By Nick Powers | 3/12/13 3:40 PM
It was a Canadian showcase this past weekend, as players from Major League Lacrosse’s Hamilton Nationals, as well as other MLL standouts on indoor Canadian teams, shined bright in the National Lacrosse League.
Week 10 of the National Lacrosse League season kicked off this past Friday, March 8 with the Toronto Rock improving to a league-best 7-3 record in beating the Colorado Mammoth 14-10 at the Air Canada Centre. Garrett Billings of the Nationals, and the NLL Player of the Month in February, helped lead the way for the Rock’s victory scoring seven points on one goal and six assists. Adam Jones, also of the Nationals, and John Grant, Jr. of the defending MLL Champion Chesapeake Bayhawks both performed well for Colorado in tallying two goals with three assists and three goals with two assists, respectively, in the loss.
Not to be denied, however, the Mammoth came back with a vengeance on Saturday, when they beat the Buffalo Bandits 12-6 on their own turn of the First Niagara Center. The Mammoth (3-7) were able to overcome Buffalo (5-5) on the heels of another standout performance by Jones, who scored four points on a pair of goals and assists. With the victory, the Mammoth are now tied with the Minnesota Swarm for the final NLL playoff spot.
The Canadian franchises in NLL continued to perform well heading into the weekend, as the Calgary Roughnecks picked up a victory over the Minnesota Swarm, 19-15. The Roughnecks (6-5) saw outstanding play from the Charlotte Hounds’ Geoff Snider, who had a game-high 18 loose balls. Kiel Matisz of the Ohio Machine looked strong for the Swarm (3-7 in their loss to Calgary, scoring twice and picking up four assists. Following his MLL debut in 2012, Matisz is having another outstanding rookie season indoors, all but assuring his future stardom in professional lacrosse.
To round out the weekend, the Washington Stealth struck down the Philadelphia Wings 16-10 on Saturday night at the Wells Fargo Center. The victory for Washington (7-4) came thanks to strong play from Hamilton Nationals midfielder Rhys Duch, who finished with a game-high eight points on five goals and three assists. Fellow Nationals midfielder Bob Snider backed up the Stealth’s strong offensive play with 19 loose balls and an 86% success rate (25-for-29) on face-offs. Meanwhile, Paul Rabil and Kyle Sweeney of the Boston Cannons were the only players with multiple goals for Philadelphia, while the Nationals’ Kevin Crowley picked up four assists in Philadelphia’s loss to Washington. In addition, member of the defending MLL Champion Chesapeake Bayhawks Drew Westervelt picked up a goal and three assists himself, tying Crowley for the Wings’ team-high.
Such strong showings from league standouts associated (in and out of MLL) with Canadian teams are quite impressive, ay?