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League?S High Powered Offenses Square Off Against Top Notch Defenses

01/29/2002, 11:26am EST
By National Lacrosse League

The Buffalo Bandits will try and move into a tie for third place this weekend in the NLL?s Central Division when they take on the current third place team, the Montreal Express. The Bandits sit one game behind the Express in the standings after beating Vancouver 17-14 last weekend. Montreal, on the other hand, comes into the game riding a two-game winning streak after defeating Ottawa twice last weekend, 20-15 and 13-9. All the action, which will be showed live on the RDS Network, gets underway on Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. from the Molson Centre.

Two of the highest-powered offenses collide on Friday night when the Philadelphia Wings host the Rochester Knighthawks at 7:30 p.m. The Wings are coming off a narrow 8-7 victory over Buffalo while Rochester dropped just their second game of the season last weekend, losing a 14-9 battle with Toronto.

It will be an NLL Northern Division showdown on Saturday night in Vancouver when the Ravens welcome the Ottawa Rebel to the General Motors Place at 12:30 p.m. (Pacific Time). The Ravens are coming off a tough two-loss weekend, falling to both Columbus (10-9) and Buffalo (17-14). Although the Rebel have lost their last seven consecutive games, the team looks for new life when they battle the only team to whom they claimed victory over this season, the Ravens, 13-10 on November 18, 2001.

The Calgary Roughnecks look to get back on the winning track when they travel to Washington to take on the Power on Saturday evening at 7pm. The Roughnecks came out on the short end of 12-7 loss to Albany last Sunday at home, while the Power beat division rival New York twice last weekend.

The New York Saints will be out for revenge on Saturday night on Long Island when they host the Albany Attack at 7:30 p.m. The Saints will try their best to avenge a 20-8 loss in Albany on December 21, 2001. The Attack, who currently sit a half game out of first place in the NLL?s Central Division, are looking to return back to first place with a win.

The Buffalo Bandits host the Columbus Landsharks on Saturday night at the HSBC Arena. The Bandits will be playing in their second game in as many nights while the Landsharks look to gain a winning record for the first time this season, after winning a 12-11 overtime game over Vancouver last week. The game, which has been tapped as the NLL?s Game of the Week in the United States, will be shown live on both CNN/SI and HDNet, with the first draw coming at 8pm.

Two Canadian powerhouses square off this Sunday when the Toronto Rock, ranked number one in defense, welcomes the explosive offense of the Montreal Express to the Air Canada Centre at 3:30 p.m. The Rock will be playing in their second straight home game, after defeating Rochester 14-9 in front of the 18,543 fans, the NLL?s largest crowd this season last Saturday. The game will be seen live on SportsNet as the NLL?s Canadian Game of the Week.

Below are this week?s game capsules:

Fri. Feb 1
Buffalo Bandits at Montreal Express,
7:30 p.m., Molson Centre
TV: RDS
Radio: Buffalo- WSNA (107.7-FM); Montreal- The Team (990-AM)

Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Buffalo (4-3, 4th NLL Central Division); Montreal (5-2, 3rd NLL Central Division)

Key Players for Buffalo: Forward John Tavares (Tied for 1st in team scoring with 37 points); Forward Chris Driscoll (Tied for 1st in team scoring with 37 points); Forward Ryan Powell (Tied for 2nd in team goals with 12)

Head Coach: Ted Sawicki

Key Players for Montreal: Forward Tracey Kelusky (5th in NLL scoring with 54 points); Forward Ted Dowling (Tied for 8th in NLL scoring with 50 points); Forward Jason Crosbie (3rd in team scoring with 28 points)

Head Coach: Terry Sanderson

Notable: Montreal ranks second in NLL Power Play Percentages with 66.7?Buffalo has allowed the second least amount of goals this season with 102

Tickets: At Molson Centre Box Office, through Charge-by-Phone at (800) 361-4595 and online at www.Admission.com

Fri. Feb 1
Rochester Knighthawks at Philadelphia Wings,
7:30 p.m., First Union Center
TV: None
Radio: Rochester- WYSL (1040-AM)
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Rochester (7-2, 1st NLL Central Division); Philadelphia (4-3, 2nd in NLL Eastern Division)

Key Players for Rochester: Forward John Grant (Tied for 4th in NLL scoring 55 points); Forward Derek Malawsky (6th in NLL scoring with 52 points); Goaltender Pat O?Toole (2nd in NLL goals against average with 12.74)

Head Coach: Paul Day

Key Players for Philadelphia: Forward Tom Marechek (11th in NLL scoring with 43 points); Forward Kevin Finneran (2nd in team scoring with 36 points); Forward Jeff Ratcliffe (1st in team goals with 21)

Head Coach: Adam Mueller

Notable: Philadelphia ranks second in NLL average attendance?Rochester has scored the second most goals this season with 149

Tickets: At First Union Center Box Office, through Charge-by-Phone at (215) 389-9571 and online at Ticketmaster.com

Sat. Feb 2 Ottawa Rebel at Vancouver Ravens,
12:30 p.m. (Pacific Time), General Motors Place
TV: None
Radio: Vancouver- The Team (1040-AM)
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Ottawa (1-7, 4th NLL Northern Division); Vancouver (3-6, 3rd NLL Northern Division)

