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Week 13 Power Rankings

Week 12 had it all: a game in Montreal; games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday; close games, blowouts and a few very big performances. Here’s how all of that reshaped the power rankings.

 

#8 – Calgary Roughnecks (4-5)

Week 12 Result: 17-11 win vs. Halifax Thunderbirds
Week 13 Opponent: vs. Philadelphia Wings (3-5)
Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

It has been a long time since the Roughnecks were in the Top 8 In fact, it was all the way back in Week 2 that they were here, also in the #8 spot. Thanks to back-to-back victories, including a decisive 17-11 statement-win against the Thunderbirds in Week 12, they are back. Christian Del Bianco and the Roughnecks defense allowed just two goals against in the second half, and they allowed zero goals in the fourth quarter. The 17 goals scored also tied a season high, and I think it’s pretty fair to say that scoring 17 goals against the Thunderbirds is more difficult than scoring 17 goals against the Las Vegas Desert Dogs (which they did in Week 5). The Roughnecks are starting to roll and it’s put them right in the middle of the playoff picture. A win in Week 13 against the Wings brings the Roughnecks back to .500 for the first time since Week 7.

CALGARY, AB – FEBRUARY 18, 2024: Halifax Thunderbirds versus the Calgary Roughnecks at the Scotiabank Saddledome on Sunday evening (Photo by Angela Burger/Calgary Roughnecks).

 

#7 – Georgia Swarm (6-4)

Week 12 Result: Bye Week
Week 13 Opponents: at San Diego Seals (6-3), at Panther City (4-4)
Previous Ranking: 7th

The Swarm had a Bye Week, and the teams around them didn’t impact their ranking this week, so they remain at #7. Having said that, with two games coming up in Week 13, if things go well, the Swarm could be moving way up the rankings. Or, if things go poorly, they might fall out of the Top 8 altogether. One of the more significant challenges for the Swarm this week (other than their opponents) will be the travel. Their first game is in San Diego late on Friday night (8 p.m. local, 11 p.m. ET), followed by a Sunday matinee game in Fort Worth. The Swarm are currently on a two-game win streak, and are hoping to extend that to four games by the end of the weekend.

 

#6 – New York Riptide (5-5)

Week 12 Result: 16-10 loss vs. Toronto Rock *Game played in Montreal
Week 13 Opponent: at Colorado Mammoth (3-7)
Previous Ranking: 4th

The Riptide suffered a tough loss in Montreal in Week 12. The six-goal loss against the Rock this past weekend matched their six-goal loss to the Rock back on December 30th. The Riptide offense was very quiet on Friday night after the first quarter. After putting up five goals in the opening frame, they could only muster another five goals the rest of the way to bring their total to 10. Their 16 goals against was also the most goals they’ve allowed in a single game dating back to March 4th, 2023. This was the Riptide’s second loss in 2024. They now travel to Colorado to face a struggling Mammoth team in The Loud House.

Jeff Teat of the New York Riptide. February 16, 2024 (Photo: Reuben Polansky)

 

#5 – Albany FireWolves (7-2)

Week 12 Result: 13-11 win vs. Colorado Mammoth
Week 13 Opponent: at Buffalo Bandits (5-4)
Previous Ranking: 6th

The Albany FireWolves might be back, everyone. After back-to-back games where the team combined for 13 goals, the FireWolves put up 13 against the Mammoth in Week 12. Alex Simmons and Tye Kurtz were excellent, and Ethan Walker quietly continued his noteworthy play. Doug Jamieson was electric in net with a season-high 50 saves, and many other role players such as Travis Longboat and Nathan Grenon did a great job helping to facilitate the offense. This was a much-needed performance and a much-needed result for this young team to prove that they are true contenders. In Week 13, they’ll have another serious chance to make that case when they head to Buffalo to face the Bandits. This is a game that could give Albany the season series against the Bandits if they win.

 

#4 – Buffalo Bandits (5-4)

Week 12 Result: 14-12 loss at Halifax Thunderbirds
Week 13 Opponent: vs. Albany FireWolves (7-2)
Previous Ranking: 1st

The Bandits are halfway through their season, and I think many of us are still trying to figure out who they are. For the first 25 minutes of their game against Halifax, they looked like a very good team – they were up 8-2 at one point. Vinc and the defense were playing well (that’s something we haven’t been able to say much of late), and the offense was humming. But then, almost suddenly, the wheels came off. Halifax would go on to storm ahead and win the game 14-12. It was an uncharacteristic and concerning loss. We can’t forget that the Bandits were up by six to the Rock earlier this year and almost blew that lead as well. The Bandits have now allowed 13 or more goals in five consecutive games, which is their longest streak of that kind since the 2016-17 season. In the end, they’re still the Bandits, and they still have a winning record (for now). So, all things considered, it could be worse, and I don’t think many of us expect it to get worse.

Buffalo vs Halifax 02-16-2024. (Photo: James Bennett)

 

#3 – Halifax Thunderbirds (6-4)

Week 12 Results: 14-12 win vs. Buffalo Bandits, 17-11 loss at Calgary Roughnecks
Week 13 Opponent: at Saskatchewan Rush (3-4)
Previous Ranking: 3rd

The Thunderbirds split their pair of Week 12 games, keeping them at the #3 spot for this week. A resilient comeback victory against the Bandits is quality win. On the other hand, losing by six to the Roughnecks (or any team for that matter) is a quality loss. Two games in three days isn’t easy, especially when travel is involved, and in the second half of their second game, the offense just couldn’t get it done. Warren Hill also showed signs of vulnerability and Drew Hutchison was needed to do some work in between the pipes – he did very well, stopping 22 of 27 shots on goal, including 11 saves in the third quarter against the Bandits. If, for the rest of the season, they can play more like they did in the second half against the Bandits, the Thunderbirds are going to be a scary good team down the stretch this season. If they get shut down like they did in the second half against the Roughnecks, it will likely be another year of disappointment for Atlantic Canada’s team.

 

#2 – San Diego Seals (6-3)

Week 12 Result: Bye Week
Week 13 Opponent: vs. Georgia Swarm (6-4)
Previous Ranking: 2nd

The Seals had a Bye Week that they likely used to regroup from their shocking loss to the Riptide a couple of weeks ago. Going up against the Swarm in Week 13, the Seals can get back in the win column if their offense comes back to life. The eight goals against the Riptide will almost never be enough to win you a game, but for this team, a team that can “easily” score 16 or 17 on a good night, eight goals isn’t going to be acceptable. Chris Origlieri and the Seals defense have been a bright spot for this offensively talented team and Trevor Baptiste is still shining, winning nearly 70% of his draws this year. A Seals’ loss would raise some red flags, but a Seals’ win would once again backup everything so many of having been saying about the Seals all season long: that they are very good.

 

#1 – Toronto Rock (7–2)

Week 12 Result: 16-10 win at New York Riptide *Game played in Montreal
Week 13 Opponent: vs. Vancouver Warriors (2-7)
Previous Ranking: 5th

The Toronto Rock make the BIG jump all the way to #1 following their big win against the Riptide, who were the league’s hottest team coming into Friday’s game. The Rock were undefeated this season, and that was before Tom Schreiber or Chris Corbeil got back in the lineup. So far, the Rock are 1-1 with both of them back out the on the floor, but as they start to hit their strides, this team could easily go undefeated for the rest of their games… right? I mean, this lineup is stacked, and with the defense and Nick Rose looking so good most of the time, it’s hard to see this team slowing down much more, if at all.

NLL