The back-to-back NLL champion Rochester Knighthawks (3-0) remain atop the IL Indoor Power Rankings for the fourth-straight week. (Photo: Larry Palumbo)
After a season-high seven games in Week 4 this past weekend, IL Indoor's Brian Shanahan has released his NLL Power Rankings as teams begin to show their true colors as the year progresses.
The back-to-back NLL champion Rochester Knighthawks stayed atop the poll for the fourth-straight week with a home win over the Toronto Rock as they continue their quest to become the first team in league history to win three-straight titles.
Meanwhile, the Buffalo Bandits kept the ball rolling with a strong road win over the Colorado Mammoth for their third win in a row. The NLL Week 5 schedule features three Saturday night primetime games starting with Buffalo hosting nearby Rochester at First Niagara Center for the first of four "Thruway rivalry" matchups this season.
"The NLL had its busiest weekend thus far as seven games were on the docket," Shanahan writes. "We saw a couple of close battles with Vancouver beating Colorado in overtime and Minnesota edging the Wings by a goal in Philadelphia. We also saw a few blowouts including Edmonton’s 15-8 thrashing of the Calgary Roughnecks,Buffalo’s 16-9 victory over Colorado and Philly’s 15-8 revenge over Minnesota. It’s usually about this time of the season where we see dramatic swings in the Power Rankings. You won’t see major changes this week. The top 3 teams should be obvious. So are the bottom 3 teams. In the middle of the pack you could probably make an argument for any order you like. Let’s check it out."
1) Rochester Knighthawks (3-0)
It was business as usual for the Knighthawks as they methodically built a 10-4 lead over the Toronto Rock before settling for a 12-8 victory. The defending champs played smothering defence, got 4 goals from Cody Jamieson and 7 assists from Dan Dawson. On Saturday the Knighthawks travel to Buffalo to face the Bandits.
2) Buffalo Bandits (3-1)
It looks like last week was no fluke as Buffalo Bandits went into Colorado on Saturday night, without John Tavares, and manhandled the Mammoth by defeating them 16-9. Dhane Smith led the offence with 4 goals and 2 assists and defender Steve Priolo, popped in 3 goals. Priolo, who had 4 goals in his first 50 games of his career, now has 5 goals in 4 games this season. Next week we’ll get to see how the Bandits stack up against the Rochester Knighthawks as the welcome their state rivals to the First Niagara Center on Saturday.