Monday, January 31, 2011

Mammoth Continue to Struggle

Melissa Dafni


As a fan, it’s always difficult to watch your team lose. But is it harder to watch them get solidly beaten? Or barely beaten?  The Colorado Mammoth are essentially one goal away from being 0-4 and three goals away from being 4-0.  Instead, they are now 1-3.

In fighting, you need more than just skill.  You also need heart and a killer instinct.  The true test of a fighter is how they handle the situation when they’re losing.  Do they give up and accept their fate?  Or do they do whatever it takes to win?

This Mammoth team is talented but they just can’t seem to win.  They’re not giving up, but they’re also not going in for the kill.  They continue to struggle to play four solid quarters and it shows in their record.  Every game so far this season has been decided by one goal.  Every game so far has been within their reach, but they just couldn’t close the door.

Yes, the Mammoth have faced tough opponents, but in this game, it didn’t look like it was Philly that played the night before.  Granted, putting Rob Blasdell in for Chris Levis in the 2nd quarter certainly didn’t help since on the five shots he faced in seven minutes, he only made one save.

Looking ahead, the schedule isn’t going to be any easier so if the Mammoth don’t find in themselves what it takes to win, it’s going to be a long and disappointing season.

The Game

1st Quarter
Max Siebald scored the first goal of the night five and a half minutes in to give the Philadelphia Wings the lead.  Brian Langtry tied it up a few minutes later on the power play. Play continued for several minutes with neither team able to capitalize until with a couple minutes remaining, Athan Iannucci scored his first goal of the night to take the lead back, quickly followed by a goal from Matt Alrich.
Mammoth 1, Wings 3

2nd Quarter
The Mammoth scored a pair of quick goals in the first two minutes from Cliff Smith and John Grant Jr. to tie the game again.  Unfortunately for the Mammoth, the remainder of the quarter would not go so well.  Within a minute and a half, Ryan McClelland, Athan Iannucci and Drew Westervelt each notched goals for the Wings. After only five minutes of play, Chris Levis was pulled and replaced with former Philadelphia Wings back up Rob Blasdell… still wearing his Wings helmet.
Jamie Shewchuck was able to stop the Wings run and scored his only goal of the night on a power play.  Shewchuck’s goal wasn’t enough though as the Wings took advantage of Blasdell being in net. Alrich scored his second of the night followed by a short-hander from Brendan Mundorf and a pair of goals in quick succession from Iannucci and Westervelt.  With a little over two minutes remaining in the half, Blasdell was pulled and Levis put back in.
Mammoth 4, Wings 10

3rd Quarter
The third quarter has not been kind to the Mammoth the last two games as they were held scoreless by their opponents.  This time however, it was the Wings who were held scoreless in the third.  Although quiet so far this season, four minutes into the second half, Alex Gajic scored, followed by a second goal from Langtry and two more from Alex.  One of which was on the power play.
Mammoth 8, Wings 10

4th Quarter
Kyle Sweeney breaks the Wings’ scoring drought two minutes in followed by Westervelt’s third goal a few minutes later.  Westervelt’s goal would be the last for the Wings while Grant, Steve Toll and Smith, on a power play, would each score for the Mammoth.  With the fourth quarter winding down, Grant scored what would be the tying goal, but it was called back on a crease violation.
Final Score: Colorado Mammoth 11, Philadelphia Wings 12
MVP: Athan Iannucci
Attendance: 8,616

Around the League:
Friday
Philadelphia Wings 11, Boston Blazers 5
Calgary Roughnecks 15, Edmonton 11

Saturday
Buffalo Bandits 5, Toronto Rock 8
Boston Blazers 16, Rochester Knighthawks 7
Washington Stealth 10, Minnesota Swarm 11
Edmonton Rush 11, Calgary Roughnecks 12

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Knighthawks fall to Blazers in rematch

By Alex Hinkley

The Rochester Knighthawks lost the rematch against the Boston Blazers last night 7-16 in one of the worst performances the Knighthawks have put on at the Blue Cross Arena in recent memory.

Defenseman Ryan Dilks opened the scoring for the Blazers three minutes into the game on a quick break. He would have a hat trick for Boston in the first half which goes to show just how bad the Hawks were on defense. The Knighthawks did not get their first goal until ten minutes in when Cody Jamieson scored on the power play to make it 1-4. It would be the only goal Rochester managed in the first quarter.

Dan Dawson and Casey Powell went off in the second quarter with two goals a piece. Mike Hasen pulled Matt Vinc in an effort to calm the team down. It didn't seem to matter who was in goal as Dawson scored yet again before Kevin Buchanan and Ryan Powell each added a tally of their own increasing the Blazers' lead 4-11 at halftime.

Backup goalie Aaron Bold came out to start the second half but was soon replaced by Matt Vinc after allowing a goal in the first minute. Dawson (4 G, 2 A) and Powell (4 G, 5 A) continued to punish the Knighthawks all game long. Josh Sanderson, the other member of the "Big Three," had a notable game as well with 6 assists.

The game remained one-sided throughout the remainder of the second half. Rochester didn't even bother trying to mount any sort of comeback and they managed to find the net just once in the fourth quarter.

The Knighthawks just couldn't get anything going on offense. They did not score a "regular" five-on-five goal until forty minutes into the game when Shawn Evans finally blew one past Cosmo (all Rochester's goals up to that point were either on transition or the power play). Neither Craig Point or Mike Accursi managed a single goal. Gary Gait worked hard setting picks and fighting towards the net, but also could not score. Rookie Cody Jamieson (4 G, 0 A) lead the Knighthawks in scoring for his third consecutive hat trick. Three of his goals came on the power play, however.

Perhaps the biggest reason the Hawks dropped this game is defense. The defense seemed almost nonexistent. The Boston Blazers, Dan Dawson especially, kept running the same play on nearly every possession for the entire game where one guy would cut through the middle, receive a pass, and quickly shoot from the top of the crease. The Knighthawks just couldn't seem to stop it. No matter how hard they tried, there would always be someone cutting through their defense to receive that pass.

Newly added Rory Glaves was a no-count without even a single loose ball. Aside from a really good pass on the Hawks' second goal, Scott Campbell didn't do much either. At one point he even fell down for seemingly no reason.

This was an embarrassing loss for Rochester and it is evident that something needs to be done about this swiss cheese defense. As bad as the defense is, the Knighthawks also currently have the worst offense in the league being tied with Buffalo for fewest goals scored. Hopefully Jordan Hall will be ready to play next weekend when the Philadelphia Wings roll into Rochester. We need all the help we can get.

