Week 7 of the NLL season delivered on every level. It was the first time all season where it truly felt like the NLL was officially back. Every game this week was competitive from start to finish and was a good indication of what teams are truly contending for a title this year.
Here is a full recap of Week 7 of the NLL.
NLL WEEK 7 RECAP
Buffalo Bandits (12) – Georgia Swarm (10)
The Buffalo Bandits have made it clear that they are the best team in the NLL right now. This team continuously gets better week after week as the offense gains more chemistry over time. The amount of offensive weapons on the Bandits roster is absolutely insane and they show zero sign of slowing down.
The Bandits came out of the gate hot to kick off Week 7 in this Friday night matchup against the Georgia Swarm. Buffalo had four different goal scorers within the first six minutes of the game and it really felt that the game was already over with. Georgia would definitely put up a good fight with Bomberry and Thompson doing most of the heavy lifting, but it was clear that Buffalo wasn’t going to let this game slip out of their hands.
Buffalo had 9 different goal scorers on 12 total goals scored showing that anyone on the Bandits roster can step up when need be. Josh Bryne played a major role for the Bandits offense as he was able to tally up 5 assists on top of 2 goals.
There is no questioning that the Georgia Swarm roster is extremely talented with Thompson, Bomberry, and MacIntosh to name a few. However, it has become abundantly clear that the team still hasn’t found a consistent flow on offense. While there certainly is hope for this franchise, the 2022 season is certainly going to leave a lot to be desired from the Swarm moving forward.
San Diego Seals (12) – Saskatchewan Rush (11)
Much like every game from Week 7, this game truly felt like it could have been decided with a coin flip considering how well both teams were playing. At no point during the game was it clear who would come out victorious as neither team gained more than a two goal lead.
San Diego has made the correct adjustments following the teams Week 1 loss against Vancouver. Everyone knew that this Seals team was loaded with talent and that has become even more apparent as the team continues to establish better chemistry over time. Similar to the Bandits, everyone of the Seals roster can step up in big moments and that was very much on display during this game against Saskatchewan. San Diego is certainly a contender this season and they are truly in the driver seat as to how far they can go.
Saskatchewan has fallen off the map in recent years as the team currently poises a 1-4 record. The Rush are a better team than a lot of people give them credit for considering 3 of 4 losses have been decided by only one goal. Saskatchewan is headed in the right direction and I wouldn’t be surprised if they were able to post a winning record by the end of the season.
Albany Firewolves (9) – Philadelphia Wings (8)
Albany came out with a statement win over the Philadelphia Wings in a game that came down to the wire. The Albany defense has shown to be a problem for teams all season and Philadelphia would not be the exception.
The Firewolves have been one of the lower scoring teams in the league with its defense picking up most of the slack. This game would be no different with only 5 Firewolves recording a goal on 56 total shots. The teams defense shined per usual only allowing 46 shots from Philadelphia and were able to shut down many key players such as Rambo and Crowley.
This loss was certainly a slap in the face for Philadelphia as the team would have gained a 4-1 record with a win against a considerably weak Albany squad. The Wings are a good lacrosse club across the board and this loss doesn’t take away from the fact that they are one of the better teams in the league as of right now. Coach Day is certainly going to be looking over the film for this one to figure out where exactly the team went wrong.
Halifax Thunderbirds (14) – Toronto Rock (13)
Arguably the best game from Week 7, the Thunderbirds were able to keep its undefeated streak alive on the road against Toronto. This win was extra difficult for Halifax considering they hadn’t played a game in over a month and the team had to make multiple last minute roster changes due to COVID-19. This NLL match-up had everything you could ever want from an NLL game.
You would never know that Halifax hadn’t payed a game together in over a month or that many of the teams players were on the practice squad just earlier that week. Every time that it felt like the Thunderbirds were going to run away with the game, Toronto made it clear they were not out of the fight. The Rock played much better in the second half with Zach Manns leading the charge with 4 goals and 3 assists.
Halifax has become one of the most enjoyable teams to watch in the NLL. The team is extremely gritty on both sides of the ball and the offense never really has a dull moment. It is clear that this team is well coached and that the guys thoroughly enjoy playing with one another.
Toronto on the other hand is a different story. The Rock aren’t a bad team in any sense of the word, but the team has certainly fallen short of its potential. All of the pieces are there for the Rock to get it together by the end of the season, especially considering they just forced one of the best teams in the league into overtime. With a few line-up changes it really feels like this team can hang with anyone in the league.
Panther City Lacrosse Club (13) – New York Riptide (12)
An NLL overtime thriller to end Week 7 wasn’t needed but it was certainly appreciated. Both clubs sat at the bottom of the rankings and rightfully so considering both of these clubs are still trying to find its own identity. Expectations were low coming into this game but both clubs were still able to put on an enjoyable performance to say the least.
This was definitely a game of momentum as Panther City was able to establish a dominate 5 goal lead heading into halftime. The team was firing on all cylinders and the everyone on the floor was able to bring something to the table. The Riptide were miraculously able to change things around coming out of halftime and was able to force Panther City to overtime. Jeff Teat continuous to show why he was the first overall pick as he played a major factor in the Riptides late game comeback.
Panther City has certainly come a long way considering where the team was at Week 1. Expectations weren’t high for this expansion team coming into the season so any win is going to be considered a major victory. Patrick Dodds looked amazing as he recorded a hat trick, tallied 5 assists, and scored the game winning goal to finish the game in overtime. Panther City is slowly forming its own identity as the season rolls on and this win was certainly the confidence booster the club needed.
The Riptide remain the only team in the NLL without a win as of Week 7, and when you begin to look at the teams roster it’s not hard to understand why. There are too many members on the Riptides roster that are considered to be liabilities on the floor. The team has zero sense of identity and is relying on three players to carry the team with little to no help from the supporting cast.