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Saskatchewan Rush vs Rochester Knighthawks 2016 NLL Game of the Week 8
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Rochester Knighthawks at Saskatchewan Rush – NLL Game of the Week

Editor’s Note: We’re back with another NLL Game of the Week! Thanks to the help of the innovative team at SISU Guard, the Official Mouthguard of the NLL, we are beefing up our National Lacrosse League coverage for 2016! We hope you enjoy our look at the NLL season through a new lens with the aid of our partner SISU!

There were two overtime thrillers last weekend that really overshadowed the blowout that became our NLL Game of the Week between the Georgia Swarm and the visiting Buffalo Bandits. Although 35 goals were scored over 60 minutes, a 7 goal differential leaves us hungry for something a little more thrilling and a little less stat-padding.

There’s four games, between seven teams, scheduled over two days coming this weekend. Only if Toronto could find a way to sneak their first win away from the Bandits could there be a more appealing game on the docket this weekend than the Knighthawks visit to Saskatchewan and I’ll tell you why…

NLL Game of the Week

Rochester Knighthawks (3-2) at Saskatchewan Rush (3-2)

Edmonton Rush Rochester Knighthawks NLL 2015 Photo: Micheline V / Rochester Knighthawks
Photo: Micheline V / Rochester Knighthawks

When: 2/19/2016 – 8:30 pm ET
Where: SaskTel Center – Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Watch: Fox Sports GO


[mks_one_half]Standing: 3rd in Eastern Conference

Watch For: Jamieson to stay physical and aggressive against the strong backbone of Saskatchewan.

Points Leader: Cody Jamieson – 12 goals, 25 assists

Things to work on: Locking down the entire offense when on defense and sticking to assignments. They’ve let up 28 goals over the past two games and have struggled to limit the shot selection of their opponents.


[mks_one_half]Standing: 2nd in Western Conference

Watch for: Matthews and Greer to put a lot of shots on goal, specifically around screens and from range. The Rochester offense is physical, so there should be a lot of banging between them and the rowdy Rush defense.

Points Leader: Mark Matthews – 10 goals, 17 assists

Needs to work on: Getting their shooters hot again. They put up 19 goals on 58 shots on goal against Calgary before only putting in 7 goals on on a mere 34 attempts against Colorado the following week.



This could be a real low-scoring affair, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be on the edge of your seat. Both teams are sporting an excellent defense and a limited amount of scorers. Although Rochester is averaging over 12 goals per game, the Knighthawks have only gone on the road once this season and have only faced a team with a positive goal ratio one time. The trio of Cody Jamieson, Dan Dawson and Cory Vitarelli have 12 goals each and are the primary components in the Hawks’ scoring engine. Jamieson has added another 23 assists to give him the 9th overall spot on the NLL scorers list. The Rush have a similar story going with Mark Matthews, Zack Greer and Robert Church all averaging 10 goals or more, Matthews leading the way with 10 goals and 17 assists. Aside from the top tier on each side, Rochester has weapons in Keogh, Walters, Resatarits and Point that can go off on any given night while the Rush have relied on Curtis Knight and Ben McIntosh to be good for at least 1 goal a game.

The defense for Saskatchewan has played exceptionally well despite their mediocre record. The defense has put up 78 caused turnovers so far (2nd in NLL), that’s an average of four strips more per game than the Knighthawks. Ryan Dilks is leading the charge with a league-high 22 while Chris Corbeil is handling business on both ends of the floor, he leads all NLL defensemen in scoring with 5 goals.

Goaltending has been historically incredible from both Matt Vinc and Aaron Bold. Both have fallen toward the middle of the pack in 2016 but possess the talents to dig their teams out of a rut. If the top three scorers from both sides aren’t dialed in, this can become a goaltender’s battle. Facing off has been a one man job for Saskatchewan, Jeremy Thompson taking all but a single draw and winning an average of 58%. For the Knighthawks, the majority of the responsibility has been shared by Adam Bomberry and Dylan Evans, the team is averaging a 47% success rate at the dot.

Saskatchewan has suffered a bad loss already to Vancouver and have convincing wins under their belts over Calgary and Colorado while Rochester has been cruising along by winning the games they should win by beating Vancouver and Toronto, but have dropped games to the high-powered offenses of Colorado and Georgia. It looks like the Rush will be in good shape if the can put shots on cage, particularly working the stick and 5-hole of Vinc. The Hawks can come out victorious if they make the best of transition and don’t allow Dilks, Corebeil and Bold to set up the defense against them.

With a win this weekend, ROC can bump as little as 2nd place but as far as 1st with a pair of losses from Buffalo. Saskatchewan can pull within a half-game back from the Mammoth with a victory this weekend since Colorado has the weekend off. Both teams will be chomping at the bit to get a quick start on Friday, make sure to tune in to the out of conference battle in Saskatoon.

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Week 8 Games


  • Buffalo Bandits at Toronto Rock – 8 pm – Fox Sports GO


  • Georgia Swarm at Buffalo Bandits – 7:30 pm – Fox Sports GO
  • Calgary Roughnecks at Vancouver Stealth – 10:00 pm – Fox Sports GO

SISU Guard Official Mouthguard of the NLL

Which game are you looking forward to the most? Make your predictions for this weekend and the rest of the 2016 NLL season in the comment section below!