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Week 19 Power Rankings

#1 – San Diego Seals (11-3)

Week 18 Result: 14-8 win vs Calgary

Week 19 Opponent: at Las Vegas (5-9)

Previous Ranking: 1st

This Seals team is firing on all cylinders right now. Their Week 18 14-8 win against Calgary really solidified the Seals spot at #1. Frank Scigliano is having one of the best stretches of his career in between the pipes, the offense is getting solid, reliable contributions from guys other than Wes Berg, Dane Dobbie, Curtis Dickson and Kevin Crowley and the defense in front of Scigliano is really cracking down on opposing offenses. In Week 18, the Seals defense combined for 19 caused turnovers and also allowed the Roughnecks to get 40 shots on goal. They also scored five shorthanded goals on a team known for its transition.

#2 – Toronto Rock (12-4)

Week 18 Result: 18-7 win vs Buffalo

Week 19 Opponent: Bye

Previous Ranking: 4th

A historic win against your longest and most-bitter rival is always going to bump you up the rankings, but even saying that doesn’t do justice of describing just how dominant, consequential and rare the Rock’s victory against the Bandits was. These organizations have been going head-to-head for 25 years (including when the Rock were the Ontario Raiders) and they have played each other over 70 times (regular season and playoffs included). Yet, the 11-goal victory was the largest ever against the Bandits and the 18 goals scored against the usually formidable Bandits defense and goaltending was one of their highest outputs against the Bandits in two-and-a-half decades.

#3 – Buffalo Bandits (12-4)

Week 18 Result: 18-7 loss at Toronto

Week 19 Opponent: Bye

Previous Ranking: 2nd

The Bandits obviously needed to drop back here. The 11-goal loss was their largest defeat since losing by 13 goals to the Swarm in April of 2017. The Bandits have now lost two of their last three games and have scored only 22 goals (7.33 goals per game) in that span. To put that into perspective of how slow the Bandits offense has been over their last three games, the last time they scored this little in a three game span was in April of 2014, when they also had a three-game stretch where they only scored 22 goals. Hopefully this team turns things around soon. It’s been such a great year for the Bandits. Heading into the postseason on a bad losing skid would not benefit this team in any way.

#4 – Calgary Roughnecks (10-5)

Week 18 Result: 14-8 loss at San Diego

Week 19 Opponent: vs Panther City (9-6)

Previous Ranking: 3rd

The Roughnecks could’ve been sitting at the top spot had they beaten the Seals, but instead, the Seals put a beatdown on them. It was definitely an off-week for the Roughnecks, who matched their lowest goal-scoring production of the season, and Christian Del Bianco had an uncharacteristic performance in net giving up 14 goals. This was only the second time this season Del Bianco has allowed more than 11 goals; the other time this year also happened to be against the Seals – he allowed 17 that game. Prior to this significant loss, the Roughnecks looked like one of, if not, the toughest team to beat in the NLL. I imagine that no one on this team is going to let them lose like this again this season – playoffs included.

#5 – Panther City Lacrosse Club (9-6)

Week 18 Result: 12-8 win vs Albany

Week 19 Opponent: at Calgary (10-5)

Previous Ranking: 5th

Since their 2-3 start to the season, Panther City has been winning the games you’d expect them to and losing the games you probably thought would be tough for them to win. PCLC is now 7-3 in their last 10 games. They moved a couple of steps closer to clinching their first ever playoff berth by beating the slumping FireWolves 12-8 in Week 18. With two games against the Roughnecks down the stretch in their last three games, Panther City is going to be faced with very difficult pre-postseason challenges. They haven’t clinched yet, but they’re on the brink. Who knows, with wins in both games they could slide up to the second spot in the West to host a first round playoff game.

Next 3 In (in alphabetical order)

Colorado Mammoth (7-7)

Week 18 Result: 11-9 win vs Las Vegas

Week 19 Opponent: vs Vancouver (4-11)

Previous Ranking: Next 3 In

A win against the Warriors in Week 19 would give the Mammoth back-to-back wins for the first time since mid-January. The offense is getting back in a groove – they have now scored 10+ goals in five straight games. The last time they scored 10+ goals in five straight games was March of 2019. Dillon Ward and the defense, despite a tough first quarter last week, has allowed less than 10 goals in two of their last three games. The defending champs are going to do everything in their power to make it back to the playoffs.

Georgia Swarm (6-8)

Week 18 Results: 12-7 win vs New York, 17-7 win at Halifax

Week 19 Opponent: vs Saskatchewan (6-8)

Previous Ranking: N/A

Having the Swarm in this spot instead of the Thunderbirds, Rush or Wings is probably controversial decision for most of you, but the Swarm are arguably the hottest team in the league right now. They have won four games in a row and six of their last seven. They have won each of their last three games by 5+ goals, including beating the Thunderbirds by 10 last Sunday. The Swarm have four games left to try and complete the most remarkable turnaround in NLL history. The Swarm are hoping to make the postseason for the first time since 2019.

Rochester Knighthawks (9-6)

Week 18 Result: 14-13 OT loss vs Philadelphia

Week 19 Opponent: vs Albany (2-12)

Previous Ranking: Next 3 In

The Knighthawks of the second half of this season are a very different team than who they were in the first half of the year. Their 14-13 OT loss was a tough one to swallow. They have now lost three games in a row, four of their last five and six of their last nine. They are still in the driver seat to make the postseason, but they need to do another 180 before the postseason – if they can make it. All they need is a win in their final three games. This is still a very capable, young team with a lot of promise. It would be such a great story if they can make the playoffs after three seasons filled with struggle.

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