National Lacrosse League: Ten Things to Know for Week Eight

Albany Puts 6-0 Mark on the Line vs. San Diego in NLL Saturday Showcase, Toronto Also Tries to Remain Unbeaten, Among Five Contests

PHILADELPHIA, January 18, 2024 – The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, features five games in Week Eight, highlighted by the NLL Saturday Showcase in which the 6-0 Albany FireWolves will host the San Diego Seals (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+, TSN+, My4 Albany). The FireWolves are looking to be the first team to open the season 7-0 since the Edmonton Rush opened the 2014 season 14-0. NLL fans will multiple screens going, because the League’s other remaining unbeaten team, the 4-0 Toronto Rock, are also at home, taking on Lyle Thompson and the Georgia Swarm (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+, TSN+, Peachtree Sports).

Here are 10 things to know about the NLL entering Week 8:

Turnstiles Keep Spinning Across NLL: Fans across North America have taken notice of the exciting start to the NLL season. All seven Week 7 games had big attendance numbers, battling through the crazy weather:

  • Colorado, 9652, nearly matching last year’s average (9972)
  • Halifax, 8921, seventh best in team history since moving to Halifax
  • Vancouver, 8363, seventh best in team history, even including the five years as the Stealth
  • Rochester, 8167, highest in team history
  • Georgia, 7154, best so far this season
  • Las Vegas, 6203, fourth best in team history
  • New York, 4928, best so far this season

Mad Fast Hatters: Dating back to 2002, when records such as these are readily available, San Diego’s Austin Staats (Six Nations, Ont.) and Albany FireWolves forward Jonathan Donville (Oakville, Ont.) completed two of the quickest “hat tricks” from the start of the game in NLL history. Staats started Saturday’s game vs. Colorado with a “natural hat trick,” completed 6:25 into the contest, second fastest ever. And Donville was not far behind, registering three goals in the first 9:23, fifth best since 2002.

Tucker Decade: The Buffalo Bandits will host Tucker Out Lymphoma Night for the 10th time on Saturday when they host the New York Riptide at KeyBank Center beginning at 7:30 p.m. The evening will honor the memory of Tucker Williams, the son of former Bandits player Shawn Williams, who lost his battle with Burkitt lymphoma in 2014. Both teams will wear specialty jerseys that will be auctioned off. There will also be mystery autograph balls for sale prior to the game.

Sundown, Taking Care: ESPN SportsCenter tabbed this Landon Sundown (Basom, N.Y.) goal from a nifty Jeff Teat (Brampton, Ont.) behind-the-back feed as its No. 8 play on Saturday’s Top 10

Six, Afraid of Seven?: The Albany FireWolves became the 13th NLL team to start the season 6-0 with their 12-8 win at Georgia on Saturday. Some fun facts about the previous 12 teams to win their first six:

Only three went on to win their next game, with the Edmonton (now Saskatchewan) Rush extending to 14-0 in 2014 but losing in the Semifinals

Four would win the NLL Championship, the last being the 2010 Washington Stealth (now the Vancouver Warriors), who in their inaugural season finished 11-5

Two lost in the NLL Championship: the 2022 Buffalo Bandits and 1993 Philadelphia Wings, one fell in the Semifinals and four were eliminated in the Quarterfinals

This is the fourth straight year that a team has started 6-0, joining the 2020 Halifax Thunderbirds, aforementioned 2022 Bandits, and last year’s Rochester Knighthawks

The only team to “run the table” and finish undefeated was the 1993 Buffalo Bandits, who were 8-0 and won the NLL Championship

Tube Time: Four NLL games this weekend will feature local broadcasts, on five networks, including New York at Buffalo (Friday, 7:30 p.m. ET, MSG2 in New York, CW23 in Buffalo); San Diego at Albany (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, My4 in Albany); Georgia at Toronto (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, Peachtree Sports in Atlanta); and Calgary at Colorado (Saturday, 9 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. MT, Altitude Sports in Denver), in addition to ESPN+ and TSN+ coverage.

Defense Wins LaxMetrics: This week’s “LaxMetrics Powered by the NLL” feature on NLL.com takes a look at the other side of the ball—the defense and how Week 7 showed the power of the big stops in winning NLL games. Cooper Perkins looks at which defenses have shined and which need to step it up.