(Originally published on Examiner.com)

Game Review: Toronto 8 Buffalo 5

By Graeme Perrow

The Toronto Rock planned to avenge last week's OT loss to the Buffalo Bandits in Saturday's rematch at the ACC in Toronto, and that's just what they did, defeating the Bandits 8-5 the lowest-scoring game of this young NLL season. The total number of goals in this game was less than either team scored in last week's game; in fact they came pretty close to tying the record for least total goals in a game (which also featured the Rock at the ACC, they defeated the Albany Attack 7-4 back in the early 2000's). The score at half-time was only 3-1, an almost unfathomable half-time score for lacrosse. Bob Watson, once again, was absolutely outstanding in net for the Rock. Whipper made 50 saves, only allowed five goals all night, and went for 33 minutes without allowing any. When was the last time an NLL goalie allowed zero goals in two different quarters in the same game? How about two consecutive quarters? Buffalo's Angus Goodleaf was very good, and allowing the Toronto offense only 8 goals is pretty impressive. He only faced 35 shots, which is more of a statement on the Buffalo defence than the Toronto offense.

From the very beginning of the game, it was apparent that this one would be more like the infamous pre-season game between these two teams (which was called in the third quarter after a bench-clearing brawl) than last week's game was. Last week, there were some roughing, slashing, and holding penalties, but nothing crazy. But crazy doesn't begin to describe the first period of this game. Stats from the first quarter alone:

  • 17 penalties (70 minutes + 3 game misconducts) for Buffalo, 18 (64 minutes + 2 game misconducts) for Toronto.
  • four fighting penalties each
  • at one point, there were six Rock players and five Bandits in the penalty box. Given the game misconducts and the players actually playing on the floor, the Rock had more players in the penalty box than on the bench. This is when I wished I had brought my camera to the game.
  • The game started at 7:08pm. At 7:30, we'd played 5 minutes and 12 seconds of lacrosse. The first quarter didn't end until 7:54, taking almost 50 minutes to play.
  • at least twice they played three-on-three
  • only three goals scored

Only a minute into the game, Bandit Steve Priolo tried to pick a fight with Toronto heavyweight Tim O'Brien but O'Brien didn't take the bait and each was given a roughing penalty. Less than a minute later, all hell broke loose (or so we thought at the time) as Tracey Kelusky and Patrick Merrill fought near the net and Jeff Gilbert and Frank Resetarits fought near centre. Amusingly, when Gilbert pushed Resetarits down he held him there until the other fight was over, and Resetarits didn't try to get up. It was almost like they realized that once Resetarits hit the ground the refs would have stopped the fight, but the refs were both trying to break up the other one, so they just waited. Both were ejected for starting a second fight when one was already going on. Kelusky and Merrill both got fighting majors and most Rock fans agreed that taking Kelusky off the floor for five minutes was worth losing Merrill for five, with no disrespect to Merrill.

Just five seconds later, another fight and another ejection as Brandon Francis attacked Rock newcomer Ryan Sharp. Both got five, but Francis got an extra two for instigating and a game misconduct. At this point, I thought "OK, this is just getting silly" but we hadn't seen nothin' yet.

It seemed that both teams were just looking for an excuse to start a fight. Mat MacLeod scored and then fell into the Buffalo goalie (no intent there, just gravity and momentum), and a Bandit defender or two jumped him and pummelled him. Then a few seconds later, a Bandit attempted to score and fell into Watson (again, no intent), and two Rock defenders jumped him. It quickly turned nasty as a whole crowd of people were piled on top of each other. No real punches were thrown in the scrum, but off to one side Steve Priolo and Cam Woods started another fight. It didn't last long before Woods walked away, but Priolo followed him and there were a few more punches before Woods walked away again. Priolo seemed to be out of his mind at this point, and literally ran around the net, looking for someone to fight. He even tried to pull one of the Rock players out of the scrum to fight him. My friend sitting next to me asked "Does he realize how stupid he looks?" and I couldn't disagree. Priolo and Woods were both ejected, and after a very long delay a bunch of roughing penalties were handed out.

After this, things actually did calm down a little, but the referees did not. Several more penalties were given out in the first quarter, but most of them were arguable. Phil Sanderson was given a very questionable slashing penalty and must have questioned the validity of the call on his way to the penalty box. He was given an extra two for unsportsmanlike conduct, and the same thing happened during the second, when Bandit Tom Montour was given an elbowing penalty.

Let me go off on a bit of a tangent here. I don't hate NLL refs like many others do. I realize that they have a very difficult and thankless job – if they do their job properly, nobody notices them (when was the last time you heard anyone say "Wow, the reffing in that game was really good"?) but if they make one mistake, it's talked about to death. Having said that, I really don't like Grant Spies. Perhaps he lives near Toronto, but he seems to do an awful lot of Rock games and has for years. I haven't noticed any significant pro-Rock or anti-Rock bias, but he frequently seems to get onto some kind of power trip - I've never seen any ref completely take over a game the way he does. He seems to take penalties personally; he was calling a slashing penalty last night and when he stood in front of the scorer's booth to indicate the penalty, he viciously chopped at his own arm like he was really pissed off. He probably gave himself a bruise. There were some questionable calls in the Toronto-Boston game last week as well, and I considered adding a bit about Spies in my report on that game, but decided against it. But this week, I can't just let it go. Obviously the fights and rough stuff early on made it difficult, but then they actually started playing lacrosse but Spies wouldn't put his whistle away. He calmed down a little in the second but still gave out a bunch of questionable penalties. Then there were almost none in the third or fourth. Even when a Rock player blatantly elbowed a Bandit in the head – no call. The lack of consistency was mind-boggling. It started with "C'mon, let them play!" while he kept interrupting whatever flow the game had, and ended with "C'mon, how can you let that go?"

Anyway, back to the game. The second quarter (and thereafter) looked more like lacrosse and less like Wrestlemania XXVLVLDXIIXV. The first quarter was ridiculous, but the rest of the game was really entertaining and we started to see some pretty nice plays. Tracey Kelusky was being heavily covered in front of the Toronto net but caught a pass one-handed and turned and shot it behind his back, though Watson somehow stopped it. Colin Doyle received a beautiful pass from Stephan LeBlanc and backhanded it into the Buffalo net. The whole second half was a defensive battle, with both teams hitting a number of shot clock violations because they just couldn't get a good shot off. As I mentioned, Goodleaf was good, but Watson was amazing, particularly in the last few minutes of the fourth with Goodleaf on the bench for an extra attacker.

