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WK
1
Fri, Dec 2
FINAL
Philadelphia
8
Halifax
18
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
Vancouver
8
Toronto
19
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
San Diego
15
New York
14
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
Albany
11
Buffalo
10
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
Rochester
16
Georgia
11
Sat, Dec 3
FINAL
Colorado
6
Saskatchewan
18
WK
2
Fri, Dec 9
20:30:00
Las Vegas
Panther City
Fri, Dec 9
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
San Diego
Sat, Dec 10
19:00:00
Toronto
Rochester
Sat, Dec 10
21:30:00
Vancouver
Calgary
WK
3
Fri, Dec 16
22:00:00
Calgary
Vancouver
Fri, Dec 16
22:30:00
Panther City
Las Vegas
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Buffalo
Toronto
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Rochester
Albany
Sat, Dec 17
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Georgia
Sat, Dec 17
19:30:00
Halifax
New York
Sat, Dec 17
20:00:00
Colorado
Panther City
WK
5
Fri, Dec 30
19:30:00
Halifax
Buffalo
Fri, Dec 30
21:00:00
San Diego
Calgary
Sat, Dec 31
21:00:00
Panther City
Saskatchewan
WK
6
Fri, Jan 6
22:30:00
Philadelphia
Las Vegas
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Panther City
Rochester
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Halifax
Albany
Sat, Jan 7
19:00:00
Buffalo
Georgia
Sat, Jan 7
19:30:00
Toronto
New York
Sat, Jan 7
22:00:00
Vancouver
San Diego
Sun, Jan 8
0:00:00
Calgary
Colorado
WK
7
Fri, Jan 13
18:30:00
Albany
Halifax
Fri, Jan 13
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Colorado
Sat, Jan 14
19:00:00
Halifax
Toronto
Sat, Jan 14
19:00:00
Panther City
Philadelphia
Sat, Jan 14
19:30:00
Georgia
Buffalo
Sat, Jan 14
21:00:00
San Diego
Calgary
Sat, Jan 14
22:00:00
Las Vegas
Vancouver
Sun, Jan 15
15:00:00
Rochester
New York
WK
8
Fri, Jan 20
19:30:00
Buffalo
Rochester
Fri, Jan 20
22:30:00
Vancouver
Las Vegas
Sat, Jan 21
19:00:00
New York
Albany
Sat, Jan 21
19:00:00
Toronto
Philadelphia
WK
9
Fri, Jan 27
18:00:00
Rochester
Halifax
Fri, Jan 27
19:00:00
Buffalo
Philadelphia
Sat, Jan 28
19:30:00
Buffalo
New York
Sat, Jan 28
20:30:00
Las Vegas
Saskatchewan
Sat, Jan 28
21:00:00
Toronto
Calgary
Sat, Jan 28
21:00:00
San Diego
Colorado
Sat, Jan 28
22:00:00
Panther City
Vancouver
WK
10
Fri, Feb 3
21:00:00
Georgia
Colorado
Sat, Feb 4
18:00:00
Calgary
Halifax
Sat, Feb 4
19:00:00
New York
Toronto
Sat, Feb 4
19:00:00
Albany
Philadelphia
Sat, Feb 4
19:30:00
Rochester
Buffalo
Sat, Feb 4
22:00:00
Panther City
San Diego
Sat, Feb 4
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
Vancouver
Sat, Feb 4
22:30:00
Colorado
Las Vegas
WK
11
Fri, Feb 10
19:30:00
Toronto
Georgia
Fri, Feb 10
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Calgary
Sat, Feb 11
19:00:00
Halifax
Rochester
Sat, Feb 11
19:30:00
Albany
New York
Sat, Feb 11
20:00:00
Vancouver
Panther City
Sat, Feb 11
21:00:00
Colorado
Calgary
WK
12
Fri, Feb 17
22:00:00
Saskatchewan
San Diego
Fri, Feb 17
22:00:00
Calgary
Vancouver
Sat, Feb 18
19:00:00
Georgia
Toronto
Sat, Feb 18
19:00:00
Las Vegas
Albany
Sat, Feb 18
