This late into the National Lacrosse League season, every game, every shot and every shift becomes increasingly important and this past Saturday’s full slate of games brought that home to all teams still in contention for post season play.
The New England Black Wolves missed an opportunity to inch up on the first place Buffalo Bandits losing 12-10 at home against the Colorado Mammoth. As a result of the loss and the Bandits win against the Georgia Swarm, they sit 1.5 games back heading into this week’s games.
In a high scoring affair in Georgia, the Bandits outlasted the Swarm 18-14. The teams were tied after the first quarter, 3-3, and 6-1 at the half with Georgia taking a narrow 10-9 lead after three quarters.
But Buffalo exploded with nine fourth quarter goals to the victory and keep the Wolves at bay.
Dhane Smith lead the Bandits with five goals and two assists and Ryan Benesch had a nine pointer with three goals and six assists. Six Nations’ Alex Kedoh Hill contributed two goals and two assists.
For the Swarm, Randy Staats scored twice and assisted on five for a seven-point night. Johnny Powless scored one and assisted on five and Shane Jackson scored four and assisted on one. Miles Thompson scored once while Lyle Thompson scored two and added an assist. Newly acquired Jerome Thompson did not dress for this week’s games.
Meanwhile, the Saskatchewan Rush defeated the Calgary Roughnecks 11-9 and Toronto earned its fourth win of a dismal season by downing Vancouver 13-11 on the west coast.
The Georgia Swarm have traded Joe Maracle and Josh Gillam to the Rochester Knighthawks in exchange for their third round selection in the 2016 Entry Draft and their second round selection in the 2018 Entry Draft.
Week 15 will see Saskatchewan at New England, Friday April 8, New England versus Toronto, Rochester versus Buffalo in Buffalo and Vancouver in Calgary, Saturday April 9.