The 2019-20 NLL season is just over a Month away with training camp getting underway in a few weeks. As always, how meaningful games in the first month and a half of the season vary from team to team. But no matter what a certain game in December might do to affect a team in May, there are marquee matchups to be circled almost every week of the season. Continue reading “Five Early-Season NLL Games To Circle”→
The Air Force Falcons are the third DI team to release their 2020 schedule. The Falcons are coming off a 2019 campaign which saw them go 10-5 overall, 6-1 in the SoCon, and lost in the first round of the SoCon tournament.
2/1 @ Duke
The Falcons open their season on the road against the Duke Blue Devils who are coming off a NCAA semi-final run in 2019. These two programs know each other very well, having played four times since 2015. Air Force will be looking to upset Duke just as they did in 2017.
2/8 vs Denver
The battle between Colorado’s only DI lacrosse teams. This matchup being one of the first games for both teams has grown into somewhat of a tradition over the past decade with six of the past ten meetings being in February. Denver leads the all-time series 21-2, winning the last 12 meetings. Air Force’s last win over Denver came in 2009 when they won 10-7 on the road.
3/1 @ Virginia
Air Force kicks off their March slate on the road against the defending national champions. This will be the Falcons’ last big test of the season before getting conference play underway in mid-March.
4/18 vs High Point
The Falcons will welcome in High Point for their last home game of the season. While the all-time series between the two is tied at 3-3, Air Force will be looking for revenge after getting beat 13-9 last season on the road.
4/25 @ Richmond
Air Force will cap off their season on the road against Richmond, defending SoCon champions. The contest between these two squads always turn out to be some of the most exciting SoCon games of the year. While Air Force leads the series 4-2, they will be looking to avenge a SoCon tournament loss to the Spiders last year.
The Peterborough Lakers have tied the Mann Cup series at 1 after securing a 12-10 win in overtime. It was three straight goals from Shawn Evans for Peterborough late in the third that tied things at 9, forced overtime, and gave the Lakers a wealth of energy heading into that overtime period.
Shawn Evans led Peterborough with eight points (3G/5A) while Holden Cattoni, Kyle Buchanan, and Cory Vitarelli each had three points (1G/2A) as well. In net, Mike Poulin made 40 saves off of 50 shots.
Victoria was led by Tyson Gibson who tallied six points (2G/4A) while Connor Robinson and Casey Jackson each tallied four points (2G/2A) as well. Peter Dubenski made 62 saves off of 74 shots.
In the first, Mark Matthews got the scoring started for Peterborough early on. Victoria answered finally answered about midway through the game with a two straight power play goals from Connor Robinson and Tyson Gibson. Each team found the back of the net once more in the first, making it a 3-2 Victoria lead heading into the first intermission.
With Thomas Hoggarth and Tyson Gibson getting things started for Peterborough and Victoria just minutes apart, the second period was back-and-forth the entire way. Both teams traded goals the entire period, even through multiple penalties midway through that saw Victoria score shorthanded twice and Peterborough score on a power play. Casey Jackson scored late in the second to give Victoria a 6-5 edge heading into the third.
Josh Currier tied things up at 6 for Peterborough just over a minute into the third, and Victoria answered in a bit way. The Shamrocks went off on a three-goal run in four minutes, pushing their lead out to three. However, Shawn Evans stepped up late in the third for Peterborough and score three straight to tie things up and force overtime.
Peterborough took all that energy into the overtime period and scored three more in a row to secure the win. Kiel Matisz, Corey Small, and Joe Resetaritis all scored for Peterborough in the overtime period. Graeme Hossack scored the last goal of the game for Victoria, but any though of a comeback had already died.
Sunday will be an off day and play will resume on Monday with game three of the best of seven series.
In the first overall pick bracket, Atlas LC defeated Chrome LC 17-8. Atlas will move on to face Archers LC next week to decide who gets the first overall pick in the 2020 draft.
This win for Atlas can be heavily credited to Connor Buczek who put on an absolute show, breaking the PLL single game scoring record with nine points and really leading the offense in a multitude of ways. In addition, their defense stood stout for most of the game and made it difficult for Chrome to get many settled possessions.
