Monday, February 28, 2011

By the numbers

By Graeme Perrow

Some interesting stats about the NLL at the halfway point of the season.

Number of face-offs taken by the Calgary Roughnecks: 214
Number of face-offs not taken by Geoff Snider: 12

Geoff Snider's league-leading face-off percentage in 2010: 75.6%
Second-highest face-off percentage in 2010: 57.5% (Stephen Peyser)
Snider's face-off percentage this year after implementation of the "Snider rule": 64.9%
Highest face-off percentage this year: 70.9% (Bob Snider, Geoff's brother)
Highest non-Snider face-off percentage this year: 60.1% (Jamison Koesterer, who has retired)

Players in the league with 5 or more points per game (>1 game): 10
Players on the Toronto Rock: 3 (LeBlanc, Manning, Billings)
Players in the entire west division: 3 (Benesch, Ratcliffe, Duch)

Penalty minutes for Scott Self in Buffalo's Jan. 22 loss to Toronto: 30
Players in the league with more than 30 penalty minutes total: 7
Penalty minutes for Scott Self since that game: 2

Goal differential for Toronto in the 3rd quarter: +14
Goal differential for Boston in the 2nd quarter: +13
Goal differential for Colorado in the 1st quarter: 0
Goal differential for Colorado in the 2nd quarter: –16

Total goals for/against for Calgary: 91/89
Calgary's record: 5-3
Total goals for/against for Minnesota: 91/88
Minnesota's record: 4-4

Number of games where Toronto opponents scored 0 goals in a period: 5 (one of those games had 2 such periods)
Number of games where that period was the third: 4
Next closest team: Buffalo, with 2

Highest shooting percentage (goals/shots, at least 10 goals): Andrew Watt, 45.48%
Number of players over 25%: 3 (Watt, Chad Culp - 32.5%, Ryan Benesch – 26.6%)

Number of players with >10 loose balls per game: 4
Number named Snider: 2

Best home attendance average: Colorado, 15,745 per game
Total attendance for all four home games in Washington: 15,974

Number of eastern division teams allowing more than 11 goals/game: 0
Number of western division teams allowing less than 11 goals/game: 0
(Thanks to Casey Vock at the NLL Insider for that one)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Knighthawks defeat Edmonton 13-9

By Alex Hinkley

Rochester beat the Edmonton Rush last night by a score of 13-9. The Hawks improve to 5-4 on the season but remain in fourth place in the Eastern Division. The Rush drop to a 2-7 record with the loss. Surprisingly, they remain in fourth as well in the West.

Things started to look bleak early on as the Knighthawks were down three to nothing in the first quarter. "No Mercy" Mike Accursi put the Knighthawks on the board with his first goal (of four on the night) and Shawn Evans scored a pair to tie the game. Before they could even announce the goal at the arena, defenseman Brett Mydsk scored a quick one off the face-off and Edmonton immediately took the lead back.

The Hawks started the second quarter shorthanded but that didn't stop Chris Driscoll from intercepting a pass and subsequently beating Disher on a breakaway. The shortie was like a dagger to the heart of the Rush as their offense remained silent for nearly the next ten minutes. The Knighthawks, on the other hand, took the lead with goals from Accursi, Shawn Evans, Jamieson, and Point. Edmonton goaltender Matt Disher looked to be shaken up in net as even Tyler Burton managed to put one past him! He allowed six goals in the second quarter and the score was now 9-6 Knighthawks going into halftime.

Mike Accursi scored the only two goals in the third quarter, his first coming just 38 seconds into it. Matt Vinc held Edmonton without a single goal in the third. The Rush attempted to rally in the fourth but with Matt Vinc playing so well, the lead proved to be too much for them to overcome.

Scott Evans (4 G, 1 A) led the Rush in scoring. It was the first time that Scott and Shawn played on opposite teams against each other in their professional careers and both of them had a great game. The problem was that Edmonton's top guys just didn't do anything. Ryan Ward was held to one goal, which he scored in the opening minute of the game. After that, he was invisible. Gavin Prout had just one assist.

Accursi (4 G, 1 A) won the Player of the Game for his efforts. It was nice to see the "old" Accursi make an appearance as he has been having a somewhat down year this season. Shawn Evans (3 G, 2 A) could have easily won MVP as well. It's hard to say which Evans brother had the better game statistically but considering the Knighthawks won, Shawn can probably safely say it was him. Craig Point (1 G, 4 A) and Jordan Hall (4 A) also had notable performances. Matt Vinc made 44 saves in the win.

The weekend of lacrosse isn't over, however! The NLL All-Star game will be played today at 2:00pm EST. The game will be televised live on VERSUS. TSN2 will air a national broadcast of the game in Canada at 10pm Eastern.

(Originally published on Examiner.com)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Game preview: Rochester vs Edmonton

By Alex Hinkley

The Rochester Knighthawks (4-4) will face the Edmonton Rush (2-6) tomorrow night for the first time this season. The Rush have struggled thus far, as evidenced by their record, which will allow Rochester a good opportunity to rebound from their two-game losing streak.

Gavin Prout currently leads the Rush in scoring with 9 goals and 23 assists. Prout was a Knighthawk for about two seconds last season. Prior to the start of the season, Rochester traded Ilija Gajic to Colorado in exchange for Gavin Prout and two first-round draft picks, one of which resulted in the Knighthawks obtaining Cody Jamieson in the 2010 Entry Draft. (Looking at this trade, is it any wonder the Colorado Mammoth are currently in last place?) The Knighthawks almost immediately traded Prout to Edmonton for their first round pick in the 2011 draft, however.

The story tomorrow night will probably be Scott Evans rolling into town as an opponent for the first time in his NLL career. Rochester traded Evans to Edmonton earlier this season for defenseman Rory Glaves. Both players have proven to be key additions to their respective teams. Evans had 5 goals for the Rush last weekend against the Calgary Roughnecks. Now he'll be looking to use his hot stick against the Knighthawks.

Shawn Evans still leads the Knighthawks with 35 points. It will be interesting to see how the two Evans brothers will behave on opposite teams.

The game tomorrow starts at the usual time, 7:35pm EST. The first 5,000 fans to the Blue Cross Arena will receive free Knighthawks rally towels.

(Originally published on Examiner.com)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cody Jamieson bobbleheads

By Alex Hinkley

Two weeks ago at the Rochester - Minnesota game, fans arriving early to the Blue Cross Arena received a free Cody Jamieson bobblehead. Quantities were limited to just 3,000. If you missed your chance to get one of these cool collectibles, don't fret! A search on eBay currently comes up with two active auctions:

At of the time of this writing, the first auction has two days and nine hours left on it. The bidding stands at $4.25 with free shipping, not a bad price at all. Expect that to go up as the time remaining winds down. It also includes a "bonus" Knighthawks Wall Decal which was given away last weekend as part of the deal. Click here to check it out.

The second auction still has six days and two hours left so if you lose the first one, this is sort of like a safety option. The bidding is at $1.99 with $3.98 shipping ($5.97). It is worth noting that this seller only ships to the United States. Click here to take a look.

