National Lacrosse League: Ten Things to Know for Week 16

‘The March to May’ Continues with Seven Games as NLL Season Hits Final Six-Week Stretch; NLL Game of the Week on TSN Doubleheader Saturday Highlights Action

PHILADELPHIA, March 14, 2024 – The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, pushes further into the “March to May” with six weeks to go in the regular season. This Friday and Saturday, it’s a full schedule of seven contests, including an NLL Game of the Week on TSN doubleheader on Saturday, the first of which is the marquee matchup of the current league leader Toronto Rock (11-2) visiting the defending champion Buffalo Bandits (6-6) (7 p.m., TSN3, ESPN+).

Here are 10 things to know about the NLL entering Week 16:

  • Standing Zone: Last week’s game’s may have tightened the single-table standings even more, making the NLL playoff scenario gurus work a few extra hours in figuring out playoff clinches and scenarios: 10 teams are within two games between third and 12th place, and the battle for the eighth and final playoff spot sees five teams within 1 ½ games of the slot, currently tenuously held by New York at 6-7.
  • Deadline Doings: Have a hard time keeping up with all the player movement though Tuesday’s NLL trade deadline? So did we, so we let NLL.com’s Adam Levi sort it all out in this feature.
  • We’re No. 1… and No. 4… and No. 4: ESPN SportsCenter loved three NLL plays most of all, with Chris Cloutier (Kitchener, Ont.) going behind the back getting the No. 1 nod on Saturday night, this insane interception, deke and goal by Jesse King(Victoria, B.C.) ruling at No. 4 on Friday andPanther City’s Ryan Sheridan (Victoria, B.C.) checking in at No. 4 on Sundayin its Plays of the Day segments.
  • Metric Fields: In his relentless pursuit of the stories behind the numbers, NLL.com’s Cooper Perkins wondered how Rochester’s Connor Fields (East Amherst, N.Y.) could be leading the league in points per game and be on pace to break the NLL single-season points record of 137 set by Buffalo’s Dhane Smith (Kitchener, Ont.) in 2016. In this week’s LAXMetrics powered by NLL, Perkins explores whether Fields can keep up the pace.
  • Withers Lets Loose: Goals, assists, and goals against average get a lot of the statistical attention around here, but often it’s the plays before those flashier numbers that win games. Enter Halifax defender Jake Withers (Peterborough, Ont.), whose 214 loose ball recoveries are a full 82 more than his nearest competitor in the category, San Diego’s Trevor Baptiste (Denville, N.J.). And causing turnovers? That’s a much tighter race, with Vancouver’s Ryan Dilks (Edmonton, Alb.) with 29 just two better than Toronto’s Mitch de Snoo (Oshawa, Ont.)
  • Zeroing In: The Albany FireWolves and Vancouver Warriors battle of defenses was a historic one: they combined for a scoreless first quarter, the first time neither team failed to dent the net in the first period in nearly a decade; the last time it happened was 3/23/14, when Buffalo and Minnesota were 0-0 after one.
  • Rocky Top: A win over last year’s runner up Colorado Mammoth further solidified the Toronto Rock’s status as the No. 1 team in NLL.com’s Adam Levi’s Power Rankings for the fourth straight week. San Diego hops back over Albany in a switch of the No. 3 and No. 4 positions, with Georgia moving up to No. 4 and Halifax lurking at No. 5.
  • Luck of the Irish: Hurling may be the ball-and-stick game of choice in Ireland, but in North America this weekend, St. Patrick’s Day themes rule NLL arenas, with six of the seven games hosting nights celebrating the primary patron saint of the Emerald isle:
    • Halifax Thunderbirds hosting Panther City (Friday, 7:30 p.m. AT); Calgary entertaining San Diego (Friday, 7 p.m. MT), Vancouver taking on Las Vegas (Friday, 7 p.m. PT); Albany vs. Rochester (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET); Buffalo vs. Toronto (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET); and Saskatchewan vs. New York (Saturday, 8:30 p.m. CT). Erin go Bragh!
    • Though we’re sure that Georgia fans love St. Patrick’s Day as well, the Swarm look to expand lacrosse’s reach on “Grow the Game Night” vs. Philadelphia (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET)
  • NLL Players reaching milestones last week included:
    • Panther City forward Phil Caputo (Brampton, Ont.) now has 101 goals after scoring two vs. Philadelphia
    • Philadelphia forward Ben McIntosh (Port Coquilam, B.C.) now has 300 goals after netting three vs. Panther City
    • Rochester forward Ryan Smith (Burlington, Ont.) now has 104 goals and 104 assists for 208 points after a five-goal, five-assist performance vs. Albany
    • Toronto forward Dan Craig (Shelburne, Ont) now has 301 points after collecting a goal and two assists vs. Colorado
    • Toronto goaltender Nick Rose (Orangeville, Ont.) now has 6360 saves, passing Dallas Eliuk for fifth all-time with 6360
  • Player achievements within reach this week are:
    • Albany forward Marshall Powless (Six Nations, Ont.) needs three points to reach 100
    • Buffalo defenseman Paul Dawson (Oakville, Ont.) needs four points to reach 100
    • Buffalo forward Chase Fraser (Vancouver) needs nine points to reach 200
    • Colorado defenseman Paul Dawson (Oakville, Ont.) needs four points to reach 100
    • Colorado forward Tyson Gibson (Maple, Ont.) needs four assists to reach 100
    • Colorado forward Connor Robinson (New Westminster, B.C.) needs three goals to reach 100; and one point to reach 200
    • Georgia forward Shayne Jackson (Bowmanville, Ont.) needs one assist to reach 500
    • Georgia defenseman/transition player Jeremy Thompson (Akwesasne, Ont.) needs two assists to reach 100
    • Halifax forward Ryan Benesch (Elmira, Ont.) needs one game played to pass Josh Sanderson for seventh on the all-time list with 269; and six goals to pass Dan Dawson for fourth on the all-time list with 552
    • Las Vegas forward Zack Greer (Whitby, Ont.) needs one assist to reach 300
    • Las Vegas forward Casey Jackson (Victoria, B.C.) needs five points to reach 200
    • Las Vegas goaltender Landon Kells (Fergus, Ont.) needs 22 saves to reach 1000
    • New York forward Connor Kearnan (Courtice, Ont.) needs two goals to reach 100
    • New York forward Kiel Matisz (Stony Creek, Ont.) needs seven goals to reach 200
    • New York forward Jeff Teat (Brampton, Ont.) needs one assist to reach 200
    • Panther City forward Callum Crawford (Ottawa, Ont.) needs four assists to pass John Grant Jr. for sixth on the all-time list with 779
    • Philadelphia forward Joe Resetarits (Hamburg, N.Y.) needs three goals to reach 300
    • San Diego forward Curtis Dickson (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) needs two goals to pass Colin Doyle for seventh all-time with 528; and one point to become the 16th player to reach 1000
    • San Diego defenseman/transition player Jesse Gamble (Rockwood, Ont.) needs five points to reach 100
    • San Diego forward Kyle Jackson (Sarnia, Ont.) needs four points to reach 300
    • Saskatchewan forward Ryan Keenan (Oshawa, Ont.) needs three points to reach 400
    • Toronto forward Chris Boushy (Oakville, Ont.) needs three points to reach 200
    • Toronto goaltender Nick Rose (Orangeville, Ont.) needs one win to pass Bob Watson for third all-time with 106
    • Vancouver forward Keegan Bal (Coquitlam, B.C.) needs seven points to reach 400
    • Vancouver forward Kevin Crowley (New Westminster, B.C.) needs nine assists to reach 500
    • Vancouver forward Kyle Killen (Caven, Ont.) needs three points to reach 200
    • Vancouver coach Curt Malawsky needs one win to pass Les Bartley for seventh all-time with 94 coaching wins

