A trio of games on Saturday night and another Sunday afternoon make up the Week 12 National Lacrosse League schedule. Three of the matchups are between division rivals, and we are into tie break situations that could have playoff implications.
NLL staff members Andy McNamara, Renee Washington, Devan Kaney, and Brian Shanahan deliver their game predictions every week.
Send us your picks @NLL on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook using the specific game hashtags for each match-up below.
2018 Game Picks Standings:
Devan’s hit the 30-win mark in the standings…let’s see how this week plays out below!
Rochester Knighthawks (2-7) at Georgia Swarm (7-4) – Saturday, 7:05pm ET
I’d like to be the one to go out on a limb and pick the Knighthawks upset, but I just can’t. Although Rochester rebounded for an incredible second-half run last year, this group hasn’t been able to put it together. This is a must win to have any hope of staying alive for the K-Hawks and it may already be too late for that.
The Swarm are fresh off the bye, and know they need a “W” to keep pace with Buffalo and Toronto for top spot in the East. Georgia’s 4-1 home record improves as they comfortably down the visitors.
Both teams are looking to bounce back from their losing streaks. Rochester has dropped four straight and the Swarm lost back to back games before their Week 11 bye. I know both teams will be hungry for a win.
Rochester is going to need another strong game from Angus Goodleaf in net as I think Georgia’s offense will come out a lot more focused and organized then we saw in the last two games where they combined for just 17 goals as they were held to less than 10 goals in their losses to Colorado and Buffalo.
I just haven’t seen enough from the Knighthawks to take them over the Swarm in this matchup. While the Swarm will be coming off of a bye week, the Knighthawks have lost the last four in a row and I don’t see that changing in week 12.
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Calgary Roughnecks (5-5) at Saskatchewan Rush (5-4) – Saturday, 8:30pm ET
Usually by this point in the season Saskatchewan has pulled away from the rest of the pack in the West. It’s not like Calgary is running ahead with anything either, however, the West is truly wild right now as 2.5 games separates first from last. If the Rush lose and San Diego wins, Sask would find themselves in third!
This is a true pick’em. The Rush are winners of two straight and edge out the Roughnecks in overtime to send the Saskatoon faithful home happy.
I picked against the Rush last week in their win over Colorado, but more importantly in this rivalry vs. the Roughnecks they are coming into it 0-1 in the series. I think Sask’s three game losing streak got them back on track to be a top team in the West. This divisional battle will speak volumes to that as I think the Rush take this one.
This is a really hard one to pick since the West is so tight! The Roughnecks are less than one game back from the Rush and this game could change the landscape in the West. That being said, I’m taking the Rush because the last time they played the Roughnecks at home…they lost. Saskatchewan will want to show up for their fans and that’s why I think they will win Saturday’s game.
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Vancouver Warriors (3-7) at San Diego Seals (4-4) – Saturday, 10pm ET
This is the season rubber match, and it’s been the visitors that have won on both previous occasions. Vancouver has been “road warriors” (pun very much intended) as that’s where two of their three victories have come, including a 14-6 smack down of the Seals back on Feb. 8.
Expansion San Diego will truly be tested here to see if they can stand together and defend their turf. This encounter should be much closer than the last time, but I feel it’ll be the same end result.
The growing rivalry between these two teams is fun to watch. We saw the Warriors nearly tie the game with Mitch Jones final shot and then we saw the Warriors hold the Seals to just six goals last time they matched up. I feel like Vancouver has brought the physicality the last two games to even the playing field, but with it being the third game between these two teams, I think San Diego will be ready for it.
Vancouver is looking to break the top four in the division so expect double and triple teams on Austin Staats and some extra oomph in hits. It’s definitely going to be another fun to watch.
Is it me, or is there a budding rivalry here? In the third and final regular season meeting between these two teams, I’m taking the Seals. San Diego has lost their last two games, the first of which was an 8 point loss to the Warriors. The Seals will want to redeem themselves after that, so I’m taking them to win here.
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Colorado Mammoth (3-6) at New England Black Wolves (6-4) – Sunday, 1pm ET
The Black Wolves are tied for the best home record in the NLL at 5-1. Compare that to Colorado who are 1-3 away from Pepsi Center. New England snapped Toronto’s six game win streak a week ago, and downing the Mammoth would be their third straight victory. That would put the Black Wolves right in the thick of the East Division hunt for first.
The Mammoth seem to play everyone tough, keeping their games low scoring and within reach. I predict neither team reaches double digit goals with NE winning by a pair.
Pick: BLACK WOLVES
Pick: BLACK WOLVES
This is a tough one to pick. It’s the #4 team in the east vs. #4 in the west. I am impressed with the way the Black Wolves have bounced back after dropping a road game to the Wings in week 10. Their win over Toronto was convincing that they aren’t out of it yet. We saw New England defensively throwing their body in front of shots and doing anything they could to keep the ball out of the net.
The Mammoth have the ability to bring that same defensive hustle anchored by Dillon Ward who has been consistently lights out in net. I think it could be a defensive showdown in who can best hold off the two hungry offenses. Something tells me the Mammoth will win it.
I’m taking New England because even if they don’t have all of their offensive players on the floor this game, they are still ranked third overall in goals. Scorers like Stephan Leblanc and Reilly O’Connor will find the back of the net more times than Colorado’s Eli McLaughlin and Ryan Benesch. Taking Black Wolves over Mammoth.
Pick: BLACK WOLVES
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Andy McNamara has been a play-by-play commentator for the NLL on TSN, NLLTV.com, and world lacrosse tournaments since 2011. He’s also a sport talk host and anchor on TSN 1050 sports radio. Follow Andy on twitter @AndyMc81.