If you're a die-hard lacrosse fan from a different part of the country, auctions like these allow you to add another piece of memorabilia to your collection. They also provide an opportunity for Rochester fans to grab one if they initially missed out. Both auctions are for brand new figures and let me just say, it looks great next to the Pat O'Toole bobblehead. With rare items like this, you never know if you'll see them for sale ever again. The aforementioned O'Toole bobble is all but impossible to find these days.

(Originally published on Examiner.com)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Blogger Roundtable: Connor Martin


Welcome to another episode of Mike v. Marisa. I'm 1-0 as we dive into another topic: Connor Martin.
Marisa: I think of Conor Martin becomes a good player he is great for the league. Bit con bro chill is not. It is a distraction. I used other leagues as an example bit that may have been wrong. The NLL is a league hoping to be one of those leagues someday, and to do that they need to promote the sport. Having stuff like that can turn off newer fans.
Mike: How will that turn off fans? I think it does the opposite.
Marisa: Look at some of the weird stuff he does. Look at all the kids in NLL crowds. I doubt parents want their kids to see half that crap he does. It also gives reason for all the laxers stereotypers.
Mike: What stuff does he do? He is exited to be playing the game. That's not a bad role model.
Star-divide
Marisa: The off field stuff. All the weird videos. He is promoting his own weird stuff. That does not make a great new impression for new fans
Mike: It's not like he was doing that while he was in the league. New fans probably don't even know who he is, and if they do they certainly don't know about the videos. And if by a slight chance they do, I doubt they give 2 craps. Oh no a lacrosse player made some bad music,big whoop. Did the super bowl shuffle turn off bears fans? No.
Marisa: It's not as much the music as all the weird videos of him doing..... things. But new fans probably saw his goal vs the Swarm. I had no issue with the celebration, whatever. 
The point is, if fans do see that it doesn't help, it can only hurt. The league needs a positive, clean image, especially after the Blazers thing.
Mike: How does it hurt the league?
Marisa: Look at all the people who stereotype laxers. This gives people like that reason to continue. Bad publicity.
Mike: He hasn't done anything but entertain fans. That good publicity.
Marisa: Entertain? I don't find that entertaining. This guy seems to care about that more than the game. What happens if he takes it too far?
Mike: Really? He doesn't care about the game? Here is a quote from him: People say, "act like you've been there". Well I never have... and probably will never act like it. Lax is too fun and could end any day!"
Tell me you didn't say wow when you saw this:
And what does he take to far? His exuberance? 
Marisa: He hasn't. But he might. I just think its not about the game with him always. I think he's a good player, all the luck too him. But this stuff is unnecessary. I hate all the flow stuff, all the lax lifestyle stuff in general. Just make it about the game, promote your leagues game
Mike: Again he has been in the league for about a month now. He has been promoting his league. What is your problem with a player having a personality?
Marisa: I like personality. But he does this in the MLL too. He's promoting his videos, not the league.
Mike: So what do you want him to do? Go make a commercial telling people to come to NLL games?
Marisa: Just stop the unnecessary videos. Stop with the whole image.
Mike: Whats wrong with his image? it's unique. Again, he hasn't done anything bad for the league. 
Marisa: Except for the stereotypers.
Mike: The stereotype has absolutely nothing to do with the league.
Marisa: Those are people who could be fans. Any one who is not a fan could be. Do you know how many .people tell me "wow I wish I gave it a chance long ago" now some people never will.
Vote for who you think won in the poll on the left.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Brad Banister You’re An Idiot

By Mike Wilson

So back before the start of the season you decide to tell the public you are selling the Calgary Roughnecks? Well that seems ok, but it’s not usually something you go and tell the world.

Then you go and tell everybody the team is not making money. " time to get a real job and time to go back to making some money again.”

To end the day, you decide to tell people that buying the team wasn't  a good decision.“It was my choice to do it. I spent my money where I wanted to and I spent my money on this team and I probably spent a bit too much on this team.”

Who are you? The current owner of the Calgary Roughnecks, Brad Banister. Oh and you’re an idiot.*

I wonder why nobody wanted to buy a team that makes no money? It just doesn’t make sense to me.**

Today, Banister managed to make his team even less sellable today. He came out and begged for investments from Calgary businesses.

“If ever there was a time when corporate Calgary was needed to step up and help a club that has brought two North American championships to this city in just six years, the time is now. If immediate help is not given, it is unlikely we will be able to complete the current season.”

Now if I was a business in Calgary, I probably wouldn’t be interested in giving money to a team that won’t give it back.

Banister has screwed himself with the things he has said.

Another question? Where has all the money gone? Calgary has had consistent crowds over 10,000. It’s not like you’re Washington or Rochester where attendance has been less then great.

The situation in Calgary has gone from bad to worse, and in my mind, it’s all because of a quote from an owner.

Not only could this be horrible for Calgary and it’s fans, it will deliver yet another hit to the leagues reputation.

*You are not actually an idiot. Unless you are Brad Banister and are reading this. In that case, you are an idiot.

**Sarcasm

(Yes, I did write something like this before, but I thought I would update the situation)

Mammoth Drop Back to Back Games

By Melissa Dafni 

As much as I wish I could say otherwise, there really isn't much for me to say about this weekend. The same Mammoth offense showed up with the result being identical to every other game this season save one. Friday night, the Mammoth defense played on par with the offense and needless to say, the Washington Stealth made them pay.

But, when your defense spends the majority of the time on the floor, your goalies face a total of 64 shots and your defense is playing exhausted trying to stop some of the best offensive talent in the league, is it any surprise the Mammoth got their butts whooped?

No, it really isn't.

I've said it elsewhere, but the Mammoth offense needs to get over themselves. I don't care who you are, where you've played, what accolades you've received or what trophies you've won. If you're not scoring, there are issues. If you can't play hard for four quarters, or play as a team, or actually play intelligently, then sit your ass down.

Some people speculate we have too many egos on the team. Some think it's a lack or issue of leadership. Fans are certainly calling for firings all the way from top with GM Steve Govett down to everyone on the bench and everywhere in between.

Maybe they're right. Maybe they're wrong.

What I see is an offense more interested in the name on their back than what's on the front trying to be heroes and since everyone is trying to be a hero, no one is doing jack shit.

On paper, we have one of the most talented teams in the league. Unfortunately, that's not what wins games.

We have the most stagnant predictable offense I think I have ever seen. Occasionally we get lucky and score which probably reinforces this bad play, but it's no wonder we can't score half the time when the goalie doesn't have to work to block it nor the defense to keep our guys away from the net. If your fans, many of which have never played the game and are only slightly knowledgeable, know where and when you're going to shoot, than the defense who has years of experience probably does too.

