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Teams Look To Jump Out From The Pack This Weekend

02/19/2002, 12:01pm EST
By National Lacrosse League

Aside from the Albany Attack (10-2) and the Rochester Knighthawks (9-3), several teams are trying to fight their way out of a logjam in the middle, where several teams have 6 or 7 wins. That includes the Rock (7-2), who still have seven games to play. Other teams are further into their schedules, and need to win now to get themselves in position to make the playoffs.

Coming off a tough 13-11 home loss to New Jersey last weekend, the Philadelphia Wings (5-4) travel up to Buffalo and the HSBC Arena on Friday evening for 7pm showdown with the Bandits (6-5). The Bandits picked up their sixth victory of the season, defeating Columbus 12-10 on the road last Saturday to move into a tie with Montreal for third place in the NLL Central Division.

On Saturday afternoon the League?s top team, the Albany Attack welcomes the Buffalo Bandits into the Pepsi Arena for an NLL Central Division match-up at 1pm. Albany picked up their League leading 10th win of the season on Saturday, defeating Washington 17-9 on the road.

One of two NLL Canadian Games of the Week takes place on Saturday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., as the Toronto Rock host the Calgary Roughnecks. Toronto remains in first place in the NLL Northern Division after downing Ottawa 15-8, while Calgary returns to action after a bye in the schedule last week. The game will be shown live on SportsNet from the Air Canada Centre.

The NLL game of the week in both the United States and second in Canada pits two Canadian clubs as the Montreal Express square off against the Vancouver Ravens. The Express are coming off a 21-16 home loss to Rochester while Vancouver claimed both a 15-8 decision and the season series over New York last Saturday afternoon. The game, set to begin at 5pm (Pacific Time) from the General Motors Place will be seen live on both CNNSI and SportsNet.

After a short spurt of wins, the Columbus Landsharks have dropped their last three contests, including a 12-10 home loss against Buffalo last Saturday night. The team will look to rebound once again when then travel to the City of Brotherly Love and square off against the Philadelphia Wings inside the First Union Center at 7:30 p.m.

Currently one game behind Albany for the NLL Central Division?s top spot, the Rochester Knighthawks will attempt to take a share of first place. In order to do so however they must first defeat the New York Saints. The Saints, losers of their last six, will look to get back on the winning track with a victory this weekend. The two teams take the first draw at midfield of the Blue Cross Arena at 8pm.

Below are this week?s game capsules:

Fri. Feb 22
Philadelphia Wings at Buffalo Bandits,
7pm, HSBC Arena
TV: None
Radio: None
Webcast: None

Record: Philadelphia (5-4, 2nd NLL Eastern Division); Buffalo (6-5, Tied for 3rd NLL Central Division)

Key Players for Philadelphia: Forward Tom Marechek (Tied for 14th in NLL scoring with 57 points); Forward Kevin Finneran (Tied for 2nd in team points with 44); Forward Jeff Ratcliffe (Tied for 1st in team goals with 27)

Head Coach: Adam Mueller

Key Players for Buffalo: Forward Roy Colsey (Tied for 14th in NLL scoring with 57 points); Forward John Tavares (15th in NLL scoring with 56 points); Goaltender Steve Dietrich (4th in NLL save percentage with .764)

Head Coach: Frank Nielsen

Notable: Philadelphia ranks first in NLL penalty killing with a 60.9 percentage?This game was originally slated for Dec 29, 2001 but had to be rescheduled do to severe weather conditions in the Buffalo region.

Last Meeting: Jan 25, 2002 Buffalo 7 at Philadelphia 8

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

Sat Feb 23
Buffalo Bandits at Albany Attack,
1pm, Pepsi Arena
TV: Time Warner Cable-Channel 9 (Tape Delay- Feb 26 8pm & Feb 28 8pm)
Radio: Buffalo- WSNA (107.6-FM); Albany- WROW (590-AM)
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Buffalo (6-5, Tied for 3rd NLL Central Division); Albany (10-2, 1st NLL Central Division)

Key Players for Buffalo: Forward Roy Colsey (Tied for 14th in NLL scoring with 57 points); Forward John Tavares (15th in NLL scoring with 56 points); Goaltender Steve Dietrich (4th in NLL save percentage with .764)

Head Coach: Frank Nielsen

Key Players for Albany: Forward Josh Sanderson (Tied for 1st in NLL scoring with 79 points); Forward Gary Rosyski (6th in NLL scoring with 67 points); Goaltender Rob Blasdell (1st in NLL save percentage with .775)

Head Coach: Bob McMahon

Notable: Albany is allowing the second least amount of goals per game with a 12.2 average?All fans in attendance will be eligible to win two free tickets on Southwest Airlines

