We’ll call it lucky No. 13.
This week is one of the busiest of the 2016 National Lacrosse League season with 7 games being played over 2 days.
For starters, the Rochester Knighthawks and New England Black Wolves have a home-and-home series that could factor into the playoff race. Second-place New England leads Rochester by percentage points in the East Division, so the head-to-head games are big.
Outside of that, 5 of the 9 NLL teams are playing twice this weekend, so there’s plenty to keep track of as the stretch run begins to warm up.
And with that, let our Team Reports for Week 13 commence.
Rochester Knighthawks (6-5) at New England Black Wolves (5-4), 7 p.m.
Note: These teams also play Saturday, at Rochester, 7:30 p.m.
The Knighthawks have won 3 of their last 4, which includes a 17-13 win over New England on March 12 … D Mike Manley, who grew up in the Rochester area, has played 2 games with Rochester since obtaining him in a February trade with New England and if he plays this weekend, it’ll be his first matchup against his old team … F Joe Walters scored 3 goals in Friday’s win over Georgia and has 4 goals in his last 2 games after scoring 5 goals in his first 7 games this season … Rookie D Graeme Hossack is second on the team in loose balls (62) and caused turnovers (11) … F Stephen Keogh is on quite a tear: He scored 2 goals in Friday’s win over Georgia and has 15 goals in his last 5 games after scoring 5 goals in his first 6 … G Matt Vinc made 53 saves in Friday’s win over Georgia and has a streak of 4 straight games with 40 or more saves … Rochester has allowed a league-high 34 power-play goals and the penalty kill is ranked No. 8 at 43.3% on 60 opportunities, which is second-most in the league … The Knighthawks have just 1 short-handed goal, tied with Vancouver for fewest in the NLL , and that goal came on Jan. 16 … Rochester’s 11.09 goals-against average is best in the NLL even though it’s had 593 total shots against, second-most in the league.
The Black Wolves haven’t played since their March 12 loss to the Knighthawks in Rochester and they’re 2-2 in their last 4 games … 3 of their 4 games have been decided by 1 goal … New England is entering a stretch in which 3 of its next 4 games are at home … Leading scorer Shawn Evans has scored 2 or more goals in 4 straight games and is on pace for a career-high 52 goals, but he’s also working much harder for goals this season. He’s already taken 121 shots (13 per game) and is on pace for an amazing 242 for the season … F Pat Saunders is quietly having another solid season. He’s scored a goal in every game this season and has 2 or more in 7 of the 9 games he’s played. He’s on pace for a career-high 44 goals … New England is averaging 19.2 PIM per game, third-most in the NLL … The New England power play is ranked 7th in the league at 48.8%, although with just 9 games played, it’s had a league-low 43 opportunities … The penalty kill is ranked 9th at 40.8% and the 29 downer goals allowed is tied for second-most in the NLL … The Black Wolves are allowing 56.1 shots per game, most in the NLL … New England has not won any games when trailing after the first quarter (0-2), the second quarter (0-3) and the third quarter (0-4).
Saskatchewan Rush (7-3) at Toronto Rock (3-7), 7 p.m.
Note: These teams also play Saturday, at Sasketchewan, 9:30 p.m.
The Rush can clinch a playoff berth by winning both games against the Rock this weekend and a Calgary loss to Georgia or Colorado … The Rush scored a franchise record 24 goals in Saturday’s 24-16 win over Vancouver, the team’s third straight win …Saskatchewan’s 3 losses are by a combined 5 goals … The 7 wins are by an average of 4.1 goals per game and the last 2 wins have been by 6 and 8 goals … F Zack Greer scored 5 goals in Saturday’s win over Vancouver and has 12 goals in his last 4 games. He leads the team with 27 goals and is on pace to finish this season with a career-high 51 goals … F Mark Matthews has 5 or more points in 4 straight games and is averaging 6.2 points a game for the Rush … The Rush are averaging 10,424 fans through 6 home dates. They averaged 5,814 last season in Edmonton … At 10.99 for goals-against, G Aaron Bold is in danger of having his first season in double digits after seasons of 9.44 and 8.73 … The Rush have scored 10 short-handed goals this season, tied with Calgary and Colorado for most in the NLL … The Rush have had 55 power plays, tied for third-most in the NLL, but have scored just 25 extra-man goals and the unit ranks 8th in the league at 45.5% … The Rush have outshot opponents in all 10 of their games this season.