Schedule – Week 16 (All Times Eastern)

Friday

  • Panther City Lacrosse Club (6-6) at Halifax Thunderbirds (7-6), 6:30 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+ (Dalladay, Gregoire, M. Jenner)
  • San Diego Seals (9-4) at Calgary Roughnecks (5-7), 9 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+ (Farhall, Ballantine, McDonald)
  • Las Vegas Desert Dogs (4-8) at Vancouver Warriors (3-9), 10 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, Silver Sports SEN (Elliott, Challoner, Chand)

Saturday

  • Rochester Knighthawks (5-6) at Albany FireWolves (10-3), 7 p.m., NLL Saturday Showcase, ESPN+, TSN+, My4 (Glasheen, Bahl, Onorato)
  • Toronto Rock (11-2) at Buffalo Bandits (6-6), 7 p.m., NLL Game of the Week on TSN, TSN3, ESPN+ (Abbott, Gregoire, Docking)
  • Philadelphia Wings (4-7) at Georgia Swarm (8-6), 7:30 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, Peachtree Sports (Mooneyham, Hanover, Hoffman)
  • New York Riptide (6-7) at Saskatchewan Rush (4-6), 9:30 p.m., NLL Game of the Week on TSN, TSN3,ESPN+ (T. Jenner, Challoner, Chand)

About the National Lacrosse League

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America’s largest professional lacrosse league, welcoming a record 1,165,528 fans attending games in 2022-23. Founded in 1986, the NLL is comprised of 15 franchises across the United States and Canada, and recently unveiled its largest brand campaign ever, “Welcome to The Next Major League™” and introduced its comprehensive grassroots initiative, NLL UnBOXed™, that will expand the League’s footprint to more than 60 communities across North America by 2027.

For the latest scores and developments in the National Lacrosse League, please visit: NLL.com and find the NLL on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and TikTok.

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Media inquiries contact:

Joe Favorito, jfavorito2@gmail.com, 917-566-8345

Jerry Milani, media@nll.com, 917-797-5663

Gary Groob
Gary Groob

Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.

An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.

Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.

In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.

Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).

Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.

Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.

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