What We’re Watching: NLL Week 8

All 13 NLL teams will play games this weekend and it is going to be wild ride.

There will be a full slate of 8 action packed NLL games to watch this weekend with the Buffalo vs Toronto rivalry game being the NLL’s “Game of the Week” available to watch for free on B/R Live, Facebook, and Twitter. The Colorado Mammoth, Philadelphia Wings, and Rochester Knighthawks will be pulling double duty this weekend as they each play back to back games, which should make for some dramatic moments as players empty their tanks to get wins.

Here is a preview of all 8 NLL games we at Powell Lacrosse cannot wait to watch this weekend.

Friday 1/17

Vancouver Warriors (1-3) vs Colorado Mammoth (3-2)
Watch on B/R Live at 10:30 pm ET

Paul Bissonette aka “BizNasty” will be at Rogers Arena to get the Vancouver crowd pumped up as the Warriors search for another win, but will have to face the Mammoth who beat them 13-9 just two weeks ago. Both teams feature some of the best shooters in the NLL.

The Warriors started out strong last weekend against Philly, but couldn’t contain the ever improving Wings. They will need a great performance by their defense to give them a chance to defeat the Mammoth. The Mammoth are coming off of a tough loss in Halifax, but their offense continues to give opposing defenses problems. This will be their first game of a back to back weekend and they will definitely want to start off strong.

The NLL did a great video piece on Vancouver stars Logan Schuss and Mitch Jones.

Saturday 1/18

Halifax Thunderbirds (4-0) vs San Diego Seals (1-4)
Watch on B/R Live at 6 pm ET

A relocated team will meet a second year team as Halifax welcomes San Diego in what should be a great matchup.

The T-Birds are the first in North Division and the hottest team in the NLL as they have put on dazzling performances so far in this relocated franchise’s early history. Leading the way are offensive stars Ryan Benesch, Cody Jameison, Mike Burke, and Stephen Keogh while Graeme Hossack has provided them with a herculean effort all over the floor in every game. The Seals will have to come into “The Nest” and put a tough last game against Saskatchewan behind them. The Seals have proven they can win on the road with their only win of the season coming in overtime in Vancouver.

Rochester Knighthawks (0-4) vs Calgary Roughnecks (2-1)
Watch on B/R Live at 7 pm ET

The K-Hawks have back to back games this weekend as they are still searching for their first win. Calgary is looking for a rebound win after losing to Philadelphia in the dying seconds of the game.

The K-Hawks offense is coming to life as Holden Cattoni and Shawn Evans lead the way as they answered every punch the Rock threw at them until the very end. They are playing much more consistently on both sides of the ball and will need goalie Craig Wende to continue to play well if they want to get their first win. Calgary is still without Dane Dobbie, but has balanced out their offense with newcomers like Marshall King and their veterans Curtis Dickson, Tyler Pace, and Jesse King. Tyson Bell, Zach Currier, and really their whole defensive group all have the green light to push the ball in transition.

New England Black Wolves (3-0) vs Philadelphia Wings (3-1)
Watch on B/R Live at 7 pm ET

The Black Wolves sit atop the East Division, but the Wings are right on their tails as they will meet for the first time this season in what should be an up and down track meet of a game.

New England has been on fire early on with their offense and defense clicking on all cylinders. Callum Crawford has been sensational and Andrew Kew has been had a breakout rookie season. Goalie Doug Jameison has been a huge key in their wins as he is been outstanding in net. The Wings are buzzing as they have won three in a row after falling in their first game. They got much needed contributions from Blaze Riordan and Josh Currier against Vancouver to help get secondary scoring.

Savvy veteran Kevin Crowley is playing on another level right now.

Game of the Week: Buffalo Bandits (2-1) vs Toronto Rock (3-1)
Watch on B/R Live, Facebook, and Twitter at 7 pm ET

This will be an awesome “Game of the Week” with these storied rivals meeting in Banditland for a game that could include diving goals, big hits, and lots of bad blood.

The Bandits got a huge rebound win down in Georgia that saw the return of Chase Fraser to the lineup giving them a boost offensively as he had 3 goals and 3 assists. Matt Vinc also had a great rebound game after struggling against Halifax. The Rock barely outlasted Rochester, but are getting contributions from the likes of rookies Zach Manns and Adam Jay as well as in transition when they need a scoring boost. They will need more of that as Buffalo will be trying to shut down their dynamic scorers like Tom Schreiber, Rob Hellyer, and Dan Craig.

New York Riptide (0-5) vs Georgia Swarm (2-2)
Watch on B/R Live at 7:30 pm ET

Both these teams are desperate for a win with the Riptide still looking for their first win in franchise history while the Swarm have dropped two in a row and are looking to steady the ship.

The Riptide have improved, but are still struggling to string together goals and defensive stops to get a win. Bright spots have been the play of Tyler Digby, Connor Kelly, Dan Lomas, and Alex Woodall who will need to continue to step up for them to get their first win. The Swarm got into a 12-3 hole against the Bandits that they couldn’t climb out of. They will definitely make adjustments coming into this game and come out firing with their arsenal of offensive weapons.

Saskatchewan Rush (3-1) vs Colorado Mammoth (3-2)
Watch on B/R Live at 8:30 pm ET

In this West Division clash, the Rush and Mammoth meet for the second time this season. The Rush defeated the Mammoth 9-8 back in November, but these teams will look pretty different with more games under their belt.

The Rush have been solid on both ends with their stars making big plays when needed and the defense holding down the fort. Ben McIntosh got his scoring rhythm back with 4 goals against San Diego. The Mammoth were on a hot streak until they fell the Halifax last weekend, but have showed that they can score goals in bunches when have the hot hand. The defense will need to step up big to give them an opportunity for revenge against the Rush.

Evan Kirk was the difference maker for the Rush last weekend as he stopped 3 breakaways and was steady all night.

Sunday 1/19

Philadelphia Wings (3-1) vs Rochester Knighthawks (0-4)
Watch on B/R Live at 7 pm ET

Both the Wings and K-Hawks will be coming off of playing a game the night before, which will make for an interesting contest of who has more left in the tank to get the win.

The trend in the NLL is usually that the team playing back to back games wins because the players are clicking and in a rhythm from the night before. All teams usually meet to practice the night before the game and then must find their chemistry again in the 1st quarter of the game. Both teams will have their chemistry back from the start, which should make for a very entertaining game.

It’s a great weekend to be a lacrosse fan with so many games to watch and we hope you enjoy this full docket of NLL action.

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