Usually teams get better as the season progresses, but this one seems to be getting worse. When a team is given multiple 5:3 opportunities and still can't score, you really need to take a step back and ask yourself why. This is one issue I put squarely on the Mammoth as the issue versus their opponents doing that great of a job.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Blast Lacrosse

By Avry Lewis-McDougall

What is Blast Lacrosse? It was the NLL's very first attempt at a video game, that well actually was better than the current NLL game, NLL 2010 that is out now on XBOX Live. Did I mention that Blast Lacrosse was made for the Playstation 1 and came out in 2001? Blast Lacrosse could be compared to NBA Jam, players caught on fire after scoring 3 goals, players did backflips when hit, the commentator, Scotty Ferrall, the controversial sports host on Sirius/XM radio and NHL.com reporter was absolutely over the top adding his slightly hoarse but yet funny voice to the game. The game wasnt deep on modes but included all 9 NLL teams from the 2001 season (only 4 teams from the game still play today, Toronto, Buffalo, Philly and Rochester). The game was a new step in sports gaming but with the NLL at the time being even more off people's radar in the pro sports world it was not a commerical success.

Why was Blast Lacrosse better than NLL 2010? First of all the goaltenders actually moved in the net! They were beatable, the players did not look as stiff as an elderly person's back like they do in NLL 2010. To think that a Playstation 1 game was better, check that is still better than an XBOX 360 game is quite remarkable. Maybe the next attempt an NLL game will be better, it has to be because to have a game that is worse than your prior attempt is just laughable.

You want to judge it yourself? If you have an XBOX 360 and a Playstation 1 or a PS2 or even a PS3 get both games and tell me what you think, Blast Lacrosse is still around in many video game stores being sold for less than $10 and as I said before NLL 2010 is on XBOX live.

That's all for now I'm Avry and I'm gone but be sure to tune into my show Avry's Sports Show on ustream.tv/channel/avryofedmonton every Tuesday night at 6PM Mountain/8PM Eastern.

The NLL Skills Competition

By Graeme Perrow

2011NLLAllStarLogo The NLL will hold the 2011 All-Star game at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, New York on February 27, 2011. The game itself is getting some buzz around the league, but what is getting less fanfare is the skills competition the night before. Here are some of the events taking place:

Coaches Cursing: Troy Cordingley and Darris Kilgour are the heavy favourites. Lucky for them Bruce Boudreau is not an NLL coach.

Guess The Next Team Move: Players attempt to guess the next NLL franchise to move or vanish. You get double points if it happens before the end of All-Star weekend.

We are Family: All the players in the league who also have brothers, nephews/uncles, or cousins in the league will be put together for one big lacrosse game. The seven other players in the league will watch.

Random one-on-one: Forwards and defenders are chosen randomly one at a time for a one-on-one. The forward has to get by the defender – the defender that that keeps the forward away the longest wins. Last year's competition featuring Josh Sanderson against David Morgan had to be cancelled after thirty-six hours, when Sanderson complained that he wasn't even sure that the net was still there since he hadn't seen it all day.

Why are you still here? A two-part competition. Part 1: Players guess at the next time one of the Gait brothers re-un-retires. Part 2: Players attempt to determine why. Part one is worth five points, part two is worth five thousand.

Hairball: Players attempt to stop a Paul Rabil shot with only their hair. Bandit Mark Steenhuis is the current record holder, but Edmonton Washington's Ian Hawksbee will put up a good fight. NLL newcomer Connor Martin might jump into the fray as well, if he can overcome his shyness. Former Mammoth and Albany Attack head coach Bob McMahon will be judging. Brandon Miller declined an invitation to participate.

Goalie 100m dash: Goalies attempt to run 100m in full equipment. A time of less than an hour and a half is considered outstanding. The race is usually won by the cameraman running backwards.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Blazers Top Swarm in High Scoring Affair

By Marisa Ingemi

The Boston Blazers came out Saturday night in Minnesota looking to better their position in the east. With losses by Rochester and Buffalo, Boston is now in second place all alone.

 The action started 21 seconds in when Dan Dawson scored to give the Blazers an early lead. After a Callum Crawford goal it was 1-1. Josh Sanderson and Kevin Buchanan scored for Boston, giving them a two goal
lead before the Swarm tied it up again.

 Things got wild in the second when the scoring really began. Josh Sanderson scored four goals in the game, and one of them came in the second. Mitch Belisle also scored.

 It was 9-9 at the half, a position the Swarm were happy to be in. They were down by four goals at two different periods of the second quarter, so they were just happy to be in the game.

 Things slowed down in the second half when Boston began to pull away. Anthony Cosmo seemed to have found his game and stepped up big for the Blazers. After allowing some softies in the first, he really stopped a strong Swarm attack.

 In the fourth quarter things were more of the same and the Blazers came out with the win, 14-11.

For more from Marisa, read inlaxwetrust.com and follow her on Twitter @inlaxwetrust

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Game Report: Toronto 13 Rochester 6

By Graeme Perrow

I was not at the Blue Cross Arena for tonight's Rock-Knighthawks rematch, so I watched it on nll.com. I've said it before, but major kudos to the NLL for streaming every game live. The picture and audio quality was great, and there were only a couple of network interruptions. The Rock - Knighthawks game is now over and I'm watching the Boston – Minnesota game, and the picture quality is just as good. It ain't HD by any stretch, but certainly watchable and you can't beat the price.

Anyway, the Rock have definitely thrown off whatever curse may have been on them in Rochester. After winning only one game in Rochester ever, they've now won twice there this season. Once again, the Hawks just couldn't get anything going. They scored a single goal in each of the first three quarters before "exploding" for three in the fourth. Matt Vinc was downright average, looking even less like the reigning Goalie of the Year than last night. Given that Cody Jamieson seemed pretty pissed in the first quarter and that Shawn Evans tried to pull helmets off both Watson and Phil Sanderson in the fourth and the fact that the Hawks were in danger of getting blown out by the same team two nights in a row, there was surprisingly little chippiness. The Rock took advantage of penalties on both sides, scoring four power play goals and two shorthanded goals – with both shorthanded goals coming less than 40 seconds apart on the same penalty. The Rock's two shorthanded goals were two more than Rochester scored during Toronto penalties.

Nice to see Mike Hasen and Jeremy Hollenbeck inducted into Knighthawks Hall of Fame before the game.

First quarter

  • Stephen Hoar on a breakaway – didn't look like that hard a shot but froze Vinc. 1-0 Toronto
  • Rochester fans starting the "Watson... Watson... Watson.... you suck!" a few minutes before their first goal. At that point, no Knighthawk had scored on Watson in well over 30 minutes going back to last night.
  • Shawn Williams scores with less than a minute remaining in the quarter to tie it at 1
  • Rochester fans get Knightingales. Toronto fans get Iggy.

