Saturday, February 17

[LINKS] SATURDAY LAX LINKS!

"BROWN Scrimmaged against the BOSTON CANNONS [MLL] before starting their 2018 season." [youtube: Owen Moy]
  •  VIDEO: "All Access: DUKE Lacrosse" [youtube]
  • VIDEO: "YALE lacrosse heading to Dallas thanks to JERRY JONES - It's a matchup put together by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, and is taking place in the Cowboys practice facility." [youtube: Sports Team 8]
  • VIDEO: "2018 MLL All-Star Game Press Conference" [youtube]
  • VIDEO: "Twitter Game of the Week -  The NLL explores Vancouver with Peter McFetridge" [youtube: NLL|  Nationa Lacrosse League]
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Friday, February 16

[PRESS RELEASE] Johns Hopkins University partners with Cascade Lacrosse & Cascade updates customization website

JOHNS HOPKINS University has partnered with Cascade Lacrosse, and Cascade launches newly updated www.FactoryCustom.com customization website!
 
LIVERPOOL, N.Y., Feb. 13, 2018 — Cascade Lacrosse, the industry leader in head protection, announced today that Johns Hopkins University will wear Cascade helmets for the upcoming 2018 season. Cascade helmet usage now approaches almost 75 percent across all NCAA Division 1 schools. 

"We are excited to renew our relationship with Cascade," stated Hopkins Head Coach Dave Pietramala. "Having worn their helmets before, we have great confidence in their product and are appreciative of Cascade's ability to think outside the box when it comes to design," continued Pietramala. 

Johns Hopkins will wear the newest elite Cascade helmet, the S. The S incorporates several new, game- changing helmet technologies, including a new tri-liner integrated with the shell, new Xflo ventilation that more than doubles the breathability of previous helmets models, and a new Vision bar facemask that ensures the ball is never out of sight. 

"The Hopkins name is synonymous with lacrosse and we're thrilled to have them back on our squad," commented Kevin Simmons, Sports Marketing Manager for Cascade Maverik Lacrosse. "Hopkins has such a rich history in the sport, like Cascade, so we're very proud to reunite our two great college lacrosse brands. 

"The S helmet is available through Cascade's 48-hour factory custom manufacturing at a starting retail price of $289. Visit FactoryCustom.com for a full selection of color and component options and to make your own custom team design. 

Visit CascadeLacrosse.com to see the complete line of Cascade helmets. 


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Wednesday, February 14

[NLL MASH-UP] WEEK 10

NLL Mashup Week 10

BANDITS outlast BLACKWOLVES, 18-13


The BANDITS continued their impressive offensive run with a 18-13 win over the BLACKWOLVES at MOHEGAN SUN to start the weekend off on Friday night.  It was a game where the BLACKWOLVES started slowly out of the blocks as they fell behind 7-2 early.  They were able to cut the lead to 8-6 at the half.


The BLACKWOLVES started the 2nd half on a 4-0 run to take a 10-8 lead.  But, the BANDITS then went on a 5-0 run themselves.  They would never look back.  Unlike the BLACKWOLVES, the BANDITS have a well balanced attack.  DHANE SMITH (4g, 1a), JOSH BYRNE (3g, 2a) were their leading goal scorers.  JORDAN DURSTON and MITCH JONES both finished with 1g, 6a.  The size and speed of the BANDIT forwards was very impressive.

The BLACKWOLVES have exhibited a solid defense and transition game in their wins this season.  To me the BANDITS had the advantage in both areas.  THOMAS HOGGARTH and LIAM PATTON (1st NLL Goal) had transition goals for BUFFALO, while the BLACKWOLVES did not get a transition goal all night.

The BLACKWOLVES also found themselves in the penalty box way too much.  The lethal BANDIT powerplay put up 4 goals.

