NLL Week 12 Preview: Battle of The Prairies, West Coast Showdown

 

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Photo Credit: Terry Jensen                                                                                                                                  

Four games grace the NLL calendar this weekend as we move into March. We will see three games on Saturday night and one game on Sunday afternoon. Two of the most interesting games this weekend are out west as Calgary takes on Saskatchewan and Vancouver takes on San Diego.

Saturday, March 2nd
Rochester (2-7) @ Georgia (7-4) – 7:00pm

The Rochester Knighthawks look to get back on track as they travel to Georgia after a tough loss against Buffalo last week. The Knighthawks will be wanting to play much better defense and don’t want to get in such a big hole offensively, as they did the last week. The Swarm come into this one after a bye week, and those effect each team differently. Georgia’s last game was a loss at Colorado where they let the Mammoth take charge in the third, again. They will be looking play a complete game like we all know they can with that talent on each end. 

Lyle Thompson leads Georgia with 62 points and Cody Jameison leads Rochester with 47 points. In goal for Georgia Mike Poulin has 393 saves on the season, while Angus Goodleaf has 328 saves for Rochster thus far. This could be an offensive showdown or defensive game with the way these two teams have played thus far. 

Calgary (5-5) @ Saskatchewn (5-4) – 8:30pm

It’s the second edition of the 2019 Battle for The Prairies. Calgary got the best of Saskatchewan a few weeks ago. Saskatchewan has since been able to get back on track and is winning again, and Evan Kirk is looking like his usual self in net as well. Calgary has the ability to burn you at anytime of the game, and they will be looking to do that again and capture their second ever win in Saskatchewan. This is a rivalry game and the stakes are always high between these two teams, This one has the makings of a good one. 

Calgary is led by Dane Doobie with 5 8 points on the season thus far. For Saskatchewan Mark Matthew has been leading that offense with 52 points. In net Christian Del Bianco has made 387 saves for Calgary, while Evan Kirk has made 260 saves for Saskatchewan. 

Vancouver (3-7) @ San Diego (4-4)

This new west coast rivalry, if you want to call it that yet, got off to a hot start when these two teams faced each other the last time. Goaltending on both sides is phenomenal and we could see another goalie battle in San Diego on Saturday. The Seals have hit a bit of a rough patch after a hot start and they want to get back on track. Vancouver has started to find their footing and they will be looking to continue that trend on Saturday night, and try to secure their first win in San Diego. 

San Diego is led by rookie sensation Austin Staats as he has tallied 37 points so far. Vancouver has leaned on Mitch Jones for offensive production as he has 49 points through this point of the season. Aaron Bold and Eric Penny have been very good in net for Vancouver this season and Frack Scilgiano has been stellar for San Diego. It’s going to be another great west coast battle on Saturday night.

Sunday, March 3rd

Colorado (3-6) @ New England (6-4) – 1:00pm

The mammoth travel into hostile territory as New England has been pretty good in Sunday games in the Casino this season. Colorado will be looking get back on track after a close loss in Saskatchewan last week. The Mammoth have improved a lot and are looking to start proving it with winning, and they can certainly do that in  New England on Sunday afternoon. New England has been hot as-of late, they took down Toronto last week. New England may have a tougher task if the NLL does upgrade his Game Misconduct Penalty from last week to a Match Penalty, he would be suspended for five games. 

Colorado has been led on offense by Ryan Benesch, while New England will now turn to Stephan LeBlanc. In net Dillon Ward has made 327 saves for Colorado, while New England has played both Doug Jameison and Alex Buque this season and seem to still be rotating to an extent.

 

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