Second quarter

  • Nice passing resulting in a power play goal by Leblanc – 2-1 Rock
  • Jarrett Davis goes five hole to tie it up at 2
  • Kasey Biernes dives across the goal mouth to put the Rock back up by 1. Leblanc is given credit for the goal, though I was sure it was Biernes. Perhaps I was mistaken. Update: I was, but so were they. The goal was later awarded to Billings.
  • Kasey Biernes on the PP with a one-timer past Vinc – Rock 4-2
  • Manning passes from behind the net to Leblanc who buries it to put the Rock up 5-2
  • Jeff Gilbert scores on an empty net, beating Matt Vinc sliding into second base across the crease right at the end of the half – Rock up 6-2

Third quarter

  • Mike Hobbins scores on a shorthanded breakaway. Awesome. 7-2 Toronto
  • Another defender shorthanded goal, this time by Stephen Hoar. 8-2 Rock
  • Mike Accursi from Shawn Evans – 8-3 Rock
  • Garrett Billings goes to his favourite place – top shelf. 9-3 Rock
  • Pascas scoops up a loose ball, feeds to Manning who has all kinds of time to decide how to score. Rock ahead 10-3
  • Rochester fans starting the "Watson... you suck" chant again right after their goalie lets in a goal. Um, it's 10-3 people.
  • Nice goal by Pascas called back, presumably because his toe was in the crease. Awfully close, but I can't say they were wrong
  • Another nice diving-across-the-crease goal by Leblanc – 11-3

Fourth quarter

  • Former Rock Scott Campbell with a transition goal opens the scoring in the fourth – 11-4
  • Another Rochester goal – Mike Accursi hits the top corner. 11-5
  • Creighton Reid answers for the Rock – 12-5 Toronto
  • Shawn Evans tries to start something with a Rock defender (Sanderson I think) and they both end up in the crease in front of Watson. Evans ends up grabbing Watson and pulling his helmet off before dropping on top of Sanderson and trying to pull his helmet off. He gets 2 for facemasking and 2 for roughing. No penalty for being a douchebag.
  • Garrett Billings scores Toronto's fourth PP goal of the night. 13-5
  • Shawn Evans comes out of the box and scores after a nice move on Bryan. He's still a douchebag. 13-6 Toronto.

Blogger Round Table: Chris Levis

By Mike Wilson

Marisa Ingemi from In Lax We Trust and I had a Round table  discussion about Chris Levis. She says he’s the worst goalie in the league, I disagreed. Vote for who you think won:

Marisa:  Ok, beginning our Chris Levis argument. I'm against him. He is a career back up and has let in a ton of soft goals, and i understand the fact Colorado can't score, but Levis has not made the saves to win for his team.

Mike: Are you sure about that? He has a better save percentage them Anthony Cosmo .

Marisa: Cosmo has played a lot more games also. And the team around him makes a difference, goalies like that can afford to give up a bot more. Maybe Levis is under more pressure, but he ain't winning his team games.

Mike: First thing: the great thing about save percentage is that it doesn't matter how many games you play or how many shots you face.

Second thing : even if Levis only allowed 3 goals, his team would only score 2.

Third thing: goalies don't win games for their team in lacrosse. They can only lose them, and Levis hasn't been doing that.

Star-divide

Marisa: What about GAA? And we talked about Poulin before, Poulin isn't costing his team games. Bob Hamley ain't happy with him, there is a great chance Matt King starts in Washington. Can Colorado score? No, so to win they need an elite Goaltender, and Levis is just not that.

Mike: His GAA is best in the west and forth in the league . The goaltender change is a spark for the team. And there's not a goalie in this league that would put Colorado at the top of the standings

Marisa: Exactly, he hasn't played a lot of games. Leyshon was so bad, anyone looks good in Colorado now. Look at Miller. Does Philly have much talent? No. But Miller has carried them. Levis can't do that.

Mike: Carried them where? To last place in the East? Levis has a better GAA and Save PCT. The goalie is making saves, what more can you ask for from him?

Marisa: Philly has no talent. And yes, they suck. But they are still in the race and Miller did help them win three games. Did Philly score? Yes, but Miller held Boston to 5 goals once, and set the momentum

Mike: Miller was pulled last weekend after surrendering 15 goals to the bandits

Marisa: Last game was an exception, Buffalo is pretty good with great players. Miller is the east starter for a reason. Levis made it because they screwed Poulin.

Mike: No Levis made it because  he's playing like the second best goalie in the west. That's where I put him, that's where the NLL put him

Marisa: They acquired Vinc for a reason. Because they needed a Goaltender. It didn't work out, and they're stuck with Levis. Even Hamley says he might go with King, as he should. If the coach has no confidence, why should we?

Mike: Do you think that of the Mammoth had Vinc they would have been better off?

Marisa: Maybe, hard to tell. Rochester has terrible defense, hence the bad Vinc stats. Their offense is killing the Mammoth, but would a better a Goalie help them? Yes.

Mike: It might help but it won't move them up the standings. Goal tending is not a problem in Colorado. Is Levis the best goalie in the league ? No. Is he the worst? No.

Marisa: He's the worst because there are better goalies. The entire east, Poulin, Richards, Patterson. You might have a case with Disher though.

Mike: You think Matt Roik is worse?

Marisa: Yes but I'm talking starters, and its clear he is not a starter. I would take King over Levis, if that's worth anything.

Mike: Do you have a single stat proving your point?

Marisa: don't know if it all comes down to stats. You look at GAA, that is affected by games played, and is it good, yes, but he has not played a lot of games. Again, if the coach ain't happy, that sends a message

Mike: The point of GAA is so its NOT effected by games played

Marisa: But he has played less games than a guy like Cosmo, who you mentioned yesterday. I notice you haven't addressed the coach thing.

Mike: Games played doesn't matter with GAA!!! And I did address the coach thing. Goalie is a position that gets crapped in when the team is losing and phrased when winning. If there is a switch its probably just an attempt to spark the team.

Marisa: That wasn't the reason he pulled him last game. He said it was to get a time out and King was good so he kept him in. But you didn't year the conference call, Hamley was not happy with Levis at all.

Mike: Hamley isn't happy about anything right now

Marisa: True, but during the call he had notable issues with just Levis

Mike: Well I disagree with him. Again I'm not saying he's the best goalie. But he is playing like he's an all star. Oh wait, he is.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Game Review: Toronto 10 Rochester 5

By Graeme Perrow

Tonight was the worst. The absolute worst. I've been going to Rock games since 2001 and it's never been as bad as it was tonight. Oh, the game was fine; in fact it was pretty good. I'm talking about the traffic into Toronto from Waterloo. Took me over three hours. Three freakin' hours. I could have been most of the way to Detroit or over halfway to Ottawa in that time. I left work a little after 4:30, and I think it was quarter to six before I hit 60 km/h. I arrived at the parking lot near the ACC around 7:45. <grumble>

Anyway, I suppose it's possible that you, dear reader, are not interested in the fact that it took me three hours to drive to this game, so on to the game report. The Rochester Knighthawks have been an enigma to me for years. They've had a ton of offensive talent – Grant, Williams, the Evans boys (who I don't like, but can't deny their talent), Gait, Point, Bomberry, Accursi, and now Jamieson, and sometimes they gel and are unstoppable. For example, the entire 2007 season. Other times, this same group of players just can't seem to put the biscuit in the basket, to quote Bob McCown. For example, tonight's game against the Toronto Rock. OK, Grant, Gait, one of the Evanses, and Bomberry are no longer there, but the Knighthawks still have a bunch of offensive talent and yet cannot score. I don't want to take anything away from either the Rock defense or Bob Watson, but the Hawks just couldn't get anything going at all. Five goals total? Only one in the second half? What are you, the Colorado Mammoth? I'm sorry, Rochester fans, that wasn't nice.