The Rock have won 3 of their last 4 … The Rock are 1-1 against West Division teams … F Rob Hellyer has scored 3 goals in 6 straight games … F Colin Doyle has 4 or more points in 6 straight games, which includes at least 1 goal in each game. At 45 points, he’s on pace to finish with 81 points … With 2 very capable goalies, the Rock are riding the hot hand of Nick Rose, who is the winning goalie of record for all 3 of Toronto’s wins. Brand Miller hasn’t played since Feb. 14 … The Rock continue to led the league with 21.3 PIM per game and have a league-high 73 minors called against them … The Rock power play remains effective, coming in at No. 2 in the league at 57.4% with a league-high 35 extra-man goals on a league-high 61 chances … Toronto’s 108 goals-for and 48.1 shots per game are fewest in the league … The Rock are allowing 50.5 shots per game, second-most in the NLL … The Rock have outshot opponents just 3 times this season. Only New England (2-0) has less … Of Toronto’s 10 games, just 1 has been decided by1 goal, the fewest in the league. Toronto lost that game.
Vancouver Stealth (3-8) at Buffalo Bandits (7-4), 7:30 p.m.
The Stealth have lost 4 straight and 5 of their last 6 … Vancouver is in last place in the West Division, but is just 1.5 games shy of a playoff a playoff berth … The next 2 games for Vancouver are against Buffalo and Toronto (April 2), but the Stealth are 0-4 against the East Division this season … After scoring just 1 goal on 23 shots in his previous 2 games, F Rhys Duch scored 6 on 12 shots in Saturday’s loss to Saskatchewan … Duch is on pace to match his 13-point season of last year, a career-high … F Corey Small has scored 2 goals in 3 straight games and is on pace to score a career-high 37 goals this season … G Tyler Richards had his roughest outing since coming back to the Stealth, giving up 10 goals on 28 shots before getting the hook after 17 minutes during Saturday’s loss to the Rush … The Stealth have been whistled for a league-high 12 major penalties … The Stealth have scored 30 power-play goals, second-most in the NLL, and their road power play is second-best in the league by percentage at 56.5% (13-for-23) … F Logan Schuss scored Vancouver’s only short-handed goal of the season, which came back on Jan. 30 … Vancouver has allowed 7 short-handed goals, tied with 3 other teams for second-most in the league … Vancouver has outshot opponents in 8 games but is just 2-6 in those games.
The Bandits are 13-6 all-time against the Stealth, including a 5-3 record against the Stealth in Buffalo … Buffalo brings a 3-game win streak into this matchup with Vancouver … F Dhane Smith continues to lead the NLL in scoring with 91 points (42-49), 20 points more than second-place Callum Crawford of Colorado … Smith has scored 4 or more goals in 6 straight games and 8 of his last 9 games. He’s averaging an amazing 8.2 points per game and is on pace to finish with what would be an NLL single-season record of 148 … T Kedoh Hill has scored just 3 goals in his last 4 games after scoring 9 goals in his first 4 of the season … The Bandits are 4-1 at home this season and are 3-1 against West Division teams … The Buffalo penalty kill is No. 1 in the NLL at 59.6% (23-for-57). Only Colorado (21) has allowed fewer power-play goals … Buffalo’s 13.82 goals per game is No. 1 in the NLL, but the 12.55 goals-against is No. 7 … The Bandits are allowing 53.9 shots per game, second-most in the NLL … Buffalo is the only team in the NLL that has not trailed a game after 1 quarter. The Bandits are 5-2 when leading after 1 and are 2-2 when tied after the first quarter.