COACH GLENN CLARK wasn’t too pleased with the defensive effort in the post game presser.  (sound clip)



Once again SHAWN EVANS (5g, 2a) and KEVIN CROWLEY (4g, 4a) provided most of the goal scoring.  The BLACKWOLVES are still searching for secondary scoring as they remain too reliant on their dynamic duo.
EVANS stripped of “C”

One thing that caught my eye pregame was SHAWN EVANS wasn’t wearing the “C”, as KYLE BUCHANAN had the honors.  To me this is a pretty big deal to demote your franchise player from the leadership group.  When asked in the post game, CLARK and BUCHANAN both gave vague answers.  EVANS wasn’t available for comment postgame.   Whatever the reason it didn’t affect the play of EVANS.  He impresses me each time out.

Most games he is the smallest player on the floor.  He isn’t particularly athletic either.  What sets him apart and what makes him great is his competitive fire and spirit.  Although he didn’t wear the “C” he led by example.

BANDITS 18, SWARM 9


Back to back? No problem for the BANDITS as they easily dispatched the SWARM in BUFFALO.  I am almost ready to give the BANDITS juggernaut status, but let’s hold off a bit for that.

The offense remained on fire with CALLUM CRAWFORD (3g, 3a), JOSH BYRNE (3G, 3A) leading the goal scorers, while JORDAN DURSTON (2g, 5a) and MITCH JONES (1g, 7a) led in points.  BANDIT legend JOHN TAVARES is coaching the offense and seems to have full attention of his players.  (sound clip)  


ZACH HIGGINS got the start in net and was spectacular!  He had 54 saves on the night.   Actually, both teams had 63 shots on goal as HIGGINS outplayed MIKE POULIN and WARREN HILL who saw his first action of the season.

NICK WEISS is one of the more underrated defensemen in the league, his impressive season totals have climbed to (9g, 6a, 64lb, 15cto)


That was the 4th win in a row for the BANDITS as they have taken sole possession of first place in the East, as their season has reached the halfway point.  It seems after all of the trades and draft picks they have made in the off season things are starting to pay dividends.  Things are looking good in BANDITLAND!

BYRNE WITH A HUGE WEEKEND



JOSH BYRNE continued his great play with a (6g, 5a) weekend.  Since leaving HOFSTRA he is finding pro lacrosse to his liking.  He earned MLL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR this past summer while breaking the rookie goal scoring mark with 39 goals.


Things started a little slower in his NLL career as he only put up 6 goals in the first 6 games.  Since then he has taken off with 11 over the last 3 games.  His speed and dodging abilities are elite as he is able to beat his defender time and time again.


He is still in contention for a TEAM CANADA roster spot in this summer’s field lacrosse WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPSYumYumLax spoke with him after this weeks BLACKWOLVES game. (sound clip)

   

ROCK 12,  KNIGHTHAWKS 9

This misery continues for ROCHESTER as they lost their sixth in a row.  They have been competitive in most games but continue to come up a little short.  It was another loss versus an East team, it is a long climb to get back in playoff contention.

From the TORONTO point of view, that was a hard fought road win.  It may have come with a high price as TOM SCHREIBER left the game early in the in 4th with a leg injury.

ROUGHNECKS, 13 MAMMOTH 9


CALGARY has put together its first two game win streak of the season as they close the gap between them and the MAMMOTH for 2nd place in the West.

The move to put CHRISTIAN DELBIANCO has given the team a spark as he picked up his 2nd win in a row, both times holding the opponent below the 10 goal mark. He made 51 saves on the evening.

CURTIS DICKSON and DANE DOBBIE combined for 7 of the 13 ROUGHNECK goals.

I don’t think there is much of a question that these two teams will square off in the playoffs, but which team will hold the home field advantage?

RUSH 16, STEALTH 9

SASK jumped out to a 6-0 lead after the 1st.  That is all I needed to see in the battle versus the best team and the worst team in the NLL.

KNIGHTHAWKS 17, SWARM 10

The SWARM capped off a miserable week getting crushed by ROCHESTER who broke their six game losing streak.  CODY JAMIESON (4g, 2a) had his best game of the season.  In fact their entire left side was on fire with ERIC FANNEL (2g, 4a), KYLE JACKSON (4g,1a) and CORY VITARELLI (2g, 3a) all having huge games.  KYLE JACKSON pulled off a wicked hidden ball trick in the 2nd half.  DAN DAWSON was a scratch for the KNIGHTHAWKS.

