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WK
1
Fri, Dec 2
FINAL
Philadelphia
8
Halifax
18
Sat, Dec 3
17:00:00
Vancouver
Toronto
Sat, Dec 3
19:30:00
San Diego
New York
Sat, Dec 3
19:30:00
Albany
Buffalo
Sat, Dec 3
20:00:00
Rochester
Georgia
Sat, Dec 3
20:30:00
Colorado
Saskatchewan
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

Round Two: Bandits & Rock Finish Doubleheader

Coming off a convincing win in the Mile High City, the Toronto Rock (9-1) head back east for a home-and-home weekend against the Buffalo Bandits (5-5), starting in Buffalo on Friday at First Niagara Center at 7:30 p.m. ET live on TSN1 & TSN GO (Canada) and WatchESPN (U.S.). The rematch will be played the following night north of the border at Air Canada Centre on Saturday at 7 p.m. ET live on TSN GO (Canada) & NLL LIVE (U.S.).



Both the offense and defense were firing on all cylinders last week as the Rock earned a lopsided 17-9 win over the Colorado Mammoth. The win was the team’s ninth of the season, matching last year’s total eight weeks sooner. Although Toronto can take solace in what’s now an impressive six-game winning streak, Rock head coach John Lovell points to a looming weekend against Buffalo as the year’s biggest test to date.

“There are no gimmes, we played a pretty good game last weekend, but we know this is probably going to be our toughest test of the season given where we are in the season,” Lovell said. “Buffalo needs a win to get closer to us and we’re looking to get some more separation.”



The first half of the season can be said to include stellar play and a couple waves of good fortune. The Rock have posted four victories with a scoring margin of five goals or higher. The remaining five wins however has Toronto scoring just eight more goals total over their opponents. Cue the good fortune, something they had a hard time finding at times last season. The Rock fell six times in 2014 by three goals or fewer including a 15-13 home playoff loss to the Bandits.

“You’ve got to get a little lucky. We lost a lot of close games last year and this year we’re finding a way to win them,” Lovell admitted. “We’ve had great goaltending from both our goalies, our offense has been outstanding from first game on.”



“So far over ten games, just about every element has been going well for us,” Lovell added.



As the old adage goes, you’ve got to be good to be lucky and lucky to be good. It’s a simple truth that has transcended into the Rock dressing room. A faith is drawn in each other, one not to be compromised by selfish play. All six of Toronto’s active forwards have 35 or more points to their credit.



“It’s an easy group to play with. All the guys on the left side and all the guys on the right side, we seem to be gelling pretty well,” said Rock leading goal scorer Brett Hickey. 

“Everyone is putting up some points and contributing on offense. It doesn’t matter who is putting up the points, as long as we get the win, that’s been pretty much our mindset this season.”



Hickey has easily been the Rock’s biggest surprise this season as the youngster has posted a team-high 26 goals thus far. Once dubbed as just a filler ahead of the news that Colin Doyle would miss the entire 2015 season, Hickey has emerged has one of the league’s top scoring threats from the left side.



With this, Toronto goalies Brandon Miller and Nick Rose have seen over 200 minutes in goal, posting a combined 10.20 goals against average. Individually, Rose and Miller are both among the top three in goaltending statistics, a fortuitous reality attributed to teamwork and mentorship. 


“It’s been great. Nick [Rose] is a good goalie in his own right and Brandon [Miller] has always been a true professional, whether he’s in the net or on the bench. One thing about our goalie situation is though they both want to be in the net, but when Nick is in there, Brandon is his biggest fan and when Brandon is in there Nick is behind him 100 percent. There’s no egos there.”

These two teams met in Week 4 and saw Toronto use a strong second half to pull away with a 13-11 victory despite trailing at halftime by a score of 7-5. Buffalo will be looking to put together two full games of tight defense and strong transition.

“Our biggest key is to stop their transition,” said Bandits assistant coach Dan Teat. “We have to be really disciplined and really smart with our shot clock situations. We need our third and fourth guys coming off as fast as our first and second guy. We’re also happy with our transition game. We really want to push the ball as much as we can.”

“We have one of the fastest transitions in the league, and we also have some big, beefy strong defenders back there that are more defense-first kinds of guys,” added Bandits transition player David Brock. “(Bandits head coach Troy Cordingley) allows us to play to our strengths.”

The Bandits are coming off of a bye week after a win over Colorado in Week 9. Buffalo realizes how big of a weekend this is and what a good team they’re up against.

“It’s a big part of our season, with them being the front runner in the whole league and running away with the East. We’ve got to really prepare ourselves for the best team in the league from goaltending out,” said Teat. “It’s going to take 60 minutes of perfect effort to beat those guys.”

This weekend marks the Bandits third back-to-back campaign of the year, but their first home-and-home with a team.

“One of the biggest factors of this weekend is that we’re an hour and a half away from each other. We don’t have to jump on a plane and fly four hours, which is good,” added Teat. “There’s no secrets here [between us and Toronto], they know what we do and we know what they do. It’s going to come down to discipline. We really want to get that first game at home.”

This weekend will showcase some of the leagues offensive giants. For Buffalo, Dhane Smith is fourth in the NLL with 57 points (22+35) while Ryan Benesch is eighth with 51 points (27+24). Toronto’s Rob Hellyer leads the league with 71 points (26+45) while Josh Sanderson (10+56) and Stephan Leblanc (23+33) are also in the top ten.

Anthony Cosmo is expected to start this weekend. He’s coming off of a tweaked knee obtained from shoveling two weeks ago. Backup goalie Davide DiRuscio shined in his first NLL start in Week 9, but everyone seems happy to have Cosmo back.

“It felt good being able to make some saves. The defense played really well for me,” said DiRuscio. “We’re all excited to get ‘Coz’ back in there.”

By Justin Millerson (@RockBeatToronto) & Steve Bermel (@BanditsBeat) for NLL.com. Photo by Martin Deland.

NLL