19:30:00
Philadelphia
Buffalo
Sat, Feb 18
20:00:00
Colorado
Panther City
Sun, Feb 19
13:00:00
New York
Halifax
WK
13
Fri, Feb 24
21:00:00
Panther City
Colorado
Fri, Feb 24
22:30:00
Calgary
Las Vegas
Sat, Feb 25
19:00:00
New York
Rochester
Sat, Feb 25
19:00:00
Albany
Georgia
Sat, Feb 25
20:00:00
Vancouver
Saskatchewan
WK
14
Fri, Mar 3
18:30:00
Buffalo
Halifax
Fri, Mar 3
21:00:00
Las Vegas
San Diego
Sat, Mar 4
11:30:00
New York
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 4
19:00:00
Rochester
Toronto
Sat, Mar 4
19:00:00
Georgia
Albany
Sat, Mar 4
20:00:00
Saskatchewan
Panther City
Mon, Mar 6
19:00:00
Toronto
Philadelphia
WK
15
Fri, Mar 10
19:30:00
Halifax
Buffalo
Fri, Mar 10
21:00:00
Calgary
Colorado
Sat, Mar 11
19:00:00
Albany
Toronto
Sat, Mar 11
19:30:00
Philadelphia
New York
Sat, Mar 11
20:30:00
San Diego
Saskatchewan
Sat, Mar 11
22:30:00
Vancouver
Las Vegas
Sun, Mar 12
16:00:00
Rochester
Georgia
WK
16
Fri, Mar 17
21:00:00
Saskatchewan
Calgary
Fri, Mar 17
22:00:00
San Diego
Vancouver
Sat, Mar 18
11:00:00
Georgia
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 18
18:00:00
Toronto
Halifax
Sat, Mar 18
19:30:00
Albany
New York
Sat, Mar 18
19:30:00
Colorado
Buffalo
Sat, Mar 18
20:00:00
Las Vegas
Panther City
Sun, Mar 19
15:00:00
Philadelphia
Rochester
WK
17
Fri, Mar 24
20:30:00
San Diego
Panther City
Sat, Mar 25
19:00:00
Toronto
Albany
Sat, Mar 25
19:00:00
Halifax
Philadelphia
Sat, Mar 25
19:30:00
Georgia
New York
Sat, Mar 25
21:30:00
Calgary
Saskatchewan
Sat, Mar 25
22:00:00
Buffalo
San Diego
Sat, Mar 25
22:00:00
Colorado
Vancouver
Sat, Mar 25
22:30:00
Rochester
Las Vegas
WK
18
Fri, Mar 31
20:00:00
New York
Georgia
Fri, Mar 31
21:00:00
Las Vegas
Colorado
Fri, Mar 31
22:00:00
Calgary
San Diego
Sat, Apr 1
19:00:00
Buffalo
Toronto
Sat, Apr 1
20:00:00
Albany
Panther City
Sat, Apr 1
21:30:00
Vancouver
Saskatchewan
Sun, Apr 2
13:00:00
Georgia
Halifax
Sun, Apr 2
18:00:00
Rochester
Philadelphia
WK
19
Sat, Apr 8
19:00:00
Albany
Rochester
Sat, Apr 8
19:00:00
Saskatchewan
Georgia
Sat, Apr 8
21:00:00
Panther City
Calgary
Sat, Apr 8
21:00:00
Vancouver
Colorado
Sat, Apr 8
22:30:00
San Diego
Las Vegas
WK
20
Fri, Apr 14
21:00:00
Las Vegas
Calgary
Fri, Apr 14
21:00:00
San Diego
Colorado
Sat, Apr 15
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Toronto
Sat, Apr 15
19:00:00
Georgia
Albany
Sat, Apr 15
19:30:00
New York
Buffalo
Sat, Apr 15
21:30:00
Halifax
Saskatchewan
Sat, Apr 15
22:00:00
Panther City
Vancouver
WK
21
Fri, Apr 21
20:30:00
Calgary
Panther City
Sat, Apr 22
18:00:00
New York
Halifax
Sat, Apr 22
19:00:00
Georgia
Rochester
Sat, Apr 22
20:00:00
Toronto
Buffalo
Sat, Apr 22
21:30:00
Colorado
Saskatchewan
Sat, Apr 22
22:00:00
Las Vegas
San Diego
Sun, Apr 23
15:00:00
Philadelphia
Albany
WK
22
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Philadelphia
Rochester
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Buffalo
Albany
Sat, Apr 29
19:00:00
Halifax
Georgia
Sat, Apr 29
22:00:00
Colorado
San Diego
Sat, Apr 29
22:00:00
New York
Vancouver
Sat, Apr 29
22:30:00
Saskatchewan
Las Vegas
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Stories/Op-Ed

