The National Lacrosse league season is really heating up and this weekend there will be 5 great games where anything could happen.
With Rochester and New York scoring their first wins last weekend it’s safe to say that anybody can beat anybody. Teams like Buffalo, Colorado, and Philadelphia are starting to hit their stride with their mix of offensive flair and solid defense. Halifax and New England remain undefeated, but could this be the weekend they go down?
Here are the Week 9 NLL games we at Powell Lacrosse will be watching this weekend.
All games can be watched at https://live.bleacherreport.com/
Game of the Week: Philadelphia Wings (4-2) vs New York Riptide (1-5)
Watch for FREE on B/R Live, Facebook, and Twitter at 7 pm ET
Philly is one of the hottest teams in the league, but they will face a reinvigorated Riptide squad who showed they will fight to the end in their first ever win last weekend.
Philly went 1-1 in their back to back games last weekend where they showed off their well balanced play and toughness. They have different players stepping up each game on offense, Zach Higgins playing great in net, and are getting extra possessions thanks to Trevor Baptiste’s dominance in the faceoff circle.
New York surprised everyone in the league with their dramatic come from behind win over the Swarm, but now they must build off of that momentum. Dan Lomas, Kieran McArdle, Tyson Gibson, and Travis Longboat have provided a much needed spark on offense. Faceoff man Alex Woodall could be a difference maker if he can win close to 50% of his draws against Baptiste.
The Riptide also recently signed Myles Jones and he will make his NLL debut this weekend. His physical presence and speed could transform the Riptide’s defense and transition game if Jones can acclimate to box lacrosse quickly.
Prediction: Philadelphia wins a close game.
Captain Dan MacRae scored the historic game winning goal for the Riptide last weekend.
— NLL (@NLL) January 19, 2020
San Diego Seals (1-4) vs New York Riptide (1-5)
Watch on B/R Live at 7:30 pm ET
The Seals will need to take advantage of a tired Riptide squad who played the night before to try and get their season back on track.
The Seals will be hungry for a win after coming so close against Halifax last weekend. With some very important games coming up in Las Vegas and on the Miramar Air Field in February, they will definitely want to start picking their play up so that they are ready to put on a show for those games.
If the Riptide play well against Philly, they could ride that momentum into this game and surprise the Seals.
Prediction: San Diego ends their losing streak.
Colorado Mammoth (4-3) vs Buffalo Bandits (3-1)
Watch on B/R Live at 9:30 pm ET
Two of the top teams in the league will meet in a heavyweight matchup of two of the best goalies ever in Colorado’s Dillon Ward and Buffalo’s Matt Vinc.
The Mammoth had wild back to back games last weekend that saw them lose to Vancouver, but then dominate Saskatchewan. When the Mammoth offense is clicking they can be the most dangerous in the league. With their home crowd behind them they will be buzzing.
The Bandits have found their mojo and a big reason has been the return of Chase Fraser. Fraser plays with an edge and his playmaking ability completely transforms their offense. The return of Steve Priolo on defense was huge for the defense and Vinc has been solid since a tough game against Halifax.
Prediction: Colorado wins by 1 goal.
Calgary Roughnecks (2-3) vs Halifax Thunderbirds (5-0)
Watch on B/R Live at 9:30 pm ET
Can anybody beat the T-Birds?
Halifax is still unbeaten as they have been able to pull off some late game dramatics to win their last few games. Warren Hill continues to be incredible in net and players like Stephen Keogh are really stepping up when it matters most.
The Roughnecks lost to the new Knighthawks last weekend and will face the former Knighthawks team this weekend. With injuries and suspension still keeping Dane Dobbie and Jesse King out of the lineup, the Necks with need to get big performances from newer players to have a chance at handing the T-Birds their first loss.
Prediction: Halifax stays unbeaten.
Halifax has jumped out to an incredible 5-0 start.
— Halifax Thunderbirds (@HFXThunderbirds) January 20, 2020
New England Black Wolves (4-0) vs Georgia Swarm (2-3)
Watch on B/R Live at 1 pm ET
This East Division matchup is crucial for both squads as the Black Wolves look to stay perfect and the Swarm try to stop their 3 game losing skid.
The Black Wolves remain undefeated after a gritty win against Philly where they looked vulnerable, but were able to finish the job in overtime. Doug Jamieson is the backbone of the team as he has only let in 34 goals against in 4 games.
The Swarm have lost 3 in a row much to the shock of Swarm and NLL fans. The offense has been great with Lyle Thompson, Shayne Jackson, and Randy Staats leading the way, but they have had some defensive breakdowns in the 4th Quarter that need to be fixed.
Prediction: Swarm pull it together for the upset win.
Callum Crawford was the hero for the Black Wolves last week in overtime.
CALLUM. FREAKIN. CRAWFORD.
That's a winning shot if we've ever seen one. pic.twitter.com/whIYj4moZO
— NE Black Wolves (@NEBlackWolves) January 19, 2020
What are your predictions for Week 9 of the NLL season?