NLL: Ten things for know for Week 15
It’s another full slate in Week 15 as seven games (four East vs. East, three West vs. West) make up this weekend’s schedule over three days for the National Lacrosse League. In addition to the back end of a “home and home” rematch between Halifax and Buffalo, this time at KeyBank Center (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+, TSN+), the NLL Game of the Week on TSN features the Rock, just a half-game out of first place, hosting the FireWolves (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET).
Here are 10 things to know about the NLL for Week 15:
- Halifax visits Buffalo on Saturday after last Friday’s thriller, when the Bandits took and early 3-0 lead, fell behind by two in the third then rallied in a back-and-forth battle at Scotiabank Arena, a game which saw two major league milestones. Thunderbirds forward Ryan Benesch (Elmira, Ont.) notched his 500th career goal, his third of the game, while Bandits goaltender Matt Vinc (St. Catharines, Ont.) has now played in more games than any other goalie, 262, punctuating the win with a back-door stop in the one-goal triumph.
- ESPN SportsCenter highlighted three amazing behind-the-back goals on its Plays of the Day segments over the weekend. On Friday, Buffalo’s Tehoka Nanticoke (Six Nations, Ont.) earned the No. 9 play. On Saturday, it was newly-acquired Jake Fox (Ottawa, Ont.) getting familiar with his Albany teammates with this sick no-look for No. 6. And on Monday, ESPN rated Philadelphia’s Kiel Matisz’s (Stoney Creek, Ont.) tally as its No. 3 play.
- Nineteen NLL players are among the 23 selected to the Haudenosaunee Nationals roster for the 2023 World Lacrosse Men’s Championship in San Diego this June. These players will represent the Haudenosaunee Confederacy as one of five teams in Pool A, which also includes the U.S., Canada, Australia and England. Round-robin play at the event begins on June 23 with Haudenosaunee vs. England.
- The Las Vegas Desert Dogs will host their first Hero Appreciation Night on Saturday vs. Vancouver (10:30 p.m. ET / 7:30 p.m. PT, ESPN+, TSN+, KVMY-21) at Michelob Ultra Arena. First responders and military veterans can purchase $5 tickets. The Desert Dogs teamed with the Southern Nevada Veteran Chamber of Commerce (SNVCC) and the Veteran Social Club on the celebration.
- The Toronto Rock will celebrate Indigenous Heritage Night at FirstOntario Centre vs. Albany on Saturday (7 p.m. ET, ESPN+, NLL Game of the Week on TSN, WNYA). They’ll be sporting these stylish jerseys, featuring the Eagle Clutching Lacrosse Sticks, Hiawatha Belt, Four-Color Diamond Motif, representing the four colors of the medicine wheel: red, black, white and yellow, with the final component color of purple, used extensively in Haudenosaunee wampum belts. A game-worn jersey auction began this week benefiting the Downie Wenjack Fund.
- The NLL Trade Deadline and the deadline for signing of Restricted Free Agents is on Monday, March 20 at 3 p.m. ET. Teams will then be required to submit final rosters to the League by Thursday, March 23 at 3 p.m. ET. The NLL’s “Coast to Coast” show with host Teddy Jenner, available on the NLL YouTube Channel and linked from its social accounts, on the 21st will break down all the deals and what they mean for the players and teams. Additionally, the deadline for signing "street free agents" is April 15, with the regular season concluding on April 29.
- The “Stadium Showdown” outdoor game between San Diego and Las Vegas at Snapdragon Stadium was a huge hit with fans, players, the TV audience and just about everyone who experienced it on Saturday. The time lapse video of the “arena” setup gained attention in local and national media as well.
- In addition to the NLL Game of the Week on TSN and full coverage across ESPN+, five games this week will be simulcast locally in the U.S. across six networks: Albany (WYNA My4); Las Vegas (KVMY Ch. 21); Philadelphia (NBC Sports Philadelphia), Colorado (Altitude Sports), San Diego (CW-8) and New York (MSG Network).