The score at half-time was 3-1, and the Rock scored three more in the third quarter while shutting out the Bandits again. But the Bandits wouldn't give up and the 6-1 lead evaporated into a 6-5 lead with less than four minutes to go. Colin Doyle scored a minute later and added an empty-netter to seal the victory for the Rock, who are now 4-1 and travel to Boston next weekend. The Bandits fall to 2-2 and host the surprising Minnesota Swarm next Friday night.

Other notes from the game:

  • Dear Mr. ACC Video Replay Guy: Please do not show replays of Rock goals if there is any chance of a review being called. Kasey Beirnes scored a goal in the 4th, and a couple of replays were immediately shown on the screen. The replays showed that Beirnes' foot was in the crease, so the Bandits called for a review, which they won. Should it have been a goal? No, the challenge was valid. Would they have called for a review even if the replay wasn't shown? I don't know, but don't just hand them the evidence.
  • Tracey Kelusky scored in the 4th from behind the net. It was not an "Air Gait" type move or the lacrosse equivalent of a wrap-around. You cannot score by bouncing the ball off the goalie's back, so I'm not sure how it counted. Watson may have been partially turned around at that point, so it's possible that the ball actually went in off of Watson's mask or chest, and I suppose that counts. There was no review.
  • The Rock didn't have much of a transition game all night. They had maybe two or three real transition chances, not all of which even resulted in a shot, let alone a goal. Speedy Rob Marshall was not in the lineup, so perhaps that's partly why. The Bandits transition was much better, but that's to be expected when you have Mark Steenhuis on your team. I remember thinking a couple of years ago that there was nobody on the Rock that I wouldn't trade for Steenhuis. The Rock are a much better team now so that's no longer true, but he's still one of those players that you hate when they're on the other team but would love to have on yours.
  • In the five games the Rock have played this season, they have shut out the opposing team in the third quarter in three of them. In last week's game, the Rock were shut out in the third quarter.
  • Compare the penalties handed out in the first quarter of this game with the Rock's win in Rochester on January 15. In that game, only one penalty was handed out to either team. That penalty was to Rochester for illegal substitution.
  • One of the groups listed in attendance at the game was the "Gee Nash fan club". Nash was released by the Rock earlier this week. (Well, he was then re-signed and assigned to the practice roster, but still.)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Game Preview: Rochester vs Boston

By Alex Hinkley

The Rochester Knighthawks (2-1) will face the Boston Blazers (2-2) tomorrow night for the second week in a row - at home this time. The Blazers will be looking to avenge their overtime loss from last weekend.

Although they currently have a .500 record, don't let that fool you. Boston is one of the best teams in the East. The "Big Three" combined for 19 points last weekend despite the losing effort and this was on tired legs from playing Toronto the night before. The Hawks will have their their hands full tomorrow night.

Both teams have some new additions to the roster. Boston recently signed forward Ryan Powell giving them even more depth on offense. Ryan will be joining his brother Casey for the second time in his NLL career. In 15 games with the Edmonton Rush last season, Ryan had 51 points (21 G, 30 A). One Blazer fan commented that the roster was starting to look like an all-star team. The Knighthawks will try to shut them with two new additions on defense: Rory Glaves and Scott Campbell.

Rory Glaves is a hard-hitting defenseman acquired from Edmonton in a trade for Scott Evans. Glaves had 4 loose balls in 3 games with the Rush this season. Scott Campbell was released from the Blazers two days ago and joined the Hawks yesterday. Hopefully he will have some insight into how to stop Boston's juggernaut offense. In 4 games with the Blazers this season, he had 2 assists and 11 loose balls.

It's currently not known if Gary Gait will play tomorrow. He has been a healthy scratch the previous two games but had 4 points in the season opener.

The game is set to start at 7:35 pm EST. Be sure to get there early as the first 5,000 fans will receive a free Knighthawks t-shirt.

(Originally published on Examiner.com)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Battle of Alberta!

By Mike Wilson


The Battle of Alberta. Edmonton vs. Calgary. Fierce rivals in every sport. The legendary battles of the Oilers and Flames and the Eskimos and the Stampeders have brought these two cities to loath the other.

 This rivalry isn't lost in the sport of lacrosse. These teams hate each-other and the play on the floor shows it.

So far Calgary leads the record of this series with a record of 11-5 but these games have been more than just numbers.
·                     The Rush celebrated their first win in franchise history and their only win of the year, against Calgary.      
  
                   "It was unreal! Even though we almost blew it and won on a cheezie goal, that first win was like winning the cup for us.
 Even if you're not from Alberta, when you play IN the battle of Alberta it automatically becomes personal."
                                                                   -Teddy Jenner (Rush 06-07)

·                     A Playoff spot was stolen from the Rush when they lost to Calgary 17-11 in front of a 14,790 person crowd. The largest in franchise history. 
·                     In 2009, the Roughnecks came into Rexall Place and beat down the Rush by a score of 22-10. At the beginning of the second half, then Coach Bob Hamley sent out the biggest and toughest on the roster onto the floor. As the whistle blew to begin the quarter, all 10 runners engaged in fisticuffs and a line brawl was born. 
·                     2010 was a big year for the battle of Alberta. The Roughnecks took away the Rush's chance at a home playoff date, but they returned the favour kicking them out of the playoffs in the first round by the score of 11-7.
-
The Battle of Alberta will be in 2 parts this weekend, with the first game on Friday night being Edmonton's home opener; the second instalment with take place in Cow-town the day after.

The Rush will go into their 2011 home opener winless and hoping to change their luck. The Rush have showed some great defensive play but have had trouble scoring goals. So far this year the Rush have only put up 22 goals on the board putting them last in the league in scoring.

The Rush are looking for player like Gavin Prout, Andy Secore, Dean Hill, and Ryan Ward to step up and start scoring. The most any of them have so far is a measly 8 points in 3 games. Pa-theh-tic.

With Calgary, it's the exact opposite. Players like Scott Ranger, Dane Dobbie, and Jeff Shattler have stepped up on the offence with the departure of Josh Sanderson.

To put this into perspective, Calgary has 5 guys with more points than the leading scorer for the Rush, Gavin Prout.

