National Lacrosse League: Ten Things to Know for Week 6

Four Games Including 2023 NLL Finals Rematch to Open the New Year

PHILADELPHIA, January 4, 2024 – The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, features four games, including the NLL Saturday Showcase, a 2023 NLL Finals rematch between the Colorado Mammoth and Buffalo Bandits at KeyBank Center (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+, TSN+, Altitude Sports, CW23), this weekend.

Here are 10 things to know about the NLL entering Week 6:

  • Dobbie vs. Benesch Watch: The NLL’s All-Time Scoring list will have two new occupants among the top five soon, but in which order is anyone’s guess. Colin Doyle currently stands at No. 5 with 527, but Halifax forward Ryan Benesch (Elmira, Ont.) (521) and San Diego forward Dane Dobbie (Elora, Ont.) (519) are on his heels, and flipping the sixth and seventh spots weekly. Benesch gets the next crack at the spot when his Thunderbirds visit Albany on Friday. Dobbie and the Seals take on Las Vegas on Jan. 12 in their next contest.
  • Flipping the Turnstiles: Big crowds were the norm this past weekend in NLL arenas across North America, with Buffalo’s near-17,000 attendance in its showdown with Georgia at KeyBank Center leading the way. WestJet Field at Scotiabank Saddledome was rocking with 13,405 in its win over the Las Vegas Desert Dogs. The Toronto Rock and New York Riptide played in front of 9,566 in Hamilton, Ontario, Ball Arena in Denver was as loud as ever with 9,743 fans, Scotiabank Centre in Halifax hit hard with 9,857 on hand, and the SaskTel Centre was on par with 9,377 rushing through the gates for their annual New Year’s Eve game.
  • Breakthrough in Stripes: Calgary’s Carmen Massel worked the shot clock during Saturday’s Rochester vs. San Diego game at Pechanga Arena. Notable because she became the first woman to officiate an NLL game. Massel also works in the Rocky Mountain League and is a member of the Alberta Lacrosse Referee’s Association.
  • ESPN Top 10, Make it a Double: ESPN SportsCenter found two Top 10 plays to its liking last weekend: on Saturday, Buffalo’s Kyle Buchanan’s (Nepean, Ont.) nifty behind-the-back tally was No. 7; and on Sunday, this incredible save by Toronto’s Nick Rose (Orangeville, Ont.) earned No. 5.
  • Metric Tons: The popular “LaxMetrics Powered by the NLL” feature on NLL.com this week has Cooper Perkins’s look at Georgia Swarm netminder Brett Dobson’s (Oshawa, Ont.) early-season case for Goaltender of the Year.
  • Three for Free: The New York Riptide may be looking for their first win, but there is past history that says teams who start 0-3 can still make the playoffs. Of current NLL franchises, 11 teams have started off dropping their first three and qualifying, as recently as 2019, when Colorado turned the trick. On the flip side, the Albany FireWolves (4-0) and Toronto Rock (3-0) are the remaining unbeatens… in league history, only two teams among current franchises have started a season 3-0 and not made the playoffs, the last occurring in 2001, when the Buffalo Bandits ended at 8-4 and in 1990, when the Baltimore Thunder (now Colorado Mammoth) finished 4-4. As for the FireWolves, no NLL team has played a full season after starting 4-0 and failed to make the postseason.
  • Locally Shown: Six local outlets will have live coverage of the four NLL games this weekend, in addition to ESPN+ and TSN+ for every contest: Halifax Thunderbirds at Albany FireWolves (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, CTV2, My4); Colorado Mammoth at Buffalo Bandits (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, Altitude Sports, CW23); Panther City Lacrosse Club at Georgia Swarm (Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, Peachtree Sports); New York Riptide at Philadelphia Wings (Sunday, 3 p.m. ET, NBC Sports Philadelphia).
  • Power Up: NLL.com posted its latest Power Rankings, and the Toronto Rock vault into first after a resounding win over New York, supplanting Buffalo, which slides all the way to sixth after a 1-2 start and impending Finals rematch with Colorado. The Albany bandwagon is gaining occupants, with a move from fourth to second after a thrilling OT win at Saskatchewan keeping the FireWolves unbeaten. Also making significant jumps are San Diego, off a win over previously unbeaten Rochester to bounce into third and Georgia, whose 3-1 start and win over Buffalo justifies elevation to No. 4.
  • NLL Players reaching milestones last week included:
    • Philadelphia forward Joe Resetarits (Hamburg, N.Y.) is now the career points leader among American-born players with 675, passing Casey Powell, after a goal and six assists vs. Halifax. Powell will be in the booth Saturday serving as the broadcast analyst for the undefeated FireWolves contest against the Thunderbirds.
    • Buffalo forward Dhane Smith (Kitchener, Ont.) now has 623 assists, passing Gavin Prout for 10th on the all-time list after distributing seven helpers vs. Georgia
    • Las Vegas forward Casey Jackson (Victoria, B.C.) now has 102 goals after netting three vs. Calgary
    • San Diego forward Wesley Berg (Coquitlam, B.C.) now has 302 assists and 500 points after a three-goal, six-assist effort vs. Rochester
    • Toronto forward Dan Lintner (Courtice, Ont.) has now played in 100 games, and the century marker was a good one, with two goals and two assists vs. New York
  • Player achievements within reach this week are:
    • Buffalo forward Chris Cloutier (Kitchener, Ont.) needs nine points to reach 200
    • Buffalo forward Chase Fraser (Vancouver, B.C.) needs two goals to reach 100
    • Buffalo forward Tehoka Nanticoke (Six Nations, Ont.) needs three points to reach 100
    • Buffalo defenseman Steve Priolo (St. Catharines, Ont.) needs one point to reach 200
    • Colorado goaltender Dillon Ward (Orangeville, Ont.) needs one win to pass Dallas Eliuk for eighth on the all-time list with 70
    • Georgia forward Brendan Bomberry (Six Nations, Ont.) needs three assists to reach 100
    • Georgia forward Andrew Kew (Oakville, Ont.) needs four goals to reach 100
    • Georgia forward Lyle Thompson (Onandaga Nation, N.Y.) needs eight goals to reach 300
    • Halifax forward Ryan Benesch (Elmira, Ont.) needs seven goals to pass Colin Doyle (depending on Dane Dobbie, see above note) for fifth on the all-time goals list with 528
    • Halifax defenseman Graeme Hossack (Port Perry, Ont.) needs four points to reach 100
    • Halifax forward Randy Staats (Six Nations, Ont.) needs five goals to reach 200
    • New York forward Connor Kearnan (Courtice, Ont.) needs one assist to reach 100
    • New York forward Jeff Teat (Brampton, Ont.) needs two goals to reach 100
    • Philadelphia forward Joe Resetarits (Hamburg, N.Y.) needs four assists to reach 400 (in addition to the American-born scoring record, noted above)

Schedule – Week 6 (All Times Eastern)

Saturday

  • Halifax Thunderbirds (2-1) at Albany FireWolves (4-0), 7 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, CTV2, My4 (Glasheen, Powell, Miller)
  • Colorado Mammoth (1-2) at Buffalo Bandits (1-2), (NLL Saturday Showcase) 7:30 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, Altitude Sports, CW23 (Gurtler, Bermel, Buchanan)
  • Panther City Lacrosse Club (1-2) at Georgia Swarm (3-1), 7:30 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, Peachtree Sports Network (Mooneyham, Hanover, Hoffman)

Sunday

  • New York Riptide (0-3) at Philadelphia Wings (2-2), 3 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, NBC Sports Philadelphia (Smith, Gabrielsen, McGuinness)


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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