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What to Expect: Week 20

All games can be seen on ESPN+ and TSN+

Friday, Apr. 14

Desert Dogs (5-10) at Roughnecks (11-5) – 9pm ET – Game of the Week on TSN

Three more weeks of the regular season, four playoff spots remain, and two Games of the Week on TSN highlight the start of Week 20. We first start in Calgary with the Desert Dogs travelling to Calgary to take on the Roughnecks.

The nail may have finally put in the Desert Dogs playoff chances with their loss last weekend to the Seals. While still technically alive, the odds are slim but this team has proven they will be strong for years to come. After going on a five-goal run in the first quarter, scoring would come sporadically the rest of the game for Las Vegas. Connor Kirst played a major role in this game, scoring two goals, recording two assists, blocking a shot, scooping six loose balls, and causing three turnovers.

Calgary on the other hand has looked like they are in prime playoff form, securing a 12-5 win over Panther City last week in front of over 11,000 Roughneck fans. The second and fourth quarters proved the difference in this game, with the Roughnecks outscoring PCLC 8-2 in those frames. Christian Del Bianco played a solid game, saving 32 of just 37 shots on net, earning him Player of the Week honors. Tanner Cook, Tyler Pace, and Jesse King each contributed with six points each.

These teams have seen each other once before on February 24 with Las Vegas taking the 11-9 win. A 6-1 first quarter for the Desert Dogs was flipped in the second with the Roughnecks tying the game by half. Las Vegas would score the only two goals in the third which propelled them to the win.

Seals (12-3) at Mammoth (8-7) – 9pm ET – ESPNU

Starting at the same time sees a rematch of last season’s West Conference Finals and potential Quarterfinal matchup for this season between San Diego and Colorado on ESPNU.

San Diego clinched a home playoff game but wants home floor advantage for the entire playoffs. Outside a five-goal run by Las Vegas, San Diego dominated their game last week. The three headed monster of Curtis Dickson, Dane Dobbie, and Wes Berg combined for 20 points (7g, 13a) for the Seals while Frank Scigliano settled into a groove after the first quarter, saving 36 of 45 the entire night but 26 of 31 the final three frames.

Colorado is building momentum at the right time but has a tough schedule to close out the season, including two against the Seals. While strongly holding onto the fourth seed in the West, they need to be wary of the potential for the crossover from the competitive East. A slow first half led to a strong second half, outscoring Vancouver 9-1 in the second half in their contest last weekend in Colorado. Dillon Ward and the Mammoth defense allowed just two goals over the last 45 minutes of the game. Ward would finish the game saving 38 of 43 shots while Jordan Gilles was a force defensively with two blocked shots, 10 loose balls, three caused turnovers and two assists.

These two teams are familiar with each other and will see each other again during Week 22. Last time out on January 28 saw the Seals taking the 13-9 win over the Mammoth. The Mammoth looked flat, trailing 5-0 by the halfway point of the second quarter. By the fourth quarter, the Seals led 12-5 and coasted to the win. Chris Origlieri had the start in net, saving 37 of 46 shots. Robert Hope was the star for the Mammoth, with two assists, 14 loose balls, four blocks and two caused turnovers.

Saturday, Apr. 15

Wings (7-8) at Rock (12-4) – 7pm ET – Game of the Week on TSN

Saturday starts with another bang and another Game of the Week on TSN between the Wings, trying to keep pace for playoff positioning in the East and the first place Rock. Both teams should have fresh legs after bye weeks last week.

Last time out for the Wings, they picked up a huge overtime win over the Knighthawks, 14-13. Despite a four-goal lead early in the fourth, the Knighthawks scored five straight before Taite Cattoni scored to tie the game. Joe Resetarits would get his game high fourth goal for the OT winner. Trevor Baptiste was 22-31 from the faceoff dot but also contributed with a caused turnover, 18 loose balls, and a blocked shot in the win.

Toronto had their most dominating performance of the season during their last game, especially when you consider it was against their rivals, the Buffalo Bandits, at home in front of the best crowd a Rock game has seen in 10+ years of over 13,000. It started early an often, leading 7-1 after the first quarter. The final read 18-7 led by Corey Small’s 10 points (5g, 5a), Tom Schreiber’s nine points (4g, 5a), and Nick Rose saving 39 of 46 shots. The game ended in dramatic fashion with multiple scrums between these two rivals. The Rock have clinched a home playoff game but want the top record in the league, given their 7-1 home record.

Toronto and Philadelphia each have won one against each other this season. The last matchup saw the Wings getting an 11-10 win on March 6. The Wings had an early 9-5 lead in the fourth but Toronto kept inching back, eventually tying the game at 9-9 before the Wings scored two more, enough to take the win. Mitch Jones and Joe Resetarits each had seven points while Dan Craig led the Rock with four goals.

Swarm (7-8) at FireWolves (3-12) – 7pm ET

The Swarm put their playoff hopes on the line against the FireWolves who ended their losing streak last weekend.

The Swarm have had the turnaround of the season, now winners of seven of their last eight games and moving up to a three-way tie for fourth place in the East with the Wings and Thunderbirds. Last weekend, the Swarm held of the Rush for a 13-9 victory. A 6-1 first quarter for the Swarm dictated the game quickly on their way to the win. The big hitters were earning their paycheck for the Swarm. Lyle Thompson had eight points (4g, 4a), Shayne Jackson (3g, 4a) and Andrew Kew (1g, 6a) with seven points each, and Brendan Bomberry with six (3g, 3a). Brett Dobson saved 44 of 53 shots for the win as the rookie netminder continues to impress.

