A light schedule in Week 12 of National Lacrosse League action with just three games on the docket, but with the Georgia Swarm playing there was no shortage of rookies to watch. Georgia’s highly potent trio of offensive rookies were kept in check with Lyle Thompson being the lone member to find the back of the net. Transition stud Chad Tutton was yet again sound at both ends of the rink, though, finding twine twice. In the high-scoring Rush/Stealth game that saw 40 goals, Jordan Durston reached the score sheet on six separate occasions as the freshman out of Wallaceburg, Ontario picked up a goal and five assists. Meanwhile, fellow first-year forward Keegan Bal tallied two assists for the Stealth in their eighth loss of the season. Jordan Gilles, Wesley Berg, Reilly O’Connor and Tyson Bell all saw action as the Roughnecks hosted the Mammoth in Calgary on Saturday night, with Berg leading the crop of freshmen with two goals and two assists for four points.
1. (1) Jesse King (LF) – Georgia Swarm
12-33-45 – 2 PIM – 87 S – 44 LB – 13 TO – 1 CTO
Currently the front runner for the Rookie of the Year award, King was kept relatively quiet on Friday night as a stout Rochester Knighthawks defence corps limited the Victoria, BC native to just one assist. While King’s production was limited, it wasn’t for a lack of trying as the 6’3” left-handed threat managed to put seven shots on goal, while scooping up five loose balls in the Swarm’s 11-4 loss. Sitting with 12 goals and 33 assists in just ten games, Kings has already asserted himself as one of the league’s top play makers.
2. (4) Wesley Berg (RF) – Calgary Roughnecks
15-29-44 – 8 PIM – 120 S – 62 LB – 26 TO – 5 CTO
With Dane Dobbie returning the lineup last week in Toronto you may have expected a slight decline in Berg’s numbers. However that simply hasn’t been the case as the Coquitlam, BC native continues to produce. This past week Berg played an integral role in his Roughnecks’ 13-9 win over the league-leading Colorado Mammoth, picking up four points on two goals and two assists. Berg was all over the score sheet as he added seven loose balls and one caused turnover to his four-point offensive effort. Berg continues to impress, displaying a level of confidence you simply don’t see in most first-year players.
3. (3) Randy Staats (RF) – Georgia Swarm
22-26-48 – 10 PIM – 145 S – 49 LB – 13 TO – 4 CTO
Staats was yet another Georgia Swarm forward who was stymied by a stout Knighthawks defence corps and a nearly unbeatable Matt Vinc in the Rochester goal. Firing eleven shots on goal, Staats was a consistent threat for the Swarm and still managed to produce two assists in the 11-4 loss. Staats 48 points leads all rookies and will likely be a determining factor in the final Rookie of the Year voting.
4. (2) Graeme Hossack (D) – Rochester Knighthawks
2-2-4 – 4 PIM – 9 S – 64 LB – 5 TO – 11 CTO
Hossack played an integral role in the Knighthawks win over the high-powered Georgia Swarm on Friday night as Rochester limited one of the league’s highest-scoring offences to just four goals. The hulking defender effectively limited the production of some of the game’s most exciting offensive threats while still managing to get up floor with fluidity and to scoop six loose balls. With two more forced turnovers on Friday night, Hossack now sits with eleven on the season, just four behind team leader Sid Smith, who himself is a perennial defensive player of the year candidate.
5. (5) Chad Tutton (D) – Georgia Swarm
8-6-14 – 24 PIM – 39 S – 49 LB – 14 TO – 17 CTO
On a night when Swarm scoring leaders Shayne Jackson, King, Johnny Powless and Staats were limited to three assists between them, Tutton did his very best to pick up the slack offensively. Tutton potted his seventh and eighth goals of the season in the Swarm’s 11-4 loss. Besides accounting for half of the team’s offence Tutton also picked up two penalty minutes and four loose balls while firing three shots on goal. Tutton’s ability to make a consistent impact at both ends of the floor certainly makes him much more of a threat for the Rookie of the Year award than originally anticipated.
