Nothing will be decided or clinched in any of the 3 games on tap for Week 12 of the National Lacrosse League, but don’t tell that to the Rochester Knighthawks or Georgia Swarm.
Rochester can extend its third-place cushion in the East Division with a win, or find itself tied for the final playoff spot in the East with a loss. Besides, there’s also a bit of payback on the mind for Georgia’s win in Rochester earlier this season.
Out West, Calgary’s trying to find some luck other than bad luck when it takes on Colorado and the Vancouver Stealth are hoping a win over Saskatchewan in January is a sign of good things to come when the Rush visit Langley.
Sure, just 3 games this weekend, but the collective schedule packs a punch that should have zero problems in continuing the trend of the exciting lacrosse we’ve been seeing all season. Let’s take a look at our Team Reports for Week 12.
Rochester Knighthawks (5-5) at Georgia Swarm (4-6), 7:35 p.m.
With just 1 game separating these teams in the standings, this is a key East Division matchup. A Rochester win puts the third-place Knighthawks up 2 games over the fourth-place Swarm, but a Georgia win puts the teams in a tie for the third and final playoff spot in the East … The Knighthawks are 2-3 on the road … Rochester hasn’t won consecutive games since beating Toronto twice in mid-January … F Cody Jamieson has 8 goals and 19 points in his last 3 games … Jamieson also is second on the team with 60 loose balls … F Dan Dawson has 9 goals in his last 3 games and has 26 goals this season, his highest total for a single season since scoring 31 for Boston in 2011 … F Stephen Keogh scored 6 goals in Saturday’s win over New England and has scored 13 of his 18 goals this season in his last 4 games … Rochester’s road power-play by percentage (39.1%) is worst in the league but it’s the No. 1 unit at home (66.7%).
Georgia has lost 4 of its last 5 and Friday’s game against Rochester is the first of 5 straight at home for the Swarm … Georgia beat Rochester, 13-9, earlier this season in Rochester … Georgia is 1-2 at home … Georgia’s home power play by percentage (30.8%) is worst in the NLL. The Swarm have scored just 4 extra-man goals at home this season, but they’ve also played just 3 home games … The Swarm are tied with 2 other teams in allowing a league-high 7 short-handed goals … Georgia is allowing 13.8 goals per game, worst in the NLL … Opponents are shooting 26% against the Swarm (138-for-517) … F Johnny Powless was held without a goal for the second time this season in Saturday’s loss to Saskatchewan, but with 25 goals this season he’s just 5 shy of his career high of 30, set in 2014 with Rochester … Rookie F Randy Staats has hat tricks in consecutive games and has scored at least 1 goal in 7 straight games … F Shayne Jackson has scored at least 1 goal in all 10 games this season.
Colorado Mammoth (8-2) at Calgary Roughnecks (4-7), 9 p.m.
Colorado is a league-best 4-1 when scoring the game’s first goal … F Adam Jones has 17 goals in his last 4 games and has scored at least 1 goal in all 9 games he’s played this season … Second-year F Jeremy Noble has 14 points (5-9) in his last 3 games after scoring 5 points (1-4) in the 3 games prior … F Callum Crawford had 8 assists in the March 5 win over New England, giving him 65 points for the season. He’s on pace to score a career-high 117 points as well as finish with 85 assists, which would break the 2012 record (82) of Garrett Billings … Big part of Colorado’s success? Being the least-penalized team in the NLL at 10.9 PIM per game … The Colorado power play on the road is 13-for-23 (56.5%), second-best in the NLL … The Mammoth have scored a league-high 10 short-handed goals but just 3 of those have come on the road … The Mammoth are allowing 11.3 goals-against, second-best in the NLL … Colorado is a league-best 4-0 in games decided by 1 goal … The Mammoth are 6-0 in games they lead after 3 quarters.
The Roughnecks have scored the game’s first goal 9 times this season but is just 4-5 in those games … Calgary’s penalty kill at home is 14-for-32 (56.3%), second-best in the NLL … Calgary has scored 9 short-handed goals, tied for second-most in the league, but Colorado has allowed just 2 shorties all season, best in the league … Calgary is allowing 11.73 goals-against, third-best in the NLL … The Roughnecks are a league-worst 2-4 in games decided by 1 goal … The Riggers also need to learn how to protect a lead: They’re 2-5 in games they’ve led after the first quarter … Calgary is coming off a win over Toronto after losing 4 straight, but 3 of those losses were by 1 goal … F Dane Dobbie returned to the lineup for the first time since Feb. 6 and had 2 goals and 3 assists in Friday’s win over Toronto … F Curtis Dickson has 10 goals in his last 2 games and has scored 4 or more goals in 3 of his last 5. He also leads the NLL with 5 short-handed goals … F Jeff Shattler has just 3 goals in his last 5 games and is shooting just .05% (3-for-51) … In 284 minutes, G Mike Poulin ranks third in the NLL with 10.32 goals-against and his .794 save percentage ranks second.
Saskatchewan Rush (6-3) at Vancouver Stealth (3-7), 10 p.m.
The Rush are 14-4 vs. the Stealth since 2010 and had won 7 straight against the team before Vancouver’s 13-11 win earlier this season … D Ryan Dilks (14) and Chris Corbeil (13) are the top 2 scoring defensemen in the league … Dilks leads the league with 36 caused turnovers … F Mark Matthews has scored 2 or more goals in 4 straight games and in 6 of his last 7 … Three Rush Fs have scored 20 or more goals … A win over the Stealth will give the Rush a 3-game win streak, which would be their longest of the season … The Rush have scored the game’s first goal just 4 times this season and they’re 2-2 in those games … The Rush are ranked second the penalty kill (55.6%) and while the 8 power-play goals allowed on the road are second-fewest in the NLL, the Rush have faced a league-low 14 man-down situations on the road this season … The Rush have scored 9 short-handed goals, tied with 2 other teams for second-most in the league … The 10.89 goals-allowed per game is the lowest average in the league … The Rush are taking the most shots per game (55.2) and allowing the fewest (41.89) … Saskatchewan is just 3-3 in games it’s led at halftime.
Vancouver’s road win over the Rush in January was its first win against the Rush since Jan. 2013 … G Tyler Richards has the league’s best goals-against (9.57) and save percentage (.804) but has played roughly half the minutes (225) of most No. 1 keepers in the NLL … At 20.6 PIM per game, the Stealth have the second-most in the NLL … Vancouver’s power play is No. 2 in the NLL by percentage (56.3%) … The Stealth have scored just 1 short-handed goal, tied for fewest in the league … The Stealth are allowing 12.6 goals per game, second-worst in the league … Vancouver is 1-3 in games it’s led at halftime … F Logan Schuss leads the team in scoring with 57 points (18-39) but has scored just 2 goals on 25 shots covering the last 2 games … F Rhys Duch has just 1 goal in his last 2 games (on 34 shots) after a 5-game streak of 3 or more goals in each … F Corey Small has scored at least 1 goal in all 10 games this season and dating back to last season has scored at least 1 in 23 of 24 games for the Stealth.