Atlas got on things started fairly quickly with Connor Buczek letting one fly from beyond the arc early in the first. Chrome finally got the board midway through the first with Jordan Wolf finding the back of the cage. Eric Law answered for Atlas, starting a six-goal run that lasted through the early portion of the second.
Atlas held a 5-1 lead heading into the second and continued to grow it. They were simply dominating on both ends, playing aggressive defense and really moving the ball efficiently on the offensive end. Chrome did find some momentum late in the quarter with Justin Guterding and Connor Farrell scoring just eight seconds apart, but they still trailed 10-4 heading into the half.
It was much more back-and-forth in the third as Atlas and Chrome went back and forth for most of the quarter. Paul Rabil and Eric Law scored back-to-back early on, pushing Atlas’ lead to 12-4. Chrome answered in a sizable way, going on a three-goal run to cut the lead to just five.
A Connor Buczek two-pointer, his second of the game, late in the third pretty much put this one out of reach as Atlas led 15-7 heading into the fourth. While Chrome was able to score early on Atlas capped off the game with two straight goals from Kieran Mcardle and Connor Buczek to secure the win.
The Orangeville Northmen defeated the Victoria Shamrocks 7-5 in a very back-and-forth contest to complete the 3-0 sweep and hoist the Minto Cup for the first time since 2012. It was some very strong play late in the third that helped Orangeville pull ahead and secure the win.
Orangeville was led by Jonathan Donville with four points (3G/1A) while Ty Thompson also tallied three points (1G/2A) in the win. In net, Rylan Hartley made 43 saves with a .896 save percentage for Orangeville.
Jackson Boyd and Austin Madronic led the way for Victoria with two points (1G/1A) apiece. Cameron Dunkerley made 46 saves with a .868 save percentage in net for Victoria, as well.
Orangeville opened up the game with two quick goals from Dawson Tait and Jonathan Donville, giving them an early lead. Zach Manns got Victoria on the board midway through the first, cutting the Orangeville lead to 2-1. Each team scored once more to end the period with Orangeville holding a 3-2 lead.
Following a Kyle Waters Goal to put Orangeville up 4-2 just seconds into the second, both sides started to vamp it up on defense as seven minutes went bye without a goal. Midway through the period, Patrick Dodds found the back of the net for Victoria, cutting the lead to just one. Jackson Boyd tied things up at 4 for Victoria with just over a minutes left in the second.
The third started with some more heavy defensive play, but Ty Thompson broke the silence with an Orangeville goal at the 9:03 mark. Denton Macdonald scored for Victoria just minutes later, tying things back up at 5. That would be Victoria’s last goal of the game as they were never able to capitalize on any more opportunities. Jonathan Donville scored two straight for Orangeville to end the game and secure the 7-5 victory.
With the NLL Draft coming up in just a few weeks, training camp a few months away, and free agency well underway its time to start looking ahead to the 2019-2020 season. This season is a little different as it will mark the beginning of a new decade. First, let’s take a look back at the 2010s and see who was the Team of The Decade in the NLL.
Others Considered: Saskatchewan Rush,
Now the Halifax Thunderbirds, the Rochester Knighthawks dominated the decade that was the 2010s. During this past decade they made four NLL finals appearances and won three consecutive titles to claim the first and three-peat in league history.
In addition, the Knighthawks made the playoffs six times this decade (2011-2015, 2018). They appeared in the Eastern division semifinals in 2011, Eastern division final in 2015, and the finals in 2018.
Rochester’s dominance had been churning with the amount of high level players that had on their roster, but finally broke through in 2012 when they defeated the Edmonton Rush 9-6 to claim their third championship in franchise history.
In 2013, Rochester defeated the Washington Stealth 11-10 to capture the NLL championship, and in 2014 they defeated the Calgary Roughnecks 2-1 in the NLL Finals series to complete their three-peat. In 2012 and 2013, Cody Jameison was named Championship Game MVP while Dan Dawson was named Final MVP in 2014. Jameison was also named the league MVP in 2014, as well.
In addition to Jameison and Dawson, goalie Matt Vinc was a huge part of the Rochester franchise and in part a key figure during their three-peat run. Vinc won goaltender of the year in 2013 and 2014 after their championships, and also claimed the award in 2010, 2011, 2015, and 2018.
