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Three Remaining Playoff Spots, Home And Home Series; Featured In Nll?S Second To Last Week

03/12/2002, 11:01am EST
By National Lacrosse League

The National Lacrosse League heats up this weekend with just three playoff spots available and the action becoming more intense as the 2001-2002 season comes to a close. With every one of the League?s six-games being broadcasted live on either television or over the airwaves this weekend, fans can expect another exciting display of professional indoor lacrosse.

A home-and-home series begins on Friday evening when the Montreal Express (8-6) play host to first place Albany (12-2) inside the Molson Centre at 7:30 p.m. The Attack, who has already claimed a spot in this year?s post-season, will be looking to strengthen their hold of first place. The Express however hope to take a giant step towards reaching the playoffs in their inaugural season. The contest will be broadcasted live on the RDS Television Network.

Fresh off their first victory in more than a month?s time over New Jersey last weekend by the score of 15-9, the New York Saints (5-9) travel across the border to take on the Toronto Rock (9-3) at the Air Canada Centre. The Rock, who are coming off a 15-9 loss to Montreal look to gain a victory and secure their place in the NLL?s second season. Game-time on Friday evening is set for 7:30 p.m., with all the action being called live the Fan (590-AM).

Another home-and-home series begins on Saturday night at General Motors Place when the Vancouver Ravens (8-6) return to action and square off with fellow Canadian squad the Calgary Roughnecks (4-10). The Ravens are currently in the hunt for both a playoff spot as well as the Northern Division title, sitting just two-games behind Toronto for the lead. Although eliminated from post-season contention, the Roughnecks will do their best to play spoiler for the Ravens in both of their upcoming meetings. The NLL?s Game of the Week in Canada will be seen live on Sportsnet.

The Toronto Rock compete for the second time in as many nights on Saturday when they face-off against the Rochester Knighthawks (11-3) at the Blue Cross Arena. The Knighthawks are coming off a 12-7 victory over Buffalo and would like nothing more than to tie Albany for the Central Division lead with a win. The game, which commences at 7:30 p.m., will be aired live on both the Toronto (The Fan 590-AM) and Rochester (WYSL 1040-AM) radio networks.

The NLL?s Game of the Week in the United States pits the Philadelphia Wings (6-7) against division rival Washington Power (9-5) on Saturday night inside the First Union Center. The teams will be meeting for the second time in just seven-days, with the Power claiming a 19-12 home victory last Saturday that gave them a spot in the NLL Champions Cup race. The match-up will be shown live on both CNN/SI and HDNet at 8 p.m.

The New Jersey Storm (3-10) return home and attempt to claim their second consecutive home victory when they welcome in the Ottawa Rebel (2-11) for an 8 p.m. showdown. Both clubs are coming off losses last weekend with the Storm falling to New York by the score of 15-9 and Ottawa dropping an 18-15 home loss to Washington. The contest will be heard live throughout New Jersey on JukeBox Radio (103.1-FM).

Below are this week?s game capsules.

Friday March 15 Albany Attack at Montreal Express, 7:30 p.m., Molson Centre
TV: RDS
Radio: Montreal- The Team (990-AM)
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Albany (12-2, 1st NLL Central Division); Montreal (8-6, 3rd NLL Central Division)

Key Players for Albany: Forward Josh Sanderson (3rd in NLL scoring with 92 points); Forward Gary Rosyski (Tied for 9th in NLL scoring with 75 points); Forward Dan Teat (Tied for 14th in NLL scoring with 67 points)

Head Coach: Bob McMahon

Key Players for Montreal: Forward Tracey Kelusky (5th in NLL scoring with 85 points); Forward Ted Dowling (8th in NLL scoring with 77 points); Forward Bruce Codd (3rd in team points with 42)

Head Coach: Terry Sanderson

Notable: Montreal ranks second in NLL Power Plays with a 59.0 percentage?Albany ranks first in NLL Penalty Killing with a 58.7 percentage?The game marks the first for Terry Sanderson against his former team, the Albany Attack, coaching them for two seasons since their inception in 1999

Last Meeting: First meeting this season

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

Friday March 15 New York Saints at Toronto Rock, 7:30 p.m., Air Canada Centre
TV: None
Radio: Toronto- The Fan (590-AM)
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: New York (5-9, 3rd NLL Eastern Division); Toronto (9-3, 1st NLL Northern Division)

Key Players for New York: Forward Gavin Prout (Tied for 9th in NLL scoring with 75 points); Forward Chris Driscoll (2nd in team points with 61); Forward Rusty Kruger (1st in team goals with 28)

