The National Lacrosse League has released the schedule for the upcoming 2023-24 season, and with it, has announced that the league will be united under one standings table.
The opportunity for more East-West games presents some interesting matchups. Here are five to keep an eye on.
1. Championship Rematch. Colorado @ Buffalo, Saturday, January 6, 2024. Seeing these two new rivals match up in the regular season will be a treat for fans who have enjoyed the last two NLL Finals, both of which went three games. 2021 went to Colorado while 2022 went to Buffalo. Colorado will be looking to avenge their most recent loss.
2. I’m sorry, HOW far is that? Halifax @ San Diego, March 9, 2024. These are the two teams geographically farthest apart – 5919 kilometers or 3667 miles. Good luck getting a direct flight between locations, meaning you’ll be traveling for up to 9 hours. Or you could drive, if you have three days to spare and don’t need to stop for food or gas much. Halifax to Vancouver would take nearly as long, at 5803 km/3605 miles, but your chances of getting a direct flight between the Canadian hotbeds are much better.
3. All we need is one goal. Philadelphia @ Georgia, Saturday, March 16, 2024. The last seven meetings between the Wings and Swarm – over the last three seasons – have all been one-goal affairs. Lacrosse doesn’t get much better than that. Philly took all three games in the 2021-22 season, but they split the two they played last season. Unfortunately, fans will have to wait until March and then savor their one matchup this season with the teams only meeting once. But could you imagine a playoff series between these two?!
4. Stephen Keogh returns to Rochester. Calgary @ Rochester, Saturday, December 2, 2023. Stephen Keogh’s hometown may be Toronto, where he spent the last season, but he’ll be welcomed home to Rochester this season. He helped the former Knighthawks franchise (now Halifax) win three consecutive league titles from 2012-2014, and the fans haven’t forgotten that. Expect a standing ovation when he takes the floor in his first game.
5. Traditional rivalry clashes. All season long. One of the best parts of the NLL is the rivalries that have formed through decades of competition between teams close in geography. The new schedule format allows for teams to keep those natural rivalries while also exploring the possibility for new, farther-reaching rivalries. Make sure to circle these games on your calendar:
- Can’t get much closer – their arenas are 106 km/65 miles apart. Buffalo @ Toronto, Saturday, January 27 & Toronto @ Buffalo, Saturday, March 16.
- It’s a home-and-home battle of the prairies, we don’t need to say any more. Saskatchewan @ Calgary, Friday, April 5 & Calgary @ Saskatchewan, Saturday, April 6.
- Let’s hear it for New York – the I-90 foes have one of the league’s longest running rivalries. Buffalo @ Rochester, Saturday, January 13 & Rochester @ Buffalo, Saturday, February 3.
See the full 2023-24 NLL Schedule at https://www.nll.com/schedule/full-schedule/