Not too much changed after just one National Lacrosse League game in NLL Week 3, but there was some movement as a result of the Buffalo Bandits’ 14-13 road win over the Vancouver Stealth this past Saturday. Brian Shanahan from IL Indoor has adjusted his NLL Power Rankings accordingly heading into a busy Week 4 with five games on the schedule including the long-awaited home opener of the top-ranked Toronto Rock on Friday night.
“It was a quiet weekend in the National Lacrosse League as we only had 1 game and that was between the Buffalo Bandits and the Vancouver Stealth at the Langley Events Centre in B.C.,” Shanahan writes. “The Buffalo Bandits built an early 4-1 lead and although the Stealth climbed back into the game, they were never able to get a lead and only once, for a few minutes, were they able to tie the score. The win gave the Bandits their second straight win after a season-opening loss and it gave the Stealth their second straight loss – both coming at home.”
1) Toronto Rock (2-0): No games this weekend but the Toronto Rock have two tough divisional games coming up. The Rock have their first home game of the season as they host the Buffalo Bandits on Friday at the ACC and then travel to Rochester for a Saturday night contest.
3) New England Black Wolves (2-0): New England got to enjoy its great (and surprising) start to the NLL season with the weekend off but the Black Wolves will play their third straight home on Saturday when they face the Minnesota Swarm.
4) Buffalo Bandits (2-1) (+1): The Bandits got 5 goals from Dhane Smith and hat tricks from Joe Resetarits and Ryan Benesch to defeat the Vancouver Stealth 14-13 for Buffalo’s second straight win. The legend, John Tavares, had 4 assists (all in the first half) and although Anthony Cosmo only faced 40 shots, he made some very timely saves including a great stop on Johnny Powless with seconds left in the game. The Bandits will travel to Toronto to play the Rock on Friday.
6) Vancouver Stealth (1-2): While Vancouver made a good game of it after falling behind early against the Bandits, it was obvious that they really miss Rory Smith, Chris Dougherty and Tyler Garrison on the back end. Vancouver was never able to play shut down defence for long stretches and allowed Buffalo to score quick back to back goals too many times. Next Saturday Vancouver will travel to Colorado to take on the Mammoth.
Click here to find the full list of Shanny’s NLL Power Rankings and expert analysis on IL Indoor.