The defence is Calgary has not fared as well as the offence. After losing 19-14 to the Stealth last week, they have now allowed the second most goals this year. So if the Rush's offence is going to click, I would think it would happen this weekend.

Prediction:

I pick a draw by the end of the weekend with each team winning at home.

Who likes fights?




Jamies vs Grant week 3

By Alex Hinkley

Going into week three, both Cody Jamieson of the Knighthawks and John Grant of the Mammoth had nearly identical season stats. Here is a comparison of their performances from last weekend:

John Grant (versus Philadelphia)

Week 3: 2 goals, 6 assists, 8 points, 1 loose ball
Season Totals: 7 goals, 9 assists, 16 points, 3 loose balls, 4 PIM

Cody Jamieson (at Boston)

Week 3: 3 goals, 1 loose ball
Season Totals: 8 goals, 3 assists, 11 points, 6 loose balls, 17 PIM

Both players had good games this week but it is clear that Grant turned in the better performance. Jamieson surpassed Grant in total goals on the season, and seems a bit more consistent in scoring with two hat tricks in three games. Despite this, Jamieson has a lot fewer assists which shouldn't come as a surprise considering Grant usually has more assists than goals...why did fans call him a ball hog again?

Score: Grant 2 / Jamieson 1

(Orignally published on Examiner.com)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

NLL Player Name Pronunciation Guide

By Graeme Perrow - GRAY-um PEAR-o

Over the last couple of weeks, I've heard a number of names of lacrosse players mispronounced on various TV broadcasts and lacrosse podcasts. As someone whose name is routinely mispronounced (and misspelled), I take issue with this so I've written up a handy list on some of the harder-to-pronounce names in the NLL. These are in no particular order.

Kaleb Toth – KAY-leb TOE-th. Not TAW-th, and not KAH-leb as I've also heard.

Matt Vinc – like the name VINCE.

John Gallant – gal-ANT.

Stephan Leblanc – STEFF-in luh-BLONK.

Nenad Gajic – Nuh-NAD. Last name is either GUY-ch or GUY-itch. I hope it's the former, because I sure wouldn't want to tell people my name sounds like guy-itch, especially if your first name ends with "nad".

Ilija Gajic – ILL-ee-ya.

Alex Gajic – AL-eks. Yeah, I know, but if I don't include him here, some smart-ass will ask about it.

Rhys Duch – REES DUTCH.

Ryan Benesch – buh-NESH.

John Tavares – tuh-VAR-ez.

Athan Iannucci – eye-uh-NOOCH-ee. In Philadelphia, it's frequently pronounced GOD.

Chet Koneczny – CHET.

Mitch Belisle – buh-LY-el.

Sean Greenhalgh – GREEN-hall.

Neil Peart – PEERT. Not PERT. Drummer for Rush. Nothing to do with lacrosse. I like Rush. Deal with it.

Geoff Snider – SNY-der. Not SHNY-der.

David Morgan – HO-lee-CRAP look-at-the-SIZE-of-that-guy.

Dane Dobbie – DOUGH-bee. Not DAW-bee.

Curtis Palidwor – PAL-i-door.

Kasey Beirnes – BEERNS.

Mark Steenhuis – STAIN-house.

Grant Spies – SPEEZ. NLL ref.

Mark Miyashita – mee-YA-shtuh. Hasn't played in the NLL in a few years, but included here because I'm sure he's had his share of mispronunciations.

John Grant – Normally just like it looks, GRANT. However, because of a local dialect quirk, in Colorado it's actually pronounced DOOSH.

Another odd change due to a regional dialect occurs in Philadelphia where the last name of all opposing players becomes hyphenated. The name "Suchs" (SUKS) is appended to the names, though it's curious that the PA announcer keeps forgetting this. Thankfully, the ever-helpful Philadelphia fans are there to remind him.

Updates (i.e. players I forgot):

Brett Mydske - MID-skee.

Josh Wasson-McQuigge - WOSS-un muh-KWIG-ee.

Chris O'Dougherty - o-DOUGH-er-tee.

Brenden Thenhaus - TEN-house.

Chris Corbeil - cor-BEEL.

Jay Thorimbert - THOR-im-bare.

Jon Harasym - HAIR-uh-sim.

Frank Resetarits - res-uh-TARE-its.

Grant Michaud - mee-SHO.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Why the NLL sucks

By Graeme Perrow

Wanna know what sucks about the NLL? Here's what sucks about the NLL. Bandits forward Sean Greenhalgh will miss the entire 2011 season because of something completely unrelated to lacrosse. According to Darris Kilgour in a Buffalo News article, "Greenhalgh has a new job. He has to put some time in before he can ask for time off."

This is nowhere near the first time a player has had to put his full-time job ahead of his NLL career. Toronto Rock goalie Bob Watson became a police officer this past year and was seriously considering retiring from the NLL because he wasn't sure he would be able to get enough time off to play. Luckily for Rock fans he was able to get the time off and changed his mind, but he still misses mid-week practices because of it. There are plenty of examples of players who have missed games and practices because of their job, and I'm sure there are other players who have missed entire seasons.

The worst part is that there's no blame here. You can't point to one person or one group and say "it's their fault", or make some change to the rules or collective bargaining agreement to fix it. You can't blame Greenhalgh for changing jobs; that decision is his alone, and is entirely based on what's best for him and his family. You can't blame his company for expecting their new employee to put in the required time before taking as much vacation as being a pro lacrosse player requires. Player salaries are not high enough for players to make a living from it alone, so they need outside jobs. But you can't blame the PLPA or the league for that because the league just doesn't make enough money for that to be a reality.

Perhaps this new deal with IMG will result in more exposure, leading to higher-paying TV deals and greater attendance and such, which will eventually lead to higher player salaries and eliminate the need for outside jobs. If that happens (and realistically, that's a big if), let's hope that it doesn't go hand-in-hand with higher ticket prices.

It would be nice to see NLL players able to be full-time pro lacrosse players but until then, we'll just have to live with the consequences of being a "fringe" sport.

