NLL Week Six Preview: Colorado Searching for First Win, Will Georgia Stay Perfect?

Toronto Rock at Colorado Mammoth 01.12.19
Photo Credit: Jack Dempsey                                                                                                                               

If you like lacrosse then you will love what is in store for week six of the NLL season. There are a total of seven games on the docket from Friday to Sunday. One of the biggest storylines coming into this week is how some teams will handle their first back-to-back games of the season as it is the first weekend we will see back-to-back games this season. 

Some of the other major storylines this week include: can Colorado get their first win?, Will Georgia stay hot?, What can we expect from a 2018 finals rematch?, Are the Black Wolves contenders or pretenders?, and many much more. 

Friday January, 18th

Georgia Swarm (4-0) @ Toronto Rock (3-1) – 7:30pm

In the first season meeting between these two clubs fans were treated to a ver entertaining game with both offenses flying high. Georgia took the first contest after some late game heroics from Lyle Thompson. Toronto looks to knock off the hottest team in the league. 

This is a great matchup between two teams that are playing some very good lacrosse right now. Georgia is undefeated as their offense has been leading them to victories while their defense has seemed to be improving each and every week. Toronto has been very hot on both sides of the ball as of late with their only blemish being a loss to Georgia in week two. In net both squads have a stud goaltender, Nick Rose has been stellar for Toronto and Mike Poulin has done much of the same for Georgia. We could very much see another classic on Friday night when these two teams square off for the second time this season.

Calgary Roughnecks (3-2) @ San Diego Seals (2-2) – 10:00pm

After a home opener win against the Rochester Knighthawks the San Diego Seals welcome the Calgary Roughnecks to SoCal on Friday for their second home game in franchise history.

San Diego is one of the hottest teams in the league as rookie sensation Austin Staats leads the charge. They look to continue to ride that wave and get another good win against a very good Roughnecks team on Friday. Calgary come into this game after having Curtis Dickson back for just one game as they didn’t look too much in sync yet with him on the floor. If the Roughnecks can get things back into sync and find that production again they have a very good chance of stealing this game from the Seals on the road. 

Saturday January, 19th

Georgia Swarm (4-0) @ New England Black Wolves (2-1) – 7:00pm

The first team to play a back-to-back game will be the Georgia Swarm as they travel to New England on Saturday after facing Toronto on the road on Friday. This is poised to be a great matchup as these two squads battled it out in week one as Georgia took game one of the series.

New England is very hot and they are showing everyone that they are to be respected as they have started off the season better than many have expected. Doug Jameison anchoring that defense in net has been very good for New England as their defense has been pretty impressive through three games. Georgia will be coming off a game the night before and traveling so that makes it tough for the Swarm. Beyond that the Swarm have one of the best teams in the league and tiredness won’t be much of a factor for the Swarm. Many of those guys as they just want to get out and play. This one will be a great matchup and could end up being the best game of the week. 

Philadelphia Wings (0-4) @ Buffalo Bandits (3-1) – 7:30pm

Another week one rematch will go down in Buffalo on Saturday night as the Philadelphia Wings come to town looking for their first win of the season, and in (new) Wings franchise history. 

Buffalo has just started to play like we imagined they would in the preseason when they picked up Matt Vinc as their starter in net. That Buffalo defense and offense has just consistently gotten better each week. With Dhane Smith, Corey Small, and others posing a threat on offense as well as a scary defense Buffalo is a team that you have to feel is on the verge of a very hot streak. Philadelphia is coming off a tough weekend where they took a loss at home to Georgia. Philadelphia has got to figure out how to get it done on both ends of the floor as they it appears they have improved on defense a lot, but that offense clearly needs some work at times to be able to put games away like they would like to.

Rochester Knighthawks (1-2) @ Saskatchewan Rush (2-1) – 8:30pm

It’s a finals rematch in Saskatoon on Saturday night as the Knighthawks come in to face one of the league’s best in the Saskatchewan Rush. This game is surly going to draw a ton of attention and hype considering these two faced each other in the NLL Finals last season, but Rochester does look a little different from last season.

Saskatchewan had a rough start but they have since got back into rhythm and look poised to make another championship run this season. The Rush looked very good on offense last week as they poured it on Vancouver early and their defense was able to help save them and capitalize late in the game as well. If Church, Messenger, Matthews, Shattler, and others have a game like last week then the Rush may be able to win this one with more ease than originally thought. Rochester looked amazing in game one, but hasn’t done much since. They need to find some kind of rhythm on offense or defense because they just aren’t meshing at the moment, lucky for them it’s early. If the Knighthawks have to rely only on goaltender Angus Goodleaf for production this weekend that will cause trouble for them on both sides of the ball. They need an offensve performance from Fannell, Shanks, Resetarits, or someone else like they did against Philadelphia in game one. That kind of energy could really help put Rochester back on track. 

San Diego Seals (2-2) @ Vancouver Warriors (1-4) – 10:00pm

In the night cap on Saturday the Seals travel up the west coast and across the border to take on the Vancouver Warriors as they look to get back on track after four straight losses. 

Vancouver has a good offense and they were able to give Saskatchewan fits last week. Guys like Logan Schuss and others are very valuable to have when up against a defense as goof as San Diego’s. The questions for Vancouver are on defense as they had to pull Aaron Bold out of net for Eric Penny last week and they folded big time in the fourth. Really, with the talent of Vancouver they are capable of getting a win if they play disciplined lacrosse and stay poised on both ends. San Diego comes into Vancouver after a Friday night game at home against Calgary. The Seals are one of the hottest teams in the league with guys like Austin Staats, Kyle Buchanan, and others leading the way. In net Frank Scigliano has been terrific through this early portion of the season. If they don’t get worn out from Friday and come into Saturday ready to play like we know they can it could be a fairly easy win for San Diego.

Sunday January, 20th 

Calgary Roughnecks (3-2) @ Colorado Mammoth (0-3) – 3:00pm

The one to cap off the week will be a lone Sunday afternoon game between Calgary and Colorado. The Roughnecks will be coming off of a game at San Diego as they will be looking for either another win or to not go 0-2 on the weekend. Colorado is still searching for their first win of the season.

It has been a very weird season so far in Colorado as the Mammoth have started the season out 0-3. Colorado is still adjusting to having two new coaches, offensive and defensive, on the bench and running some different stuff than the previous systems. You have seen progressions on defense but the offense still lacks. With guys like Ryan Benesch and others on offense the Mammoth shouldn’t have that many struggles, but that’s not what we are seeing. Calgary will be coming off of a Friday night game in San Diego. With a day of rest in between the Roughnecks will for sure be ready to rock and roll even more on Sunday. Calgary looks to get back to playing a more cohesive style and seeing Del Bianco have stellar performances in net like we saw from them very early on, even without Curtis Dickson who is now back. If Calgary wins they win the season series between these two, which feels weird being so early. 

 

 

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