With the two losses GEORGIA falls out of playoff position.  All facets of their game were off during the weekend they were outscored a combined 35-19.  Back to the drawing board for the SWARM.

QUICK STICKS


DHANE SMITH has taken over the lead in points with 56 points.

First NLL goals for LIAM PATTON (BUF) and TYSON ROE (VAN).

The BLACKWOLVES goal difference is -21, only VANCOUVER is worse at -44.

ROCHESTER announced a local TV deal with THE CW in ROCHESTER.

Road teams have won 18 of 37 games thus far.

Fearless picks were only 3-3 this week, stands at 23-13 for the season.

BUFFALO (128) & SASK (139) lead in goals scored.

Thanks for the time!


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Thursday, February 8

[NLL] MASH-UP - WEEK 9


NLL Mashup

This week we got a few surprises and there are a couple of teams that look ready to emerge in CALGARY and BUFFALO.  Another constant Is the RUSH continue to win games and set the pace.  The road teams were an impressive 3-1 on the weekend.  SASK over VANCOUVER was the only home winner in Week 9.

 


RUSH 13 , MAMMOTH 10


SASK got their 2nd win of the season in COLORADO starting off the action on Friday evening.  Like many of the games the RUSH took an early lead, took their foot off the gas before outscoring COLORADO,  6-2 in the 4th quarter to earn the road win.  The 18-0 talk may have ended, but what about 17-1?  RYAN KEENAN led the offense with 4g, 1a.

For the MAMMOTH, STEVE KEOGH who has been in and out of the lineup had 3g, 3a.  He made a statement to get a regular shift moving forward.  Realistically, unless something strange goes down that puts a major blow to MAMMOTH’S aspirations of winning the West, as SASK has clinched the season series with the win over the MAMMOTH.

RUSH 11,  STEALTH 9

Some may have thought the door may be open for an upset with SASK playing the back end of a back to back.  That wasn’t going to happen, as the RUSH grinded out a hard fought win in front of their large home crowd.  TYLER CARLSON got the call between the pipes as EVAN KIRK was given the night off. CARLSON came up with 39 saves.

Another take away for me was the balance SASK continues to have on offense, they had five players score two goals each.   The defense is workmanlike, they continue to separate from the pack with their 7-1 record.

Vancouver was able to be competitive in this game.  LOGAN SCHUSS had 4g, 2a in a losing cause. They continue be in the basement and got more bad news as CALGARY upset TORONTO widening the CALGARY lead over the STEALTH.  The RUSH and STEALTH will go at it again next week in VANCOUVER.

There may be one area of concern for SASK, as it was mentioned on the broadcast MARK MATTHEWS has a bit of a nagging injury. He still managed 2g, 7a for the weekend.

ROUGHNECKS 16,  ROCK 8


Without question this is was the biggest upset of the week.  To me, TORONTO seemed flat from the beginning as CALGARY was able to pick up a huge road win and put some space between them and VANCOUVER.

Last week we mentioned how CHRISTIAN DELBIANCO played well in relief between the pipes.  He got the start this week and got his first NLL win making 47 saves.  This was a long time coming for the 20 year old.  DELBIANCO came into the league in 2016.  He now seems to be paying dividends after some uneven outings early in his career.

He was a MINTO CUP CHAMPION for COQUITLAM in 2016.  For those who haven’t seen much of him he is a very unique NLL goalie.  He doesn’t have the size that many of the guys do, but he is very athletic and shows he can move side to side as well as great stick skills with his outlet passes to TYSON BELL and ZACH CURRIER.

It has to be mentioned CURTIS DICKSON is starting to heat up after a sluggish start.  He has 9 goals over the last two games after only posting 8 over the previous five.  Something seems to have clicked for CALGARY during their OT loss to SASK last week, they looked like a different team from early on.

If I’m in the TORONTO camp I would just chalk this one up to a bad night or taking an opponent lightly.  They seemed to be settling for outside shots way too much, the way DELBIANCO was dialed in that wasn’t going to fly.

