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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

Rush’S Stars Highlight Box Lacrosse’S Meteoric Rise

The Edmonton Rush are National Lacrosse League champions for the first time after defeating the Toronto Rock in the Champion’s Cup Finals to cap off the NLL’s 29th year. With the Rush’s title coming just a couple weeks after the thrilling conclusion of the NCAA championships, the lacrosse spotlight shines especially bright on players playing both versions of the game. Star players helping lead the Rush on its quest for the Cup once starred playing field lacrosse at the collegiate level. Those players, who come from a box lacrosse background, are not only finding success in the outdoor game, they’re dominating it.

Though the nature of the two versions of the sport are very different, players that practice both disciplines are succeeding at unprecedented levels. According to a recent study by Yale University’s lacrosse department, there are several noteworthy trends including the fact that seven of the top 10 career goal scorers in the NCAA played a significant amount of box lacrosse during their development.

While only 4% of current NCAA lacrosse players have a box background, the study found that nearly half (48%) of the top 50 NCAA goal scorers in history played box growing up. This year, two of the five Tewaaraton Award finalists, college lacrosse’s version of the Heisman Trophy, have deep roots to the indoor game.

Those two finalists are Wes Berg and Lyle Thompson, both top prospects for this year’s 2015 NLL Draft. Berg finished seventh all-time in NCAA goals scored with 188 and recently led the University of Denver Pioneers to the NCAA Division I title this past weekend, after entering the tournament as the Big East champs. Lyle Thompson is a Tewaaraton finalist for the third-straight year. He won the award in 2014 along with his brother Miles, a star rookie in the NLL this past season, as they became the first Native American players to receive the prestigious honor. Lyle Thompson is the all-time scoring leader in NCAA history with 400 career points (175+225). This past summer, he helped the Iroquois national team to its best-ever finish in an international tournament, taking home bronze at the 2014 FIL World Championships.

It’s no secret that the box lacrosse invasion into the field game is here is stay. University at Denver head coach Bill Tierney preached the game’s benefits in terms of translating to the outdoor game after his box-heavy team won the national championship.

“I would have every kid under the age of 12 play box lacrosse exclusively or at least a majority of the time,” Tierney said. “The number of touches of the ball and the ability to develop better stick skills in a game of box lacrosse far surpasses what happens on a field. Learning how to pass and catch in traffic, understanding how to shoot, and developing a sense of physicality are all positive traits developed by the box game.”

Several current Edmonton stars were big-time players in the field game as well, using the skills they learned growing up playing box lacrosse.

Jeremy Thompson, Lyle’s older brother, played 32 games at Syracuse University, putting up 53 points (33+20). Thompson is currently a crucial part of Edmonton’s transition game and serves as the team’s face-off man as well.

2015 NLL Rookie of the Year favorite Ben McIntosh is fresh off his college days with Drexel University, where he scored 100 goals, and added 42 assists in 62 games. McIntosh’s 2.67 goals per game average his senior year ranked 16th among all D-I players while his 3.61 points per game was good for 25th in the nation.

Mark Matthews, who has led the Rush to the Cup Finals with a combined 128 points (58+70) between the regular season and the playoffs, played his college days at Denver University, playing with Berg in his final year. In four years, Matthews put up 217 points (156+61), and was the all-time career points leader at Denver, until Berg passed him for the distinction. Matthews, who helped lead the Pioneers to the Final Four in 2011, eventually became the first overall pick in the 2012 NLL Draft and won NLL Rookie of the Year.

“I owe everything I have to box lacrosse,” Matthews said. “You learn a lot of different things compared to the ‘run-down-the-alley’, and only passing when a guy is ‘barenaked’. The stick skills and the stuff that we learn when we are younger, learning to catch it in tight spaces, that really helps in the field lacrosse game.”

Also on the right side for the Rush is forward Zack Greer, who had the most impressive college career of any player on the roster. Greer scored 248 goals between Duke University and Bryant University, making him the NCAA’s all-time leading goal scorer. The NCAA only officially recognizes 204 of those goals as Bryant was considered a reclassifying institution during his final year. But his 204 goals are still enough to keep him as the college game’s all-time leader in goals.

Both Greer and Matthews were gold medalists as a part of Team Canada’s victory in the 2014 FIL World Championships.

There’s no doubt that experience playing both the indoor and outdoor games have allowed these players to excel in lacrosse overall. But it’s now clearer than ever that their dominant skillset stems from how they first learned to play the game…in the box. They faced their biggest challenge of their pro careers, using all the lessons and experience gained, to achieve the ultimate goal of raising the Champion’s Cup. And they did.

By Mike Wilson (@RushBeat) for NLL.com. Photo by Dale MacMillan.

NLL