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What to Expect: Week 7

Friday, January 14

Georgia Swarm (1-2) at Buffalo Bandits (3-0) – 7:30pm ET – ESPN+/TSN.ca

Buffalo did not miss a beat after a few weeks off defeating the Toronto Rock on Tucker Out Lymphoma Night. Dhane Smith reached the 700-career points milestone and Matt Vinc continues to do Matt Vinc things in goal, leading the league in save percentage at .861 at 39-years young. The Georgia Swarm will enter Banditland trying to get on the right track with their young squad. Lyle Thompson continues to be dominant for the Swarm, tallying 8 points in their OT loss to the Wings last week and is on pace for 132 points this season through 3 games played. Given the offseason changes losing Randy Staats and Zed Williams, it was expected the Swarm offense would falter a bit but is still top four in goals scored per game this season.

San Diego Seals (3-1) at Saskatchewan Rush (1-3) – 8:30pm ET – ESPN+/TSN.ca

During last week’s game, San Diego Seals Dane Dobbie recorded his 450th career goal and 900th career point, pushing him past Josh Sanderson for eighth all-time in goals. The Seals lost their starting goalie Frank Scigliano just hours before the game after he was placed on the Covid protocol list, but 19-year-old Chris Origlierli stepped in and earned his first career win as a starter. Saskatchewan has fallen behind in the standings and are looking to lock in a win, especially playing at home. The Rush have not started a season 1-3 since 2013 when they were in Edmonton. Good news for Rush fans, they were still able to win the division that year at 9-7. The struggle for the Rush has been finding consistent offense with only three players who have totaled more than seven points in their four games played.

Saturday, January 15

Albany FireWolves (1-2) at Philadelphia Wings (3-1) – 12:00pm ET – ESPNEWS/TSN.ca

The Philadelphia Wings enter this game still undefeated in their home barn at 3-0, taking care of their home business. This streak will be challenged Saturday as the Albany FireWolves are coming in fired up after their first win of the season. This will be one of the most exciting matchups at the faceoff dot with Joe Nardella of the FireWolves and Trevor Baptiste of the Wings who boast a .813 and .716 faceoff win percentage. Albany will need to stay out of the penalty box as they lead the league in penalty minutes per game and the Wings are third in the NLL at converting man-up opportunities.

Halifax Thunderbirds (2-0) at Toronto Rock (2-2) – 7:00pm ET – ESPN+/Sports Interaction Game of the Week on TSN

An Alterna Cup matchup and the Sports Interaction Game of the Week on TSN. After a month-long hiatus, the Thunderbirds are eager to get back in the arena and face the Rock for the second time this season, defeating the Rock, 11-7 in their last game played on December 10. The Rock dropped to 2-2 after a loss against the Bandits but will look to have a couple of key pieces back this weekend with Dan Dawson and Tom Schreiber. Dawson is on the verge of history. Should he play this weekend, he will eclipse the 300 games played mark and is six games behind tying the all-time leader. If he records two points, he will surpass NLL Hall of Famer, John Grant Jr for second on the all-time points list. For both records, he only trails NLL legend, John Tavares.

Panther City Lacrosse Club (0-4) at New York Riptide (0-3) – 7:30pm ET – ESPN+/TSN.ca

Not only will this game a battle of two of the newest franchises in the NLL, it’s also a battle to see who will get their first win of the season. Panther City continued a good fight last week against the San Diego Seals despite losing their goalie, Kevin Orleman to the Covid list prior to the start of the game.  The transition game played a key role in Panther City’s success last week and will look to play up tempo again. New York  is coming in after a few weeks off and hope to get their star rookie, Jeff Teat, back, who missed their previous two games. The continued challenge for the Riptide is keeping the ball out of their own net, allowing 13.67 goals per game, second to last in the NLL.