By Rachel Villari | 2/3/14 1:00 PM
This weekend, the NLL saw the upside of a home field advantage with all five hosting teams reigning victorious.
The only game Friday evening was the first of two games for both the Vancouver Stealth and the Toronto Rock. The Stealth kicked off their weekend road trip in Toronto, falling to the home team 12-17.
Toronto, once able to defend their home turf, was on the road for their second back-to-back game, defeated by Buffalo 10-12 at the First Niagara Center. Vancouver, still on the road, was met with a similar fate in the city of brotherly love, ultimately trailing the Philadelphia Wings by six goals for a final score of 9-15. Leading scorers on the Wings were Florida Launch teammates Kevin Crowley and Garrett Thul, who had one goal and three assists and two goals respectively. Also chipping in offensively was Ohio Machine’s Chad Wiedmaier, who netted his own goal and assist, while corralling 5 groundballs. Defense was fortified by New York Lizards’ CJ Costabile, who won 11 out of his 26 faceoffs, and Rochester Rattlers’ teammates Mike Manley and Joel White, who combined for a total of 13 scooped groundballs.
The Minnesota Swarm fell to their hosts the Colorado Mammoth in a close game of 10-12. Ohio Machine’s Logan Schuss led the Swarm’s attack with two goals and five assists, tallying from a total of eight shots on goal out of ten shots taken. Defense was thick, with Denver Outlaws’ Cam Flint, Florida Launch’s Jason Noble, and New York Lizards’ David Earl combining for a total of 15 groundballs. Unfortunately though, the Swarm’s defense could not quell the Mammoth’s attack, led by Major League’s John Grant, Jr. of the Denver Outlaws and Drew Westervelt of the Chesapeake Bayhawks. Out of the 14 shots Grant, Jr. took, ten were shots on goal and three found the back of the net. Out of the 14 shots Westervelt fired, 12 were on target and two were netted. Together, the Major Leaguers combined for eight assists, as well.
In the final matchup of the weekend, the visiting Rochester Knighthawks fell to the Edmonton Rush 7-8 in overtime. In a low scoring game, Florida Launch teammates Stephen Keogh and Cody Jamieson found a way to offensively produce for the ‘Hawks, combining for a total of two goals and three assists. The victorious Rush were headed by their Launch middie Jeremy Thompson, who netted his own goal in the second and won 66.7% of his faceoffs (12 out of 18 draws). Rochester Rattlers’ Mark Matthews also threw in a point becoming the hero of the game by scoring the game winning goal in overtime and keeping the weekend trend of winning at home alive.