Mammoth Still Winless at Home


In what is starting to seem like routine, the Colorado Mammoth have their third one-goal game in a row. Unfortunately, they came out on the losing side, but there are some positives to balance the negatives.
To begin with, the Mammoth offense looked really good at times. Problem is, they’re still looking flat and relying more on capitalizing on their opponent’s mistakes than creating opportunities.
Boy, does that ever sound cliché but watching the Wings offense cutting across the field and showing lots of movement compared to the Mammoth offense which at times seemed more interested in watching John Grant Jr. try and make a play than making something happen… what else can you say?
For a team that has scored 12 goals combined in their last two games, the Wings showed they’re not a team to take lightly.
The Philadelphia Wings defense did a great job keeping the Mammoth offense away from the net and forcing them to take most of their shots from the outside instead of on the crease. Brandon Miller had some phenomenal saves, some of which you still wonder how he was able to make after watching the replay.
The biggest issue however seems to be that the Mammoth are under the delusion that a lead is safe. For the second time in two weeks, the Mammoth have gone in to halftime with a solid lead, been held scoreless in the third quarter and been forced to scramble as the clock is winding down to make something happen to pull a win out. Maybe Mammoth fans should worry more when the Mammoth start out strong instead of struggle in the first quarter.


The next two weeks are going to speak volumes for this Mammoth team. The Mammoth head to Philly next week to take on the Wings again followed by a rematch at the Pepsi Center against the Washington Stealth the week after.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Knighthawks upset Blazers in overtime

The Rochester Knighthawks improved to 2-1 tonight after defeating the Boston Blazers (2-2) by a score of 11-10 in overtime. It was the second night in a row the Blazers were forced into extra minutes and they were clearly tired from a hard-fought battle with the Toronto Rock the night before. To make matters worse, Boston was late arriving back home, not getting through the airport until around 3 PM. The Knighthawks were at a distinct advantage being freshly rested and it showed when the chips were down.

The Hawks took the lead as Mike Accursi opened the night's scoring. Jamieson and Shawn Evans each added tallies to extend the lead to 3-0 going into the second quarter. The Blazers had a bit of a slow start and did not get onto the board until Josh Sanderson finally beat Vinc five minutes into the second. Jamieson struck back for the Hawks a few minutes later with a power play goal and it seemed Rochester still had the momentum.

Casey Powell must have decided enough was enough and turned the tide with three goals (two of which came within thirty seconds of each other). Sanderson punctuated Powell's hat trick with his second tally and the score was tied 5-5 at halftime.

The Knighthawks slowly lost control of the game as Boston took the lead in the third quarter with yet another goal from Casey Powell. Boston was able to hold this lead for most of the fourth quarter thanks to strong play from goaltender Anthony Cosmo. Shawn Williams initiated the comeback with two goals in the fourth. Then with just five seconds left in the game, Cody Jamieson face-dodged past his defender and tied it with his third goal for his second straight hat trick. It took less than a minute for Shawn Evans to blow one past Cosmo in overtime and complete his hat trick with the game winner.

Rochester had a much better transition game against Boston than was seen in the first two games of the season. They scored on several breakaways, including two while shorthanded. Hopefully the Knighthawks can continue to see success in transition and this wasn't just a result of the Blazers being tired from back-to-back games this weekend. Unfortunately, neither Scott Evans or Gary Gait played tonight.

The "Big Three" were all active for Boston as well. Powell had four goals and three assists to earn game MVP honors in the losing effort. Josh Sanderson also had a great game with four goals and two assists. Dan Dawson added six helpers but couldn't manage to beat Vinc despite half a dozen shots on goal.

Rochester has to face Boston again next week at the Blue Cross Arena. The Blazers will be at full strength and looking to avenge this loss.

(Originally published on Examiner.com)

Stuff about the Rush and the Swarm

Last week the Swarm dominated the Stealth for a full 60 mins acquiring their first win in 8 games. Ryan Benesch was a huge part of the Swarm offence putting 7 goals on the board and adding 4 assists. That's right, 11 points.

On the other side the Rush are 0-2 so far this season. They have yet to reach double digits on offence and last years leading scorer, Ryan Ward, did not have a great game last week with...well... a total of 0 points. 

Interestingly enough both players were traded for each other. 

Last season Benesch scored a total of 28 goals and 83 points.

Ryan Ward lead the Rush last year with 31 goals and 74 points.

So far, it seems like the swarm have won this trade.

I also pick the Swarm to win the game and Ryan Benesch agrees:



Additional prediction from twitter: @KhawkFanVoice Baconator will tell Greer his stripes make him fat. Greer will cry and Baconator will get 4 pts. That is all

Game Summary – Toronto 15 Boston 14 OT

By Graeme Perrow

Wow.

So it's shortly into the third period and the Rock are leading by a couple. This is lacrosse, so this is by no means an insurmountable lead, especially against the likes of the Boston Blazers and The Big Three. I've written a few notes in my little notebook but not that much and nothing earth-shattering. It's been a pretty entertaining game thus far, but what am I going to write about when I get home? The first goal, which was really weird? The fact that Josh Sanderson was invisible for most of the game so far? No, really, I can't just say "here's the final score, and here's who scored the goals" – I need to write about something. This is a problem. I sure hope some interesting stuff happens in the second half.

The game started off with one of the weirdest goals ever. Stephan Leblanc fired it and hit the crossbar, and the ball shot straight up in the air. I'm not sure Anthony Cosmo knew where it was because when it came back down, he made no attempt to catch it, and it bounced in front of the net and went in. The refs reviewed it to see if it went off of Cosmo's back (which would have negated it), but it didn't touch him or anyone else so it counted. Kind of an ugly goal for Leblanc, but the ugly ones still count. This was not the first ugly goal I've seen Cosmo give up (nor would it be the last). During a game a bunch of years ago when Cosmo played for the Rock, he made a save on a fairly routine play, then stood up and looked down the floor for someone to pass to. He reared back to make the pass, then hesitated for half a second, and the ball fell out of his stick and bounced into the net. There were no opposing team players within 20 feet of the goal. The guy who got credit for the goal was sitting on the bench when it went in. Ugly. This wasn't quite as bad as that, but I'm sure Cosmo wouldn't mind having it back.

Rock sophomore Stephan Leblanc was on fire tonight, scoring five and adding four assists. The other Rock sophomore Garrett Billings only scored one but added six assists while captain Colin Doyle was only one-and-four. On the other side, Casey Powell was almost unstoppable, matching Leblanc's 5 goals and 4 assists. But he scored his 5 goals on 13 shots, while Leblanc only needed 12. So there. Josh Sanderson only had three assists, which might have been the difference, since Kevin Buchanan scored five and Dan Dawson added two more. If Shooter had been on his game, it wouldn't have been nearly this close. Maybe he wasn't happy about having daddy behind the other bench rather than behind his.

