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Game Recaps

Playoff Picture Sharpens After Week 19

The Rock Remain Atop the NLL Standings

Saturday’s marquee matchup featured the Toronto Rock and Albany FireWolves, with the league-leading Rock outlasting the fellas from New York’s state capital 10-7. Toronto moved to 13-3 thanks to five consecutive second-quarter scores, propelling Matt Sawyer’s team to a 7-3 halftime lead. Despite the FireWolves outscoring the Rock 4-3 in the second half, this game was largely dominated by the visitors. Mark Matthews and Chris Boushy scored two goals aside, with Tom Schreiber contributing one goal and a fabulous five assists. After missing six games due to injury, Challen Rogers returned to action in a big way, netting the contest’s opening goal, and helping on two others. Nick Rose continued his magical regular season, getting in front of 47 balls fired his direction and scoring the final goal of the game – his fourth overall, and since first 2017.

Alex Simmons and Sam Firth tallied four combined goals for the FireWolves, with normally prolific lamp lighters Ethan Walker and Tye Kurtz only managing three total assists, to go along with their zero-goal outputs.

Saturday was Retro Night at MVP Arena. To honor the occasion the FireWolves donned classic Albany Attack jerseys. The Attack called the area home from 2000 through 2003, before moving to San Jose, California. The franchise would eventually become the Vancouver Warriors. 

 

The Swarm Are Playoff Bound

The Georgia Swarm clinched a return trip to the postseason courtesy of a 13-9 victory over the Las Vegas Desert Dogs at Gas South Arena. The Swarm ended their five-year playoff drought on the backs of 2020 NLL MVP Shayne Jackson and the highly productive Andrew Kew. Jackson posted four scores and one helper, including the evening’s final two additions to the scoreboard. Kew was just as punishing, solidifying three goals and three assists for a now 10-win suburban Atlanta squad. Lyle Thompson most certainly made his presence known, scoring two goals and two assists on the night. The game was tied 8-8, late in the third quarter, when Maryland Terrapin alum Bryan Cole blasted back-to-back goals past Vegas goalie Landon Kells, including a triumph that took place just as the end of quarter buzzer amplified through the building. The Desert Dogs could not get closer than one-goal for the remainder of the game.

Charlie Bertrand, Dylan Watson, Zack Greer and Casey Jackson each found the back of the net twice, but the team with the league’s worst record could not keep up with the Swarm. Las Vegas leaves the Peach State with a 4-12 record. 

 

Jeff Teat is the First Player to 50 Goals 

The New York Riptide moved to an even 8-8 on the season after defeating their in-state rivals from Rochester 14-9. The otherworldly Jeff Teat led the charge with four goals and five assists, including the first two scores of New York’s seven-consecutive goal parade throughout portions of the second and third quarters. The Cornell product is the first player to achieve the 50-goal marker during the 2023-2024 season.

Stephen Keogh was responsible for three other scores during the cavalcade of goals, including an insane between-the-legs goal worthy of SportsCenter. The Toronto native finished his trip to Blue Cross Arena three goals and two assists ahead of where he started. From the late second quarter onward, the Long Islanders had a firm grip on the festivities. 

The Knighthawks’ Ryan Lanchbury notched three scores and two helpers, while teammates Ryan Smith and Kyle Waters each scored twice. The red-hot Connor Fields came back to Earth a bit on Saturday, hitting the locker room with one goal and three assists to his name. 

Teat and the Riptide are now well positioned to be part of the unified playoff schedule.

 

The Battle of the Prairies, Part II

The Calgary Roughnecks and Saskatchewan Rush’s weekend of pleasantries moved 590 kilometers (366 miles) east on Saturday night, with the home club from Saskatoon turning the tables on their arch rivals with a 12-9 conquest after falling 12-10 the night before in Cow Town. Zach Manns was all business on the second night of the back to back, accumulating three goals and four assists. Robert Church secured two scores and an outrageous six helpers, with Ryan Keenan scoring two goals and three assists. This game was never really in doubt as the Rush leaped to a 6-2 second quarter separation and kept the pedal to the metal henceforth.

Calgary’s Jesse King and Haiden Dickson combined for four goals and six assists, but coming off their impressive home win on Friday, the visitors from Alberta did not have a whole lot of gas in the tank during the sequel.

Saturday was Boots and Dukes Night at SaskTel Centre. In addition to a mechanical bull stationed on the concourse, the halftime show featured kids ages 5 to 7 climbing aboard sheep with the goal of staying on the ruminant mammal longer than the competition. 7,245 fans were on hand for the night of lacrosse and mutton busting. 

 

Jason Knox Had Himself A Sunday

After losing to the San Diego Seals on Friday night, the Panther City Lacrosse Club returned home to Fort Worth for a matchup with the Philadelphia Wings. Led by a superb four-goal, four-assist showing from Jason Knox, PCLC took down the guys from America’s birthplace, 12-10. Will Malcom added one score and five helpers, with Callum Crawford (who seems to get better with age) dropping two goals and three assists into the mix. PCLC took an 8-5 lead into halftime, before Philadelphia mounted an impressive second half charge, eventually taking a 10-9 lead 5:54 into the final 15 minutes. From that moment on, Panther City reasserted themselves, scoring the game’s final three goals and hitting the showers with the two-goal victory.

Philly’s dynamic pairing of Joe Resetarits and Mitch Jones were their typical stellar selves, as the duo combined for five goals and four assists. Wings teammates Ben McIntosh and Blaze Riorden contributed four total goals, but the club’s attempts at an inspiring comeback were not quite realized. 

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