Calgary Roughnecks (5-7) at Georgia Swarm (4-7), 7:35 p.m.
The Roughnecks are 2-5 in games they’ve led after 1 quarter … The Roughnecks have scored the game’s first goal a league-high 9 times but they’re just 4-5 in those games … The Riggers have allowed a league-high 8 short-handed goals … F Curtis Dickson has scored 13 goals in the last 3 games and has scored 3 or more goals in 7 of the last 9. With 38 so far this season, he’s 2 shy of scoring 40 or more for a fourth straight season and is on pace to finish with a career-best 57 goals … F Jeff Shattler broke out of his shooting slump, scoring 3 goals in Saturday’s win at Colorado. He came into the game with 3 goals in his previous 4 games combined … G Mike Poulin has been one of the steadiest in the league over the last month or so and has moved into the No. 1 spots for save percentage (.803) and goals-against (10.09). Poulin is 2-2 since taking the No. 1 job full time in Calgary but both losses came by just 1 goal … The Riggers are 0-3 in OT games this season and 2-5 over the last 2.
The Swarm have lost 3 straight and are 1-5 in their last 6 games, but more troubling is that 3 of those 5 losses are by 7, 6 and 7 goals … At 41.8%, the Swarm power play is ranked last in the league by percentage. The 23 PP goals are second-fewest in the league, but the 55 chances are third-most … It’s not much better with the penalty kill, which ranks seventh in the NLL at 45.1% and has allowed 28 downer goals, second-most in the league … The Swarm also have allowed 7 short-handed goals, tied for second-most in the NLL … F Johnny Powless has 0 goals in his last 2 games and has taken just 8 shots combined. He averaged 7 shots per game through the first 9 games of the season in scoring 25 goals, most on the team … After scoring 7 points (2-5) in the Jan. 30 win over Rochester, rookie F Randy Staats was held to just 2 assists and 0 goals (on 11 shots) in Friday’s rematch, a loss … Rookie F Jesse King is scoreless on 10 shots over his last 2 games … Two of the top 3 scorers for Georgia are rookies … Veteran F Shayne Jackson was held without a goal for the first time this season in the Friday loss to Rochester.
Calgary Roughnecks (5-7) at Colorado Mammoth (8-3), 9 p.m.
The Roughnecks are 1-1 against the Mammoth this season with both games played in Calgary … The Riggers are 17-20 all-time against the Mammoth, including a 6-10 record in Colorado … Calgary and Colorado each have scored 10 short-handed goals, tied for most in the league … Calgary’s penalty kill is No. 2 in the league by percentage (54%), which is impressive considering the Riggers have had a league-high 63 killing situations … Calgary’s road power play is tops in the league at 59.3% with 16 goals on 27 chances. That’s a stat that could play a big role in this game because Colorado’s downers are ranked No. 5 overall, but they’re No. 8 at home at 42.9% … Calgary is averaging 11.08 goals a game, second-fewest in the league, but the defense is allowing 11.50 per, fourth-fewest … The Riggers are 2-5 when leading after 1 quarter, but they’re 3-1 when trailing after 1 … F Curtis Dickson has scored at least 1 goal in all 12 games this season.
The Mammoth can clinch a playoff berth with a win and they’re the only team in the NLL without a loss at home this season (5-0) … The Mammoth are 4-3 in their last 7 after a 4-0 start to the season … F Callum Crawford has a team-leading 71 points, surpassing his 2015 total with Minnesota (53) by 18 points, and he’s done it in 1 fewer game. Crawford’s on pace to finish with 116 points, which would shatter his career-high of 96 (2010) … Colorado is 7-5 against Calgary since the 2012 season and of those 12 games, 6 have been decided in OT … The Mammoth are 4-2 when scoring the game’s first goal … Colorado is allowing 11.45 goals-against, third-best in the NLL … The Mammoth are 3-2 when leading after 1 quarter, but 3-0 when leading at halftime … Colorado is 4-0 in games decided by 1 goal.
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?