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National Lacrosse League: Ten Things to Know for Week Nine

Regional Battle Between Last Unbeaten Team Toronto vs. Buffalo, NLL Game of the Week on TSN Colorado at Vancouver Highlight Six-Game Slate

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, has one unbeaten left… and the defending NLL Champion to go through to keep a clean slate as the Toronto Rock (5-0) hosts Buffalo on Saturday (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+, TSN+) in the NLL Saturday Showcase, highlighting an intriguing six-game schedule this weekend.

The Albany FireWolves were doused from the ranks of the undefeated by a revived San Diego Seals team that looks to continue an East Coast run with a game at Philadelphia (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+ and TSN+), while the NLL Game of the Week on TSN features the Colorado Mammoth visiting the Vancouver Warriors (Friday, 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT) in a battle of teams coming off sorely needed wins last weekend.

Here are 10 things to know about the NLL entering Week 9:

  • Three C’s for Lyle: Georgia’s Lyle Thompson (Onondaga Nation, N.Y.) remains one of the NLL’s elite players and in many ways the face of the league. On Saturday, he became the third Indigenous player to reach the 300 goal mark with this fancy tally. NLL.com’s Adam Levi went a little deeper into the superduperstar’s achievement here.

  • Sands Connects with Riptide: The New York Riptide announced last week that Sands New York (Las Vegas Sands) will become the team’s presenting partner for this season and next. The Riptide turf will be updated to feature the Sands New York logo, and a brand-new Sands New York VIP section can be found at each Riptide home game moving forward. The Sands New York insignia will be featured on the backs of Riptide jerseys and each player’s helmet.

  • Shoot, the Messenger: ESPN SportsCenter liked this Mike Messenger (Surrey, B.C.) behind-the-back goal so much that the network made it their No. 7 play from Saturday.

  • Community Corner: A few teams continued notable community outreach recently, including:

  • Snow, Snow Go Away: The Week Seven game between the Saskatchewan Rush and Philadelphia Wings, postponed due to adverse weather conditions inhibiting travel, will be made up on Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m. ET at Wells Fargo Arena.

  • Screen Time: Five NLL games this weekend will feature local broadcasts, on six networks, including Colorado at Vancouver (Friday, 10 p.m ET / 7 p.m. PT, Altitude Sports); Buffalo at Toronto (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, CW23); San Diego at Philadelphia (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Philadelphia); Georgia at New York (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, Peachtree Sports and MSG Network); and Panther City at Las Vegas (Saturday, 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. ET, Silver State SEN) in addition to ESPN+ and TSN+ coverage (and TSN for Colorado-Vancouver).

  • Rock New Power Players: NLL.com’s Week 9 Power Rankings are live, and there’s a new No. 1 as the Toronto Rock displace Albany, which dropped to No. 3 after losing to San Diego, which checks in at No. 2, up from fifth. San Diego holds steady at No. 4, and Buffalo slips from No. 3 to No. 5.

  • NLL Players reaching milestones last week included:

    • Buffalo goaltender Matt Vinc (St. Catharines, Ont.) now has 10,015 saves after making 23 stops vs New York, becoming the first in league history to record 10,000

    • Calgary forward Jesse King (Victoria, B.C.) now has 401 career points after collecting seven assists vs. Colorado

    • Calgary forward Thomas Hoggarth (Lakefield, Ont.) now has 101 goals after netting three vs. Colorado

    • Colorado goaltender Dillon Ward (Orangeville, Ont.) passed Dallas Eliuk for eighth on the all-time list with 70 victories after defeating Calgary; he also passed Steve Dietrich for eighth on the all-time saves list with 5527 after stopping 37 (see Aaron Bold note below)

    • Georgia forward Andrew Kew (Oakville, Ont.) now has 101 goals after notching two against Toronto

    • Georgia forward Lyle Thompson (Onondaga Nation, N.Y.) now has 301 career goals after scoring three vs. Toronto (see note and story link above)

    • Saskatchewan goaltender Frank Scigliano (Coquitlam, B.C.) became the 18th goaltender in league history to reach 6000 when he played all 60 minutes vs. Vancouver

    • Vancouver goaltender Aaron Bold (Victoria, B.C.) needs 30 saves to passed Steve Dietrich for ninth all-time with 5523 (see Dillon Ward note above, Ward is now eighth with 5527); and one win to become the seventh goalie all-time to win 90 games

  • Player achievements within reach this week are:

    • Buffalo forward Chris Cloutier (Kitchener, Ont.) needs one point to reach 200

    • Buffalo forward Dhane Smith (Kitchener, Ont.) needs 10 points to become the 14th player in league history to reach 1000

    • Colorado coach Pat Coyle needs one win to pass Bob Hamley for 10th place all-time with 80 coaching wins.

    • Georgia forward Brendan Bomberry (Six Nations, Ont.) needs one assist to reach 100

    • Halifax forward Ryan Benesch (Elmira, Ont.) needs four goals to pass Colin Doyle (depending on Dane Dobbie, see below note) for fifth on the all-time goals list with 528

    • Halifax goaltender Warren Hill (Six Nations, Ont.) needs eight saves to reach 2000

    • Halifax defenseman Graeme Hossack (Port Perry, Ont.) needs two points to reach 100

    • Halifax forward Randy Staats (Six Nations, Ont.) needs one goal to reach 200

    • Las Vegas forward Zack Greer (Whitby, Ont.) needs one point to reach 600

    • Philadelphia forward Holden Cattoni (Calgary, Alb.) needs four points to reach 400

    • Philadelphia forward Joe Resetarits (Hamburg, N.Y.) needs one assist to reach 400, which would make him the first American-born player to achieve the feat

    • New York forward Connor Kearnan (Courtice, Ont.) needs five points to reach 200

    • San Diego forward Dane Dobbie (Elora, Ont.) needs five goals (depending on Ryan Benesch, see note above) to pass Colin Doyle for fifth place on the all-time goals list with 528

    • Toronto forward Mark Matthews (Oshawa, Ont.) needs one assist to pass Rhys Duch for 12th on the all-time list with 617 and six assists to pass Gavin Prout for 11th on the all-time list with 622

    • Toronto Rock goaltender Nick Rose (Orangeville, Ont.) needs one win to become the fifth goaltender in league history to reach 100 (Matt Vinc, Pat O’Toole, Bob Watson, Mike Poulin)

Schedule – Week 9 (All Times Eastern)

Friday

  • Colorado Mammoth (2-4) at Vancouver Warriors (2-4), 10 p.m. NLL Game of the Week on TSN, ESPN+, Altitude Sports (T. Jenner, Challoner, Chand)

Saturday

  • Rochester Knighthawks (3-2) at Halifax Thunderbirds (2-3), 6 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+ (Dalladay, Gregoire, M. Jenner)

  • Buffalo Bandits (3-3) at Toronto Rock (5-0), NLL Saturday Showcase, 7 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, CW23 (Abbott, Shanahan, Docking)
  • San Diego Seals (4-2) at Philadelphia Wings (2-3), 7:30 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, NBC Sports Philadelphia (Smith, Gabrielsen, McGuinness)
  • Georgia Swarm (4-3) at New York Riptide (2-4), 7:30 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, Peachtree Sports, MSG Network (Leno, Belisle, Delvecchio)
  • Panther City Lacrosse Club (2-3) at Las Vegas Desert Dogs (2-3), 10 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, Silver State SEN (Kanell, Elliott, Werth)
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