Watson continues his unbelievable last season in the NLL, winning his 100th career game. Not only is he still a better-than-average goalie at age 40, he's the best in the league. Nobody has a higher save percentage, and the only goalie with a lower GAA is Angus Goodleaf, who's only played one game. Watson was his usual outstanding self on this night and his defense was solid as well. The Rock's transition wasn't as good as last game, as shown by the fact that there were no goals and only two assists by defensemen. As for the offense, the best word for that would be inconsistent. 80% of the Rock's goals were scored by Kasey Biernes (5) or Garrett Billings (3). Manning had one accidental goal, and in the first quarter, rookie Aaron Pascas snuck around a couple of defenders and scored his tenth of the year. Manning's goal was an attempted pass to Kasey Biernes (he already had five at this point, why not pass to him?) but Biernes was covered and couldn't catch the pass. I saw that Biernes wasn't going to catch the pass and was in the process of asking Manning "What are you doing?" when the ball trickled by Vinc and into the net. Captain Colin Doyle was kept off the scoreboard entirely, and I have to wonder if that has ever happened to him in his fourteen year career. Stephan Leblanc's scoring streak was stopped at 23 games, as Leblanc finally experienced a game without scoring for the first time in his career. It's too bad, since he only had 30-odd more games to go to catch John Grant, whose streak ended tonight at 55 games. Apparently Leblanc was injured during the shoot-around before the game and was given stitches at the bench just before the game, so this might have put him off a bit. I had to be told about this rather than see it because I missed the first eight minutes of the game because it took me three hours to... oh right, sorry.

The Knighthawks really did resemble this year's Colorado Mammoth, as they had no offense but their defense was strong. Vinc did not look like last year's Goalie of the Year but did make some pretty amazing saves here and there. Vinc did do one thing that I had never seen before. One Rock player and one KHawk fell into the crease and after Vinc picked up the ball and tossed it to another Hawk, he reached down towards the Rock player lying down – I thought he was going to pound him one, as goaltenders are sometimes wont to do when someone is in their crease, but no. He grabbed the Rock player's stick out of his hands and made like he was going to toss it away. I think the ref was looking right at him, because he suddenly stopped and gave the stick back. He looked like a kid caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

Other notes:

  • Patrick Merrill made a great play to strip the ball from a Knighthawks attacker at the centre line, then ran in on a breakaway... and missed the net entirely.
  • Quote from the guy sitting behind me: "My grandmother didn't like to watch hockey cause she couldn't follow the puck. Can you imagine her watching this? We need Foxtrax for this! It's too fast!"
  • Professional athletes are a superstitious lot, and goaltenders seem to be the most superstitious of the bunch. They all have their little quirks and foibles. Whenever Anthony Cosmo goes out to his net, he faces it and smacks his stick against the posts and crossbar a bunch of times, then turns around and does it some more with his back to the net. Matt Vinc went out to his net, made sure it was in the right position, turned around, and that was it. The fact that he didn't do anything weird was weird.

These teams meet again tomorrow night in Rochester, so we'll see how much difference the home field advantage makes to the Knighthawks, who have dominated the Rock in their own barn over the years. The Rock's victory a month ago and the Championship game in 2003 are the only games Toronto has ever won in Rochester.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Crunch Time In Philly

By- Kevin M. Neibauer


Philadelphia, PA.- Entering Week 7 of the 2011 National Lacrosse season, the Philadelphia Wings have found themselves in a bleak position. After two straight bad defeats, Philadelphia travels to Buffalo for what is a "must" win game.
 
  Philly lost its first two games before rebounding with an impressive three game win streak. All seemed fine, but suddenly the two straight defeats have them last in the division with an uphill battle in front of them.
 
 The team was nearly completely retooled in the off-season with what would consider as "questionable" moves. Philly brought in Paul Dawson, Brandon Mundorf, and Ryan Boyle. None has made a major impact as yet.
 
  Many felt that the team lost its "heart and soul" with the trading of Geoff Snider. Along with Snider, former team Captain and long time defensive anchor, Thomas Hajek was not invited back.
 
  To compound the frustration of the fan base, the team had the opportunity to draft Casey Powell in the dispersal draft and traded the pick away.
 
 The current edition of the Wings does have talent. The problem is two fold. The team rarely has played a four quarter game. As evidenced in the second victory over Colorado. Philly took off the second half and it nearly cost them the game. Last week against Buffalo, Philly was very much in the game at halftime but came and scored only one second half while being routed by the Bandits.
 
 The other issue is that the Silver, Red and Black just have not meshed as a team. Not one player has stepped out as a leader. Far too much one on one and long distance shots have made the offense far too predictable.
 
 The Philadelphia Wings are now on the clock. This team cannot afford to lose more than two more games if they want to take a trip to the post season. Funny, not even half way through the schedule and they are in a serious state.
 
 New Head Coach John Tucker and New General Manger, Johnny Mouradian need to find a solution and quick. The fan base is beginning to lose interest and quite frankly, with the economy and the performance on the floor, it is hard to blame them.
 
So, where do we go from here? Another big game against Buffalo on the horizon this weekend. All cliches are in order now. One game at a time, one shift at a time. This once proud franchise is clearly snake bitten and it needs an antidote ASAP.
 
 After Buffalo, the Philly squad plays the two Division Leaders in the next two games. First, Toronto then Calgary. Toronto always plays the Wings very tough and Calgary figures to be excited for the matchup of Paul Dawson and returning former Wing, Geoff Snider.
 
  Snider was always a fan favorite and he will be pumped for his return. Philly needs to keep control of both contests and not let either opponent take an early lead and take the fans out of the game.
 
Time indeed, will tell....

The West playoff race

By Avry Lewis-McDougall

The Western and Eastern divisions right now are tight with every single team, 3-4 Philadelphia could easily wind up on top of the division with some big wins in the next few weeks but the race that is interesting but yet some would say riduclous is the Rush-Mammoth race to avoid being the last place runner finshing in that marathon, ah I mean the NLL standings. Both teams have had games that make you shake your head but yet games that have shown that both really shouldn't be sub .500 teams.

The Rush(2-5) got two big wins over the Washington Stealth to save their playoff chances after that 0-5 start thanks to guys like Gavin Prout and Brett Mydske. With the 1-5 Mammoth, as much as they do get made fun of even with the likes of John Grant Jr. on the roster they have been in many games that they could have won, except for their Febuary 12th game vs Boston where they only put up 6 goals on the board in an 11-6 loss. Colrado has lost three games this season by only 1 goal (including their season opener which they lost 11-10 to Washington in OT).

It's going to be interesting to see in the final weeks of the season in March and April who will have enough gas to get that final playoff in the Western division spot, do not let the records of these teams fool you.

Rush Make A Trade To Replace Departed Defender


By Mike Wilson
After the weekend the Rush won their tfirst two games, but they decided that they are still not good enough.
On Wednesday the Rush traded away D Ian Hawksbee For Stealth D-man Tyler Codron.

At first when I heard this trade I wasn’t a fan of it, mainly because of the timing. The Rush had two weeks without a game and a win where this trade would have made more sense.

After a weekend where you get your first wins against the defending NLL champions, you would think it would be a week where a GM can relax.

But I did more digging, I figured out this trade makes more sense then I thought.