One interesting fact is they were blown out in the 4th, 7-0.  Last week they were the ones who went on a 7-0 run in the final frame against the BLACKWOLVES.

BANDITS 16, KNIGHTHAWKS 14


This was the game I was most looked forward to on Saturday, it didn’t disappoint as the BANDITS outlasted the KNIGHTHAWKS on Military night.  Both teams came out with some sharp uniforms as well.

BUFFALO showed the form that helped them hand SASK their only loss of the season.  It looks like it may be some bad news for the rest of the NLL as DHANE SMITH (3g,8a) looks 100% healthy and is showing his MVP form.  Number one draft pick JOSH BYRNE (5g,1a) is getting his feet under him and is looking like a very tough cover for any defenseman.  They are not the only two who can hurt defenses.  CALLUM CRAWFORD (2g,5a), JORDAN DURSTON (1g,2a) and MITCH JONES (2g,2a) give the BANDITS so much depth.  If ALEX BUQUE (45 saves) can be consistent the BANDITS are going to be major factors.

ROCHESTER seems to be in freefall after their 2-0 start, dropping to 2-5.  Their record versus East (1-5) opponents is going to put them in a bad spot with tiebreakers down the line.  They didn’t play badly this week, but the BANDITS had too many horses and MATT VINC (32 saves) was peppered as the game progressed.

This BANDIT win sets up a massive game this week at the MOHEGAN SUN versus the BLACKWOLVES.  We will be there providing expanded coverage for that one!
 

FEARLESS PICKS

A mediocre week only going 2-2, but the season tally is hanging in there at 21-10.  Here is how we see this week’s action.

BUFFALO AT NEW ENGLAND:  The BLACKWOLVES are unbeaten at the MOHEGAN SUN this year (3-0), they have a very stingy defense.  They give up just under 10 GA in those home games.

They are going to be challenged by the big athletic BANDIT attack who are on a roll.

I’m going to stick with the BLACKWOLVES.  This should be the game of the weekend.


GEORGIA AT BUFFALO:  The dreaded back to back for the BANDITS.  It is going to be a battle against NEW ENGLAND, I don’t see the BANDITS being able to deal with the quick turnaround.     LYLE THOMPSON and company are going to be rested.  Their offense is coming alive, I take the SWARM.


COLORADO AT CLAGARY:  As mentioned above the NECKS are rounding into form, I like them at home.

TORONTO AT ROCHESTER:  The KNIGHTHAWKS are in dire need of a win, I think the ROCK will pose too much offense.


SASK AT VANCOUVER: I can’t pick against the best team in the league versus the worst.  RUSH it is.

@BernasconiRich




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Monday, February 5

[LINKS] MONDAY Lax Linkage

"2018 MARQUETTE vs JOHNS HOPKINS Lacrosse Scrimmage Highlights - Played at Homewood Field in Baltimore, Md. on a very cold Saturday, Feb. 3, 2018. RHS Productions." [youtube: huntva]
  • VIDEO: ALL-ACCESS - DUKE Lacrosse. [vimeo: Sam Lieberman]
  • VIDEO: "Quick Tips / Around-The-World Shot with Assistant Coach JOHN UPPGREN" [youtube: JumbosLaxTV]
  • VIDEO: "Rabil's Boxing Workout - " [youtube]
  • VIDEO: "Playing Professional Lacrosse // VLOG EP. 39" [youtube: Kyle Jackson] 
Read More »

Tuesday, January 30

[NLL MASH-UP] Recaps and picks ...


NLL MASH-UP

COLORADO 14 VANCOUVER 13
This week’s action got underway Friday in DENVER where the MAMMOTH earned a hard fought home win over VANCOUVER.  The STEALTH have shown some improvement the last couple weeks, but remain with only one win.  JASON NOBLE (3g, 5a) hit a couple of clutch shots down the stretch to lead the MAMMOTH.  

Once again VANCOUVER was without LOGAN SCHUSS ... COREY SMALL (4g, 5a) seems to be getting back up to speed after a very slow start.  It was his third hat trick in a row.

ERIC PENNY played well in goal for the STEALTH, making 32 saves.  I would imagine he has taken control of the goal crease for the STEALTH.

