Flash Players of Week 15
What a weekend of lacrosse. The NLL treated fans to some incredible games, with a pair of West Division showdowns highlighting all the action.
Last week, there were a few standout performers. This week, is a completely different story - in a good way. There were so many big games that it made choosing the players of the week more difficult than usual.
Nevertheless, the top performers have been chosen and their medals are in the mail. Here are Lacrosse Flash’s Players of the Week.
1) Eli McLaughlin, Forward, Colorado Mammoth
Liger had quite the weekend. It started with a four-point night at Rogers Arena. In the second half of the home-and-home series with Vancouver, he put up four goals and eight assists to help the Mammoth sweep the pair of games.
The lefty was in on all but three of the Mammoth’s goals and had 20 shots - 14 that hit the net - and five loose balls on Saturday.
With Ryan Benesch now playing in Rochester, it’s McLaughlin’s show. He did his part to help Colorado create separation between them and the Warriors for the final playoff spot in the West.
2) Garrett Billings, Forward, San Diego Seals
If there was a comeback player of the year award in the NLL, Billings would at least be one of the nominees, if not the winner.
The veteran was in a giving mood on Friday night against Saskatchewan, nabbing nine assists on the night. He also scored a goal to give him a ten-point outing.
For the Seals, it was a massive night for the franchise. They got the biggest win in franchise history, beating the Rush on home floor. They also managed to take a two game lead atop the West Division standings.
Billings is on pace to finish with 89 points on the year. That’s a tremendous season for a player who, before this season, hadn’t suited up since 2017. If he reaches his projections, it would be the fifth time in Billings’ career that he’s eclipsed 80 points.
3) Randy Staats, Forward, Georgia Swarm
It was difficult to choose between Lyle Thompson and Staats for the third star of the week. While the former put in an incredible effort, the latter’s five-goal, 10-point performance against Toronto on Friday night was a massive reason why the Swarm won by as many as they did.
Staats had 95 points in his rookie campaign, but currently, he’s on pace to finish with a new career high of 101.
He, along with Thompson, could form the first pair of players in Swarm franchise history to finish with 100-plus point campaigns.
Lyle Thompson, Forward, Georgia Swarm
The league leader in goals surprisingly only found the back of the net once in a runaway win over the Rock. However, Thompson does everything, and his seven assists and pair of loose balls helped seal the dub for the Swarm. Lyle also doesn’t get enough credit for his ability to halt transition opportunities with his speed. He managed to stop the Rock’s fastbreak on multiple occasions.
Ryan Lee, Colorado Mammoth
While Kyle Killen was grabbing most of the headlines with incredible behind-the-back goals, Lee was having a solid weekend. He had seven points, with four goals, in Friday’s game against Vancouver, and followed that up with a four-assist performance the following night. Lee now sits second in scoring for Colorado with 46 points in 14 games.
Kyle Buchanan, San Diego Seals
Buchanan’s eight-point outing was overshadowed slightly by the performance of Billings. The Seals’ assistant captain managed to score four times and was a vacuum, scooping up NINE loosies.
Steve Fryer, Colorado Mammoth
The Colorado backup put on a show in the loud house on Saturday, making 49 saves and holding the Warriors to just four goals. With two expansion teams on the way for the 2019-20 season, Fryer definitely got people's attention with his strong showing.
Mike Poulin, Georgia Swarm
The Toronto Rock ran into some white hot goaltending this weekend. Poulin allowed just one goal in the second half and shutout the Rock in the fourth quarter. He made 47 saves and also had an assist in the Swarm’s victory.
Matt Vinc, Buffalo Bandits
Vinc proved why he’s a six-time winner of the Goaltender of the Year award on Saturday against the Rock. After giving up four goals in the first quarter, he’d allow just two the rest of the way. He made 36 saves, with each one being crucial in the low-scoring contest.
Curtis Dickson, Calgary Roughnecks
Another day, another standout performance for Superman. With nine points against Rochester, Dickson has jumped to third in scoring for the Riggers. He sits just three points behind Rhys Duch, who’s played four more games than him, for the second spot.
Kevin Crowley, Philadelphia Wings
The Big Cat led the Wings offensively with a hat trick and eight points against the New England Black Wolves. His effort helped Philly keep its slim playoff hopes alive.