Back when the now surging Rush were 0-3 Head Coach and GM Derek Keenan Knew that the Rush needed more grit, more battle, and more fight. Also, at that point the Rush only tallied a total of  22 goals in three games.

Keenan searched for the answer and found one Scott Evans. An Offensive foreword with sandpaper to his game. So far, Evans has 4 goals and 10 points as well as 9 penalty minutes.

He hasn’t supplied the offense, but has opened up space on the floor for other offensive players. In the last four games since he has been acquired, the Rush have scored 51 goals.

The trade has been good for the Rush, but to make it they had to send away shut down defender Rory Glaves. Glaves was with the Rush from day one.

Without Rory, the defence  has struggled.

The Rush with Glaves: 10.7 AGA
The Rush without Glaves : 13 AGA

Also note that the Rush took on Toronto and Boston in their first 2 games. Both teams have above average offenses.

Keenan realized that the Rush needed to patch the hole the Glaves left so he picked up another defender that plays the same game in Tyler Codron.

Cordon is bigger and younger then Hawksbee, so this trade might end up being a great one for the Rush.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Knighthawks attendance woes continue

By Alex Hinkley

The Knighthawks are still struggling with attendance troubles as only 4,940 fans came to last weekend's game against the Minnesota Swarm (according to the official box score on NLL.com). This marks the third home game in a row that Rochester has failed to surpass 5,000 people. It has gotten to the point where they no longer even bother to announce the night's attendance during the game.

So far this season, the Rochester Knighthawks have drawn crowds of 6,025, 4,945, 4,560, and 4,940. That is a season average of just 5,117 people, far below the regular attendance figures the franchise is used to. Going back to games played in 2005 when attendance first started being archived on NLL.com, the K-Hawks have never drawn a crowd in 4,000's before. Now they've done so three games in a row. In fact, they only started drawing crowds below 6,000 just last year. Back in the good ol' days, Rochester steadily drew 8,000, 9,000, and even 10,000 people every game. They don't even get that in two games anymore. What is going on?

Even giving out a free Cody Jamieson bobblehead did not seem to increase attendance as last weekend's numbers are still below the 2011 four-game average. Bobblehead night is usually a big event so you have to wonder if attendance would have continued to decline (instead of roughly remaining the same) without it. The home opener had the biggest crowd thus far and each subsequent game had fewer fans. It is easy to see a downward trend happening.

After a bit of a rough start, Rochester won the last two games so hopefully this will have a positive effect on attendance.

What would you do to address this issue? Leave a comment below with a suggestion.

(Originally published on Examiner.com)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lacr-awesome

By Graeme Perrow

As a Christmas present, I bought my sister The Book of Awesome. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote up my own list of awesome things and then started thinking about some lacrosse-related ones, so I decided to put them all together. These aren't necessarily the best plays or even the most awesome moments in a lacrosse game – obviously your team winning a Championship or an overtime game is awesome, but that's true in any sport. These are things that make lacrosse unique and make fans sit back, smile, and say "I love this game."

A John Grant-style over the shoulder goal when you know it was not a fluky "let's see what happens if I do this" type of play. It's hard to believe that people like Grant, Doyle, Kelusky, and Tavares can actually aim while doing this, but some people are successful at it too often for it to be pure luck.

When the goalie grabs the ball and launches it most of the length of the floor to a teammate who catches it and scores. Some call it cherry-picking, others call it transition. Bob Watson used to do this to Jim Veltman all the time.

Getting a hug from the ACC usher at the first home game of the season. The same lady (Arlene) has worked our section for most of the last ten years.

Scoring a goal on a breakaway – when your team is shorthanded.

When a non-offensive defender scores on a breakaway. Not talking about guys like Steve Toll, Brodie Merrill, or Mark Steenhuis here, just talking about pure defenders who almost never see the other side of centre. We used to joke about big Dan Ladouceur scoring one goal every other year this way – he'd somehow end up on a breakaway, desperately look around to see who he can pass to and seeing nobody, shoot it himself. Sometimes he'd bury it, but even if he missed the net completely he'd get huge applause.

When a player turns his stick around and scores shooting the "wrong" way. Blaine Manning does this all the time.

When the "hidden ball trick" actually works. I've seen players try it many times, and the defenders always see it and point at the guy with the ball. But at the 2002 Heritage Cup game, Gary Gait and John Tavares did it to perfection, and the goalie and all the defenders followed Tavares who ran way off to the right side. Gait was all alone up the middle and just tossed it into the net.

Diving across the crease then shooting behind the goalie while still in the air.

When a defender intercepts a pass. Intercepting passes in hockey is no big deal but it's way harder in lacrosse. Jim Veltman was a master at this. Actually, Veltman was a master at a lot of things. I miss him. <tear>

When a team honours a player on the opposing team. This isn't unique to lacrosse, but it's awesome anyway. Teams honouring former players that now play on the opposing team is classy. Toronto did this with all of their former players during their tenth anniversary season, Calgary did it with Tracy Kelusky this year, the Leafs have done it with Mats Sundin on his return, and I'm sure many other teams have done the same. But it's even more awesome when the player has never played for the home team and is being honoured for a particular achievement or an outstanding career. I was at the first game Cal Ripken played after ending his seventeen-year streak, which happened to be in Toronto, and the Blue Jays honoured him. The Jays players all came out of the dugout to show their respect and Ripken got thunderous applause. A couple of years ago the Rock honoured Tom Marechek after he announced his retirement and the crowd gave him a well-deserved standing ovation. And let me tell you, Rock fans don't stand and applaud Wings players all that often. I love seeing players show their respect by banging their sticks on the floor or the boards.

When your team scores and before the arena announcer has a chance to announce the goal, your team scores again.

The handshake line-up at the end of the game. Hockey players do it at the end of a playoff series. Lacrosse players do it after every single game. That's awesome.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Boston Blazers Dominate Colorado Mammoth

By Melissa Dafni


At the beginning of the season, many people picked the Boston Blazers to finish number one or pretty close to it.  With a talented offense compromised of Casey Powell, Dan Dawson, Josh Sanderson and now Ryan Powell, they're certainly a force to be reckoned with.  The Mammoth kept Sanderson to three goals, and Dawson and Casey Powel to one goal each. (Ryan Powell was a healthy scratch.)

One would think that if your defense can put the kibosh on your opponent's leading scorers, you stand a pretty good chance of winning.  Unfortunately, once again, the Mammoth offense didn't do their part.

Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.  

Apparently the Mammoth offense suffers from insanity.  How else can you explain their same predictable play every game?  They play flat, pass the ball around a few times and as the shot clock expires pretty much shoot at the goalie's chest or 5-hole which as you'd expect the goalie blocks every time.  They don't work as a team to make things happen.  They don't cut, they don't pick and roll, they don't move.  Yet they expect to score. Yep, this team must be insane.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Game Review: Toronto 9 Calgary 8

By Graeme Perrow

They called it The Battle of the Best. NLL fans had been looking forward to this game for weeks, it was covered by all the major networks, and the rest of the season will be a bit of a downer in comparison. OK, so hyperbole is kind of fun, but this was indeed a battle of the two first place teams. It was expected to be a hard fought game, and nobody who saw the game was disappointed. Well, Calgary fans were likely disappointed with the outcome, that being a 9-8 Rock overtime victory, but nobody can say it was a boring game.