That said, Watson had a good night, despite giving up 14 goals. He wasn't quite as on as he was during the first two Rock games, but he made a bunch of great saves, especially late in the 4th and overtime. I made a point of telling my son that he was lucky to be able to watch the greatest goalie in the history of the NLL. Anthony Cosmo was equally good if not better in the second half – he had a span of over sixteen minutes during the third and fourth quarters where he only gave up one goal. I don't want to take anything away from Cosmo – he did stand on his head a number of times and was excellent in the second half - but an awful lot of the Rock shots missed the net in the 4th. It does seem weird to talk about how great the goaltending was when 29 goals were scored, but there you have it.

With a little over two minutes left, Colin Doyle grabbed a beautiful flip pass from Garrett Billings and tossed it backhanded into the little hole between Cosmo's leg and the post, putting the Rock up 14-11. But as we all know, two minutes is an awful long time in a lacrosse game, and no 3-goal lead is ever safe. Boston scored three in the final two minutes (two with less than a minute on the clock), to tie the game and send it to overtime.

The defense and goaltenders for both teams were outstanding during overtime, with a number of forced shot clock violations because nobody could get near enough to the net or open enough to shoot. At one point the Rock had three full 30-second possessions in a row and had no serious scoring chances in any of them. Then almost nine minutes into overtime, Stephan Leblanc tossed the ball towards Aaron Pascas who was in front of the net, but Pascas missed it and it bounced underneath Cosmo and into the net. Easily the ugliest goal all night (see video below), but as I said earlier, the ugly ones count too. The Rock celebrated and lined up for the handshakes, but the refs were reviewing the goal. The Blazers weren't about to concede anything so they never left their bench. After a minute or so the signal was given and the game was officially over. The weird thing is that Pascas quite obviously ran through the crease before the ball got to the net, so why did the goal count? He wasn't in the crease when the ball went in, but he did take a couple of steps through and I thought that was an immediate loss of possession. Perhaps it's only when the guy with the ball steps in the crease. Checking rule book now...

I have a copy of the 2005 NLL rules so it's possible that these have changed, but it says that a goal is disallowed when the ball goes in the net "when any part of the body of a player of the attacking team is in the goal crease area at the time". This was not the case, as Pascas was out of the crease before the ball went in. However, Rule 46 (a) specifically says "An attacking player may not be in the opponent's goal-crease area at any time". Strangely, it doesn't say what the penalty is but I doubt it's "any goal scored after this rule is broken will count".

 

 

So I think enough interesting stuff happened in the second half that I can find something to write about. Both teams showed why they were both undefeated going in. There was great defense and great goaltending but lots of offense as well. There was some rough stuff but no real fights. There were ugly goals and beauties on both sides. The game was close all night and overtime lasted almost nine minutes and was thrilling. All in all, not a bad way to spend a frigid Friday evening.

 

Other notes:

  • It irritates me when players jump and dance around like they have to go to the bathroom during the national anthems, or leave the line before the songs are over. I get that they are warmed up and want to stay loose, but some players stand absolutely still during the anthems, and it doesn't seem to negatively affect them. Great players like Jim Veltman and Colin Doyle never jump around during the anthems, and Doyle even sings O Canada. It really makes no sense – you have all these players jumping around to stay loose, and the first thing the majority of them do when the anthems are over is go to the bench and sit down. Show some respect and stand still.
  • When the shot clock is reset and the ten second countdown starts, why do the refs count the ten seconds themselves? (Yes, it is in the rule book. Rule 32 (b): "The time shall be kept by the trailing referee on the floor by a chopping wave of the hand for each second.") Do they not know that there is already a clock doing the counting for them?  Just keep an eye on the shot clock and if it reaches 20 before the ball crosses the centre line, blow the whistle. There was one play tonight where the shot clock was at 16 before the Rock brought it over the line – the Boston bench was going crazy but no whistle was blown. I guess some refs say "Mississippi" faster than others.
  • The second assist on Boston's 9th goal was originally given to Nick Rose. Pretty impressive for Rose, considering he's the backup goalie who never left the bench the whole game. They did fix the scoring a few minutes later but we got a good laugh out of it.
  • Sandy Chapman's first goal of the season was a beauty. He grabbed the loose ball in his own end and ran most of the length of the floor with a defender stuck to him and two more a few feet behind, then dove through the crease and scored.
  • Kevin Buchanan scored five, and none of them was fluky or cheap. I think every one of them was a laser shot from way out. Nasty.
  • Speaking of nasty, Mr. Buchanan decked Patrick Merrill with a blatant crosscheck to the head with about 3 minutes left in the 4th. One ref was on the other side of the net so he didn't have a great view, but how the other ref missed it I do not know. Not only was there no penalty on the play, but the whistle wasn't even blown for five seconds while Merrill lay on the floor.
  • Anthony Cosmo was seriously pissed about something. He was yelling at the refs starting in the 3rd and continuing for the rest of the game. Don't know what it was.
  • The music guy at the ACC decided to play some upbeat music right at the beginning of OT. Unfortunately, the song he chose was the theme from Mission: Impossible. Perhaps not the best choice.
  • In the last 2 minutes of the game and OT, the coaches cannot throw their little yellow flags to challenge goals. OK, fine, I get that. But is it really necessary to make a point of taking the flags away? The coaches know the rule so if they throw the flag just pick it up and ignore it, or throw it back. Maybe yell at them that challenges are no longer allowed. Why go over and collect the flag?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Game preview: Rochester at Boston


By  Alex Hinkley

The Rochester Knighthawks head into Boston tomorrow night to face the Eastern Division-leading Blazers. Boston is currently undefeated having already beaten both Philadelphia and Edmonton. If the Knighthawks had trouble with Toronto at home, then facing Boston on the road is going a very tough game.

Boston is an early favorite to win the Eastern Division thanks to combining three of the best players in the league onto one team: Josh Sanderson, Dan Dawson, and Casey Powell. Sanderson lead the league in points last season with 104. Dawson and Powell each had over 80. All three of them are currently in the top 10 point scorers for the 2011 season as well. The Knighthawk defense will need to find a way to shut at least one of these guys down.

Not only does Boston have an incredible offense, but also one of the best goalies in the NLL. Anthony Cosmo currently leads the league with a ridiculous 6.50 goals against average in two games. He was second in the league last season with a 9.50 GAA (behind Bob Watson) so he is accustomed to turning in dominating performances.

