Major League Lacrosse (MLL) – Week 2 Games

The second week of the MLL saw all 9 teams taking to the field for yet another exciting installation of one of the world’s greatest games.  These opening matches are important for teams to set the tone of how their season will go, and the first couple weeks tend to be action packed and full of energy.  This year is no exception, as an incredible first week was followed up by an equally exciting week 2.

Last, we left off the Lizards were hoping to start there season off undefeated against the champs and runners up of the last two consecutive seasons.  Though they managed to steal the “W” from the Outlaws at home, the Ohio machine put up a strong fight in their home opener, and pummeled the Lizards 25-13.  It’s easy to see why Ohio managed to win their first championship last season, and it looks as though they plan on maintaining that dominance by such an impressive display of offensive fire-power in just their first game since winning the title.

Next, we have Denver and Dallas, the runners up against the semi-finalists they eliminated.  This was an exciting over-time nail-biter, with the Dallas Rattlers taking the game and sinking their fangs into sweet revenge, with their 15-14 victory.  These are the types of games sports fans live for!  This puts Dallas near the top of the league with 2 wins, a record only topped by Charlotte and Ohio (who had a bye in week one), while the Outlaws have plummeted to the bottom of the standings with their winless friends, the Boston Cannons.

Speaking of the Charlotte Hounds, the dogs took another victory in their home game against the Rattlers, one of the best teams in the league.  Some may have thought their impressive display against Boston was more a result of Boston’s weakness then the Hounds strength, but beating a team of Dallas’ caliber says otherwise.  It’s been an impressive start to the season for a team that was lack-luster to say the least, last year, and if the Hounds can keep up this kind of play, they’re looking to make a strong run.

The Chesapeake Bayhawks were a middle of the pack team last year, now looking to break through into one of those top spots in the league this season.  The hopeful contenders faced off against the Launch in Florida, a semi-finalist last season who were one of the teams to snag a win in week one.  It was a close game, but the Bayhawks were able to come out on top with a score of 14-11!  This was a test for the Bayhawks, one of their first steps towards breaking into the playoffs this season, but if they can continue to punch up, they look to be a decent a contender.  Though a 1-1 record seems very average, they lost to the rattlers, a team proving their strength so far, and the Bayhawks will do everything they can to try and distinguish themselves from their competition.

The last game of week 2 pitted the Cannons against the Blaze in Atlanta.  The Cannons simply were not able to muster the strength to compete.  It was a 19-12 victory for the Launch.  The Cannons struggled last season, and are struggling yet again to find their footing in this highly competitive league.  A lot of teams are on the verge of superiority, and if the Cannons can’t find a way to get it together, they will get trampled by their counterparts across the league, who are hungry for that championship title.

Next week, all 9 teams return to the field, for another exciting round of professional field lacrosse games.  We’ll see if the Hounds, who have an opportunity to get 2 more wins, can keep ahead of teams like the Machine, and Rattlers.  Perhaps the Lizards, will take their opportunity to get 2 wins and pick up the ball they dropped in Ohio.  Maybe, we’ll witness the rise of squads like Chesapeake, and Florida, hungry contenders looking to climb.  Lastly, we can’t count out Denver yet; they also have a chance for 2 wins, and if they do so, they’ll be right back in the race for number one!  Get ready for another week of MLL!

Lacrosse Playoffs -National Lacrosse League

NLL Playoffs

The NLL playoffs are coming up quick, with the first round starting on May 4-6.  The top 3 teams from each division will face off for the championship in a fast pace, bracketed, single round elimination tournament.  Though the West has all 3 of it’s available spots clinched, with the Saskatchewan Rush comfortably at the top of their division, and the league, with a whopping 13 wins to a mere 4 losses, the East has all 3 spots up for grabs.  Only 2 wins separate the entire Eastern division, with only 2 weeks left in the regular season! It’s going to be an incredibly tight race to the finish, with each team so close to earning their spot. We’ll see who ends up crossing the line, and placing their name in that bracket, but lets take a look at some of the hopefuls, and why they’ve earned their spot on the power rankings as of now:

1’st Saskatchewan Rush:

With forwards like Mark Matthews, Robert Church, and Ben McIntosh racking up the points and goals, it’s easy to see why the Rush have such an impressive offensive presence.  A great powerplay, and notable faceoff win percentage has helped this team keep its goals-for so high. With their standout record, the Saskatchewan Rush are the team to beat in this years playoff’s without a doubt.

2nd Colorado Mammoth:

The Colorado Mammoth are the second placed team in both the West and the league.  With a great record it’s easy to see why this team has earned it’s spot as one of the most likely challengers to Saskatchewan’s dominance.  They’re a disciplined team with the least amount of penalty minutes in the league, which will help them counter the Rush’s great power play presence if they meet.  The Mammoth are defensively sound as well with the lowest goals against in the league. They say defense wins championships, and the Colorado Mammoth will put that to the test come these 2018 playoffs

3rd Rochester Nighthawks:

Assuming the Rochester Knighthawks do in fact qualify for the 2018 playoffs, they are definitely a team to look out for.  Boasting an impressive goal differential, this teams solid play has left them with 2 victories against the Rush, more than any other team combined.  In addition, they’re on a hot streak, winning 6 of their last 7 games, against notable teams as well; 2 vs the Rush, 2 vs the Swarm, 1 vs the Bandits, 1 vs the Rock, and dropping only a close game to the Roughnecks.  The Nighthawks are a threat, but their season may be decided by their game against division rival Blackwolves on the 21st of April.  

4th Georgia Swarm:

The Georgia Swarm are another playoff hopeful from the East looking strong.  With 4 wins in a row vs 3 division rivals and the Rush, this team is looking for its fast break to #1 seed in the East.  Their last games are against the Stealth and the Blackwolves, teams they should theoretically beat if the current standings are an indication, and if they do earn those victories, they will be looking to carry that 6 win momentum into the post-season.

Other hopefuls include the Buffalo Bandits, New England Blackwolves, Toronto Rock, and Calgary Roughnecks.  Don’t be surprised if the power rankings prove wrong. The East is extremely tight and the Knighthawks and Swarm still may not even make an appearance let alone rise to the top.  The Bandit’s, Blackwolves, and Rock, are all undoubtedly going to make their last stands, and anything can happen as we head into these closing weeks of the regular season. You can’t, count out Calgary either.  With final games against the Stealth, who can’t seem to catch a break, and the Rush, who have already clinched top spot and may be more focused on their playoff run then closing game, the Roughnecks may just end up boasting an even record as they head into the post season.  We’ll see who ends up snagging those last spots, and who rises to the occasion when that first round of the playoffs comes around. If the exciting regular season is any indication, this is going to be yet another amazing playoffs.

 

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