Speaking of goaltending I thought DILLON WARD was a little below his standards.  Looked like he let a couple of softies, making 51 saves on the night

JOEY CAPIDO may be the fastest player in the NLL this season, he created a ton of transition opportunities for the MAMMOTH while putting up 1g, 2a and 8 LBs.    

There was a lot of chatter about the commentating from some of the games last week.  But let’s give some love to the MAMMOTH broadcast team.  TEDDY JENNER and JOHN GALLANT were joined by the legend ... JOHN GRANT JR. He was positioned between the benches and gave some great insights throughout the broadcast.

ROCK ROLL BLACKWOLVES, 21-9
It was a TOM SCHREIBER tsunami in TORONTO and it crashed on the BLACKWOLVES to the tune of 5g, 7a.  ROB HELLYER was also a force on the right side with 4g, 5aADAM JONES remained on fire from the left side with 5g, 4a

Captain America added to his highlight reel as a couple of the goals were amazing shots.  This guy has the best release in the game!  He will be making a big push for MVP this season, you heard it here first.

SHELDON BURNS had a great game in transition with 2g, 1a and 6 LBs.  This was his first game against his former team, must have been satisfying for him.  STEPH LEBLANC, who he was traded for had 2 goals in his return to TORONTO

NICK ROSE may have had his best game of the season and made 46 stops.  Many of them were highlight saves.  

KEVIN CROWLEY, STEPHAN LEBLANC and DAVID BROCK had two goals apiece.  SHAWN EVANS was held goalless, he did have 3a though.  Overall a poor shooting night as they shot 11% as a team.

The BLACKWOLF defense seemed a step slow all night long.    BOLD wasn’t sharp either as he was replaced by DOUG JAMIESON in the 2nd half.  Speaking of the 2nd half, the ROCK outscored NEW ENGLAND, 11-2 and 7-0 in the 4th.

This season the BLACKWOLVES have held the opposition below 10 goals 3 times.  But, they have given up over 20 twice now, both on the road.  They lost 23-11 versus the RUSH in SASK earlier in the year.

The BLACKWOLVES will be happy to return to MOHEGAN SUN February 9 against BUFFALO in another huge East Division game after a bye week.

TORONTO will be home next weekend versus CALGARY, the ROCK have scored 82 goals over the last 4 games!

SASK SURVIVES IN OT AT CALGARY
BEN MCINTOSH (2g, 2a) scored in OT to win it for the RUSH.  For the second week in a row they blew a large lead.  They started the 3rd up 10-4.  But like last week let the opponent back into the game as CALGARY scored 7 of the next 8 goals.

JEREMY THOMPSON had another strong game with 1g, 1a, 8 LBs while going 14 / 25 on faceoffs.   ADRIAN SORCHETTI chipped-in with  2g, 1a & 5 LBs.

I only saw the latter stages of the game, but there were some positives for the ROUGHNECKS

Going into this week CURTIS DICKSON wasn’t even in the top 20 for points in the NLL.  But, he came out and played his best game of the season with 5g, 1a.  That has to make the CALGARY staff feel better.

CHRISTIAN DELBIANCO may have had his best appearance of his young career making 29 saves in relief.

DANE DOBBIE (2g, 5a) became the ROUGHNECK all time leading scorer in the game.  Bring his career total to 343g, 346a for 689pts, all with CALGARYCongrats to DANE!

They will be in a battle all season long with VANCOUVER for the final playoff spot.
They had a great crowd on STAR WARS NIGHT with an announced attendance of 11,196.

GEORGIA PULLS AWAY LATE FROM VANCOUVER, 16-12

The SWARM used a 6-0 run in the 2nd half to seal the win.  Looked to me VANCOUVER may have been feeling the effects of back to back games as GEORGIA had some transition opportunites.  JEROME THOMPSON, FRANK BROWN & JOHN RANAGAN all had transition goals during the run.

LYLE THOMPSON got his scoring touch back going for 3g, 3aMYLES THOMPSON missed the game for the SWARM

RANDY STAATS
was also very active shooting 4/17 and adding an assist.  He also got into a fight with CHRIS O’DOUGHERTY.  He showed he can throw punches and put up the points, well done!

