During last week’s What We Learned column, it was made clear the Rochester Knighthawks were facing the biggest weekend of their season.
After opening the season 0-3, they needed at the minumum a split when they took on the Buffalo Bandits and Philadelphia Wings.
Not only did they instead pull out the sweep, both games were quite simply, absolute dominations. They won 20-10 against the Wings in a weird 11 a.m. start out east and followed it up with a 15-7 victory against the Bandits.
After a training camp blockbuster trade that brought in the Dawson brothers, this team is firing on all cylinders and showed why the defending NLL Champions are a force to be reckoned with.
Two weeks ago, they were in the bottom of the league. Now, they are second in the East Division, one and a half games back of the Toronto Rock.
For some reason, a few fans were calling the Roughnecks 9-8 victory against the Edmonton Rush sloppy or ugly. Not even close. Both teams were playing the best lacrosse they had. Both teams goaltenders faced 53 shots a piece, and made many highlight reel saves. The Rush gave it their all. The Roughnecks did the same. The Roughnecks won. The best teams in the league will find a way to win when they are playing their opponents have to offer. Calgary has now won four in a row and are first in the West Division.
This weekend will be a big one for the team. A win against the Toronto Rock and they are first place in the NLL. A sweep and they will be 4-1 in the division and winners of six straight.
THE REST OF THE WEST
Like it was said, the Rush played well enough to win against the Roughnecks. Aaron Bold stood on his head, transition gave them quite a few opportunities, and they had their chance in the last minute to earn the victory. Unfornately, they are now 1-4 and last in the NLL.
Minnesota will face the Roughnecks coming off their biggest win of the year. After a back-and-forth overtime, the Swarm were finally able to earn the victory after Tyler Hass squeaked home a goal about five minutes into the extra frame.
Washington didn’t really give Colorado much of a chance on Saturday night. The Stealth’s offence got going early and had a strangle hold on the game by halftime. The final score was 13-6.
At one time, it was the goaltending holding back the Mammoth. But Matt Roik played well and this time, their offense was ice cold. John Grant Jr. was held to a single assist from 15 shots.
GAMES TO WATCH (BESIDES THE ROUGHNECKS)
The Rush are in the same spot this weekend as their 2012 NLL Champions Cup opponents, the Knighthawks, were last weekend. With a home game against the Stealth followed the Mammoth on the road, a sweep would put them right back into the West Division. Losing both games, and they would be in contention for the first overall pick again.