National Lacrosse League: Ten Things to Know for Week 3

Bandits to Raise Championship Banner in NLL Saturday Showcase; Vancouver Hosts Georgia in NLL Game of the Week on TSN

PHILADELPHIA, December 14, 2023 – The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, with a thrilling second week in the books, returns for Week 3 with one game on Friday and four on Saturday, including the home opener for the defending NLL champion Buffalo Bandits, who will hoist the 2023 title banner before their game vs. San Diego on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+, TSN+) in the NLL Saturday Showcase. The ceremony will be carried on ESPN+, TSN+ and CW23 Buffalo as part of a special half-hour pregame show.

Here are 10 things to know about the NLL entering Week 3:

  • Groove Tube: This week’s five contests will be seen on six local broadcasts, with every game seen in at least one of the team markets, in addition to the ESPN+ and TSN+ broadcasts and NLL Game of the Week on TSN (Georgia at Vancouver, 10 p.m ET/7 p.m. PT). NBC Sports + (Philadelphia), CW23 (Buffalo), My4 (Albany), Peachtree Sports (Georgia), SSSEN (Las Vegas) and MSG Network (New York) will have live in-market airings of their respective contests.
  • Seals the Deal: On Saturday night, global music and TV Bret Michaels traveled to San Diego to support his oldest daughter and Seals & ESPN+ sideline reporter, Raine Michaels, for the team’s season opening win over Calgary. Super Bowl winning NFL quarterback Drew Brees also attended.
  • Community Champs in Fort Worth: The Panther City Lacrosse Club Community Champion Program, a huge success last year, is back, with presenting sponsor Frank Kent Cadillac once again on board in support. The Fort Worth Independent School District became the first honoree of the season on Sunday in the program which highlights one local Fort Worth non-profit at each of the team’s nine regular season home games.
  • Power On: NLL.com correspondent Adam Levi posted his NLL Power Rankings after Sunday’s action, tabbing Toronto (1-0) at No. 1, followed by San Diego (1-0) and Buffalo (0-1). See the top eight here.
  • Stick on 17: The San Diego seals raised Brodie Merrill’s number 17 to the rafters during halftime of the Seals home opener against the Calgary Roughnecks Saturday. Merrill, the overall No. 1 Draft Pick in 2005 by the Portland LumberJax, is the League’s all-time leader in loose balls (2,778).
  • Kid Captains: The Las Vegas Desert Dogs launched their “Power of the Pack” Campaign, supporting their community in a big way by giving several Cure 4 The Kids Foundation patients the opportunity of a lifetime — to join the team! Nine patients of Cure 4 The Kids Foundation (C4K), Southern Nevada’s only pediatric cancer and rare disease treatment center, are being offered two-day “contracts” with the Desert Dogs. As honorary captains, each child will be featured in a video vignette during the official pre-show and then will be the first player to emerge from the tunnel during team introductions. Every team captain will participate in a news conference the night before each game, receive a team jersey, meet with players in the locker room and offer additional support to players. Danny Bueno Peralta was the first, before the team’s opener vs. Albany.
  • Finn With Wings: Newly minted NLL Hall of Famer Kevin “Coach Finn” Finneran will conduct the 28th Annual Coach Finn Lacrosse Holiday/Christmas Camp on Dec. 23 at the Philadelphia Wings Training facility in Voorhees, N.J. Finneran was a 10-year star for the Wings, who retired his No. 11 last year, and a four-time league champion. The camp is open to boys ages 8-15.
  • Tall and the Short of It: The tallest players on active rosters at the start of the 2023-24 season are Saskatchewan’s Mike Triolo (Toronto) at 6’8”, followed by four players at 6’6: Calgary’s Seth Van Schepen (Brampton, Ont.) and Reece Callies (Langley, B.C.), New York’s Matt Marinier (Burlington, Ont.) and Panther City’s Ty Thompson (Nepean, Ont.). Five players are listed, on the other side of the ledger, at 5’8: Calgary’s Adam Bland (Victoria, B.C.), Halifax’s Ryan Benesch (Elmira, Ont.), Buffalo’s Kyle Buchanan (Nepean, Ont.), Las Vegas’s Rob Hellyer (Lion’s Head, Ont.) and New York’s Connor Kearnan (Courtice, Ont).
  • NLL Players reaching milestones last week included:
    • Colorado F Chris Wardle (Victoria, B.C.) now has 101 goals after scoring two vs. Georgia
    • Philadelphia F Holden Cattoni (Calgary, Alb.) has now played in 100 games
    • Rochester D Dan Coates (St. Catharines, Ont.) now has 100 points after notching two assists vs. Saskatchewan
    • San Diego D Kyle Rubisch (Brampton, Ont.) has now played in 200 games
    • Saskatchewan F Ryan Keenan (Oshawa, Ont.) has now played in 100 games
    • Toronto D Mitch de Snoo (Oshawa, Ont.) now has 100 points after dishing out three assists vs. Philadelphia
  • Player achievements within reach this week are:
    • Albany F Ethan Walker (Peterborough, Ont.) needs two points to reach 100
    • Buffalo coach John Taveras needs one victory for 50
    • Buffalo D Steve Priolo (St. Catharines, Ont.) needs one point for 200
    • Buffalo forward Chase Fraser (Vancouver, B.C.) needs five goals to reach 100
    • Buffalo forward Tehoka Nanticoke (OLA Six Nations) needs six points to reach 100
    • Buffalo goaltender Matt Vinc (St. Catharines, Ont.) needs one game dressed to pass Shawn Evans for fifth on the all-time list with 271
    • Georgia forward Andrew Kew (Oakville, Ont.) needs eight goals to reach 100
    • Halifax F Ryan Benesch (Elmira, Ont.) needs one assist to pass Shawn Williams for eighth on the all-time list with 709
    • Halifax D Graeme Hossack (Port Perry, Ont) needs five points to reach 100
    • Halifax forward Randy Staats (OLA Six Nations)needs one point to reach 500
    • Las Vegas forward Casey Jackson (Victoria, B.C.) needs three goals to reach 100
    • Las Vegas forward Zack Greer (Whitby, Ont.) needs 10 points to reach 600
    • New York forward Connor Kearnan (Courtice, Ont.) needs seven assists to reach 100
    • New York defenseman John LaFontaine (Whitby, Ont.) needs one point to reach 100
    • New York forward Jeff Teat (Brampton, Ont.) needs six goals to reach 100
    • Philadelphia F Holden Cattoni (Calgary, Alb.) needs six points for 400
    • San Diego forward Wesley Berg (Coquitlam, B.C.) needs eight goals to reach 200; and five assists to reach 300
    • Vancouver defenseman Brett Mydske (New Westminster, B.C.)needs one point to reach 100

Schedule – Week 3 (All Times Eastern)

Friday

  • Saskatchewan Rush (0-2) at Las Vegas Desert Dogs (1-1), 10 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, SSSEN

Saturday

Albany FireWolves (2-0) at Philadelphia Wings (1-1), 1 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, My4, NBCSP+

Halifax Thunderbirds (1-0) at New York Riptide (0-1), 7:30 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, MSG Network

San Diego Seals (1-0) at Buffalo Bandits (0-1), 7:30 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, CW23 (NLL Saturday Showcase)

Georgia Swarm (1-0) at Vancouver Warriors (0-1), 10 p.m., TSN5, TSN+, ESPN+, Peachtree Sports Network


About the National Lacrosse League

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America’s premier 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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