Oh, Week 10, you sure did have us on the edge of our seats for most of the weekend. With lots of lacrosse on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, that’s a lot of uncomfortable sitting. Week 10 had overtime games, nail-biters and even a blowout to top off the slate of eight games. But, how did all of the results impact this week’s power rankings? Let’s take a look!
#8 – Panther City Lacrosse Club (3-4)
Week 10Result: 10-9 loss at Saskatchewan Rush Week 11 Opponent: vs. Colorado Mammoth (3-5) Previous Ranking: 5th
Panther City Lacrosse Club had a chance to climb above .500 for the first time since they were 1-0 after Week 1 action. Unfortunately, they were outmatched by the Rush who had the brilliant Derek Keenan back on the bench for the first time this year. Callum Crawford and Will Malcom had five of the team’s nine goals on the night, but not much else was going offensively – the team failed to score any goals in the final nine minutes of the contest. Defensively, the 10 goals allowed was the second-fewest they’ve given up this season, but at the same time, Nick Damude only stopped 76% of the shots on goal he faced. I’ve been giving Panther City a lot of credit over the last few weeks, but, now they get a little dose of reality falling back to the #8 spot.
#7 – Georgia Swarm (5-4)
Week 10 Result: 12-11 OT win vs. Vancouver Warriors Week 11 Opponent: at Rochester Knighthawks (3-4) Previous Ranking: 7th
The Swarm head to the hive to release a huge sigh of relief after their heart-stopping overtime battle with the Warriors. Andrew Kew saved the day, and he may have saved the Swarm from falling out of the Top 8. The Swarm really needed this win, having lost three in a row. Offensively, the Swarm just aren’t hitting the back of the net the same way they did over their first three games. Going up against the struggling Knighthawks in Week 11 should give us even more of an indication of where the Swarm fit in to these rankings, if at all. This is their halfway mark of the season, and 5-4 likely isn’t where they thought they’d be after starting the season 4-1.
#6 – New York Riptide (4-4)
Week 10Result: 11-10 win at Calgary Roughnecks Week 11 Opponent: vs. San Diego Seals (6-2) Previous Ranking: 8th
Call me crazy, but the Riptide are one of the most exciting teams to watch right now. Their narrow road victory against the Roughnecks extends their winning streak to three games, which is their longest winning streak in franchise history. They also have an extended streak of winning four of their last five games. For a team that started this season 0-3, this exactly the type of positive change you want to see as you get later into the season. Christian Del Bianco and the Roughnecks defense were able to slow down the Riptide’s offense, which has been red hot of late, but not enough to win the game in front of their home fans. The Riptide now come back home in Week 11 to face arguably their toughest test of the season against the San Diego Seals, who have won four games in a row.
#5 – Albany FireWolves (6-2)
Week 10 Result: 9-6 loss vs. Las Vegas Desert Dogs Week 11 Opponent: Bye Week Previous Ranking: 3rd
It’s hard to say it, but it feels like the FireWolves have lost their fire. After starting this season 6-0, they have lost their last two games and have combined to score only 13 goals over their last 120 minutes of game action. The six goals scored against the Desert Dogs was their lowest offensive output this season, and it tied their third-fewest goals scored in a regular season game since the team moved to Albany ahead of the 2021-22 regular season. Doug Jamieson was injured for this contest, but Justin Geddie faired very well for a young up-and-comer, who has had very limited experience in between the pipes in his career. With a Bye Week in Week 11, the FireWolves have some extra time to regroup and figure out a way to bounce back.
#4 – Halifax Thunderbirds (4-3)
Week 10 Result: 15-14 OT win at Philadelphia Wings Week 11 Opponent: vs. Las Vegas Desert Dogs (3-4) Previous Ranking: 6th
After three quarters against the Wings on Friday night, it really felt like the Thunderbirds were back, leading 11-9 on the road in Philadelphia. With a 13-8 win over the Knighthawks in their last game, all indications were that we were seeing a very difficult Halifax team to beat. But the Wings stormed back, much like they did in the first meeting between these two clubs, and scored five of the next six goals. The Wings even had the lead with less than two minutes to go in the game. Nevertheless, the Thunderbirds were resilient. They tied the game to send it to overtime and then Cody Jamieson won it early in OT. The Thunderbirds have now won two in a row and are back above .500. If they can beat the Desert Dogs in Week 11, they can move to 5-3 and notch themselves their second three-game winning streak of the last two seasons.
Buffalo shouldn’t have let the Knighthawks get so close to spoiling their night, and they know that. The Bandits offense was absolutely mesmerizing once again, but their defense needs to step it up. The Bandits are on pace to allow over 220 goals this season, which, if that happens, would be only the fourth time in franchise history they’ve allowed 220 or more. Each of the previous three times that occurred, the Bandits missed the playoffs. Having said all that, Dhane Smith and Josh Byrne are once again battling each other to be in the MVP conversation, and Chris Cloutier, Chase Fraser and Tehoka Nanticoke are arguably the best supporting offensive cast in the NLL.
#2 – Toronto Rock (6-1)
Week 10Result: 9-7 win at Calgary Roughnecks Week 11 Opponent: vs. Calgary Roughnecks (2-5) Previous Ranking: 2nd
The Toronto Rock could have been ranked #1 this week, but, the Seals’ performance against the Mammoth was just so dominant that it just wasn’t going to happen. The signature stifling Rock defense came to play this past weekend – no surprises here. Their defensive unit matched with Nick Rose is the most daunting group of men to face in this league right now, and they prove why each week. This team very clearly looks like one of the best in the NLL this year, and with Tom Schreiber still “finding his way back” this season, it’s hard to imagine, but this team hasn’t even seen the best yet from one of their best players.
#1 – San Diego Seals (6-2)
Week 10Result: 16-7 win vs. Colorado Mammoth Week 11 Opponent: at New York Riptide (4-4) Previous Ranking: 1st
The Seals remain #1 after destroying the Colorado Mammoth in San Diego 16-7. The nine-goal difference was their most lopsided win of the season, and it was tied for their third-most lopsided win in franchise history. The youthful Chris Origlieri had his second-best performance of the season, allowing a season-low-tying seven goals and making 29 saves. Yes, the Seals could have finished stronger last weekend against the Wings, but they didn’t make that same mistake this weekend. In Week 11, the Seals head to the Big Apple to face the Riptide. This is going to be a must-watch game, as these two high-flying offenses are going to head-to-head while two young, talented goaltenders try and slow them down.
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