6. (8) Jordan Durston (LF) – Vancouver Stealth
12-16-28 – 23 PIM – 43 S – 28 LB – 19 TO – 2 CTO
With Logan Schuss and Garrett Billings out of the lineup for the Vancouver Stealth, Durston stepped up in a big way. The Wallaceburg, Ontario native tallied a career-best six-point effort on a goal and five assists in the Stealth’s 24-16 loss to the Saskatchewan Rush. Durston has become a consistent offensive producer for a Stealth squad that has struggled this season and undergone some significant personnel changes. Full credit to Durston as he continues to prove worthy of an NLL roster spot, now with 28 points in ten games.
7. (6) Lyle Thompson (RF) – Georgia Swarm
12-21 – 33 – 4 PIM – 82 S – 32 LB – 19 TO – 8 CTO
The Swarm were held to just four goals but Thompson was able to sneak one past Matt Vinc near the midway point of the third quarter. While the goal itself did little in the way of changing the outcome of the game, it was refreshing to see Thompson find the back of the net in a game where his club was struggling to produce offence. Thompson has been overshadowed by his fellow rookie teammates this season, but make no bones about it, the highly creative offensive threat has the repertoire to fill the score sheet at the drop of a hat.
8. (9) Jordan Gilles (D) – Colorado Mammoth
6-0-6 – 0 PIM – 13 SOG – 44 LB – 6 TO – 10 CTO
After a couple of quiet weeks, Gilles made his way back into the spotlight with a very sound game on Saturday night, despite his Mammoth falling to the Calgary Roughnecks by a score of 13-9. Gilles was able to find the back of the net for the first time since January 29th when he potted two goals in a loss to the Saskatchewan Rush. Gilles was all over the score sheet on Saturday, scooping 9 loose balls, while also forcing a turnover on top of his first-quarter marker. Gilles has been a real treat to watch this season; his extraordinary transition ability and tireless work ethic is hard to ignore.
9. (7) Reilly O’Connor (LF) – Calgary Roughnecks
5-2126 – 0 PIM – 71 S – 37 LB – 24 TO – 3 CTO
After a four-assist performance against his hometown Toronto Rock, O’Connor came into Saturday night’s affair with the Colorado Mammoth on a high. While his Roughnecks defeated the league’s top team in the Colorado Mammoth, it was a quiet night for O’Connor who failed to record a point and fired just one shot on goal. The return of Dobbie didn’t impact O’Connor in Toronto but it certainly did this past weekend. O’Connor has shown an ability to thrive when given the touches, but will need to make some adjustments to his game if he wants be able to find success in a limited role.
10. (HM) Tyson Bell (D) – Calgary Roughnecks
3-3-6 – 21 PIM – 14 S – 47 LB – 9 TO – 6 CTO
Bell got off to a great start to his first National Lacrosse League campaign and while his play didn’t exactly drop off, it also wasn’t as noticeable in recent weeks as it was early in the season. This past weekend Bell played an important role in his Roughnecks’ win over the Colorado Mammoth, scooping up four loose balls while showing a strong effort in both the defensive end and in transition. Bell has settled in to a role with Calgary, a role that isn’t flashy but is important to the team’s defensive success. The St. Catharines, Ontario native won’t always get the credit he deserves, but he is certainly a player that deserves praise for what he’s done this season.
Dan Taylor (10) – (LF) – Saskatchewan Rush
Dan Lintner (HM) – (RF) – Toronto Rock
Adam Bomberry (HM) – (D) – Rochester Knighthawks
Anthony Malcom (HM) – (RF) – Buffalo Bandits
Tyler Ferreira (NR) – (LF) – Buffalo Bandits
Friday, October 20, 2017 | 3:23:28 PM
MACRAE TO WEAR THE ‘C’
Friday, October 20, 2017 | 1:54:44 PM
Tuesday, October 17, 2017 | 2:05:42 PM
THERE AND BACK AGAIN
Thursday, October 12, 2017 | 9:36:10 AM
DRAFT DAY SURPRISE
Wednesday, October 11, 2017 | 1:55:00 PM
Friday, October 06, 2017 | 1:50:15 PM
CHANGE OF PACE
Thursday, October 05, 2017 | 11:52:51 AM
DRAFT PICKS SIGNED
Monday, September 25, 2017 | 1:01:05 PM
THE NEW RECRUITS
WHICH ROUGHNECKS DRAFT PICK ARE YOU MOST EXCITED TO SEE THIS SEASON?