The scoring started just 45 seconds into the game (a strange goal by Rock newcomer Ryan Sharp that, according to the scoreboard in the ACC, didn't even count as a shot on goal), but anyone who thought that a goal that early meant that this was going to be a high-scoring affair was incorrect, as the Rock didn't score again for almost thirteen minutes. The Roughnecks however, didn't get that memo and scored four times in between the two Rock goals. You can't blame Watson entirely for those goals - the Rock defense was a little shaky in the first, but they did settle down after that. At the end of one period, Calgary had 4 goals on 11 shots while the Rock had fired 18 shots at Mike Poulin and only scored twice. The defensive battle continued in the second, as the Rock scored only once and Calgary twice. The first Calgary goal was a nice transition goal from Peter McFetridge – the transition games for both teams were working pretty well all night. The Rock must have read my review of the game against Buffalo last week and worked on their transition game, because I think they had more transition chances in this game than in the past two years. Combined.

An occurrence unique to lacrosse came up in the second period - a goalie in the penalty box. Bob Watson took issue with some pushing and shoving around the Toronto net and crosschecked Scott Ranger across the back. Whipper was given a five minute major for checking from behind. In lacrosse, a goalie must serve his own major penalties, so Watson wedged himself and his equipment into the already-crowded penalty box (Colin Doyle was already there serving a holding penalty, Mike Hobbins was given a roughing penalty on the same play, and another player went to the box so that he could come out when Watson's penalty was over, since you can't have two goalies on the floor at once. This is my twelfth season watching Rock lacrosse, and in all that time I've only seen a goalie in the penalty box one other time. That was Buffalo's Corey Quinn back in 2003. Rock defender Glenn Clark was just catching a pass that would have given him a clear breakaway but the pass was lobbed high in the air, giving Quinn enough time to come running out of the Buffalo net and absolutely level Clark. They called it a hit from behind because Clark hadn't turned around to face the net yet (though in retrospect that call was arguable), and Quinn went to the box.

The third quarter saw a complete turnaround in scoring chances, as Calgary was shut out entirely while the Rock took the lead by scoring four. In fact, Calgary went from 11:01 in the second to 11:38 in the fourth without scoring, a span of over 30 minutes. This is the fourth Rock game this year (out of seven) where Whipper has shut out the opponent in the third quarter, and the second home game in a row where the opponent went over 30 minutes without scoring. The Rock went up by two as Colin Doyle scored his second of the night – a beautiful behind-the-back bouncer that went in under Poulin. But the Roughnecks never gave up and with less than four minutes left, Jeff Shattler scored a power-play goal that would have fired up his team had they not already been fired up. In a successful bid to silence the home crowd, strong Rookie of the Year candidate Curtis Dickson tied it with less than a minute left on the clock and the Calgary net empty.

The crowd really got into the game in the fourth, and during overtime, I think it was the loudest I've heard the Toronto crowd since... um, the last overtime game a couple of weeks ago. OK, never mind. But when Jeff Shattler dove across the crease a couple of minutes into OT and shot at a wide open net only to have Bob Watson dive with him and stop it, the crowd noise jumped another level - only to jump again a minute after that when Aaron Pascas picked up a dropped Calgary pass and buried it behind Mike Poulin.

Despite only allowing nine goals in over 60 minutes while facing 60 shots, I wouldn't say Mike Poulin was outstanding in the Calgary goal. In all honesty, neither was Bob Watson. Both were solid and had very good games, and both made some key saves (especially Watson's stop on Shattler in OT), but neither stood on their head. But the game was low-scoring because both defenses were excellent. The Rock had a ton of shots, but it seemed that most of them were either desperation shots from far away because they couldn't get close to the net and the shot clock was at 2, or they managed to get a shot through but hit Poulin square in the chest. And Calgary frequently didn't even get the chance to take desperation shots, only managing 36 shots all night. The Toronto defense was doing a lot of pass interception and knocking the ball out of sticks all night starting in the second quarter.

As if a goalie in the penalty box wasn't enough, overtime had another incident I've certainly never seen before, in lacrosse or any other sport. My season tickets are row 17 behind the benches and during overtime, we saw Colin Doyle being sent to the bench by the ref. Doyle was livid (though Troy Cordingley was unusually calm) but we didn't know why. It wasn't until I got home and read some of the reports online that I found out why – he wasn't wearing Reebok shoes, and the NLL has a contract with Reebok. I guess one of the Calgary players or coaches noticed and told the ref, who told Doyle to go and change shoes. He did eventually make it back to the floor, and was on the floor for Aaron Pascas's game-winning goal. Doyle was interviewed by TSN about the incident after the game.

Rochester and Toronto have a home-at-home series starting next Friday night in Toronto, while next Sunday sees Calgary play their arch-rivals, the formerly-winless-but-now-streaking Edmonton Rush.

Other notes:

  • This happens in many sports. When a player (on either team) gets hurt and is down on the floor for a while, then gets back up and continues to play, the crowd applauds. If he gets back up and hobbles to the dressing room, the crowd applauds. If he doesn't get back up and is helped or even carried off the floor, the crowd applauds. Basically, if you stay down long enough and it's obvious you're not faking, the crowd will applaud no matter what happens. Since the outcome doesn't matter, it's almost as if they're applauding because you got hurt. I know this isn't the case, and I do applaud myself in these cases, it just seems strange.
  • I brought my dad to the game and told him right before it started, "Watch Geoff Snider, the Calgary guy doing all the face-offs. He's unbelievable". Snider proceeded to struggle at the dot and make a liar of me, winning only 11 of 21. I'm surprised it was even that high - we weren't sure he'd won any at halftime. I did see some of the old Snider in the second half, but he certainly wasn't as dominant as I've seen him in the past. Don't know if that has anything to do with the new faceoff rules or if he just had an off night. I'm guessing the latter, since his season average was over 64% coming into this game and was only 52% last night. The new rules may be having some effect, though, since he was over 75% last year.
  • Two players (Snider and Hoar) were removed from the faceoff circle during OT. I think this was because they had blood on their knees and NLL rules state that if you are bleeding, you cannot be on the floor. This was the only face-off all night that Snider didn't take for Calgary. Dane Dobbie lost it.
  • Nice to see Jim Veltman in the crowd, though I am surprised (and a little disappointed) that the ovation for the former captain wasn't longer.

