The undefeated Edmonton Rush are atop the NLL Power Rankings on IL Indoor for the sixth-straight week. (Photo: Dale MacMillan)
With the second half of the 2014 National Lacrosse League season underway, the NLL Power Rankings are up on IL Indoor after three exciting games in Week 10. The undefeated Edmonton Rush remained atop Brian Shanahan's poll for the sixth week in a row after their eighth-straight win to start the year as they close in on a playoff berth. The Toronto Rock, who fell victim to the Rush before falling in Calgary as well, held onto their fifth spot while the Roughnecks stayed at four.
"I just got back from a weekend in Alberta with a new appreciation of the word cold," Shanahan writes. "It was minus-30 on the streets of Alberta but the local lacrosse teams are both steaming hot. The Edmonton Rush won their record-tying eighth in a row by defeating the Toronto Rock 11-10, and the Calgary Roughnecks won their fourth-straight after exploding out of the gate with the first seven goals of the game before finishing with a 19-13 win over the Rock. The only other game of the weekend had the visiting Rochester Knighthawks defeat the Colorado Mammoth 11-9. I wish I could say that there was a lot of movement in Power rankings but the only real change is that the elite three teams at the top of the heap have become the elite four."
1) Edmonton Rush (8-0)
The Rush are now in the record book as only the second team to start a season with eight-straight victories after their 11-10 win over the Toronto Rock on Friday night. It was one of the more entertaining games so far this season as no team was ever ahead by more than two goals. The Rush got balanced scoring from the offence and a big game on the faceoff circle from Jeremy Thompson who won 72% of the draws. Next week the Rush will attempt to extend their record breaking start when they host the Vancouver Stealth on Saturday.
4) Calgary Roughnecks (6-3)
The Calgary Roughnecks took 8 seconds to score their first goal of the game and pounced on the Toronto Rock for a 7-0 first quarter lead and an eventual 19-13 win. It was Calgary’s fourth straight win and their offence was firing on all cylinders. Curtis Dickson has returned to his Superman form after starting the season as Clark Kent and had 6 goals and 4 assists for the Roughnecks. Nine of his 10 points came in the first half . Next week Calgary travels to Denver to play the Colorado Mammoth, the last team to defeat Calgary.
5) Toronto Rock (4-6)
The Toronto Rock went 0-2 on their Alberta road trip this past weekend. On Friday the Rock played a great game against the Edmonton Rush but came up 1 goal short in an 11-10 thriller. Saturday in Calgary was an altogether different story. Toronto’s defence was terrible for 30 minutes and allowed 14 goals in the first half alone. Toronto played a much better second half and if it wasn’t for Calgary goaltender Mike Poulin, the Rock and might have made it an exciting finish. The final score was 19-13 for Calgary. Toronto will have time to lick their wounds with next weekend off but their season doesn’t get any easier as they return to action against the Rochester Knighthawks on March 15th at the ACC.