- Some milestones players eclipsed last week include:
- Buffalo goaltender Matt Vinc (St. Catharines, Ont.) passed Brandon Miller to lead all goaltenders in league history with 262 following the win over Halifax
- Georgia defenseman/transition player Jeremy Thompson (Syracuse, N.Y.) now has 2098 faceoff wins, passing Jamie Hanford for third place in league history, with 11/19 vs. Albany
- Halifax forward Ryan Benesch (Elmira, Ont.) became the sixth player in league history to reach 500 goals with three vs. Buffalo
- Halifax defenseman Tyson Bell (St. Catharines, Ont.) played in his 100th career game when the Thunderbirds faced Buffalo
- Las Vegas defenseman/transition player Brandon Clelland (Georgetown, Ont.) now has 717 faceoff wins after taking 22 of 31 vs. San Diego in the “Stadium Showdown”
- New York defenseman Scott Dominey (Toronto) now has 200 loose ball recoveries after recording seven vs. Philadelphia
- Philadelphia forward Matt Rambo (Glenside, Pa.) now has 203 points after a goal and three assists vs. Toronto
- Philadelphia forward Joe Resetarits (Hamburg, N.Y.) now has 608 points after a goal and six assists vs. Toronto
- San Diego forward Kevin Crowley (New Westminster, B.C.) now has 800 points after two assists vs. Las Vegas and 701 loose ball recoveries after nabbing three vs. the Desert Dogs
- San Diego forward Curtis Dickson (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) now has 903 points after a three-goal, six-assist effort vs. Las Vegas
- Toronto defenseman Brad Kri (Acton, Ont.) now has 807 loose ball recoveries after gobbling up 10 vs. Philadelphia
- Toronto forward Dan Dawson (Oakville, Ont.) became the second player in League history to reach 1500 points (John Tavares is the other) when he assisted on a Dan Craig (Shelburne, Ont.) goal in the first quarter vs. Rochester
- Some milestones players may reach this week include:
- Buffalo defenseman Steve Priolo (St. Catharines, Ont.) needs four points to reach 200
- Calgary defenseman Jeff Cornwall (Coquitlam, B.C.) needs one point to reach 100
- Calgary forward Tyler Pace (Coquitlam, B.C.) needs three loose ball recoveries to reach 200
- Colorado goaltender Dillon Ward (Orangeville, Ont.) needs four saves to pass Brandon Miller for ninth on the all-time list with 5095 (depending on Aaron Bold)
- Colorado forward Chris Wardle (Victoria, B.C.0 needs three goals to reach 100 and Six loose ball recoveries to reach 300
- Georgia forward Shayne Jackson (Bowmanville, Ont.) needs three goals to reach 300
- Halifax defenseman David Brock (Burlington, Ont.) needs one point to reach 100
- Halifax forward Ryan Benesch (Elmira, Ont.) needs eight assists to become the ninth player in league history to reach 700
- New York defenseman/transition player Jay Thorimbert (Whitby, Ont.) needs one loose ball recovery to become the fifth player in league history to reach 1800
- Philadelphia goaltender Angus Goodleaf (Kahanwake, Que.) needs 16 minutes played to reach 2000
- Philadelphia forward Ben McIntosh (Port Coquitlam, B.C.) needs one loose ball recovery to reach 500.
- Philadelphia defenseman John Ranagan (Yorktown, N.Y.) needs five loose ball recoveries to reach 400
- San Diego forward Dane Dobbie (Elora, Ont.) needs one goals to become the seventh player in league history to reach 500 (following Ryan Benesch last week)
- Saskatchewan defenseman Matt Beers (Coquitlam, B.C.) needs one assist to reach 100
- Saskatchewan defenseman Ryan Dilks (Edmonton, Alb.) needs four points to reach 100
- Toronto defenseman Mitch de Snoo (Oshawa, Ont.) needs three points to reach 100
- Toronto defenseman Billy Hostrawser (Bellwood, Ont.) needs six loose ball recoveries to reach 700
- Vancouver defenseman Brett Mydske (New Westminster, B.C.) needs one game played to reach 200
Schedule – Week 15 (All Times Eastern)
Thunderbirds (5-6) @ Bandits (9-2), 7:30pm, ESPN+, TSN+
Roughnecks (7-4) @ Mammoth (5-5), 9 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, Altitude Sports Network
FireWolves (2-8) @ Rock (9-3), 7pm, ESPN+, NLL Game of the Week on TSN, WNYA
Wings (5-5) @ Riptide (2-9), 7:30pm, ESPN+, TSN+, NBC Sports Philadelphia, MSG Network
Seals (7-2) @ Rush (5-5), 8:30pm, ESPN+, TSN+, CW8 San Diego
Warriors (2-9) @ Desert Dogs (4-6), 10:30pm, ESPN+, TSN+, KVMY
Knighthawks (8-3) @ Georgia (2-7), 4pm, ESPN+, TSN+