Games of the Week - Week 17
What a week of lacrosse we have in store.
Six of the eight playoff positions have been sealed over the past month. There are some serious ramifications this week, as at least one team can clinch their spot with a victory.
We’ll also get a pair of games involving brothers going head to head.
Get ready to strap in for an exciting weekend of action that promises to provide hard hits, lots of goals, and a fair share of drama.
Here are the games to watch in Week 17.
Georgia vs. San Diego
Both teams come into action on Friday with prominent streaks. The Seals have won five straight games while the Swarm are winners of their last four.
This will also serve as the first instalment of the Staats Bowl - it’s a working title, and name suggestions are welcomed.
Likely Rookie of the Year winner Austin Staats will travel with his team to Infinite Energy Arena to face his older brother, Randy, for the first time in the NLL.
The Swarm’s star righty currently sits third in league scoring with 85 points in 15 games. He’s on pace for his first 100-point campaign as a professional.
Austin has 31 goals and 59 points in 13 games, and while the attention has shifted slightly to the righties on San Diego, the prolific rookie is still deadly anytime he has the ball in his stick.
A matchup between two of the top teams in the league should provide a great start to the weekend.
Toronto vs. Buffalo
The Bandits and Rock have both locked up playoff spots over the last few weeks. But there’s still playoff seeding to figure out and bragging rights on the line for the pair of rivals.
Toronto travelled to KeyBank Center a few weeks ago and came out on the losing end of an 8-6 score. They ran into Matt Vinc, who was in top form, stopping 36 shots.
This will be the first and only time the Bandits visit Scotiabank Arena this year. They will come in with a healthy roster. Toronto will finally have a healthy Adam Jones back in the fold. The team won just two of their five games while he was on the injured reserve.
This game will serve as the rubber match for the season series. There’s always a possibility that the Bandits and Rock play one another in the postseason, and that would be an amazing matchup, as every game between the two is spirited and physical.
Saskatchewan vs. Colorado
This could be a possible preview for a West Division Semifinal matchup once the playoffs roll around.
Colorado comes into action after a bye. They got two big victories in a home-and-home weekend against the Vancouver Warriors in Week 15.
The Rush also managed to beat the Warriors last weekend. They jumped out to a 10-2 lead at halftime but only managed two goals the rest of the way. Saskatchewan managed to eke out a 12-9 victory.
Every win is crucial down the stretch, and with the Mammoth just 1 1/2 games back of the Rush for second in the West, a win could go a long way.
Beating the Rush is never an easy task, but it’ll be a little easier for the Mammoth in the friendly confines of the Pepsi Center.
New England vs. San Diego
The New England Black Wolves are sputtering at the worst time.
They had a comfortable grip on the fourth and final playoff spot in the East Division. Then the Callum Crawford situation happened, forcing the team to be without its best scorer for two games. When he returned, the Black Wolves could only muster eight goals against Warren Hill last weekend.
There’s some added pressure on them to win and finally clinch their spot in the playoffs. It won’t be easy this week, however, as they’ll welcome the best team in the West to The Den on Saturday.
With both Rochester and Philadelphia looking to stay alive this week. The pressure is on.
The Seals, on the other hand, have their place in the playoffs locked up. They’ll be coming into Mohegan Sun Arena on the heels of what should be a hard-fought game against Georgia. If there’s any time for the Wolves to clinch, this would be a good opportunity.
Rochester vs. Toronto
Rochester has their season on the line coming into Saturday’s game against the Rock.
They dropped the last game against Toronto 15-13. The team was able to come together last weekend for a season-saving victory over New England on the road.
They’ll be looking to carry that success to this game. Expect Rochester to try and push the pace early on a Rock team that’ll be on the second half of a back-to-back weekend.
Philadelphia vs. Calgary
Philadelphia’s slim playoff hopes were kept alive with the Black Wolves’ loss to the Knighthawks last week. They sit in fifth place in the East and sit four games back of New England for the final postseason spot.
Needless to say, a lot has to go right for the expansion team to find its way in.
This game will offer us another sibling matchup, as Josh and Zach Currier will go head to head on Saturday.
The Roughnecks already have their spot locked up. Philly will undoubtedly be the more desperate team and their home fans at Wells Fargo Center should help them try to stay alive.