THE POULIN WALL was in full effect as he made 33 saves on the night.
Once again SHAYNE JACKSON (2g, 7a) led the team in points, this guy may have the best hands in the league

LOGAN SCHUSS
(3G, 5A) and JOEL MCCREADY (3G, 2A) both were back in the VANCOUVER lineup after missing Friday’s game in COLORADOMcCREADY served a suspension, while SCHUSS on did not report list for the second time this year.  MCCREADY has shown an impressive power game from the right side.

THE STEALTH are beginning to show some signs of life. But they remain in the basement with CALGARY as both have one win each.


FEARLESS PICKS:
Went 3-1 for the week ... stands at 19-8 for the season.  In last weeks Mash-Up we said the ROCK would win the East, but we were picking with our hearts this week choosing the BLACKWOLVES for this weeks game, that was our only loss this week.  


 Thanks for the time! 

 @bernasconirich
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Wednesday, January 24

[NLL MASH-UP] Game Recaps, Embedded Audio Interviews, Picks and more

Words by @BernasconiRich

BLACKWOLVES GRIND ROCHESTER Down, 11-9

After an 11 goal first quarter, the BLACKWOLVES held a 6-5 lead.  The rest of the way would only yield 10 more goals in total.  Both defenses and goalies played tough and there wasn’t much transition for either side.

In the 4th KEVIN CROWLEY (3g) & SHAWN EVANS (3g,3a) combined for all 3 goals as the BLACKWOLVES pulled away. Once again, EVANS played a pivotal role throughout the whole game. It became evident that  the ROCHESTER defense had set out to be physical with EVANS on, and off ball.  He was able to take the punishment and yet was still fresh during crunch-time.



REILLY O’CONNOR (2g, 3a) may have had his best game of the season. The BLACKWOLVES have used mainly 3 rights and two lefts and that has benefited extra space in the last two weeks.  

AARON BOLD (42 saves) and the defense were on point again.  This marked the 3rd game in a row where they have held the opposition under 10.


BUFFALO knocks off SASK, 16-15 (OT)

OK sports fans, I have to admit that I switched the game off at halftime with the RUSH leading, 9-3.  It certainly looked as though they would cruise to a victory and remain unbeaten.

When I flipped back, there were about 4 minutes left and the RUSH’S CHRIS CORBEIL hit a beautiful outside shot in transition to put his team back on top, 14-13. I thought to myself, wow the BANDITS gave it a good go, but SASK was going to come out back on top again. JEFF SHATTLER scored extending the lead to 15-13 shortly thereafter, but the BANDITS scored the next three, including PAT SAUNDERS goal in OT, to give the BANDITS the win, 16-15.  It was SAUNDERS' only tally for the night.  JOSH BYRNE (1g, 4a) then tied it during the closing seconds.

ZACH HIGGINS was the star for BUFFALO, as he made 34 saves in relief of ALEX BUQUE, who let in 4 goals during the opening four minutes before getting pulled.

VAUGHN HARRIS had a very busy night going 12 / 30 on faceoffs, while chipping-in 2g, 2a and 6 LBs.

DHANE SMITH (4g, 5a) & MITCH JONES (3g, 7a) were top scorers for the BANDITS.
From a SASK point of view I would simply look at this as a teaching moment.  This was a game they were clearly in control of, but were then punished for falling asleep and letting their opponent back into it.

Second thoughts?

It being a very light schedule, let’s look to see how our EASTERN CONFERENCE PREDICTIONS are going.

Believe it or not, most teams have already completed about 25% of their season or thereabouts.


How we saw things in the preseason


Thus far, our EC predictions are almost right on track.  The only thing I'll change, is the order of the top 3.


1. T O R O N T O 


to me looks the best at the moment.  The balance they have throughout the floor gives them a slight edge to the rest of the division.   ADAM JONES is proving to be the pick up of the offseason as he leading the league in points with 36,  complimenting their strong right side led by SCHREIBER 31 pts, HICKEY 19 pts and HELLYER 29 pts.
The ROCK can run the floor and score from the back end as well as anyone.  CHALLEN ROGERS (4g, 4a, 15 LBs in only 3 games) now off the injury-list, has given them a lift adding to their depth.

