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Rochester Clinches Playoff Berth; Toronto, Washington Could Clinch Division Titles This Weekend

03/04/2002, 10:56am EST
By National Lacrosse League

The League has determined that the Rochester Knighthawks (10-3) have become the second team to clinch a berth in the 2002 Champions Cup Playoffs.

The Knighthawks currently trail the Albany Attack (11-2) by one game in the Central Division. The Attack clinched a playoff spot last weekend. Four playoff spots, including all three division titles, are still being contested with just three weeks remaining in the regular season.

The Toronto Rock (9-2) can win the Northern Division title with a victory over the Montreal Express on Friday. The win would make the Rock 10-2, and guarantee a finish no worse than 10-6. The Vancouver Ravens, currently in second place in the Northern Division, are idle this weekend. The Ravens could tie Toronto at 10-6. The first divisional tie-breaker, head-to-head record, is a tie because Toronto and Vancouver split their season series 1-1. The second divisional tiebraker is record against other divisional opponents, Calgary and Ottawa in this case. Toronto's record against those two teams is 4-0. Vancouver can go no better than 3-1 against Calgary and Ottawa, having split with Ottawa and finishing with two games against Calgary. Therefore, Toronto would win a tie-breaker with Vancouver for the Northern Divison title.

The Washington Power (7-5) can clich the Eastern Division title if they win twice this weekend. Washington plays at Ottawa on Thursday, and hosts Philadelphia on Saturday. If Washington wins both, they improve to 9-5, meaning a finish no worse than 9-7.

If Washington beats Philadelphia, the Wings would fall to 6-7, meaning a best possible record of 9-7. In this case, the first divisional tiebreaker, head-to-head competition between Washington and Philadelphia, could not break the tie, since the two teams play again the following week. However, Washington would not lose this tie-breaker, having already beat Philadelphia on Saturday. The second divisional tiebreaker is won-loss record against other divisional opponents, who are New York and New Jersey in this case.

Washington went 3-1 against New York and New Jersey; Philadelphia went 2-2. Therefore, Washington will win a divisional tiebreaker against Philadelphia.

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