win could give the Stealth that extra push they need. Faceoff Saturday 10 pm.
(9)9—Calgary Roughnecks (0-5) Once again the Roughnecks fall in overtime. This time Buffalo was the culprit by a score of 15-14. That’s three games this season they lost by one goal; two in OT and one with under two minutes to go. Moral victories do not count. Frank Scigliano had his second start and played well for the Roughnecks. They are two games behind Vancouver for the final playoff spot in the west. Their next two games are against Vancouver, two wins and they are in a tie and can slowly build momentum. Two losses and they could all but be eliminated from playoff contention. Calgary faces Vancouver on the road Saturday 10 pm.