To have any chance of winning, Rochester is going to need Cody Jamieson to have another big game. Jamieson won NLL Rookie of the Week honors for his six point effort against the Rock last week. Other Hawks, such as Shawn Evans, will need contribute some goals as well. Hopefully Gary Gait and/or Scott Evans (who was rumored to be a healthy scratch last week) will be in the lineup this weekend. Rochester will need all of the extra firepower they can get.

One thing that could help the Knighthawks tomorrow night is that the Blazers might be tired after having to take on the Toronto Rock later tonight. Rochester should look to capitalize on this in the fourth quarter tomorrow night.

The game will start tomorrow at 7:30 PM EST. Watch it live online at the Rochester Knighthawks livestream page.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Today Stuff Happened

By Mike Wilson

"The National Lacrosse League announced today that the league has reached an agreement with VERSUS to air nine games during the 2011 season. The national television package will feature regular-season and playoff games, culminating with the NLL Championship Game. The broadcast schedule will begin with the live telecast of the 2011 All-Star Game on February 27 at 2:00 PM Eastern. The full broadcast schedule will be announced at a later date. "

Wait a second....is the NLL actually making forward progress? It seems like its been so long where I have heard an announcement from the league and was exited rather then confused and a little disgusted .

The one problem with versus is one that american NHL fans are currently facing: VERSUS is seemingly on channel 17and a half. Not many serves providers carry this channel. If you have Satellite TV under anyone else but Dish Network or DirectTV, you're sh*t out of luck.

I commend the league on their timing though, it seemed to distract everybody from lapdancegate. Did I just remind everybody? Sorry NLL.

I just find it suspicious that they make this announcement without a schedule of games. It seems like it was almost released early to get our minds of lapdancegate.

Good move NLL.

P.S.

Theres going to be an All-Star Game!!!

P.P.S.
The game takes place at the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York on February 27 at 2 PM. The 2011 NLL All-Star game presented by the Oneida Indian Nation will be televised live nationally on VERSUS!




Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The NLL in Canada

As nearly every Lacrosse fan knows the Toronto Rock are the "model franchise" the child that some parents might say is their favorite child, the Calgary Roughnecks and the Edmonton Rush are the younger siblings that love to beat 55 different types of crap out of each other whenever they play which always brings a smile to my face. Then, there are those 4th cousins twice removed on your dad's side of the family. I'm talking about the Canadian teams that couldn't stick in the form of the Vancouver Ravens and the Montreal Express. The Express even though they only lasted 1 year, the 2002 season they did go 8-8 which for expansion teams is not too bad.

The Ravens lasted longer from 2002 to the 2004 season and in those 3 seasons they did have 2 playoff appearances. For years there has been talk of bringing both teams back along with a new team in Winnipeg but.....nothing has come of it. Since 2007 it has been rumored that the Ravens would return but it has only been talk. With new NLL commissioner George Daniel saying that there would be no expansion in the 2011 season and fellow NLL blogger Mike Wilson saying on my show that the league would try and mainly promote the current teams instead of focusing on expansion more NLL teams in the Great white north will have to wait, just like seeing the 4th cousin twice removed on your dad's side of the family.

PS: A message to the Boston Blazers, when CNN is talking about a half time lap dance show you know you're in trouble.

Jamieson vs Grant week 2

Although the Knighthawks actually received elite goaltender Matt Vinc in a trade for John Grant, many Rochester fans feel that first overall draft pick Cody Jamieson was truly Grant's replacement on offense. Continuing our season comparison between Grant and Jamieson, here are their performances in week two of the 2011 NLL season.

John Grant (at Calgary)

Week 2: 1 goal, 1 point, 2 PIM
Season Totals: 5 goals, 3 assists, 8 points, 2 loose balls, 4 PIM

Cody Jamieson (versus Toronto)

Week 2: 3 goals, 3 assists, 6 points, 4 loose balls
Season Totals: 5 goals, 3 assists, 8 points, 5 loose balls, 17 PIM

John Grant had a poor performance this week, maybe one of the worst of his career, putting up just a single point. He did have two of his goals called back which (had they stood) would have given him a hat trick. Still, this comparison is about actual statistics and Cody Jamieson clearly had the better week.

Score: Grant 1 / Jamieson 1

(Originally published on Examiner.com)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Levis Dominate in Mammoth Win


By Melissa Dafni

When you see one team has 61 shots on goal while the other has 32, you’d probably assume that team won the game, right?

And what if I told you the winning team had a 25% shot conversion while the losing team had 11.5%?
If it weren’t for the PHENOMENAL job Chris Levis did in net, the game wouldn’t even have been close.

The Mammoth provided the Roughnecks with entirely too many power play opportunities and while everyone expected Geoff Snider to dominate on face offs (which he did taking 79%); Mammoth struggled on rebounds and loose balls giving the Roughnecks extra opportunities, especially in the 4th quarter.

While the Mammoth did a great job converting on the low number of shots taken on net, the Roughnecks did a fantastic job overall keeping them away from the net and giving them very little opportunities. But that’s the problem. With the amount of offensive talent on the roster, they should be making opportunities, but they’re still looking flat and not playing as aggressive as they need to.

Tavares scores!

By Graeme Perrow
Here's an interesting coincidence from last Saturday.
The Bandits' John Tavares scored a hat-trick in Buffalo's 9-6 win over Philadelphia. The very same night, Tavares' nephew, the other John Tavares, scored a hat-trick in the Islanders' 4-1 win over Buffalo. But not only did two players with the same name each score hat-tricks for or against Buffalo teams in different sports on the same night, but they both did so against goaltenders named Miller.
Weird.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Blazers Offer Half Time Lap Dances!

Mike Wilson


If you follow the NLL closely you have probably seem this video today:
This is a textbook example of a Half Time Show FAIL.


If this is a ploy to get more then 8400 fans out to your game, you might be successful. Though, it might not be the family crowd you would expect.


I only have one question. Who thought this would be a good idea? It would have to go through a lot of people before it hits the floor and not a single person said " Wait, this isn't right."


One YouTube commenter stated:


"Do you see that little kid in the red sweater? a couple of rows down...well thats my 7 year old cousin....he asked me what they girls were doing that for....how the heck does someone explain that to a CHILD?"
Kid: "Mommy, I want to play lacrosse."


Mom: "Why, you think it looks fun?"