Some other notable players that the Knighthawks had on their roster during this decade, and especially during their championship years include Joe Walters, Johnny Powless, Stephen Keogh, Scott Campbell, and Cory Vitarelli.
The old Rochester Knightahwks may be in Halifax now, and many fans are still bitter even with a new Rochester Knightahwks expansion team, but they were in fact the team of 2010s as they dominated the league more than anyone else did.
Orangeville was able to go up 2-0 in the Minto Cup Finals, defeating Victoria 11-5 on Thursday night. While things started off very back-and-forth, Orangeville eventually took over on both ends and really ran away with this one, not allowing Victoria to even sniff a comeback.
Jonathan Donville led the way for Orangeville with six points (4G/2A) while Kyle Waters tallied four points (3G/1A), as well. In net for Orangeville, Rylan Hartley made 27 saves with a .844 save percentage.
Victoria was led by Zach Manns with three goals while Patrick Dodds and put up two points (1G/1A). Cameron Dunkerley made 45 saves with a .804 save percentage in net for Victoria.
The game started off very back-and-forth as both teams kept trading goals throughout the first period. Jonathan Donville got Orangeville on the board first with a power-play goal, but a penalty on Donville allowed Victoria to get on the board with a power-play goal from Zach Mann less than a minute later. Midway through the period Dylan Watson ripped one for Orangeville, scoring another power-play goal and putting them up 2-1.
Victoria ended the first period with a two-goal run from Patrick Dodds and Zach Manns late in the period. Manns goal came just after the penalty clock expired to give them a 3-2 lead heading into the second.
Orangeville started took charge in the second, getting it done at both ends. Kyle Waters got the first goal for Orangeville in the second, kicking off a four-goal run that included three goals from Jonathan Donville to put them up 6-3.
Just when it looked like Orangeville could run away with it, Zach Manns stopped the bleeding for Victoria with a rip from downtown in the dying seconds of the shot clock. Less than a minute later Caleb Kueber found the back of the net in transition for Victoria, cutting the Orangeville lead to 6-5 heading into the third.
Orangeville closed out the game strong in the third, scoring five unanswered goals, including two from Kyle Waters, to secure the 11-5 victory and go up 2-0 in the series.
With Orangeville now leading 2-0 in the best of five series, they can capture the Minto Cup tomorrow night with a win to sweep the finals.
The Orangeville Northmen were able to hold on down the stretch, warding off a very string comeback from the Victoria Shamrocks to secure the 10-8 and go up 1-0 in the Minto Cup Finals.
It was a great offensive effort from Jonathan Donville and Dylan Watson as the two combined for all ten of Orangeville’s goals. Watson ended the game with 10 points (7G/3A) while Donville had nine points (3G/6A).
For Victoria, Austin Madronic and Caleb Kueber led the way with three points (2G/1A) apiece. Jackson Boyd also tallied four points (1G/3A) for Victoria.
Rylan Hartley made 31 saves with a .795 save percentage for Orangeville while Cameron Dunkerley made 57 saves with a .851 save percentage for Victoria.
Orangeville got on the board first with Dylan Watson scoring two straight early in the first period. After some back-and-forth play, Ben Preston finally got Victoria on the board midway through the first, but that would be the last of their offensive feats in the first. Orangeville dominated the rest of the period and really dusted Victoria, taking a 5-1 lead into the second.
While Jonothan Donville pushed Orangeville’s lead out to 6-1 early in the second, it was a much more defensive heavy period. Both goalies and the defense in front of them really stepped up big in the second, not allowing much by them. Victoria got their second goal of the game with 10:05 in the second via Teioshontathe McComber and Dylan Watson increased Orangeville’s lead to 7-2 with 4:34 in the period.
The third quarter was a much different story, as Victoria flew out of the gate with an early three-goal run to start the period, cutting the Orangeville lead to 7-5. While Dylan Watson stopped the bleeding for Orangeville, scoring just about a minute later, Austin Madronic answered right back for Victoria.
Orangeville scored two straight midway through to give them a 10-6 cushion. While Austin Madronic and Patrick Dodds scored two goals late in the game for Victoria they could not complete the comeback as the Orangeville defense stood tall in the final minutes of the game to secure the 10-8 win.