Philadelphia Wings forward Kevin Crowley (left) was one of IL Indoor's Three Stars of NLL Week 13. (Photo: Todd Bauders)
After another incredibly-entertaining weekend of National Lacrosse League action featuring four games, Stephen Stamp from IL Indoor has selected the top trio of performers with the Three Stars of NLL Week 13.
"Big wins for the Philadelphia Wings and Minnesota Swarm this weekend," Stamp writes. "Both teams pulled out tight victories over East Division rivals to keep themselves relevant in the playoff chase. Minnesota still faces an uphill battle because they sit a game and a half back of the Toronto Rock and have lost the season series to Toronto. But all they could do on Sunday was beat the Bandits and they did that, so they still have hope.
"For Philadelphia to retain realistic hope, they needed to down the Rock Saturday and they also got the job done. Now a whole lot rides on the Wings’ return trip to Toronto’s Air Canada Centre on April 12. Philly will certainly be hoping their big stud, Kevin Crowley, can continue the kind of play he showed in a breakout game Saturday."
Kevin Crowley, Philadelphia Wings
6 goals, 3 assists
Crowley has been on pace to finish well behind his scoring totals from his first two seasons in the league. It has appeared that he’s been struggling to adjust to being clearly the main man on the offence with the departure of Dan Dawson and others from Philadelphia’s stable. But on Saturday he took the bull by the horns and put on a virtuoso performance. Crowley is a good outside shooter but had been relying too heavily on that. Saturday, he worked his way inside and made good on the chances that created.
Garrett Billings, Toronto Rock
3 goals, 7 assists
Billings has become the best behind the back passer in the NLL. He set up a pair of goals on Saturday with absolute gems over the back shoulder, one short and one long. The keys to a successful behind the backer is not telegraphing it and being accurate. Check and check for Billings, who gets the pass off quickly and hit bothScott Johnston and Josh Sanderson right in the mesh at the perfect time.
Aaron Bold, Edmonton Rush
33 saves, .868 save percentage
It’s easy to overlook Bold’s play behind that great Edmonton defence. He certainly is the beneficiary of an outstanding group of players executing tremendously in a well-designed system. But he still has to make the stops, and there are still breakdowns that leave opponents with high-quality shots. Bold steps up and makes the saves when he has to. He was solid as a rock in Edmonton’s domination of the Bandits Friday night, as he has been for them most of the season.
Note: The Three Stars of the Week on IL Indoor is not affiliated with the official NLL awards system, which consists of the Three Stars of the Game along with monthly and yearly player awards.