Head Coach: Sal LoCascio

Key Players for Toronto: Goaltender Bob Watson (2nd in NLL Goals Against Average with 12.07); Forward Colin Doyle (1st in team scoring with 57 points); Forward Steve Toll (2nd in team scoring with 52 points)

Head Coach: Les Bartley

Notable: Toronto ranks second in NLL Penalty Killing with a 56.3 percentage

Last Meeting: First Meeting this Season

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

Saturday March 16 Calgary Roughnecks at Vancouver Ravens, 7:30 p.m. (Pacific Time), General Motors Place
TV: Sportsnet
Radio: Vancouver- The Team (1040-AM)
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Calgary (4-10, 3rd NLL Northern Division); Vancouver (8-6, 2nd NLL Northern Division)

Key Players for Calgary: Forward Kaleb Toth (Tied for 10th in NLL scoring with 74 points); Forward Ben Prepchuk (11th in NLL scoring with 70 points); Forward Chris Panos (Tied for 14th in NLL scoring with 67 points)

Head Coach: Chris Hall

Key Players for Vancouver: Goaltender Dwight Maetche (1st in NLL Goals Against Average with 11.97); Forward Chris Gill (7th in NLL scoring with 78 points); Forward Chris Prat (1st in team assists with 41)

Head Coach: Paul Dal Monte

Notable: Vancouver is allowing the second least amount of goals per game with a 12.2 average

Last Meeting: First meeting this season

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

Saturday March 16 Toronto Rock at Rochester Knighthawks, 7:30 p.m., Blue Cross Arena
TV: None
Radio: Toronto- The Fan (590-AM); Rochester- WYSL (1040-AM)
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Toronto (9-3, 1st NLL Northern Division); Rochester (11-3, 2nd NLL Central Division)

Key Players for Toronto: Goaltender Bob Watson (2nd in NLL Goals Against Average with 12.07); Forward Colin Doyle (1st in team scoring with 57 points); Forward Steve Toll (2nd in team scoring with 52 points)

Head Coach: Les Bartley

Key Players for Rochester: Forward John Grant (4th in NLL scoring with 87 points); Forward Shawn Williams (Tied for 15th in NLL scoring with 66 points); Forward Derek Malawsky (17th in NLL scoring with 64 points)

Head Coach: Paul Day

Notable: Rochester is scoring the most amount of goals per game with a 16.2 average?Toronto is allowing the least amount of goals per game with a 11.0 average

Last Meeting: Jan. 26, 2001 Rochester 9 at Toronto 14

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

Saturday March 16 Washington Power at Philadelphia Wings, 8 p.m., First Union Center
TV: CNN/SI; HDNet
Radio: None
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Washington (9-5, 1st NLL Eastern Division); Philadelphia (6-7, 2nd NLL Eastern Division)

Key Players for Washington: Forward Paul Gait (1st in NLL scoring with 99 points); Forward Gary Gait (2nd in NLL scoring with 95 points); Forward Del Halladay (Tied for 15th in NLL scoring with 66 points)

Head Coach: Darris Kilgour

Key Players for Philadelphia: Forward Tom Marechek (6th in NLL scoring with 83 points); Forward Kevin Finneran (13th in NLL scoring with 68 points); Forward Jeff Ratcliffe (1st in team goals with 43)

Head Coach: Adam Mueller

Notable: Washington ranks first in NLL Power Plays with a 70.5 percentage?Philadelphia ranks third in NLL Penalty Killing with a 52.0 percentage.

Last Meeting: March 9, 2002 Philadelphia 12 at Washington 19

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

Saturday March 16 Ottawa Rebel at New Jersey Storm, 8 p.m., Continental Airlines Arena
TV: None
Radio: New Jersey- JukeBox Radio (103.1-FM)
Webcast: www.NationalLacrosse.com

Record: Ottawa (2-11, 4th NLL Northern Division); New Jersey (3-10, 4th NLL Eastern Division)

Key Players for Ottawa: Forward Mike Benedict (Tied for 14th in NLL scoring with 67 points); Forward Chris Konopliff (16th in NLL scoring with 65 points); Forward Ryan Painter (1st in team goals with 32)

Head Coach: Lindsay Sanderson

Key Players for New Jersey: Forward Cam Bomberry (1st in team scoring with 39 points); Forward Matt Panetta (1st in team goals with 20); Defense Jamie Hanford (1st in NLL Face-off wins with 190)

Head Coach: Jim Brady

Notable: Ottawa ranks third in NLL Power Plays with a 56.2 percentage?New Jersey ranks fourth in NLL Penalty Killing with a 51.9 percentage?The first 3,000 fans will receive a New Jersey Storm visor hat

Last Meeting: First meeting this season

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

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