Kid: "Yea that guy with the fiery hair looks really happy."

And, I thought being the mascot was a crappy job. Oh wait...it still is.

Credits go to http://thelaxist.com for getting the story to me.

Game Review: Toronto 12 @ Rochester 9

By Graeme Perrow

The Rock finally broke the curse of Rochester Saturday night, winning there for the first time ever in the regular season. (Of course, Rock fans will not hesitate to tell you that the team actually has won in Rochester once, the one time being the 2003 Championship game.) The final score was 12-9 Rock, but the game wasn't really as close as that score may indicate. Twice the Rock had 6-goal leads, and were pretty much in control for the entire game. The first quarter was all Rock, and it started to look like it might be a pretty one-sided game. But starting in the second, and especially continuing in the third, the Rochester defense really picked up their game, and Matt Vinc made some very nice saves. Once again the story of the game was game MVP Bob Watson who was simply stellar, making 53 saves.

The Knighthawks have been an enigma to me for years. You look at a team with people like John Grant, Shawn Williams, Shawn and Scott Evans, Cory Bomberry, Gary Gait, Mike Accursi, and Craig Point, and backstopped by Pat O'Toole, and yet some nights they look like an expansion team consisting entirely of cast-offs from all the other teams. In 2007 everything came together and they won the Championship, including a sixteen game winning streak that continued into the 2008 season, but then they've missed the playoffs two of the past three years. I think they've seriously underperformed during that time, and losing Grant (and Bomberry) will not help, even if Cody Jamieson is the real deal. And he looked like the real deal last night, scoring three and adding three helpers.

Other notes from the game (which I did not see live, but watched on TSN2):

  • TSN announcers: Yes, there are a lot of new faces in Rochester this season, and yes, Mike Hasen is in his first year as coach, but listing Hasen as one of the new faces in Rochester is patently wrong.
  • Kasey Beirnes' goal in the first was called off but it was actually good – his foot didn't land in the crease until after the ball was in the net. Of course, I had the advantage of watching the game on PVR, so I rewound and advanced in slow motion.
  • TSN's play of the game was Doyle's second goal – a backhand and underhand shot that found the top corner. I can't decide if it was a beautiful shot or a really ugly shot, but it counts either way.
  • After two games, I don't see a difference in faceoffs. Other than when a player (namely Geoff Snider) simply grabs the ball, it still seems random which team ends up with the ball. The two players involved mash their sticks together and one of them wins out and pushes the ball behind him – but there are players from both teams behind him, so it's essentially random which one ends up with the ball.
  • Congrats to Shawn Williams who reached 900 career points and Bob Watson who reached 6000 career saves.
  • Beautiful over-the-shoulder goal by Craig Point near the end of the 2nd.
  • Some pretty exiting Rock players have worn number 93: Kim Squire back in the early 2000's, then captain Chris Driscoll, and now rookie Aaron Pascas, who scored two last week and another two tonight.
  • Two strange stats: for the second straight game the Rock didn't allow a goal in the third period, and there was only one penalty in the game – an Illegal Substitution penalty against Rochester at the end of the third.
  • Stephan Leblanc's streak of scoring in every NLL game he's ever played in continued with a hattrick. That's 21 straight games with a goal to start his career. The announcers mentioned this streak but strangely, there was no mention of what the league record is. Maybe nobody knows. Or maybe Gary Gait holds the record of something like 84 games and Leblanc is so far away from breaking it that mentioning it wasn't worth it.

Each off-season for the past four or five I've wondered about the Rock's goaltender situation in the next season, and the phrase "Whipper isn't getting any younger" always seems to come up. But during the season, that phrase never comes up at all. Watson is arguably the greatest goalie in the history of the NLL, and despite being 40 years old, is still one of the best in the league. Watson recently became a police officer in Kitchener-Waterloo, and because of the new career, he didn't even decide whether he would play this year until shortly before the season began. Given that, it's probably safe to assume that this will be his last season, which is a huge blow to the Rock. Watson has been one of the top goalies in the league for the entire existence of the franchise, so the end of the Watson era in Toronto will be bigger than the end of the Bartley era or even the Veltman era. I only hope that if Watson does decide to retire after this season, he announces it before the end of the season as Veltman did so that he can also be given the goodbye he deserves. I have confidence in both of the backup goalies, Campbell and Nash, but as backups. Neither has been a regular starting goalie in the NLL for a few years, so I'm not sure how confident I will be next year if the Rock go with Nash and Campbell as their goalies.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Rush Start The Season 0-2 After Week 2 Lose In Boston



By Mike Wilson

The Edmonton Rush have started their season 0-2 as they lost 10-7 in Boston Saturday night.

Kedoh Hill opened the scoring for the Rush on his first shot on his first National Lacrosse League shift!

The first half of this game was low scoring, ending at a 3-3 tie. The big three only combined for 2 points in the half.  Josh Sanderson had NONE!

The Rush defence was doing a great job at containing Sanderson, Powell, and Dawson during the first half but seemed to do the opposite during the second.

The Blazers outscored the Rush 5-2 in the third quarter and they kept that 3 goal lead on and off, but ended up taking it to the end of the game.

3 points from Dawson, 3 from Sanderson and 2 from Powell helped the Blazers acquire a 3 goal lead, but the real player of the game for the Blazers was Nick Cotter.

Socks!!

By Mike Wilson


A whopping 3362 people showed up to the Comcast arena in Washington to witness the first sock-trick of the season. Ryan Benesch scored a total of 7 goals and 3 assists for 10 points to lead the swarm to a 16-8 victory.

Benesch was originally a draft pick of the San Jose Stealth before they moved to Everett. He was the acquired by the Toronto Rock in a trade that sent Lewis Ratciff to the Stealth and Collin Doyle back to the Rock.

In 2009, Benesch was shopped of to Edmonton with Derek Suddons for a first and second round pick.

After scoring 17 goals and 27 assists during the 2009 season, he joined his 4th and current team, the Minnesota Swarm due to a trade that in a trade that brought Ryan Ward among other players to Edmonton.

This isn't the only time this year where a player has lit it up. Lewis Ratcliff, Casey Powell, and Scott Ranger both put up 5 goals games last week.

Going back to last night’s game, it was a gong show from the Stealth point of view. Washington backstop Matt Roik let in all 16 goals as their other goalie, in which Roik shares time with, was injured.

With the offence only potting 8 goals, looks like they missed Wick more than I thought they would.