NLL Week 3 Game Picks
By Andy McNamara – Staff Writer
The National Lacrosse League is all about competition and so are the NLL staff! Andy McNamara, Mia Gordon, Tyson Geik, and Brian Shanahan deliver their game predictions for Week 3, but also want to hear from you.
Send us your picks @NLL on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook using the specific game hashtags for each match-up below.
1. Saskatchewan Rush (0-1) at Toronto Rock (1-0) – 7pm ET start
Andy: The Rock are coming off of a bye week following an impressive 2017 debut in Rochester, blasting the Knighthawks 12-5. Saskatchewan rolls into Toronto for their second straight road game after a tough loss in Georgia a week ago. The defending NLL champs don’t often drop two straight, and squeeze out a close one at the ACC.
Mia: I was very impressed with Toronto’s season opener, all areas of their game from defense to transition to offense looked solid, but now they will be without Dan Lintner and I just have a tough time believing the reining Champion’s Cup winners, the Rush, will come out flat for a second week in a row.
Tyson: As much as I respect the new and improved Toronto Rock, my money is on the Saskatchewan Rush in this one. The Rush’s poor performance in their season opener will have them coming out strong on Saturday night.
Shanny: I like Toronto, but if Saskatchewan ever needed a bounce back week its now. They will also have stars Aaron Bold and Ben McIntosh back in the lineup after serving suspensions last week.
Tweet @NLL your prediction using #SASvsTOR
2. Georgia Swarm (1-0) at Buffalo Bandits (0-1) – 7:30pm ET start
Andy: Look for the Thompson brothers to run wild once again as the Swarm travel into the hostile environment of Buffalo. However, it cannot be discounted that the Bandits tied Colorado for the best home record in 2016 at 8-1. It’s hard to believe that NLL MVP Dhane Smith will be contained as well as he was (only one goal) in the season opener and Buffalo’s owns a plethora of offensive weapons.
This will be an exciting, high scoring and close contest with the edge landing in Georgia’s corner.
Mia: The Rush couldn’t slow down the swarm and I don’t know if the bandits can either. It is hard to vote against Buffalo at home in Banditland but what I saw from Randy Staats and Lyle Thompson in game one, I just feel Georgia’s powerhouses are hot right now, I am going with the upset on the road and giving this one to the Swarm.
Tyson: I look at this game as a matter of speed vs. strength, and I’m going to have to go with the strength of the Buffalo Bandits in this one. I don’t see the Bandits coming out flat in their second game of the season.
Shanny: Buffalo is ready for a big bounce back after losing their home opener two weeks ago.
Tweet @NLL your prediction using #GAvsBUF
3. New England Black Wolves (0-1) at Colorado Mammoth (1-1) – 9pm ET start
Andy: As mentioned in the previous game, Colorado tied for the best home record in the NLL last season at 8-1. They did lose their opener at the Pepsi Center to Vancouver a week ago and the Black Wolves will be looking for blood after putting up a dud in Rochester.
New England was generally considered to be a contender to win the East in preseason projections, and get back on track towards that versus the Mammoth.
Pick: Black Wolves
Mia: Last year the Mammoth where pretty much unbeatable at the Pepsi Center, and while they came out flat in their home opener against Vancouver, I think they will be able to turn it around in Week 3. Sure They are playing against a Black Wolves team also trying to bounce back, but I have to go with the Mammoth at home.
Tyson: I think the Colorado Mammoth will be able to put together a full 60-minutes and come out with a win over the Black Wolves here. The Mammoth defense will be the key in this game.
Shanny: Shawn Evans and Kevin Crowley will play big after last week’s disaster. Going with New England.
Pick: Black Wolves
Tweet @NLL your prediction using #NEvsCOL
4. Calgary Roughnecks (0-1) at Vancouver Stealth (2-0) – 10pm ET start
Andy: What a start to the year for Vancouver. An early worst to first in the West has the resurgence of goaltender Tyler Richards as well as Rhys Duch and Corey Small being tied for the league lead in points at 16. That being said, Calgary gets starting netminder Frank Scigliano back from suspension and won’t be caught off guard this time around in the rematch with the Stealth.
Mia: I can’t believe I am going to say this, but a team that finished last in the West last year is going to start this season 3-0. I have been so impressed by the likes of Rhys Duch and Logan Schuss so far, and they are going to want to keep that up especially in front of the home crowd. I believe this will be a tight match, especially with Calgary hoping to get some momentum going early this season, but I am going with the Stealth.
Tyson: I love the way the Vancouver Stealth are playing right now, but I think the Roughneck’s are poised to hand them their first loss of the season on Saturday night. If the Roughnecks have a better start than they did in their opener, it’ll mean better things with starting goaltender Frank Scigliano back in net.
Shanny: Just a hunch that Calgary will get revenge on last week’s loss to Vancouver. Last week there was no pressure on the underdog Vancouver Stealth. It will be different at home.
Tweet @NLL your prediction using #CGYvsVAN
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.