Key Players for Ottawa: Forward Chris Konopliff (1st in team scoring with 40 points); Forward Mike Benedict (1st in team assists with 25); Goaltender Andrew Leyshon (2nd in NLL save percentage with .780)

Head Coach: Lindsay Sanderson

Key Players for Vancouver: Forward Chris Gill (Tied for 12th in NLL scoring with 42 points); Forward Craig Stevenson (4th in NLL face-off wins with 106); Goaltender Dwight Maetche (2nd in NLL saves with 353)

Head Coach: Paul Dal Monte

Notable: Vancouver is third in NLL average attendance?The Ravens rank third in NLL Power Play Percentages with 60.0

Tickets: At General Motors Place Box Office, through Charge-by-Phone at (604) 669-7283 and online at www.Ticketmaster.ca

Sat. Feb 2
Calgary Roughnecks at Washington Power,
7pm, Capital Centre
TV: None
Radio: None

Record: Calgary (4-7, 2nd NLL Northern Division); Washington (6-2, 1st NLL Eastern Division)

Key Players for Calgary: Forward Kaleb Toth (1st in NLL scoring with 61); Forward Jason Wulder (1st in NLL assists with 38 points); Defense Jordan Sundher (1st in NLL face-off wins with 140)

Head Coach: Chris Hall

Key Players for Washington: Forward Paul Gait (2nd in NLL scoring with 59 points); Forward Gary Gait (Tied for 4th in NLL scoring with 55 points); Defense Paul Cantebene (5th in NLL face-off wins with 102)

Head Coach: Darris Kilgour

Notable: Washington ranks first in NLL Power Play Percentages 76.5?Washington is undefeated at home this season with a record of 4-0

Tickets: At Capital Centre Box Office, through Charge-by-Phone at (866) 769-3752 and online at www.Ticketmaster.com

Sat. Feb 2
Albany Attack at New York Saints,
7:30 p.m., Nassau Coliseum
TV: None
Radio: None
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Albany (6-2, 2nd NLL Central Division); New York (4-5, 3rd NLL Eastern Division)

Key Players for Albany: Forward Josh Sanderson (3rd in NLL scoring with 56 points); Forward Gary Rosyski (Tied for 8th in NLL scoring with 50 points); Goaltender Rob Blasdell (4th in NLL goals against average with 13.39)

Head Coach: Bob McMahon

Key Players for New York: Forward Gavin Prout (Tied for 4th in NLL scoring with 55 points); Forward Roy Colsey (Tied for 7th in NLL scoring with 51 points); Defense Joe Ghedina (3rd in NLL face-off wins with 128)

Head Coach: Sal LoCascio

Notable: Albany ranks first in NLL Penalty Killing percentage with 63.1?New York has allowed the second least amount of shots this season with an average of 67.2

Tickets: At Nassau Coliseum Box Office, through Ticketmaster Charge-by-Phone at (516) 888-9000 and online at www.Ticketmaster.com

Sat. Feb 2
Columbus Landsharks at Buffalo Bandits,
8pm, HSBC Arena
TV: CNN/Si; HDNet
Radio: Buffalo-WSNA (107.7-FM)
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Columbus (4-4, 5th NLL Central Division); Buffalo (4-3, 4th NLL Central Division)

Key Players for Columbus: Forward Gewas Schindler (1st in team scoring with 37 points); Forward Neal Powless (2nd in team goals with 17); Forward Kasey Beirnes (2nd in team scoring with 29 points)

Head Coach: Ron Roy

Key Players for Buffalo: Forward John Tavares (Tied for 1st in team scoring with 37 points); Forward Chris Driscoll (Tied for 1st in team scoring with 37 points); Forward Ryan Powell (Tied for 2nd in team goals with 12)

Head Coach: Ted Sawicki

Notable: Columbus has won four out of their last five contests?This game marks the return of Columbus head coach Ron Roy to the HSBS Arena and the Bandits organization after serving as long-time scout with the Buffalo organization

Tickets: At HSBC Arena Box Office, through Tickets Charge-by-Phone at (888) 223-6000 and online at Tickets.com

Sun. Feb 3
Montreal Express at Toronto Rock,
12:30 p.m., Air Canada Centre
TV: SportsNet
Radio: Toronto- The Fan (590-AM)
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Montreal (5-2, 3rd NLL Central Division); Toronto (4-2, 1st NLL Northern Division)

Key Players for Montreal: Forward Tracey Kelusky (5th in NLL scoring with 54 points); Forward Ted Dowling (Tied for 8th in NLL scoring with 50 points); Forward Jason Crosbie (3rd in team scoring with 28 points)

Head Coach: Terry Sanderson

Key Players for Toronto: Goaltender Bob Watson (1st in NLL goals against average with 10.24); Forward Colin Doyle (1st in team scoring with 28 points); Forward Blaine Manning (1st in team assists with 16)

Head Coach: Les Bartley

Notable: Toronto has allowed the least amount of goals this season with 63?The Rock ranks second in NLL Penalty Killing percentage with 61.9

Tickets: At Air Canada Centre Box Office, through Ticketmaster Charge-by-Phone at (416) 872-5000 and online at www.Ticketmaster.ca

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