Power Plays: NLL.com’s Week 8 Power Rankings are live, and the biggest jumpers are the Buffalo Bandits, hoisted to No. 3 from No. 5 after their gritty win at Rochester, and Panther City Lacrosse Club, moving from No. 8 to No. 6 with a win at New York.

NLL Players reaching milestones last week included:

  • Buffalo forward Tehoka Nanticoke (Six Nations, Ont.) now has 101 points after netting two goals vs. Rochester
  • Buffalo goaltender Matt Vinc (St. Catharines, Ont.) became the first goaltender in league history to reach 150 wins when the Bandits defeated Rochester
  • Calgary goaltender Christian Del Bianco (Coquitlam, B.C.) became the 20th goaltender all-time with more than 5000 minutes played (now 5055) when he started and finished the win at Vancouver
  • Colorado forward Zed Williams (Silver Creek, N.Y.) now has 101 assists after posting two vs. San Diego
  • Georgia forward Shayne Jackson (Bowmanville, Ont.) now has 802 points after registering four assists vs. Albany
  • San Diego forward Wesley Berg (Coquitlam, B.C.) now has 203 goals after scoring one against Colorado and four against Las Vegas
  • Toronto forward Challen Rogers (Coquitlam, B.C.) now has 202 points after recording two goals and three assists vs. Halifax
  • Toronto goaltender Nick Rose (Orangeville, Ont.) became the seventh goaltender to reach 6000 saves (now 6023) after blocking 45 against Halifax.

Player achievements within reach this week are:

  • Buffalo forward Chris Cloutier (Kitchener, Ont.) needs – one point to reach 200
  • Buffalo goaltender Matt Vinc (St. Catharines, Ont.) needs eight saves to become the first goaltender in league history to record 10,000 saves
  • Calgary forward Jesse King (Victoria, B.C.) needs six points to reach 400
  • Calgary forward Tyler Pace (Coquitlam, B.C.) needs five goals to reach 100
  • Calgary forward Thomas Hoggarth (Lakefield, Ont.) needs two goals to reach 100
  • Colorado goaltender Dillon Ward (Orangeville, Ont.) needs one win to pass Dallas Eliuk for eighth on the all-time list with 70; and needs 25 saves to pass Steve Dietrich for eighth on the all-time list with 5515 (depending on Aaron Bold, see note below)
  • Georgia forward Brendan Bomberry (Six Nations, Ont.) needs two assists to reach 100
  • Georgia forward Andrew Kew (Oakville, Ont.) needs one goal to reach 100
  • Georgia forward Lyle Thompson (Onandaga Nation, N.Y.) needs two goals to reach 300
  • New York forward Connor Kearnan (Courtice, Ont.) needs six points to reach 200
  • Saskatchewan forward Patrick Dodds (Victoria, B.C.) needs five assists to reach 100
  • Saskatchewan goaltender Frank Scigliano (Coquitlam, B.C.) needs 36 minutes to become the 18th goaltender in league history to reach 6000
  • San Diego forward Dane Dobbie (Elora, Ont.) needs six goals (depending on Ryan Benesch, who is idle this week but has 524 goals) to pass Colin Doyle for fifth place on the all-time goals list with 528
  • Toronto forward Mark Matthews (Oshawa, Ont.) needs three assists to pass Rhys Duch for 12th on the all-time list with 617 and eight assists to pass Gavin Prout for 11th on the all-time list with 622
  • Vancouver goaltender Aaron Bold (Victoria, B.C.) needs 30 saves to pass Steve Dietrich for eighth all-time with 5515; and one win to become the seventh goalie all-time to win 90 games

Schedule – Week 8 (All Times Eastern)

Friday

  • New York Riptide (1-4) at Buffalo Bandits (3-2), 7:30 p.m.ESPN+, TSN+, MSG2, CW23 (Gurtler, Bermel, Buchanan)

Saturday

  • San Diego Seals (3-2) at Albany FireWolves (6-0), NLL Saturday Showcase, 7 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, My4, ESPN+, TSN+, My4 (Glasheen, Bahl)
  • Georgia Swarm (4-1) at Toronto Rock (4-0), 7 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, Peachtree Sports (Cullen, Shanahan, Docking)
  • Vancouver Warriors (1-4) at Saskatchewan Rush (1-3), 8 p.m., ESPN+, TSN (Janzen, Fraser, Ahmad)
  • Calgary Roughnecks (2-2) at Colorado Mammoth (1-4), 9 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, Altitude Sports (Lindahl, Shewchuk, Law)

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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