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Teams Look To Claim Playoff Spots In Weekend Action

03/04/2002, 10:54am EST
By National Lacrosse League

The Ottawa Rebel (2-10) will officially begin play at their new home, the Ottawa Civic Centre on Thursday evening when they welcome in the Washington Power (7-5) for a 7:30 p.m. showdown. The Rebel are coming off a tough 19-17 loss to Philadelphia last Saturday, while the Power return to action after a bye in their schedule last weekend. The game will be seen live on the Score network.

The NLL Canadian Game of the Week takes place on Friday night when the Toronto Rock (9-2) visit the Montreal Express (7-6) at the Molson Centre. Both squads enter the game having each earned up a road win, with the Rock defeating Buffalo 8-7 and the Express downing Columbus 12-10. The game, which kicks off at 7:30 pm. will be shown live on RDS and on Sportsnet tape delay.

It will be a showdown for third place in the NLL Eastern Division when the New Jersey Storm (3-9) invade the Nassau Coliseum and take on the rival New York Saints (4-9) on Saturday night. The Saints will look to get back on the winning track, while New Jersey hopes to continue on it, capturing their last two straight. Game-time on Long Island is set for 7:30 p.m.

The Albany Attack (11-2) put their League leading record on the line when they face-off with the Columbus Landsharks (5-8) on Saturday evening. The Landsharks dropped a 12-10 home contest to Montreal last weekend while the Attack was idle. The action commences at 8pm inside the Nationwide Arena.

The Buffalo Bandits (7-7) travel across the New York Sate Thruway on Saturday to take on the Rochester Knighthawks (10-3). Rochester, will attempt to claim a spot in this year's 2002 NLL playoffs, while the Bandits, hope to improve their chances after dropping an 8-7 home contest to Toronto last Saturday. The NLL Game of the Week in the United States, gets started at 8pm from the Blue Cross Arena and will be seen live on both CNN/SI and HDNet.

A home-and-home series begins at the Capital Centre this Saturday between the Philadelphia Wings (6-6) and the Washington Power (7-5). Both teams are still heavily in the hunt for a playoff spot, with Washington holding a slim one-game lead in the Eastern Division standings. Game-time for this playoff-like game will begin at 8pm.

Below are this week?s game capsule?s.

Thur. Mar 7 Washington Power at Ottawa Rebel, 7:30 p.m., Civic Centre
TV: The Score
Radio: None
Webcast: None

Record: Washington (7-5, 1st NLL Eastern Division); Ottawa (2-10, 4th NLL Northern Division)

Key Players for Washington: Forward Gary Gait (Tied for 3rd in NLL scoring with 79 points); Forward Paul Gait (Tied for 4th in NLL scoring with 78 points); Forward Del Halladay (Tied for 12th in NLL scoring with 63 points)

Head Coach: Darris Kilgour

Key Players for Ottawa: Forward Chris Konopliff (1st in team scoring with 59 points); Forward Ryan Painter (1st in team goals with 29); Forward Mike Benedict (2nd in team scoring with 57 points)

Head Coach: Lindsay Sanderson

Notable: This game was originally scheduled for Friday, February 22nd but had to be re-scheduled due to the Rebel?s change of venue from the Corel Centre to the Civic Centre.

Last Meeting: First meeting this season

Tickets: At the Civic Centre Box Office, through Charge-By-Phone at (613) 231-5608 ext. 224 and online at Ticketmaster.com

Fri. Mar 8 Toronto Rock at Montreal Express, 7:30 p.m., Molson Centre
TV: RDS; Sportsnet (Tape Delay- 3/8 11:30 p.m. & 3/9 3:30 p.m.)
Radio: Toronto- The Fan (590-AM); Montreal- The Team (990-AM)
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Toronto (9-2, 1st NLL Northern Division); Montreal (7-6, 3rd NLL Central Division)

Key Players for Toronto: Goaltender Bob Watson (1st in NLL goals against average with a 11.19 average); Forward Colin Doyle (1st in team scoring with 55 points); Forward Dan Stroup (2nd in team goals with 26)

Head Coach: Les Bartley

Key Players for Montreal: Forward Tracey Kelusky (2nd in NLL scoring with 83 points); Forward Ted Dowling (6th in NLL scoring with 73 points); Forward Bruce Codd (2nd in team assists with 32)

