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Week 13 Power Rankings

#1 – Toronto Rock (8-2)

Week 12 Result: 16-7 win vs Georgia

Week 13 Opponent: Bye

Previous Ranking: 2nd

The Rock had a chance to grab the top spot back last week (they were ranked #1 in the Week 2 rankings), with the Bandits having a week off, but they couldn’t capitalize on their opportunity to secure a convincing win against the Georgia Swarm. In their rematch with the Swarm this week, they stepped it up in a big way. Despite struggling to get the offense going for the first 11 minutes of the contest, the Rock went on a scoring blitz over the next 40+ minutes of the game scoring 15 of their 16 goals in that span. The defense was on point during the entire contest. It took the Swarm just over 20 minutes to score their first goal, and the Rock only allowed the Swarm to go on a run of more than two goals in a row once it was midway through the 4th quarter after they were leading 15-4. This was yet another dominating win for the Rock. In six of their right wins this season, the Rock have won those games by eight goals or more. This is the first time the Rock are 8-2 (or better) in their first 10 games since 2015. The Rock have now won seven straight games. The last time they won seven games in a row was in 2005 – they won the NLL Championship that season.

#2 – Buffalo Bandits (8-2)

Week 12 Result: 13-12 OT win vs Philadelphia

Week 13 Opponent: Bye

Previous Ranking: 1st

The Bandits showed just how resilient they can be in Week 12. They came into their game against the Philadelphia Wings with Josh Byrne and Chris Cloutier still being sidelined by injuries. By the end of the match, Tehoka Nanticoke, Ian MacKay, and Brandon Robinson had also been bitten by the injury bug. Still, the Bandits pulled out a gutsy, albeit nerve-racking, victory. Dhane Smith is playing out-of-this-world lacrosse right now, and the defense has been one of the most consistent all season long. If the Bandits can win without a significant chunk of their offensive firepower, imagine what they’ll be able to accomplish when they’re fully healthy.

#3 – Calgary Roughnecks (7-3)

Week 12 Result: 14-9 win at Vancouver

Week 13 Opponent: at Las Vegas (3-5)

Previous Ranking: 4th

If there’s one team we’re not talking enough about as a serious contender to make a run for this year’s NLL Cup, it’s the Calgary Roughnecks. Without Curtis Dickson, Dane Dobbie, or Wes Berg in their lineup for the first time in over a decade, it was unclear just how well this team of talented, mostly blossoming players would be able to come together. Halfway through this season, it’s pretty clear that this team’s unselfish, composed, and focused play has been a recipe for success. Midway through the 2nd quarter against Vancouver, the Roughnecks were down 6-5. During a break in the action, they collected themselves and outscored their opposition 9-3 for the road win. This is the first time the Roughnecks are 7-3 (or better) over their first 10 games in over a decade. Whether it’s the play of Christian Del Bianco in between the pipes, Zach Currier in transition, or Jesse King on the attack – and everyone in between – this team is on a roll right now, having won four games in a row.

#4 – Rochester Knighthawks (7-2)

Week 12 Results: Bye

Week 13 Opponent: vs New York (2-7)

Previous Ranking: 5th

The Rochester Knighthawks are right in the thick of this battle for the top spot in the rankings despite their minor hiccups in recent weeks. Over the final final weeks of this NLL Season, the Knighthawks have no more bye weeks, so we’ll see a lot more of them in the second half of the season. A bye week in Week 12 gave these guys time to rest up and prepare for Jeff Teat and the Riptide in Week 13. Earlier this season, Rylan Hartley and the defense in front of him were able to hold Teat scoreless over 60 minutes – the Knighthawks and the Rock are the only teams to achieve that this year. If the Knighthawks can silence Teat again, this team might be moving up the rankings.

#5 – San Diego Seals (6-2)

Week 12 Result: 16-11 loss vs Saskatchewan

Week 13 Opponent: Bye

Previous Ranking: 3rd

The San Diego Seals couldn’t get the better of the Saskatchewan Rush this time. The Rush led from start to finish last Friday night on the road to cap off their statement win. While the Seals scored in bunches during the middle quarters, the fact that they didn’t score in the first 15 of the game and that they only scored two goals in the final nine minutes of the contest when they needed more production cost the team what could’ve been a series-clinching victory. Sitting at 6-2 with 10 games to play, it is still possible that this team could end up with one of the best records in NLL history – their offense is definitely built to achieve something like that – but the Seals are finding out that the battle for the West is going to very difficult in the final two months of the regular season.

Next 3 In (in alphabetical order)

Halifax Thunderbirds (5-5)

Week 12 Result: 13-12 win vs New York

Week 13 Opponent: Bye

Previous Ranking: Next 3 In

Heading into their Week 13 bye week with a win is a massive positive for this team. Consistency has been an issue with the Thunderbirds this season, so this period of rest and recovery will also be filled with plenty of time for preparation. The upcoming three-game stretch for the Thunderbirds will tell us a lot about this team. They face the Bandits in back-to-back weeks, only to be paired up against the Rock afterward. If the Thunderbirds can win most of those next three games, they will likely be back in the Top-5 of the Power Rankings. If they lose all three, they could be fighting for their playoff lives in the season’s final weeks.

Panther City Lacrosse Club (6-4)

Week 12 Result: 13-7 win vs Colorado

Week 13 Opponent: at Colorado (4-5)

Previous Ranking: Next 3 In

PCLC keeps on moving up. They are in the Next 3 In right now, but if they keep up their winning ways, this team could potentially be placed in the Top-5 for the first time this season. Winners of three of their last four, Panther City look like a tough matchup for anyone right now. On offense, pick your poison. Will Malcom and Jonathan Donville are arguably the best duo in the NLL right now, and adding Callum Crawford to an already deep, skilled young offense seems to have put this team over the top. Nick Damude continues to shine in between the pipes and has been one of the Top-5 goaltenders in the NLL through 12 weeks of action. PCLC has beaten the defending champions, and they almost beat the Seals a few weeks ago – they were without Crawford in that game. Their next four games are against West Conference opponents, so if they perform admirably during that stretch, PCLC could be in a very good position to grab a playoff spot in the West for their first postseason appearance.

Saskatchewan Rush (5-3)

Week 12 Result: 16-11 win at San Diego

Week 13 Opponent: vs Vancouver (1-9)

Previous Ranking: Next 3 In

The Rush didn’t just come to play in Week 12; they were out for revenge. Their 16-11 statement win against San Diego was their second-most impressive win of the season (only behind their 18-6 domination of the Mammoth in Week 1). The Rush have now won three of their last four games, and they won all of them handily. When the Rush are healthy, they look like one of the NLL’s most complete and competitive teams. Alex Buque continues to impress in net, and they’ll need him to keep that up for the remainder of the year if they want to be a playoff team this year. Their next game is against Vancouver in Saskatchewan, so if they can put together another dominating performance against a West Conference foe, this team might just see themselves back in the Top-5 (depending on how the teams ahead of them fair in Week 13).

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