SHELDON BURNS (3g, 4a, 23 LBs) has been a great mid-season pick-up.  He was acquired in the trade from NEW ENGLAND that sent STEPH LEBLANC to the BLACKWOLVES in what is looking to be a swap that has helped both teams greatly ... Adding those two along with BRODIE MERRILL (1G, 2A, 44LBs).

LATRELL HARRIS (0g, 5a, 24 LBs) and DAMON EDWARDS (2g, 2a, 12 LBs) give the ROCK a potent transition game.  They'll need to tighten up the PK ... only at 32% (worst in the league).

BRAD KRI (61 / 99, 62%) is solid on faceoffs and after a slow start. NICK ROSE is playing steady in net and has a 78% save%.

PP%, 52%

PK%, 32%

Shooting%, 18.2% 


2. N E W  E N G L A N D 


is currently in first place, and deservedly so.  The MOHEGAN SUN ARENA is looking like a real home field advantage, as they stand unbeaten at home, 3-0.  Don’t count them out for finishing first, look for them to be in the playoffs at the very least.
Solid goaltending by AARON BOLD with an active transition game to go along with SHAWN EVANS & KEVIN CROWLEY up front.  They have an identity and execute really well in all phases.

PP%, 50%

PK%, 67%

Shooting%, 15.8%, thru 4 games


3.G E O R G I A 


has gotten off to a slow start this season.  To me, a result of their schedule as anything else.  LYLE THOMPSON (7g, 15a) is off to a slow start offensively, but he has been all over the field picking up 45 LBs, (leads the team). 

SHAYNE JACKSON (13g, 13a) is one of the top lefties in the league, also one of the most underrated.

MIKE POULIN has made 201 saves for 76%, giving them a strong foundation in goal. It remains to be seen if JOEL WHITE will make his return for the 2nd half of the season like he did last season. WHITE would be the missing piece of the puzzle, for me, if he comes back.

JORDAN MCINTOSH is the main FO man, and has gone  39 / 86 (45%) while also adding 2g, 4a and 34 LBs.  

We spoke of two rookies ZED WILLIAMS (3g, 2a, 17LBs) & FRANK BROWN (0g, 3a, 15LBs) in the preseason.  Both have made an impact in the SWARM defense.  The transition game and powerplay is an area which they could stand to improve moving forward.

PP%, 29%

PK%, 47%

Shooting%, 16%


4. B U F F A L O 


Wow what a win for the BANDITS over SASK!  Certainly, takes the sting out of last week’s loss to VANCOUVER. DHANE SMITH (12g, 24a) is now tied for first in the league in points with ADAM JONES

We said before the season that the BANDITS had plenty of questions, and it looks like they have been able to provide answers.  The CALLUM CRAWFORD (10G, 10A) trade seems to be working for both teams.  JOSH BYRNE (6g, 13a), JORDAN DURSTON (7g, 15a) and MITCH JONES (13g, 17a) are a new and exciting left side.

JONES in particular, is looking good as he continues his great play from the MANN CUP finals with the NEW WESTMINSTER SALMONBELLIES this summer.

Goaltending would be my biggest concern for the BANDITS.  Will ZACH HIGGINS take over in cage for the recently inconsistent BUQUE

PP%, 55%

PK%, 43%

Shooting%, 17%


5. R O C H E S T E R 


have now lost 3 in a row after winning the first two. There's not reason to panic, MATT VINC is an elite goalie.  In the 5 v 5 sets, is there a more physical defense?

The biggest question mark for me happens to be the same question we asked at the beginning of the season and that is, "can score enough?"  The return of CODY JAMIESON has helped, but they have been under 10 in the last three.  

PP%, 60%

PK%, 72%

Shooting%, 18.5, thru 5 games


The competition is very stiff for the three playoff berths in the EAST leaving little margin for error.  Don’t count any of these five out!
Thanks for the time,



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"THE SCOOP" QUARTERLY