A little late this week, but with some off field news going down on Monday and Tuesday, I wanted to wait and see what was going on. On field, the games have been very unpredictable, which has made this season one of the most exciting and for some very frustrating. Off field, a huge trade that very well could shake up the league balance in the second half of the season came down earlier this week.
Ryan Benesch, Minnesota: The All-Star has scored a hat trick for the fouth time this season notching the game winner Friday night in the second-longest game in NLL history as the Swarm beat the Edmonton Rush 10-9.
Jeff Shattler, Calgary: Shattler gave Calgary a two-goal lead late in the fourth to seal the win over Washington. He finished with a game high four goals, an assist and a game high 12 loose balls.
Evan Kirk, Minnesota: Not one, but two strong rookie goalies for Minnesota. Kirk got the start Sunday after Tyler Carlson played in the marathon OT win over Edmonton. Kirk turned away 46 shots and surrendered only six goals, including just one over the final 28 minutes.
Drew Westervelt, Philadelphia: Westervelt had two fourth quarter goals, the first was the eventual game-winner 13-12 and then he made it 14-12 100 seconds later which proved to be the difference after John Tavares scored on a penalty shot. Westervelt finished with three goals, one assist and five loose balls.
1- Colorado Mammoth 5-0(Last Week 1). A well deserved week off for the leagues only undefeated team.
2- Toronto Rock 3-2 (2). Also a week off so Toronto stays put.
3- Calgary Roughnecks 3-2 (3). Calgary defeated a struggling Washington team by one goal after two straight losses in OT.
4- Minnesota Swarm 3-2 (8). The Swarm get the nod here for two wins over the weekend. Both rookie goalie's now have stepped in with wins as Evan Kirk held Rochester to just six goals on Sunday. There is a lot of young talent on this team which is quickly gaining confidence.
5- Philadelphia Wings 3-2 (9). Good Philly showed up with a big win over Buffalo. Unfortunately, week in and week out, bad Philly can show up just as much as good Philly.
6- Edmonton Rush 1-3 (7). The Rush fell to Minnesota in overtime, but they get the #6 spot for their win on Monday by trading for Paul Rabil. They gave up Athan Iannucci who would not suit up for the Rush. Rabil's arrival may propel the Rush into the top half of the league.
7- Washington Stealth 1-4 (5). Washington has struggled on offense this season but did get a lot of help with the Iannucci trade. He is one of the most explosive scores in the league of the last decade although they had to give up the best transition player to get him.
8- Buffalo Bandits 2-5 (6). The next three weeks are not going to be fun for the Bandits. No games until March 3. Maybe in that time they can figure out how to get out of their uncharacteristic funk with a rare four-game losing streak.
9- Rochester Knighthawks 2-4 (4). Not a good weekend on or off the field for the Khawks. We will see if they are at full strength when they host Washington on Saturday. If not, things could get worse.