Last Meeting: Feb 9, 2002 Albany 11 at Buffalo 9

Tickets: At Pepsi Arena Box Office, through Ticketmaster Charge-by-Phone at (518) 476-1000 and online at www.Ticketmaster.com

Sat Feb 23
Calgary Roughnecks at Toronto Rock,
3:30 p.m., Air Canada Centre
TV: SportsNet
Radio: Toronto- The Fan (590-AM)
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Calgary (4-9, 3rd NLL Northern Division); Toronto (7-2, 1st NLL Northern Division)

Key Players for Calgary: Defense Jordan Sundher (2nd in NLL face-off wins with 172); Forward Kaleb Toth (Tied for 5th in NLL scoring with 71 points); Forward Ben Prepchuk (7th in NLL scoring with 66 points)

Head Coach: Chris Hall

Key Players for Toronto: Goaltender Bob Watson (1st in NLL goals against average with 11.04); Forward Colin Doyle (1st in team scoring with 45 points); Forward Steve Toll (2nd in team scoring with 43 points)

Head Coach: Les Bartley

Notable: Toronto is allowing the least amount of goals per game with a 10.8 average?The Rock is one of only two teams to still be undefeated at home this season with a perfect 5-0 record

Last Meeting: Jan 12, 2002 Toronto 15 at Calgary 12

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

Sat Feb 23
Montreal Express at Vancouver Ravens,
5pm (Pacific Time), General Motors Place
TV: SportsNet; CNNSI
Radio: Vancouver- The Team (1040-AM)
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Montreal (6-5, Tied for 3rd NLL Central Division); Vancouver (7-6, 2nd NLL Northern Division)

Key Players for Montreal: Forward Tracey Kelusky (3rd in NLL scoring with 76 points; Forward Ted Dowling (Tied for 10th in NLL scoring with 62 points); Goaltender Curtis Palidwor (4th in NLL saves with 443)

Head Coach: Terry Sanderson

Key Players for Vancouver: Forward Chris Gill (Tied for 5th in NLL scoring with 71 points); Goaltender Dwight Maetche (2nd in NLL save percentage with .771); Forward Peter Morgan (2nd in team goals with 24)

Head Coach: Paul Dal Monte

Notable: Montreal ranks second in NLL power plays with a 58.6 percentage?Vancouver is allowing the third least amount of goals with a 12.3 average

Last Meeting: Dec 14, 2001 Vancouver 17 at Montreal 13

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

Sat Feb 23
Columbus Landsharks at Philadelphia Wings, 7:30 p.m., First Union Center
TV: None
Radio: None
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Columbus (4-7, 5th NLL Central Division); Philadelphia (5-4, 2nd NLL Eastern Division)

Key Players for Columbus: Forward Gewas Schindler (1st in team scoring with 48 points); Forward Kasey Beirnes (1st in team goals with 25 goals); Forward Bill Warder (5th in NLL face-off wins with 124)

Co-Head Coaches: Wayne Colley and Chris Gallagher

Key Players for Philadelphia: Forward Tom Marechek (Tied for 14th in NLL Scoring with 57 points); Forward Kevin Finneran (Tied for 2nd in team points with 44); Forward Jeff Ratcliffe (Tied for 1st in team goals with 27)

Head Coach: Adam Mueller

Notable: Philadelphia ranks second in NLL average attendance?The night has been dubbed X Games Night at the First Union Center

Last Meeting: First meeting this season

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

Sat Feb 23
New York Saints at Rochester Knighthawks, 8pm, Blue Cross Arena
TV: None
Radio: Rochester-WYSL (1040-AM)
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: New York (4-8, 3rd NLL Eastern Division); Rochester (9-3, 2nd NLL Central Division)

Key Players for New York: Forward Gavin Prout (8th in NLL scoring with 64 points); Defense Joe Ghedina (3rd in NLL face-off wins with 170); Forward Rusty Kruger (2nd in teams scoring with 39 points)

Head Coach: Sal LoCascio

Key Players for Rochester: Forward John Grant (4th in NLL scoring with 74 points); Forward Derek Malawsky (11th in NLL scoring with 60 points); Forward Shawn Williams (13th in NLL scoring with 58 points)

Head Coach: Paul Day

Notable: Rochester is averaging the most goals per game with a 16.3 average?The Knighthawks are one of only two teams to be undefeated at home this season with a perfect 5-0 record

Last Meeting: First meeting this season

Tickets: At Blue Cross Arena Box Office, through Ticketmaster Charge-by-Phone at (716) 232-1900 and online at Ticketmaster.com

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