Head Coach: Terry Sanderson

Notable: Montreal and Toronto both rank second in NLL Power Plays with a 59.5 average and Penalty Killing with a 57.4 average, respectively

Last Meeting: Feb 3, 2002 Montreal 12 at Toronto 17

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

Sat. Mar 9 New Jersey Storm at New York Saints, 7:30 p.m., Nassau Coliseum
TV: None
Radio: New Jersey- JukeBox Radio (103.1-FM)
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: New Jersey (3-9, 4th NLL Eastern Division); New York (4-9, 3rd in NLL Eastern Division)

Key Players for New Jersey: Forward Cam Bomberry (1st in team scoring with 35 points); Forward Matt Panetta (1st in team goals with 19); Forward Billy LeFeuvre (2nd in team goals with 17)

Head Coach: Jim Brady

Key Players for New York: Forward Gavin Prout (Tied for 7th in NLL scoring with 72 points); Forward Rusty Kruger (1st in team goals with 26); Forward Chris Driscoll (2nd in team scoring with 52 points)

Head Coach: Sal LoCascio

Notable: The game marks the return of three former veteran Saints (Matt Panetta, Stephen Sombrotto and Gordon Purdie) to the Nassau Coliseum for the first time as members of the visiting squad?The contest has been dubbed ?Irish Night? with the first 3,000 fans receiving green derby?s compliments of the New York Saints.

Last Meeting: Nov. 30, 2001 New York 14 at New Jersey 9

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

Sat. Mar 9 Albany Attack at Columbus Landsharks, 8pm, Nationwide Arena
TV: None
Radio: None
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Albany (11-2, 1st NLL Central Division); Columbus (5-8, 5th NLL Central Division)

Key Players for Albany: Forward Josh Sanderson (1st in NLL scoring with 86 points); Goaltender Rob Blasdell (3rd in NLL goals against with a 12.16 average); Forward Gary Rosyski (8th in NLL scoring with 71 points)

Head Coach: Bob McMahon

Key Players for Columbus: Forward Gewas Schindler (1st in team scoring with 57 points); Forward Kasey Beirnes (Tied for 1st in team goals with 27); Forward Kyle Arbuckle (2nd in team assists 20)

Co-Head Coaches: Wayne Colley and Chris Gallagher

Notable: Albany ranks first in NLL Penalty Killing with a 57.7 average

Last Meeting: Feb. 8, 2002 Columbus 12 at Albany 13

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

Sat. Mar 9 Buffalo Bandits at Rochester Knighthawks, 8pm, Blue Cross Arena
TV: CNN/SI; HDNet
Radio: Rochester-WYSL (1040-AM)
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Buffalo (7-7, 4th NLL Central Division); Rochester (10-3, 2nd NLL Central Division)

Key Players for Buffalo: Forward John Tavares (Tied for 7th in NLL scoring with 72 points); Forward Roy Colsey (10th in NLL scoring with 68 points); Goaltender Steve Dietrich (4th in NLL goals against average with a 12.31 average)

Head Coach: Frank Nielsen

Key Players for Rochester: Forward John Grant (Tied for 3rd in NLL scoring with 79 points); Forward Derek Malawsky (Tied for 12th in NLL scoring with 63 points); Forward Shawn Williams (Tied for 12th in NLL scoring with 63 points)

Head Coach: Paul Day

Notable: Rochester is first in NLL goals scored with a 16.6 average?The Knighthawks are tied for the League?s best home record at 6-0

Last Meeting: Jan 5, 2002 Rochester 22 at Buffalo 11

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

Sat. Mar 9 Philadelphia Wings at Washington Power, 8pm, Capital Centre
TV: None
Radio: None
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Philadelphia (6-6, 2nd NLL Eastern Division); Washington (7-5, 1st NLL Eastern Division)

Key Players for Philadelphia: Forward Tom Marechek (Tied for 4th in NLL scoring with 78 points); Forward Kevin Finneran (Tied for 12th in NLL scoring with 63 points); Forward Jeff Ratcliffe (1st in team goals with 39)

Head Coach: Adam Mueller

Key Players for Washington: Forward Gary Gait (Tied for 3rd in NLL scoring with 79 points); Forward Paul Gait (Tied for 4th in NLL scoring with 78 points); Forward Del Halladay (Tied for 12th in NLL scoring with 63 points)

Head Coach: Darris Kilgour

Notable: Washington ranks first in NLL Power Plays with a 78.5 percentage

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

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