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The National Lacrosse League dates all the way back to 1986 when the league was started by two dedicated visionaries as the Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League.  It was rebranded to the Major Indoor Lacrosse League and fast forward to where we are today—the National Lacrosse League with 14 franchises across the U.S. and Canada.

To celebrate the long history of the NLL, take a look at 35 incredible moments in league history. We will be showing one moment for each week starting on March 13, 2021. These moments will be some of the best highlights, games, milestones, individuals and performances from 35 years of history. Click each moment below to learn more.

 

 

  • 3-13-1986 - Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League is founded

    Russ Cline and Chris Fritz (both inducted into the NLL Hall of Fame in 2006) founded and co-owned the Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League. They were exposed to box lacrosse from a video tape of the original National Lacrosse League from 1974-75 season and thought it would be the sport of the future. They tested the interest for box lacrosse in 1985 by hosting an eight-game series in which Team USA and Team Canada traveled to various markets.

     

    The League was founded with four franchises: Baltimore Thunder, New Jersey Saints Philadelphia Wings, and Washington Wave

  • 4-11-1992 - Buffalo Bandits win Championship in Inaugural Season

    The Buffalo Bandits made their debut in 1992 as the 7th team, an expansion team in 1992. With the first pick in the entry draft, they selected Darris Kilgour. After an 0-3 start, Les Bartley stepped in as coach to help turn the team’s fortunes around.  They won their final eight games on their way to winning a title in their inaugural season. Three players from Buffalo were named Second Team All-NLL (Kilgour, Derek Keenan and Jim Veltman). Veltman was a rookie and led the league in loose balls while his fellow rookie teammate, Keenan won the Rookie of the Year award 

    Fellow rookie, John Tavares scored the game winning goal in overtime with a behind the back shot and was named Championship MVP (4g, 1a), launching his legendary career in the NLL. The Bandits did go back-to-back, winning in 1993 too on their way to a 22-game win streak, starting the moment Les Bartley took over as head coach after the 0-3 start in 1992. 

  • 2-20-2010 - Longest game in NLL history

    The longest game in NLL history took over 76 minutes to determine a winner between the Boston Blazers and Orlando Titans. One full overtime period of 15 minutes was not enough time to decide a winner although there were a couple of times it looked like there was a game winner (including a waved off goal from Dan Dawson for stepping in the crease in the first OT). Anthony Cosmo and Matt Vinc played the full game in net for each team.

    Boston scored two goals in the final :30 of regulation (including one with :01 remaining) to tie the game to get into overtime. Boston’s Sean Morris would score the game winner (one of only four goals on the season for him). There were 53 penalty minutes assessed throughout this game, but only two in overtime.

  • 2-27-2016 - Adam Jones' game winning sock trick in one quarter

    The Colorado Mammoth was down by five entering the fourth quarter versus the Vancouver Stealth. Adam Jones had been held scoreless entering the last frame (0g, 0a). Trailing 9-4 in the fourth quarter, Jones would score five consecutive goals, to tie the game at 9 before scoring his sixth of the quarter with 2 seconds remaining to give Colorado an 11-10 lead. This game would mark 55 straight games scoring a goal for Jones, tying teammate John Grant Jr’s league record. 

    2:38 into the fourth quarter, Jones scored his first goal, 2:48 into the frame he scored his second goal and by 3:05 into the fourth quarter he had his third on the night. He recorded a hat trick in a span of 27 seconds! He’d continue to stay hot, scoring two more goals by the 9:08 mark in the fourth, bringing the game to a tie at 9-9. Corey Small would score a goal for Vancouver to stop the streak and give the Stealth the lead once again. Callum Crawford would score (with a Jones assist) to bring the game to a tie again with just over four minutes to play. The Mammoth would have the final possession in regulation. With an extra attacker, Jones scored his sock trick goal with :02 remaining to seal the victory to the joy of the Loud House.

    Jones would follow up this performance with a seven goal game the following week back in Colorado versus the New England Black Wolves to set the NLL record for consecutive games with a goal scored at 56 games.

  • 1-6-2018 - Derek Keenan becomes the winningest coach in NLL history

    The former Rookie of the Year (1992) had a short playing career but a long-lasting coaching career. He is a 4x Les Bartley Coach of the Year award winner (2006, 2010, 2014, 2018) and a 3x GM of the Year award winner (2006, 2010, 2014). He finished coaching with a record of 151-109 (.581 win %) in the regular season. He also holds the throne for most wins in the playoffs by a coach with a 19-13 record (.594 win %), one more win than the legendary Les Bartley.

    Keenan stepped away as the Rush Head Coach in 2020, but still remains as the team’s General Manager. He led the Rush to six straight West Division titles from 2014-2019 and was leading the division in 2020 prior to the season cancellation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

     

Can you find the jersey for every team in NLL history?

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