(Photo Courtesy of Colorado Mammoth)
Welcome to week seven of the 2019-20 NLL season, Y’all!
After a light week six in the NLL, Week Seven is jam-packed with action with five games on the docket. Things start on Friday night with Vancouver traveling to Philadelphia for the Wings’ home opener. Saturday will see Colorado travel to Halifax for what is likely the best game of the weekend, Rochester travel to Toronto, and Buffalo takes on Georgia on the road. The weekend will end on Sunday with San Diego hosting Saskatchewan.
Toronto vs Rochester is the Game of The Week and will be streamed for FREE on B/R Live and Twitter.
Week Seven Storylines
Does Philadelphia Make it Three Straight?
After losing their first game of the season against Georgia on the road, the Philadelphia Wings have seemingly put all the pieces together and have been able to win two straight, including a road contest against the defending champion Calgary Roughnecks two weeks ago. They will be looking for their third consecutive win on Friday as they host Vancouver in their home opener.
Led by Kevin Crowley, the Wings’ offense has shown that they can catch fire and put up goals when needed. However, with a Vancouver defense that has made it a point to ramp things up after a poor showing last year and somewhat of an uncertain goalie situation, if the Wings can have success on that end three games in a row will be very telling.
Additionally, the Wings’ defense will have to step up and stop a Vancouver offense that can score in bunches. And while Logan Schuss’s availability this weekend may be unknown and the travel from one coast to the others can be taxing, the Warriors have proven offensive weapons in Keegan Bal and Mitch Jones that can go off at any time. This game could go in various different directions.
Halifax and Colorado Square Off in Marquee Matchup
Perhaps the best and most hyped up game of the weekend is the battle between two of the league’s hottest teams: the Colorado Mammoth and Halifax Thunderbirds.
Halifax has one of the league’s most efficient offenses, and they are also very balanced, as well, with Ryan Benesch, Cody Jamieson, Stephen Keogh, and others all finding ways to contribute each game. And with their hometown crowd behind them in this marquee matchup, you can bet that this offense will come out firing on all cylinders just as they have in previous weeks.
Now Colorado is led more by their defense, especially with goalie Dillon Ward playing the way he is right now. Guys like Taylor Stuart, Jordan Gillies, and others are all making big impacts on the back end right now, as well, and Joey Cupido is coming off one of his best performances ever, turning heads with his play on both ends.
It will be a classic battle between offense and defense on Saturday night in Halifax. And the way things look at the moment, this game is “the game of the year” thus far. You won’t want to miss this very promising matchup.
Buffalo, Georgia Looking to Rebound
The Buffalo Bandits and Georgia Swarm are two of the league’s more known commodities. However, as they meet in Georgia this weekend both sides are looking to rebound from a tough loss two weeks ago.
For Buffalo, this game may mean more to them just because they looked disinterested early on in that beating they took at home against Halifax back in week five. Georgia at least in the game when they lost to Colorado at home two weeks ago. But, they did have a few stretches where they just couldn’t get any shots to go.
Both of these teams are expected to compete for a high seed in the playoffs again this season. Buffalo has talents like Dhane Smith and Josh Byrne on offense and one of the best goalies to ever play the game in Matt Vinc in net. Similarly, Georgia has Lyle Thompson as one of the faces of their franchise and Mike Poulin in net to anchor a defense that has looked much improved as a unit this season.
Needless to say, when two of the league’s most talented teams meet something interesting is bound to happen. This game could be a goaltender battle just as easy as it could be a good ‘ole offensive shootout.
Week Seven Schedule
Friday, January 10th
7:00 pm ET: Vancouver @ Philadelphia
Saturday, January 11th
6:00pm ET: Colorado @ Halifax
7:00pm ET: Rochester @ Toronto
7:00pm ET: Buffalo @ Georgia
Sunday, January 12th
4:00pm ET: Saskatchewan @ San Diego