Blazers Defeat Colorado, 11-6

By Marisa Ingemi

The Boston Blazers came out Saturday night well knowing they needed a win to stay on par with the rest of the eastern conference. And with wins from Toronto, Rochester, and Buffalo, Boston stayed right on pace with the rest with their win over the Colorado Mammoth.
 It was rather quiet early on, with the score 1-1 and not changing. But in the second the Blazers came out like a house of fire and showed the Mammoth a real Champions Cup Contender.
 After scoring six goals, Chris Levis was pulled in favor of back up goaltender Matt King. King was acquired from Calgary before the season started.
 King didn't do all too much better, as the Blazers scoring continued. Casey Powell became the all time leading scorer of American born players with his 244th career goal, while Damon Edwards and Nick Cotter each tagged two goals. Along with his goal, Powell put up four assists, and Dan Dawson had the same numbers.
 Josh Sanderson broke out of his little funk with a hat trick on the night. "It was a great win, I didn't think we were at our best early but our defense and goaltending were great, obviously on our short-man," said Josh Sanderson. It was really good and we are happy with the win, but we have to get a lot better going into Minnesota. Obviously they are one of the best teams in the [Western Division] and we just have to keep getting better."
 Jack Reid also scored his first career goal on a break away after leaving the penalty box, and Anthony Cosmo made 38 saves.

To read Marisa more, read inlaxwetrust.com and follow @inlaxwetrust on twitter.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

RUSH WIN AGAIN! RUSH WIN AGAIN! RUSH WIN AGAIN !

By Mike Wilson
images (27)
The Edmonton Rush have won their second in a row and have moved into playoff spot! Thank god for the awfulness of the Mammoth ( but that’s for another blog). Because of the popularity of a recap of the Swarm v.Bandits game in Tweet form by Graeme Perrow, I will also give you this recap in the form of Tweets.
If you already follow me, just go to twitter. If you don’t, this is what you are missing( Not much) :
  • WilsonNLLBlog: Rush score first and get another power play! Good start boys!
  • Great Powerplay and the Rush start with a 2-0 lead! #GoRush!
  • Richards with a Disher-esq start. 3-0 Rush and Roik comes in.
  • behindtheblog: Roik rocking the New West mask is siiiiiiiiiick #Stealth #NLL
  • WilsonNLLBlog: @behindtheblog Saw it in person last night. It is a thing of beauty.
  • Hoping the Stealth don't have the turnaround the Rush did after being down 3-0 last night.
  • Now its 4-1. Thanks commercials! #sarcasm
  • dawgbone98: don't understand why they'd start Richards back to back after facing 66 shots the night before.
  • WilsonNLLBlog: @dawgbone98 Because he's still better then Roik.
  • behindtheblog: Mike Grimes just KO'd Bruce Murray. What a human.
  • This is looking like last nights game, except the opposite. 4-3 now
  • The Rush are just probably nervous playing in front of 10's..of hundreds of people tonight in Washington.
  • Rhys Duch is putting on a clinic tonight. 6 points already. 6-4 Stealth
  • @brett_mydske with a Hattrick ! Rush now have a 2 goal lead!
  • Another defender scores for the Rush! 9-6!
  • Roik's back in! Mydske could go for the Sock-trick now!
  • 10-6 and Roik has yet to make a save.
  • Before this week the Rush were just trying to get 10 goals in a game. Now they have reached that before half-time
  • ...and Roik finally makes a save.
  • That Cory Small goal breaks a Rush record for most goals in a half with 11!
  • Looks like the Rush did watch the Mammoth's "What Not To Do On Offense" video. 11-7 at the half.
  • Paul Rabil breaks the 3rd quarter shut out! 11-8 Rush
  • Ward scores a shorty. Richards didn't move.
  • Nice Quick stick by Wiles.
  • The Rush have won a grand total of 4 face-offs. Only 5 last night.
  • snowkitten: #Stealth 9 #Rush 13 end of 3rd quarter
  • Forgot to mention that when Richards came back in at the half, it was the Stealth's 4th goalie change of the game
  • Dane Stevens sighting! Rush increase their lead to 5.
  • StealthLax: Duchee and Rabil back-to-back makes it 14-11 with 7:45 left....
  • Everything Paul Rabil does is just a work of art.
  • How did Conn miss that?!?
  • Suddons scores and Richards tanks Evans.Though to be honest, he deserved it.
  • NLLScores: Goal: WAS Lewis Ratcliff (Rabil, Wiles), 11:26 4th - Rush 15 at Stealth 12
  • NLLScores:Goal: WAS Lewis Ratcliff (Wiles, Duch), 11:50 4th - Rush 15 at Stealth 13
  • Duch scores. Don't blow this one Rush!
  • 7 transition goals for the Rush last night, 6 tonight.
  • RUSH WIN AGAIN! RUSH WIN AGAIN! RUSH WIN AGAIN !
  • aGhost0nTheWire:@WilsonNLLBlog wait.... who won?
  • @WilsonNLLBlog: @aGhost0nTheWire No idea didn't watch it.

Something I didn’t tweet: The Rush won a total of 6 faceoffs tonight which was the reason the Stealth went from being down by 5, to being down by only a single goal.
Quick Stats:
Stealth:
  • Paul Rabil –3G 4A
  • Rhys Duch -4G 5A
  • Luke Wiles –2G 4A
  • Lewis Ratcliff –2G 6A
Rush:
  • Brett Mydske –3G
  • Corey Small –3G 3A
  • Brodie Merrill – 1G 3A
  • Scott Evans –2G 3A

Rush Win! Rush Win! Rush Win!

images (26)
By Mike Wilson
The Rush finally put one in the win column with a 14-12 victory over the Washington Stealth. 
At the very beginning of the game, it looked like it was going to be a long night. The Stealth scored on their first 2 shots and scored 3 goals in 2 minutes. When the score changed to 4-1 in the favour of the Stealth, Rush coach Derek Keenan called a time-out. The game took a 360 after that. 
On the Stealth's next possession, Rush goaltender Matt Disher  made a sting of beautiful saves. If that game went to 5-1, It was over for the Rush. The game, and a home playoff date would have been out of their reach.
After that  play, Scott Stewart took the ball and scored his first of 3 on the night; as well as the Rush’s first of 7 transition goals.
That goal sparked the come-back with the Rush tying it up at 4 with back to back shorthanded goals.
After that, the game went back and forth with each team taking 1-2 goal leads.
The game was finally won when Bill Greer picked up a loose ball at center and scored on a breakaway to make it 13-12. All-star Brett Mydske capped it off with an empty netter.
Rhys Duch finished the game with 6 points while Lewis Ratcliff potted 3 goals and collected 7 assists. The loose ball leader was Paul Rabil, but that goes without saying.
For the Rush, Andy Secore broke out of his slump with a hat trick, while Brodie Merrill took 6 points away from the game.
The Transition game won them the game last night by scoring 54% of their goals. The offence put up 66 shots, leading them to their top offensive performance of the year.
This was the first time this season I felt like the Rush’s offence came to play. They fought for every lose ball and even laid the body on Richards, which resulted in a Rush possession.
They finally brought the fight that Coach Keenan was looking for.
After the game, it seemed like a 500lb boulder was lifted off of his back.  There was nothing about that game he was unhappy about.
Lets hope he can feel the same way after tonight, when game 2 of the home and home between the Rush and the Stealth takes place in Everett.
If you live in Canada, you can watch it on CityTV Edmonton.
There was quite a bit of dirty stuff after the game, so don’t be surprised if this one is a rough one.
Players of the game:
Washington: Lewis Ratcliff- 3 goals, 7 assists
Edmonton: Scott Stewart- 3 goals on transition