By Rachel Villari | 4/21/14 9:40 AM
This week in the National Lacrosse League playoff spots were secure and a few post-season matchups were previewed.
The Buffalo Bandits, ranked second in the Eastern Conference, started the weekend by playing back-to-back games against the Toronto Rock, ranked third in the conference, and the Rochester Knighthawks, locked in first. Unfortunately for Buffalo, they fell to the Rock 13-9, as well as Rochester, in an unusually low-scoring 8-4 game. Midfielder Joe Walters of the Chesapeake Bayhawks was the runner leader, helping offensively with five assists for Rochester. Cody Jamieson from the Florida Launch also helped with the victory with a goal and an assist of his own.
The Colorado Mammoth (7-10) secured their place in the playoffs as the third and final team admitted in the Western Conference with their 15-12 win over the Minnesota Swarm (4-13). Despite offensive performances from Ohio Machine teammates Logan Schuss, who scored an impressive four goals and three assists, and Kiel Matisz, who netted two of his own goals and helpers, the Swarm were unable to overcome Colorado’s offense. Chesapeake Bayhawks’ Drew Westervelt notched a goal and an assist and Denver Outlaws’ John Grant, Jr. scored a hat trick and two assists of his own in the Mammoth’s win.
The second place Calgary Roughnecks (11-6) won over the first-place Edmonton Rush (15-2) 14-13 in an overtime spectacular showcase of what might come in the quickly approaching NLL post-season. Geoff Snider of the Charlotte Hounds played an important role in the Roughencks’ victory, scoring a goal and winning 58.1% of his faceoffs. Although Mark Matthews of the Rochester Rattlers notched a hat trick and an assist, Edmonton was unable to produce in the sudden death overtime to overcome Calgary.
Neither the Philadelphia Wings (6-11) nor the Vancouver Stealth (4-12) were able to gain entry into the playoffs this season, but Philadelphia still gave it their all in the penultimate week of the season, defeating the Stealth 15-11. The Wings’ attack was led by Florida Launch teammates Kevin Crowley and Garrett Thul, who combined for three goals and four assists. Rochester Rattlers teammates Mike Manley and John Ranagan contributed to the win as well, with two goals and three assists total.