There is only one more weekend of games before the start of the NLL playoffs and teams are chomping at the bit to get the race to the NLL Championship started. This past weekend saw the final playoff spot decided and the No. 1 seeds finally chosen in a weekend of games that were mostly blow outs. There was still some awesome lacrosse and dramatic moments as the regular season is about to come to a close. Let’s see who had a winning weekend and who ended up in the losers column in this week’s Winners and Losers.
Jesse King played his first game of the 2019 season on April 12 after recovering from injury he sustained during training camp and he has made an immediate impact for the Calgary Roughnecks. In two games he already has nine points, including his two goal and four assist effort against Saskatchewan this past weekend. With King back in the lineup, Calgary’s left side of Dane Dobbie, Dan Taylor, and King may now be the most dangerous in the NLL heading into the playoffs. Definitely worthy of a Winners spot on Winners and Losers.
.@cdelbianco35 ➡️ @Kinger_91 ?
Watch @SaskRushLAX at @nllroughnecks on @brlive at https://t.co/25LDAIDTT2 #NLL #SASvsCGY pic.twitter.com/gzDhErAPQY
— NLL (@NLL) April 21, 2019
It was not a smooth road to the playoffs for the Colorado Mammoth, but they finally clinched the last spot in the NLL playoffs after the Vancouver Warriors lost to Rochester this past weekend. The Mammoth have shown flashes of being a great team during the regular season, but have been inconsistent. If they can play their best lacrosse in the playoffs they could surprise the lacrosse world. Congratulations to the Mammoth for making the playoffs for the ninth straight season.
The Rochester Knighthawks have been playing great lacrosse to end their season thanks to the play of their star players and especially goaltender Warren Hill. Hill has allowed less than 10 goals in three of his last four games and had an amazing night in their win against Vancouver this past weekend as he made 53 saves on 59 shots. Hill has helped the current Knighthawks players end their final games in Rochester on a high note as they will be wearing Halifax colors once this season is over.
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“ANOTHER save by Warren Hill. He’s a brick wall back there!” – ?️@Craigryb pic.twitter.com/0jeF07IWjW
— Knighthawks Lacrosse (@RocKnighthawks) April 21, 2019
Buffalo Bandits and San Diego Seals
The Buffalo Bandits and the San Diego Seals both secured the No. 1 seeds in the East and West respectively with their wins this past weekend. They also both locked in home playoff games for the first round of the NLL playoffs. Crazy to think that the Bandits were established as a team almost 30 years ago and the Seals are playing in their first season ever.
Congratulations to one of the best goal scorers in NLL history, Ryan Benesch, as he reached the 1,000 point mark in the Knighthawks game against Vancouver.
Sold Out Crowd in Calgary
19,289 people came out to watch an NLL lacrosse game this past Saturday in Calgary. What a great moment for lacrosse with this sold out crowd really showing the potential the NLL has to become a major professional sport. The revenue generated from that many fans and the excitement that big of a crowd creates are big steps to helping the NLL continue to grow and for these players to become full time professional athletes hopefully in the near future.
With the Colorado Mammoth’s struggles to clinch the last playoff spot in the West, the Vancouver Warriors had some hope to claim the playoff spot for themselves, but they were not able to keep their season alive as they fell to the Rochester Knighthawks in disappointing fashion. Their season will be over after their game against the Toronto Rock this weekend, but the Warriors had their moments this season with some upsets and thrilling games in their return to playing in Rogers Arena. The future is bright in Vancouver.
Who were your winners and losers from this past weekend of NLL action?