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2018 NLL Entry Draft - Austin Staats

NLL Week 2: Winners and Losers

Week 2 of the NLL season saw some teams playing their first games of the season, with San Diego playing the first game in their franchise’s history. In the spirit of Christmas, let’s see who will be on the nice list and who might find some coal in their stockings.

NLL Week 2: Winners

Austin Staats

Any lacrosse fans who have followed indoor lacrosse for the past few years will know who Austin Staats is and his ability to score, but for anyone who has been living under a rock, Staats made his presence known by finishing with 9 points in his first NLL game. Staats has been a scoring machine at every level he has played at whether that was Jr. A, college, or MSL. Now, he will be terrorizing NLL defenses. Some people on Twitter have been comparing his first game’s performance to Auston Matthews similar first game showing with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but it’s arguably much more impressive. Staats scored from the outside, backing down his defenders, in traffic, and dished out four assists to his teammates. He is part of a group of talented rookies like Connor Kearnan (Coming from a Canisius alum, I have to say, ‘Go Griffs!’) and Zach Miller that helped lead San Diego to its first win in franchise history in their first ever game. Staats and his teammates put the rest of the league on notice that the Seals won’t be an easy win for their opponents and that this expansion team is gunning for the playoffs in their first year.

Rhys Duch

Rhys Duch played in his first game back in Vancouver after being traded in the offseason by his old team to Calgary and he let them know what they let go. Duch ended the game with 10 points and helped lead Calgary to a dominant win over the Warriors after losing to them in overtime a week earlier. To make the night even sweeter, he also scored his 900th career point in the first quarter. Congratulations to Duch and it is great to see him getting his scoring touch back after a tough season last year.

The Porter Brothers

The Georgia Swarm have their brotherly connection with the Thompson brothers, but the Vancouver Warriors feature their own duo of brothers this season in Colton Porter and Zack Porter. Both brothers scored in their game against Calgary this past weekend and both on similar moves on breakaways. One of the unique aspects of lacrosse has always been the amount of brothers that play together and against each other at every level including the NLL. The Porter brothers look like they will provide great chemistry to a Vancouver team looking for its identity earlier on in the season.

NLL Week 2 Honorable Mention Winners:

Tom Schreiber had seven points in his first game back after having surgery on his knee and he looks ready for an MVP caliber season.

Cam Holding and Dan Coates (Go Griffs) looked great in their first games back after missing all of last season recovering from ACL tears.

NLL Week 2: Losers

Starting Goalies

Two out of the six starting goalies were pulled in this past weekend’s games and no one could have predicted that they would be Matt Vinc (again, Go Griffs!) and Dillon Ward. These are two of the best NLL goalies in recent history and they both had tough games. It’s not that either of them played particularly bad, but the teams they were facing in Toronto and San Diego both when on big scoring runs in the second half. Sometimes a coach will make a goalie change to try and swing the momentum back their way and have the backup put some juice back into the defense. The Bandits’ Zach Higgins and the Mammoth’s Steve Fryer played well in relief, but both teams couldn’t pull out the win. Fans should not be too concerned about the way Vinc and Ward are playing. It’s early in the season and both these goalies are so good at their craft that they will find their stride as the season continues.

Any San Diego Players Who Got Hit By A Teddy Bear

What a great moment when the nearly 13,500 fans at the Pepsi Center started throwing teddy bears on to the floor after Jeremy Noble scored Colorado’s 3rd goal. All of the teddy bears will be donated to the A Precious Child organization. It’s all for an amazing cause, but man it would be pretty rough to be hit by a teddy bear after you were a San Diego player that just let Noble get by you defense or score on you. I know teddy bears are soft and cuddly, but thats still gotta hurt a little bit when some Mammoth fan chucks a teddy bear from the rafters right at you.

That’s it for the NLL Week 2’s edition of winners and losers. Next weekend we have a full slate of five games which should all be great matchups.

I hope all the lacrosse fans out there have a wonderful Christmas with their families and maybe have an NLL jersey or some tickets waiting for them under the tree.

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Top Photos: Grey Group — 2018 World Games