Week 8 of the NLL only featured three games with two of them being double headers. It is not ideal for a professional sports team to have teams play in back to back nights, however with the way the world is with COVID-19 these games had to be made up at some point.
While I’m sure many teams enjoyed the bye week following Week 7, it was not a fun time for Rochester or Philadelphia who had to play two games each this weekend.
The Swarm were able to secure a much needed dub, the Wings were able to show why they are elite, and the Riptide got its first win of the season.
Here is a full recap of Week 8 of the NLL.
NLL WEEK 8 RECAP
Georgia Swarm (12) – rochester knighthawks (8)
Even though this match-up was relatively even on paper, Georgia came out hot and Rochester was never able to bring it back. The Swarm put up two goals within the first 30 seconds of the game and Rochester looked like a deer in headlights. Georgia would end up establishing a four goal lead after the first quarter and Rochester was never able to bring it back.
This was arguably the least exciting NLL game of Week 8, but both teams played a competitive game for the remaining duration of the match. However, it was clear that the Swarm had already established too large of a lead for Rochester to come back.
Lyle Thompson had a night recording 5 assist on top of 1 goal. Thompson was certainly a matchup problem for the Knighthawks as they didn’t seem to have anyone who could keep up with him on defense. The Swarm had 10 different goal scorers on 12 goals which shows how well the Swarm were playing Friday night. Hopefully they can keep this momentum going headed into Week 9.
If the Knighthawks were able to put up a better performance in the first quarter, this game truly could have gone either way. Rochester is a good team all around but seemed to come out of the gate flat which is the main reason they lost this game. Cattoni gathered 3 assist but didn’t score a single goal with 12 shots on cage. Rochester struggled to find quality shots all night.
philadelphia wings (18) – rochester knighthawks (10)
It is unfortunate that Rochester had to play back to back games due to COVID-19 delays as it was clear that the team struggled to keep up with a rested Philadelphia squad. Rochester held its own going into half time with a 7-5 lead before Philadelphia would rally back throwing up 8 goals in the third quarter alone.
The Wings have the depth to be a really elite team in this league. Offensively they have all of the pieces and Higgins has really stepped up in net as of recent. Week 8 showed that if this team can sort out its defensive errors, the Wings can easily be in the conversation of winning an NLL title sooner than later.
The Wings desperately needed this win after last weeks lost against the Firewolves. Trevor Baptiste dominated the faceoff battle pulling in 20 of 27 total faceoffs on top of 2 goals. The real story of the night was Kevin Crowley taking control of the offense and tallying 7 assists while still recording 2 goals. Crowley has shown that he can be the face of this Wings’ offense and Saturday night made that abundantly clear.
It is difficult to come off a loss and be expected to compete against an arguably better opponent the very next day. All of the cards were not in the Knighthawks favor so you can’t really blame the team too much for this loss. Besides Hoggarth recording a hat-trick, there isn’t really anything else to discuss.
New York Riptide (13) – Philadelphia Wings (12)
The Riptide miraculously were able to gain its first win of the season even if it took 8 weeks of NLL action. If Philadelphia hadn’t just played a game the night prior, this match-up could have gone very differently. I don’t want to take anything away from the Riptide as this certainly was a much needed win for team morale, but I don’t think this team could have beaten a rested Wings squad.
Jeff Teat had a rough night shooting only scoring 1 goal on 13 shots on goal. That margin certainly is nothing to write home about, but he did make up for it by recording 6 assist and snatched up 7 loose balls. The real hero of the night came from between the pipes with Steve Orleman facing a whopping 68 total shots saving 56 of them. Considering the Riptide only won by 1 goal, Orleman’s performance is what secured this win for New York.
Considering how gassed Philadelphia was, the team held up relatively well under pressure. The team only had 5 turnovers all night and had no issue putting shots on cage. Role players stepped up when the team needed them to and Philadelphia stuck with New York for all four quarters.