Il Indoor: Three Stars Of Nll Division Finals – Game 2

The 2016 NLL Champion’s Cup Finals are now set as the Buffalo Bandits will take on the Saskatchewan Rush with Game 1 set for Saturday, May 28 in Buffalo live on TSN2 & TSN GO and the ESPN app at 7:30 p.m. ET. Both teams advanced via Division Finals series sweeps as the Bandits downed the Black Wolves while the Rush knocked off the Roughnecks in the Game 2 matchups this past weekend. Check out which players performed the best with a preview of Stephen Stamp’s Three Stars of the Week on IL Indoor below.

“There’s a saying that in big games, your best players have to be your best players,” Stamp writes. “Is that really the case? There are plenty of examples of big-name guys doing the heavy lifting, but there are also plenty of examples of guys considered to be complementary players stepping up into starring roles on the big stage: had you ever heard of Dexter Jackson before he was the Super Bowl MVP in 2003? Me neither.”

Saturday night saw the Buffalo Bandits and Saskatchewan Rush sweep the division finals to set up an intriguing Champion’s Cup matchup starting next Saturday. In the clinching games, we saw big names and role players demanding the spotlight. Both are represented in this week’s National Lacrosse League 3 Stars.

First Star
Dhane Smith, Buffalo Bandits
4 goals, 5 assists

We start with the biggest of big names in the NLL this season. Dhane Smith followed up his record-setting, credulity-straining regular season by doing in the playoffs what he’d done for 18 games already: keep scoring despite what anyone tries to do to stop him. The thing about the Great Dhane’s 16 points in two playoff wins over New England is that it generally looked like the Black Wolves did a pretty decent job against him. Smith didn’t have tons of great scoring chances and it was seldom easy for him to create them for himself or others.

One of his goals Friday was a perfect exemplar of the Dhane Defence Conundrum. Dan Ball was on Smith at the top of Buffalo’s offensive formation. Smith jab-stepped hard to his right and Ball went with him, just for a moment. As soon as Smith saw that Ball’s right foot had crossed over his left and he’d started to turn his shoulders to try to get ahead of Smith heading down the alley, Smith stepped back and let a shot fly. Ball recovered quickly and jumped out on Smith, but it was too late.

Now, I am able to tell you exactly what happened and how it created just enough space for Smith to get his shot off because I have watched the play several times and analyzed the exact sequence. Just think about what it’s like to be a defender against Smith, knowing that you have to stay between him and the net. You have to take the step that Ball did. Perhaps if he’d used a slide step, leading with his left foot instead of his right, he could have stopped Smith. Then again, the slide step might left him with his feet spread to far to catch up as Smith accelerated into a bit of open space. There’s simply no way to shut Dhane Smith down right now. Ball didn’t play bad defence; he played slightly imperfect defence, and that was plenty for Smith to take advantage. Just think how fascinating it will be to see what Saskatchewan does to try to contain Smith. It will be a chess match played out at lightning speed.

Second Star
Jeff Cornwall, Saskatchewan Rush
1 assist, 6 loose balls, 3 caused turnovers

One of the defenders with primary responsibility for covering Smith will be Cornwall. That should be a source of some comfort for Rush fans. Cornwall doesn’t get the nod here because of his numbers, although his three caused turnovers is a solid stat. He is recognized because he played an absolutely sensational defensive game and was a dynamic difference maker for all 60 minutes. It’s no shocker that Cornwall played well—he’s evolved into one of the best defenders in the league, he just doesn’t get lots of attention because the Rush are so stocked with stud defenders. But while Corbeil, Dilks, Rubisch and others all had strong games for Saskatchewan, it was Cornwall who just seemed to be everywhere, making plays one after another. He blocked shots, he created transition chances, he played his usual aggressive, physical defence without taking a penalty. In short, Cornwall was superb.

Honorable Mentions
Kedoh Hill (Buffalo): 4g, 3a. Hill had a strong year in transition for the Bandits, but only once did he score more than two goals in the regular season. He was on fire in the division final, scoring four goals in each game…Aaron Bold (Saskatchewan): 39/48, .813 save percentage. Saskatchewan did thoroughly outplay Calgary, but Bold playing like his old self both helped keep the Roughnecks’ offence at bay and infused his teammates with added confidence. He’s finding his game at the perfect time for the Rush’s repeat hopes…Greg Harnett (Calgary): 1a, 7LB, 2CTO. Take away the handful of goals Saskatchewan scored in transition and their power play marker, and you see that Calgary’s defence did a pretty solid job against the Rush. Harnett was, as usual, front and centre in the unit’s efforts…Chad Culp (Buffalo): 3g, 1a. There’s just something about a Chad Culp goal that gets his teammates fired up, and when he notches a hat trick it leads to a very inspired team…Zack Greer (Saskatchewan): 4g, 2a. Scored three of the Rush’s four goals in a five-minute span of the fourth that settled the outcome…Chris Corbeil (Saskatchewan): 6LB, 6CTO. Six caused turnovers in one game is impressive…Shawn Evans (New England): 2g, 4a. Evans will be disappointed that the Black Wolves fell short, but he led them much farther than anyone expected them to go this year…Mitch de Snoo (Buffalo): 4LB, 5CTO. Forget about calling him a rookie any more. de Snoo is playing beyond his years …Tyler Digby (Calgary): 4g. Helped give the Roughnecks and their fans just a little bit of hope with his late goals… Ryan Benesch & Mark Steenhuis (Buffalo): 3g each, 4 & 2 assists, respectively. Candidates for best performance in a supporting role…Mark Matthews (Saskatchewan): 2g, 5a. What a beauty his pass to set up…

Click here for the Third Star and full list of Honorable Mentions from Stephen Stamp’s Three Stars of NLL Division Finals Game 2 on IL Indoor.

NLL