Wednesday, February 14


NLL Mashup Week 10


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.


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!


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)



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.


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?


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.


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.


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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