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Teams Begin To Set Sights On The Playoffs

02/11/2002, 11:42am EST
By National Lacrosse League

This week?s National Lacrosse League action gets underway on Friday night when the Washington Power make their first-ever trip to the Continental Airlines Arena to take on the New Jersey Storm. Both squads are coming off losses last weekend, with the Power dropping a 17-14 contest to Toronto and New Jersey falling to Vancouver 13-8. All the action gets underway at 7:30 p.m.

It will be a rematch on Saturday when the New York Saints and Vancouver Ravens meet for the second time in the past week. Last weekend on their east coast trip, the Ravens picked up two wins, 13-8 over New Jersey and 13-7 against New York. Vancouver now returns home to the General Motors Place for a 12:30pm (Pacific Time) showdown with the Saints once again. The game will be the first of two NLL?s Games of the Week in Canada and will be shown live on SportsNet.

Less than 24 hours after their game in New Jersey, the Washington Power return home to the Capital Centre at 7pm to welcome in the Albany Attack. The Attack notched two victories last weekend, 11-9 over Buffalo and 13-12 against Columbus, to place them atop the NLL?s Central Division with a 9-2 record.

It will be an NLL Central Division match-up on Saturday night when the Columbus Landsharks face off against the Buffalo Bandits. Both clubs are coming off losses last weekend to Albany. The two teams go down for the first draw inside the Nationwide Arena at 7:30 p.m.

Fresh off their second victory of the season and most in franchise history, the Ottawa Rebel return home to the Corel Centre to square off against the Toronto Rock at 7:30 p.m. The Rebel downed Calgary 20-15 while Toronto picked up their sixth victory of the season, notching a 17-14 win over Washington last Sunday. The game will be the second of two NLL Games of the Week in Canada and will be telecast live on SportsNet.

The New Jersey Storm play in their second consecutive contest on Saturday evening against the Philadelphia Wings at the First Union Center. The two teams last met on January 20, 2002 in New Jersey with Philadelphia edging a close 17-15 victory. The NLL Game of the Week in the United States gets underway live on CNNSI at 8pm.

There will surely be a playoff atmosphere when the Rochester Knighthawks and Montreal Express complete a home-and-home series on Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. from the Molson Centre. The teams, who sit in second and third respectively in the division, battled to a 13-10 game last Saturday evening in Rochester.

Below are this week?s game capsules

Fri Feb 15.
Washington Power at New Jersey Storm,
7:30 p.m., Continental Airlines Arena
TV: None
Radio: New Jersey- JukeBox Radio (103.1-FM)
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Washington (7-3, 1st NLL Eastern Division); New Jersey (1-9, 4th NLL Eastern Division)

Key Players for Washington: Forward Gary Gait (1st in NLL scoring with 73 points); Forward Paul Gait (Tied for 3rd in NLL scoring with 71 points); Defense Paul Cantebene (5th in NLL face-offs wins with 121)

Head Coach: Darris Kilgour

Key Players for New Jersey: Forward Cam Bomberry (1st in team scoring with 30 points); Forward Matt Panetta (1st in team goals with 15); Defense (Jamie Hanford 3rd in NLL face off wins with 151)

Head Coach: Jim Brady

Notable: Washington ranks first in NLL power play percentage with 80.0?The Power are averaging the most goals per game with 16.6?The first 3,000 fans ages 14 and under will receive a free "First Shot Lacrosse Stick" courtesy of Shamrock Lacrosse

Last Meeting: 12/15/01 New Jersey 9 at Washington 21

Tickets: At Continental Airlines Arena Box Office, through Ticketmaster Charge-by-Phone at (201) 507-8900 and online at www.Ticketmaster.com

Sat Feb 16.
New York Saints at Vancouver Ravens,
12:30 p.m. (Pacific Time) General Motors Place
TV: SportsNet
Radio: Vancouver- The Team (1040-AM)
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: New York (4-7, 3rd NLL Eastern Division); Vancouver (6-6, 2nd NLL Northern Division)

Key Players for New York: Forward Gavin Prout (10th in NLL scoring with 58 points); Forward Roy Colsey (Tied for 11th in NLL scoring with 57 points); Defense Joe Ghedina (2nd in NLL face-off wins with 168)

Head Coach: Sal LoCascio

Key Players for Vancouver: Forward Chris Gill (Tied for 7th in NLL scoring with 62 points), Forward Peter Morgan (2nd in team scoring with 49 points); Goaltender Dwight Maetche (3rd in NLL goals against average with 12.38)

Head Coach: Paul Dal Monte

Notable: Vancouver is averaging 10,647 fans in just their first season of play

Last Meeting: 2-9-02 Vancouver 13 at New York 7

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

Sat Feb 16.
Albany Attack at Washington Power,
7pm, Capital Centre
TV: None
Radio: None
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Albany (9-2, 1st NLL Central Division); Washington (7-3, 1st NLL Eastern Division)

Key Players for Albany: Forward Josh Sanderson (2nd in NLL scoring with 72 points), Forward Gary Rosyski (8th in NLL scoring with 61 points); Goaltender Rob Blasdell (1st in NLL save percentage with 0.771)

