By Nick Powers | 2/26/13 11:50 AM
Halfway through the season, competition within the National Lacrosse League is beginning to heat up as certain rivalries have been given new life, with no change in regards to which team still reigns in their division. With that in mind, we take a look at how Major League Lacrosse players fared in the NLL this week
Week eight kicked off on Friday, February 22nd with a match-up between the Minnesota Swarm and the Edmonton Rush. The Swarm came out on top 13-8, notching their first road victory of the season against the Rush, who bested them last year in the West Division final. Swarm rookie Kiel Matisz, who began his Major League Lacrosse career last season with the Ohio Machine, picked up a hat trick in a winning effort for Minnesota, while Jordan Macintosh of the MLL’s Rochester Rattlers scored six points, splitting goals and assists.
Two days later the Swarm and the Rush met again, but this time the outcome was decidedly different as Edmonton was victorious 14-9. Zack Greer (of the MLL’s New York Lizards) had three goals and two assists on the day, while the NLL’s leading scorer (and member of the Denver Outlaws) Mark Matthews picked up a goal and two assists, bringing his point total to four across both games. In a losing effort, Matisz netted five points (one goal, four assists) for Minnesota.
The Philadelphia Wings had a big weekend picking up two wins, the first coming against the Rochester Knighthawks on the road Saturday night. Wings captain and member of the MLL’s Hamilton Nationals Brodie Merrill, scored two goals and an assist against Rochester, earning his 300th career NLL point. Fellow National Kevin Crowley helped Merrill lead the Wings to victory with a team-leading five points on two goals and three assists, while the Boston Cannons’ Kevin Buchanan and Chesapeake Bayhawks’ Drew Westervelt both picked up two goals a piece.
On Sunday afternoon, the Wings again overcame a slow start to topple the Colorado Mammoth 14-12 at home in the Wells Fargo Center. Westervelt and Buchanan were again in fine form, with Westervelt netting four goals and Buchanan picking up five assists. Last year’s NLL Rookie of the Year Adam Jones, who also plays for the Hamilton Nationals in MLL, grabbed seven points on four goals and three assists in a losing effort for the Mammoth while reigning league MVP John Grant, Jr. (of the Chesapeake Bayhawks) picked up a hat trick.
The Washington Stealth picked up a 16-14 victory over the Calgary Roughnecks late Saturday night at home in the Comcast Arena. Athan Iannucci (of the Hamilton Nationals) scored four goals coupled with three assists to help lift the Stealth to victory. Meanwhile, Calgary’s Geoff Snider, also of the Nationals and one of the NLL’s top faceoff specialists, was matched up against his brother Bob and came out on top, going 25-for-33 (76%) in faceoffs.