Monday, April 7, 2008

A recap of the week that was in the NLL

A busy week in the NLL made the Eastern Conference even more jumbled then it was before the week started. Knowing that, here are the recaps from the weekend games:


Rochester vs. Toronto
The Knighthawks went into the Air Canada Center knowing that their playoff lives were even more in the balance after their 11-8 loss to the Mammoth on Thursday night. They took it to the Rock, winning 9-6 in a defensive battle which always seem to plague Rock games. Watson took the loss allowing only 9 goals on 47 shots while O'Toole took the win allowing 6 goals on 40 shots. While the defensive nature of the Rock is the way they play the game, it is also their downfall because of their lack of scoring. Blaine Manning and Lewis Ratcliff seemed to be the only ones that showed up for this one with Manning scoring 2 and Ratcliff scoring 3.

Top Performer: Scott Evans really put the Knighthawks on his back and carried them with this performance scoring 4 goals and adding another assist.

New York vs. Minnesota
The Swarm got into a tie for first place with their win against the New York Titans, 12-9 at the Xcel Energy Arena. The Swarm are undefeated at home this season which could prove trouble come playoff time. Nick Patterson started the game for the Swarm allowing 9 goals on 42 shots while Matt Vinc takes the loss allowing 11 goals on 39 shots. The leading scorer for the Titans here was Pat Maddalena scoring 3 goals and adding an assist.

Top Performer: Ryan Ward wins this honor scoring 3 goals and adding 4 more assists.

Philadelphia vs. Chicago
The suddenly hot Chicago Shamrox beat the Wings in overtime 15-14 in front of 5,427 at the Sears Center. The Shamrox are winners of their last three pulling them within two games of the last playoff spot. Much of this success comes from the addition of Matt Roik from the Wings. Roik has played 4 games for the Shamrox having a SV% of .797 which is good for second in the league. In net for the Wings was Brandon Miller who came over from the Shamrox in the Roik trade. He took the loss allowing the overtime goal in the first 7 seconds.

Top Performer: Bobby McBride from the Shamrox with 2 goals including the game winner takes this but an honorable mention can go to Matt Roik with his 48 saves on 62 shots.

Calgary vs. Edmonton

The Edmonton Rush have been about as hot as the Shamrox have been. Since starting the season 0-7, the Rush have won 4 of their last 5 pulling themselves into the third spot in the Western Conference. Most of this success can be attributed to the introduction of Bob Hamley as coach and many of the moves he has made at the trade deadline. Hamley basically restarted this team and brought in a lot of young players to play for the Rush along with a lot of draft picks. The Rush will have 4 first round draft picks for the 2009 draft which means they could be the team to beat next season. Going to this game, Curtis Palidwor put in another valiant effort between the pipes for the Rush making 32 saves on 41 shots. The loss for the Roughriders put them in last place in the Western Conference, a game back of the final playoff spot.

Top Performer: Jimmy Quinlan from the Rush takes this with 4 goals and assist.

San Jose vs. Portland

The Stealth keep the second spot in the Western Conference after beating the Lumberjax 12-9 in the Rose Garden. After the dismal performance against the Wings last week, the Stealth came out flat allowing the Lumberjax to have an early 4-2 lead after the first quarter. From there, the Stealth rattled off 9 straight to take a 10-4 lead halfway into the third and held off the late charge by the Lumberjax. Anthony Cosmo takes the win for the Stealth making 54 saves on 63 shots while Matt Disher takes the loss.

Top Performer: Jeff Zywicki had a pretty good game scoring 5 goals on 12 shots and adding 2 more assists.


Portland vs. San Jose
Portland gets its payback and wins the back end of the home and home series against the Stealth winning 12-10. Both Disher and Cosmo played in this game as well. Disher made 42 saves on 52 shots while Cosmo made 43 saves on 54 shots. Zywicki played like he was the top point scorer on the Stealth netting 2 goals with 5 helpers.

Top Performer: Ryan Powell gets this with 3 goals and 4 helpers.

Philadelphia vs. Toronto

After losing the overtime game in Chicago, the Wings went home where they have been undefeated all season and won another 11-9 against the Rock. League leading Bob Watson took another loss having 50 saves on 61 shots while Rob Blasdell took the win making 51 saves on 60 shots. The major problem was the power outage of the Rock who only scored 15 goals in their two losses this weekend. This led to the firing of offensive coach Greg VanSickle today.

Top Performer: MVP leading candidate Athan Iannucci builds his case even more with 4 goals and another assist for a total of 76 points which is good for third in the league and second in the Eastern Conference.

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