Despite being eliminated from playoff contention, the FireWolves enjoyed the spoiler role last weekend against Rochester, winning 14-12 and ending their 10-game losing streak. Albany would get an early lead and extend it to a four-goal lead in the second but Rochester would chip away the rest of the way but not was never able to tie the game. Connor Kelly had five goals on the night for Albany to lead the team, including the much needed insurance goal with under a minute remaining, while Doug Jamieson saved 42 of 54 on the night.

The FireWolves were the first victims to the Swarm’s turnaround in back-to-back games in February and early March. The Swarm took their first matchup 20-4. Game two was a week later and much closer, a 9-8 OT win for the Swarm. Albany held a two-goal lead with under 10 minutes remaining, but former MVP’s Lyle Thompson and Shayne Jackson scored to tie the game. Lyle Thompson would get the game winner just 18 seconds into the extra frame.

Riptide (4-11) at Bandits (11-4) – 7:30pm ET

New York and Buffalo see each other on Saturday after both coming in off needed bye weeks after poor performances last time out.

In their last game, New York ran into an extremely hot Georgia team, losing 12-7. The difference in this game would be the second quarter where New York was outscored 6-1 and put them in a large hole at the half. Jeff Teat was held to just two points and no goals for the Riptide for the league leader in goals and points. Outside of that second frame, Cameron Dunkerley had a worthy performance by saving 30 of 36 shots in the three other quarters.

For the Bandits, there is no other word than dominated to describe their last game against the Rock where they lost 18-7. Every team has a stinker or two they would like to forget about and this is the one for the Bandits. Matt Vinc had an uncharacteristic game where he would be pulled multiple times. The end of the game saw several scuffles between the two rivals who will see each other again in Week 21.

Buffalo took the 16-10 last time out between these two on January 28. Dhane Smith looked like the reigning MVP with 12 points (4g, 8a) while his counterpart in Jeff Teat had seven (3g, 4a) for the Riptide.

Thunderbirds (7-8) at Rush (6-9) – 9:30pm ET

It is getting to the do or die point for both Halifax and Saskatchewan. The Thunderbirds are in a three-way tie for the fourth seed in the East with Philadelphia and Georgia while Saskatchewan fell another game behind Colorado for the fourth seed in the West after their loss last week.

Halifax was another victim of the red-hot Georgia Swarm, losing 17-7 last game out two weeks ago. It was smooth sailing for the Swarm who held an 8-2 lead at the half. A bright spot for the Thunderbirds was the play of Graeme Hossack who had to step in to take most faceoffs, going 13-22 but also contributing a blocked shot, three caused turnovers, and 10 loose balls.

These teams saw each other last season in the opening weekend with Halifax taking the 12-11 win. Robert Church led the Rush with five points (3g, 2a) while Clarke Petterson led the Thunderbirds with five points as well (2g, 3a).

Panther City (9-7) at Vancouver (4-12) – 10pm ET

Week 20 concludes with Panther City heading to Vancouver to take on the Warriors.

Panther City is still on the brink of their first ever playoff berth but suffered a loss last week against the Roughnecks by a 12-5 final. While not dominated in many key stats (outside scoring goals), PCLC was unable to beat Christian Del Bianco at the rate they would have liked. Nick Damude was pulled in this game for Cam MacLeod who offered a bit more sustainability in holding the Roughnecks to just 12 total on the night. The offense struggled to get shots on goal, only getting 36 on target and converting on five of them. Phil Caputo led the team with two goals on the night.

Vancouver is still showing a lot of fight as they are trying to play spoiler. Last week, they played a competitive first half against Colorado, but the wheels came off in the second half. The Mammoth would score 10 of the final 11 goals, including holding Vancouver scoreless for over 34 minutes of game time. Aaron Bold continued his resurgence, saving a respectable 41 of 52 while the absence of Reid Bowering from the back end could be felt in the team’s energy.

The boys from Fort Worth took the first two meetings of the season. In the last game on February 11, it was a close 14-13 win at Dickies Arena. Keegan Bal for the Warriors and Callum Crawford for Panther City each had five goals in the game. Reid Bowering had a game high five caused turnovers on defense.

Playoff Scenarios

  • The Buffalo Bandits can clinch a Quarterfinal home playoff game with a WIN vs New York on Saturday
  • The Colorado Mammoth can clinch a playoff berth with a WIN vs San Diego on Friday AND Saskatchewan LOSS vs Halifax on Saturday AND Philadelphia LOSS at Toronto on Saturday
  • The Las Vegas Desert Dogs will be eliminated from playoff consideration with aLOSS at Calgary on Friday, OR  Colorado WIN vs San Diego on Friday, OR Saskatchewan WIN vs Halifax on Saturday
  • The Panther City Lacrosse Club will clinch a playoff berth with a WIN at Vancouver on Saturday AND one of the following:
    • Philadelphia loss at Toronto on Saturday, OR
    • Halifax loss at Saskatchewan on Saturday
  • The San Diego Seals will clinch first place in the West Conference with aWIN at Colorado on Friday, OR a Calgary LOSS vs Las Vegas on Friday
  • The Saskatchewan Rush will be eliminated from playoff consideration with a LOSS vs Halifax on Saturday AND Colorado win vs San Diego on Friday
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