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Toronto Rock goalie Nick Rose.

NLL Power Rankings: Rose, Rock Back on Top

February 5, 2024
Jack Goods
Toronto Rock / National Lacrosse League

Two straight overtime games to start Week 10 of the National Lacrosse League season set the tone for an unpredictable weekend in which every team hit the floor.

Teams who have sat near the bottom of the power rankings scored big victories, while squads like Toronto, San Diego and Buffalo continue to impress.

1. Toronto Rock (6-1)

Nick Rose became the fifth goalie to win 100 games in NLL history with Saturday’s 9-7 victory over Calgary. Rose made 36 saves and held the Roughnecks to two goals during Toronto’s go-ahead second and third quarters. Tom Schreiber hasn’t lost a step after missing the start of the year with an injury, leading the team with seven points a week after recording six in his return. Last week: 2

2. San Diego Seals (6-2)

Austin Staats recorded his first career sock trick during a dominant 11-0 San Diego run, a spurt that put Sunday’s 16-7 showing into embarrassing territory for the formerly mighty Mammoth. Staats finished with six goals and three assists, and Curtis Dickson got into double digits with three goals and seven assists. Last week: 3

3. Buffalo Bandits (5-3)

The Bandits survived a late Rochester push that whittled a five-goal lead down to one, with Chris Cloutier scoring a necessary final goal as part of a 15-14 triumph. Josh Byrne led the way with seven points, while Dhane Smith and Chase Fraser each added six. Two notable milestones were also achieved: Smith reached 1,000 career points, and Western New Yorker Christian Watts made his NLL debut. Last week: 4

4. Halifax Thunderbirds (4-3)

Cody Jamieson was the first overtime hero of the weekend, ripping a shot from up top to secure a 15-14 win against Philadelphia. The T-Birds were in control up 11-5 in the third quarter, but late Wings success required Ryan Benesch to score an equalizer with 1:22 remaining in regulation to force OT. Dawson Theede had seven points, while Aaron Woods recorded six in his NLL debut. Last week: 5

5. Albany FireWolves (6-2)

The FireWolves have lost two straight after their torrid start to the year, with this weekend’s setback the more puzzling of the two defeats. Albany went up 3-0 in the first quarter, then went cold in a 9-6 defensive stalemate against Las Vegas. Nate Grenon scored Albany’s only goal in nearly 40 minutes of action, allowing a Desert Dogs comeback. The offensive effort wasted a strong showing from Justin Geddie, who filled in between the pipes after Doug Jamieson was put on IR. Last week: 1

6. Georgia Swarm (5-4)

Andrew Kew scored an overtime winner that required replay to confirm — the officiating crew determined he barely beat the shot clock — to help Georgia end a three-game skid with a 12-11 final against Vancouver. That was the cherry on top of an eight-point performance, while Seth Oakes scored five times and dished two assists. Last week: 7

7. New York Riptide (4-4)

The Riptide secured their third straight victory with an 11-10 win over Calgary, with Jeff Teat once again living up to the hype. He recorded nine points, including a goal in a critical 3-0 run that turned a deficit into a 10-9 New York lead after three quarters. Kiel Matisz notched six points, surpassing his total from 18 games last season. The Riptide franchise has never been at .500 this late in the season before. Last week: 9

8. Rochester Knighthawks (3-4)

Ryan Smith was masterful for Rochester with five goals and six assists, but it wasn’t enough to earn a season split with the K-Hawks’ main rival. Ryan Lanchbury and Dan Lomas each got their team within a goal in the final five minutes, but Buffalo never allowed that equalizer. Rochester’s losing streak is up to four games. Last week: 6

9. Panther City Lacrosse Club (3-4)

Callum Crawford capped a 4-0 run and his five-point night when he put PCLC up 9-8 with 9:10 remaining. The squad failed to beat Saskatchewan’s Frank Scigliano again, allowing for a Rush 10-9 comeback effort. Will Malcom added a hat trick and an assist for Panther City. Last week: 8

10. Las Vegas Desert Dogs (3-4)

A week after allowing 21 goals to Panther City, the Desert Dogs defense set a new franchise best for goals allowed. Landon Kells was the backbone with 46 saves, while Jack Hannah and Casey Jackson went to work on the other end. Hannah had five points — including the eventual game-winning tally at the start of the fourth quarter — while Jackson was close behind with four. Last week: 14

11. Saskatchewan Rush (2-5)

The Rush scored the final two goals of the game, with Mike Triolo securing the winner against his former team with 4:41 remaining. The late surge helped neutralize a previous 4-0 PCLC run that pushed the visitors ahead halfway through the fourth quarter. Saskatchewan, which recorded its first positive result since mid-December, was led by Robert Church with eight points. Last week: 15

12. Philadelphia Wings (2-5)

The Wings put together an admirable comeback effort despite facing a six-goal deficit five minutes into the second half. An ensuing 4-0 run got Philadelphia back within striking distance of the Thunderbirds, and a 5-1 run in the fourth quarter put the Wings ahead. It wasn’t enough to halt the team’s losing streak, as a late penalty set Halifax up for a goal early in overtime. Last week: 11

13. Colorado Mammoth (3-5)

The Mammoth’s offense, or lack thereof, continues to be an issue. Colorado has failed to surpass 10 goals against a team with a winning record, only hitting the mark against the two teams that sit below them in the power rankings. Sunday’s matchup featured a 37-minute scoreless drought that mercifully ended with a pair of garbage time goals. Last week: 10

14. Calgary Roughnecks (2-5)

The Roughnecks, who exceeded expectations last season, have already matched their 2022-23 loss total after rough results against New York and Toronto. Head coach Josh Sanderson called the team’s stick skills “horrendous” Friday night but shared more positive sentiments after the Rock matchup. Perhaps a step in the right direction, but Calgary doesn’t have time to mess around. Last week: 12

15. Vancouver Warriors (2-6)

The Warriors stormed back from down four late in the third quarter and one in the final two minutes, but it was yet another defeat. Adam Charalambides forced the extra frame when he equalized with 1:40 on the clock, yet the frustration continues to mount. Vancouver hosts Saskatchewan next week and then faces a mighty tough run: at Toronto, vs. Buffalo and at Albany. Last week: 13