Saturday, May 19, 2012

The 2012 Championship Game Is Here!

By Josh Bourhis

It All Comes Down To This
The time is upon us for the oh-so-short lacrosse season to wrap up. It was only a couple months ago that we had started the blog back up and were posting the season predictions. Before we get to the game this weekend let's take a look at Lead Writer Mike Wilson's season predicitions. His predicitons will be in Italics:

MVP: John Grant Jr. (Stephan Leblanc)

Goaltender Of The Year: Mike Poulin (Tyler Richards)

Defensive Player Of The Year: Kyle Rubisch (Kyle Rubisch)

Transition Player Of The Year: Andrew Suitor (Brodie Merrill)


East Division:
  1. Toronto Rock (Toronto Rock)
  2. Rochester Knighthawks (Buffalo Bandits)
  3. Philadelphia Wings (Philadelphia Wings)
  4. Buffalo Bandits (Rochester Knighthawks) 
    West Division:
    1. Calgary Roughnecks (Calgary Roughnecks)
    2. Colorado Mammoth (Edmonton Rush)
    3. Minnesota Swarm (Washington Stealth)
    4. Edmonton Rush (Colorado Mammoth)
    5. Washington Stealth (Minnesota Swarm)
    Final: Toronto Rock vs. Calgary Roughnecks
    Winnner: Toronto Rock

    Well 4 out of 16 predictions ain't...good. Oh well. That's the thing with the NLL, it's unpredictable and that is what makes it exciting. 

    And what an unpredictable final we have. Rochester vs. Edmonton. 

    Read the Preview for the final after the jump:

    Today's game features the Rush (6-10) versus the Knighthawks (7-9).



    The Rush had a below average season, one that many were not expecting after adding key players on both sides of the ball. Things looked promising after their home opener despite a loss because of outstanding goaltending by Aaron Bold, but dropping all four games against Calgary and losing the season series between Colorado and Toronto put a chunk of L's in the Win-Loss column. Most of these losses came at the expense of the Offense, who couldn't get it together scoring a league worst 167 goals. 

    This changed come playoff time when the Rush did the exact opposite by beating Calgary and outscoring their two playoff opponents 34-14. They look to continue the offensive surge for one more game. This game is for the sake of being tops of the league, but for management it also means raising their profile to the population of Edmonton as they now have the WHL champion Oil Kings to compete with to be the next-best-thing to the Oilers. 

    The Knighthawks had a season that they can be satisfied with, going above .500 at home and now hosting the Champions Cup once again. Last time was 2007 and they won that one 13-11 over the Arizona Sting. This year the team was led by Cody Jamieson, who tallied 85 points. As a second year player that is incredible. 

    The Knighthawks were what one would call an average team, but that changed once playoffs came as they beat Philadelphia and then blew out the defending champion Toronto Rock en route to the final. Rochester has gotten hot at the right time just like the Rush and is not to be taken lightly.

    Something to take lightly, however, is the friendly wager between both cities mayors. The losing teams mayor will wear the winning teams jersey at their next city council meeting.

    Rochester Mayor Thomas Richards (Left) and Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel (Right)
    Game Notes:
    -Rochester and Edmonton have only played each other 3 times before with the Rush winning two of them
    -Goalies Matt Vinc and Aaron Bold know each other well as Bold used to back up for Vinc when he played for Rochester
    -Shawn Williams returns to Rochester for the first time since he was traded to Edmonton
    -Joe Walters, who played in 6 games and had 16 points in the regular season leads Rochester in playoff points with 10.


    Predictions:

    Mike: 13-10 Rush

    Josh: 15-11 Rush 

    Avry: 12-10 Rush

    We also turned to the Twitter world for their predictions:

    @heavyd12: 17-12 Rush

    @DanShirley: 12-9 Rush

    @pxpLax4: 12-10 Rush

    And there you have it folks...It appears that everyone is taking the Rush with confidence. Only time will tell and that time is ticking away. Make sure to tune in on CBS Sports Network, Shaw TV, TEAM1260 Edmonton, SportsRadio 950 ESPN, or Livestream.

    Game Time: 7:30 ET

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