Head Coach: Bob McMahon

Key Players for Washington: Forward Gary Gait (1st in NLL scoring with 73 points), Forward Paul Gait (Tied for 3rd in NLL scoring with 71 points); Defense Paul Cantebene (5th in NLL face-offs wins with 121)

Head Coach: Darris Kilgour

Notable: Albany ranks first in NLL penalty killing percentage with 58.8?Washington is undefeated at home this season with a 5-0 record?Albany is allowing the second least amount of goals per game with a 12.5 average

Last Meeting: First Meeting This Season

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

Sat Feb 16.
Buffalo Bandits at Columbus Landsharks,
7:30 p.m., Nationwide Arena
TV: None
Radio: None
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Buffalo (5-5, 4th NLL Central Division); Columbus (4-6, 5th NLL Central Division)

Key Players for Buffalo: Forward John Tavares (1st in team scoring with 50 points); Forward Chris Driscoll (1st in team assists with 31); Goaltender Steve Dietrich (4th in NLL goals against average with 12.59)

Interim Head Coach: Frank Nielsen

Key Players for Columbus: Forward Gewas Schindler (1st in team scoring with 45 points); Forward Kasey Beirnes (Tied for 1st in team goals with 22); Forward Kyle Arbuckle (2nd in team assists with 16)

Interim Co-Head Coaches: Wayne Colley and Chris Gallagher

Notable: Buffalo ranks fourth in NLL power play percentage with 55.0?The last meeting between the two teams was the final game for both Columbus head coach Ron Roy and Buffalo head coach Ted Sawicki

Last Meeting: 2-2-02 Columbus 8 at Buffalo 12

Tickets: At Nationwide Arena Box Office, through Charge-by-Phone (614) 431-3600 and online at Ticketmaster.com

Sat Feb 16.
Toronto Rock at Ottawa Rebel,
7:30 p.m., Corel Centre
TV: SportsNet
Radio: Toronto- The Fan (590-AM)
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Toronto (6-2, 1st NLL Northern Division); Ottawa (2-8, 4th NLL Northern Division)

Key Players for Toronto: Forward Colin Doyle (1st in team scoring with 39 points); Forward Blaine Manning (1st in team assists with 27); Goaltender Bob Watson (1st in NLL goals against average with 11.04)

Head Coach: Les Bartley

Key Players for Ottawa: Forward Chris Konopliff (12th in NLL scoring with 52 points); Forward Mike Benedict (Tied for 2nd in team assists with 32); Forward Ryan Painter (1st in team goals with 25)

Head Coach: Lindsay Sanderson

Notable: Ottawa ranks second in NLL power plays percentage with 60.0?Toronto ranks third in NLL penalty killing percentage with 55.1?The Rock are allowing the least amount of goals per game with an average of 11.1

Last Meeting: 12-14-01 Ottawa 6 at Toronto 12

Tickets: At Corel Centre Box Office, through Ticketmaster Charge-by-Phone at (613) 755-111 and online at Ticketmaster.ca

Sat Feb 16.
New Jersey Storm at Philadelphia Wings,
8pm, First Union Center
TV: CNN/SI; CN/8 (Tape Delay Feb 17 8pm)
Radio: New Jersey- JukeBox Radio (103.1-FM)
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: New Jersey (1-9, 4th NLL Eastern Division); Philadelphia (5-3, 2nd NLL Eastern Division)

Key Players for New Jersey: Forward Cam Bomberry (1st in team scoring with 30 points); Forward Matt Panetta (1st in team goals with 15); Defense (Jamie Hanford 3rd in NLL face off wins with 151)

Head Coach: Jim Brady

Key Players for Philadelphia: Forward Tom Marechek (13th in NLL scoring with 51 points); Forward Jeff Ratcliffe (Tied for 1st in team goals with 24); Forward Kevin Finneran (2nd in team scoring with 43 points)

Head Coach: Adam Mueller

Notable: Philadelphia ranks second in NLL penalty killing percentage with 58.5

Last Meeting: 1-20-02 Philadelphia 17 at New Jersey 15

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

Sun. Feb 17.
Rochester Knighthawks at Montreal Express, 3:30 p.m., Molson Centre
TV: None
Radio: Rochester- WYSL (1040-AM); Montreal- The Team (990-AM)
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Rochester (8-3, 2nd NLL Central Division); Montreal (6-4, 3rd NLL Central Division)

Key Players for Rochester: Forward John Grant (5th in NLL scoring with 67 points); Forward Derek Malawsky (Tied for 9th in NLL scoring with 59 points); Forward Shawn Williams (13th in NLL scoring with 51 points)

Head Coach: Paul Day

Key Players for Montreal: Forward Tracey Kelusky (4th in NLL scoring with 69 points); Forward Ted Dowling (Tied for 9th in NLL scoring with 59 points); Forward Bruce Codd (2nd in team assists with 26)

Head Coach: Terry Sanderson

Notable: Rochester is undefeated at home with a 5-0 record?Montreal ranks third in NLL power play percentages with 59.1

Last Meeting: 2-9-02 Montreal 10 at Rochester 13

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

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