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National Lacrosse League: Ten Things to Know for Week 14

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PHILADELPHIA, March 01 , 2024The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, begins “The March to May,” as teams vie for the eight spots in the NLL Playoffs. The new standings format, in which teams are ranked 1-15 based on record regardless of geography, has helped make the postseason races tighter and more interesting than ever.

Which brings us to Week 14, and an overstuffed slate of nine contests including a Friday NLL Game of the Week on TSN doubleheader beginning with Georgia at Halifax (7 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. AT, TSN4, ESPN+, Peachtree Sports) followed by Buffalo at Vancouver (10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, TSN1/4, ESPN+, CW23 Buffalo). NLL on ESPN has the Toronto at Las Vegas (10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, ESPNU, TSN+) as well that night, with four total games Friday, four on Saturday and a matinee on Sunday featuring Rochester at Panther City (4 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. CT, ESPN+, TSN+, Bally Sports Southwest).

Here are 10 things to know about the NLL entering Week 14:

Keeping it Close: While Albany and Toronto are off to commanding 8-2 marks, with San Diego one click behind at 7-3, just two losses separate fourth-place Halifax (7-4) and 14th-place Rochester (3-6), making “The March to May” even more intriguing. All 15 NLL teams are within three games of the eighth and final playoff spot.

Metric Measurements: In this week’s “LaxMetrics Powered by the NLL,”’s Cooper Perkins argues that Friday’s showdown between the Toronto Rock and San Diego Seals at Pechanga Arena (10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT, ESPNU, TSN+) is the best game of the season.

Groovie Goalie Goals: February 23 is semi-officially “Goalie Goal” day in the NLL. Albany’s Doug Jamieson (Ohsweken, Ont.) put one in net during the FireWolves’ win at Buffalo last week, one year to the date that Panther City’s Nick Damuee (Fonthill, Ont.) tallied a full-field marker at Colorado.

Teat Treats: New York’s Jeff Teat (Brampton, Ont.) heads up our look at the league’s offensive statistical leaders; with an NLL-best 35 goals through 11 games he’s on a pace to eclipse the 56 he tallied last year. Halifax’s Ryan Benesch (Elmira, Ont.) is next with 32 goals, followed by Georgia’s Lyle Thompson (Onondaga Nation, N.Y.) and San Diego’s Austin Staats (Six Nations, Ont.) with 29 each. Buffalo’s feed machine Dhane Smith (Kitchener, Ont.) is the runaway assist leader with 56, 10 more than second place Jesse King (Victoria, B.C.) of Calgary. Teat’s 73 points are five better than Buffalo’s Josh Byrne (New Westminster, B.C.) and six more than Smith.

Hang Loose: The scoring races are tight, but the widest disparity between a stats leader and his closest competitor is in the loose ball recoveries category, where Halifax’s Jake Withers (Peterborough, Ont.) has gobbled up 183, an astounding 16.6 per game, with Calgary’s Zach Currier (Peterborough, Ont.) second with 105 and Buffalo’s Ian MacKay (Port Elgin, Ont.) third with 101.

More than Wings: Mention Buffalo in the context of food and chicken wings are the usual response. Dhane Smith and his friends at Mr. Sizzle are out to change that with the introduction of “The Great Dhane,” a fried hot-honey chicken breast sandwich with pepper jack cheese and other goodies.

Rankings Stand Pat:’s Adam Levi usually has a change or two or five in his Power Rankings, but teams mostly solidified their positions over the weekend. For the second straight week, the Toronto Rock, by virtue of a road win at Vancouver, keep the top spot, San Diego stays at No. 2 following a thrilling OT triumph over Georgia, and Halifax remains in third for the third straight week after rinsing the Rush in Saskatoon. Albany popped up one slot to No. 4, and the big mover was surging Calgary, which lifted three spots to No. 5 and is making noise after a win over Philadelphia for its third straight victory

Locally Shown: Eight of the nine scheduled games this weekend will have a local broadcast complementing the ESPN and TSN linear and digital options across the continent.

Community Minded: Some recent NLL team community projects include:

The Albany FireWolves have set up a series of clinics in local school districts with players like Justin Geddie (Victoria, B.C.), Tye Kurtz (Puslinch, Ont.), Will Johansen (Victoria, B.C.) and Sam Firth (Ottawa, Ont.) helping introduce the game in a program that includes stick donations and the establishment of local lacrosse clubs.

Members of the Buffalo Bandits lacrosse team visited Windermere Boulevard Elementary School in Amherst, where they worked with children in groups and introduced them to the sport of lacrosse

The Vancouver Warriors have provided local lacrosse fan Jayden with the opportunity to join the team at a practice session as part of the Variety Show of Hearts program and Global BC.

The San Diego Seals have partnered with the T. Claude and Gladys B. Ryan Family YMCA, located in San Diego’s Point Loma neighborhood, on its new outdoor practice facility and community athletic center.’s Jon Rapoport detailed the commitment in this article on Tuesday and local television stations were present at the groundbreaking.

Promo World: A few of the events going on at NLL games weekend are:

NLL Players reaching milestones last week included:

Player achievements within reach this week are:

Halifax forward Ryan Benesch (Elmira, Ont.) needs one game played to pass Colin Doyle and Mark Steenhuis for eighth on the all-time list with 267; and nine goals to pass Dan Dawson for fourth on the all-time list with 552




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