NLL Week Nine Preview: Battle of The Prairies, Seals Back in Action

Photo Credit: NLL Photos       

Week eight of the NLL season was an exciting one as we saw even more craziness. Will that trend continue as the page turns to week nine? 

This weekend will see the San Diego Seals return to action after two straight bye weeks. San Diego will face Vancouver in these two squads second meeting of the season. Out in the prairies it’s a big one as Calgary travels to take on Saskatchewan in a game that seems to never disappoint. 

However, the biggest storyline of this weekend will be Stephen Keogh returning to Rochester. The forward was traded from Colorado to Rochester, where he started his career, for draft picks.

Friday, February 8th

Vancouver (2-6) @ San Diego (4-2)

To kick off the weekend the Vancouver Warriors will travel down to San Diego and take on the Seals in these two squads second meeting of the season. The Seals are coming off of two straight bye weeks while Vancouver took a tough loss against Calgary last weekend. The Seals have been very hot this year with rookie Austin Staats leading the way as well as Dan Dawson, Brodie Merrill, and others. Vancouver has had a rough time this season as they are looking for their third win. Mitch Jones has been the guy for Vancouver on offense this season. Look for some stellar goalie play in this game as Frank Scigliano has been stellar for San Diego while Aaron Bold hasn’t played in a few games for Vancouver, but Eric Penny has had some good outings. This game could very much be another defensive battle like we saw the last time these teams met. 

Saturday, February 9th

Colorado (1-5) @ Philadelphia (1-6)

It’s a battle of the basement as the two teams in the Bottom of each division. Philadelphia is coming off of their first win of the season while Colorado looks to move forward and try to get win number two after trading Stephen Keogh away to Rochester earlier this week. The Wings will be at home riding high after that first win of the season, which should help give them a boost. The Mammoth just need to get it clicking more often. Throughout the season we have seen flashes and even a win, but they just need to do more. Kyle Killen has been very good along side Jacob Ruest and others. Look out for those guys making a big impact this weekend. Defense has been a progress for both squads as they have both had their goaltender highs and lows. This one should be a very good matchup with both teams searching for a similar light.

Rochester (2-5) @ New England (3-3)

Both teams are looking to pick it up here in week nine as Rochester travels down to face New England on Saturday night. These two squads have had their highs and lows this season. And by highs and lows, I mean super high and super low. Rochester has looked good and looked bad. Austin Shanks has carried this team over the past few weeks and they need someone else to step up. That person may just be Stephen Keogh who arrives via trade with Colorado earlier this week. New England looked like a contender early on and they stayed in with Georgia last weekend. The Black Wolves just need to get more done on both sides of the floor to get back into that rhythm they had early on. 

Buffalo (6-2) @ Georgia (7-2)

Two very good offensive teams will meet on Saturday night in on that could be a shootout. Georgia obviously has the firepower with Lyle Thompson, Randy Staats, Holden Cattoni, and others. That team is one of the best in the league and they have a goaltender in Mike Poulin manning the cage as well. Buffalo is right in the shadow of Georgia as Corey Small, Thomas Hoggarth, and others have been leading the way. Buffalo has had some struggles on defense, which could hurt them in this game. Overall, this may be the best matchup this weekend and one to watch for sure. 

Calgary (4-4) @ Saskatchewan (3-3)

In the battle of the prairies the Saskatchewan Rush welcome the Calgary Roughnecks into Saskatoon. The Rush are coming off of two straight losses (That is not a typo) and the Roughnecks are coming off win against Vancouver last weekend. The Rush have been broken over the past few weekends as they have lost two straight. Evan Kirk and that defense as a whole seemed to be very off in those two losses. That is something look and see if they tighten up against an offense like Calgary has. On offense Saskatchewan has bene better with guys like Mark Matthews, Jeff Shattler, and plenty of others leading the way. Calgary had a good win last weekend where Christian Del Bianco really carried the team with his play in net. That offense has seemed to get used to Curtis Dickson being back in the lineup. This will be an exciting game and we will see if Calgary can be Saskatchewan for the second time since the Rush moved to Saskatchewan. 

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