The Edmonton Rush (11-0) stayed atop IL Indoor's NLL Power Rankings for the ninth-straight week. (Photo: Dale MacMillan)
Week 13 of the 2014 National Lacrosse League was one for the record books. There were plenty of storylines as the Edmonton Rush (11-0), who stayed atop the NLL Power Rankings for the ninth-straight week, extended their league-record undefeated start in dominant fashion. The Minnesota Swarm and Buffalo Bandits played the first scoreless first quarter in the league's 28-year history. The Swarm kept their playoff hopes alive with an overtime win, which meant Buffalo and Rochester will have to wait to clinch a berth. Bandits legend John Tavares, the NLL's all-time leading scorer, recorded his 1,700th career point and saw his 185-game point streak dating back to 2002 end in the same weekend.
The dust has settled and with five playoff spots left and five weeks remaining in the regular season, check out Brian Shanahan's NLL Power Rankings on IL Indoor after Week 13.
"The biggest understatement of the 2014 NLL season is that the Edmonton Rush are very good," Shanahan writes. "Last week some of us thought the Calgary Roughnecks would give the Rush their first loss and Calgary was soundly beaten 15-6. This week, the number 2 ranked Buffalo Bandits were given a chance to knock Edmonton down a notch and they were thumped as well – by a final score of 14-5. Next week, Edmonton plays the two time defending champion Rochester Knighthawks in Rochester. While it’s tempting to bet the Rush will finally lose a game, Edmonton’s last two victories have been so dominant that it makes it very difficult to bet against them.
"In other games this weekend, the Calgary Roughnecks defeated the Vancouver Stealth for the third time this year and also gave Vancouver their third straight loss. The Philadelphia Wings and Minnesota Swarm both put a stop to their losing skids. Philly beat the Toronto Rock 14-13 and Minnesota gave Buffalo their second loss of the weekend by beating them 10-9 in OT. Suddenly the race for the last playoff spot in the east is back on. There are finally a few changes to the Power Rankings. Check it out."
1) Edmonton Rush (11-0)
If I could move the Edmonton Rush up higher than number 1, I would. Kyle Rubish, Chris Corbeil, Brett Mydske, Ryan Dilks, and the rest of the guys on the back door made the Buffalo Bandits look like a Junior team in Edmonton’s 14-5 victory. Aaron Bold was good when he needed to be. The offence was balanced and even rookie Adrian Sorichetti, playing in just his second NLL game, scored a hat trick for the Rush. Next week Edmonton is in Rochester Saturday night then in Toronto on Sunday.
3) Buffalo Bandits (8-4) (-1)
The Buffalo Bandits ran into a brick wall in Edmonton, falling buy score of 14-5 and then lost their second game of the weekend by a 10-9 overtime score in Minnesota on Sunday. The Bandits are 6-1 at home and 2-3 on the road. Four of their last 6 games are on the road so we’ll find out how good the Bandits really are in the coming few weeks. Next week the Bandits travel to British Columbia to face the Vancouver Stealth.
8) Minnesota Swarm (3-9) (+1)
Minnesota’s playoff hopes are still alive. For the second week in a row the Swarm took their opponent to overtime but this week the Swarm got the winning bounce when Callum Crawford beat Buffalo goalie Anthony Cosmo 7 minutes into overtime to give Minnesota a 10-9 victory over the Bandits. That win, along with Toronto’s loss, has opened the playoff door for the Swarm.
Next week the Swarm will travel to Calgary to meet the Roughnecks.