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Toronto Rock's Marvel-themed night.

NLL Power Rankings: Seals, Rock Separating from the Rest

March 25, 2024
Jack Goods
Christian Bender / National Lacrosse League

Week 17 in the National Lacrosse League was all about overtime.

Four games went into an extra frame, including contests featuring the top two teams in the power rankings. With both San Diego and Toronto finishing on the positive end, their grasp on the top two spots — and playoff seeds — tightened.

1. San Diego Seals (11-4)

Chris Origlieri made a save on Zack Greer a minute into overtime, then quickly sent Tre Leclaire into a one-on-one situation with Las Vegas’ Landon Kells with an outstanding outlet pass. The former Ohio State Buckeye made the most of the opportunity, securing a 10-9 come-from-behind victory for San Diego. The triumph clinched a playoff spot for San Diego, which has won three straight. Last week: 1

2. Toronto Rock (12-3)

The Rock dug themselves out of a 4-0 deficit after the first quarter, getting the last laugh in a game of runs with Halifax. After cutting that deficit to 4-3, the T-Birds responded with three of their own, only to see Toronto storm back in the fourth quarter to secure a 9-8 overtime win. Toronto rode a regulation-closing 5-1 spurt to force the extra frame, with Tom Schreiber netting the equalizer and dishing out a long assist to Mark Matthews for the winner. Toronto has clinched a home quarterfinal in the upcoming postseason. Last week: 2

3. Georgia Swarm (9-7)

The Swarm were shut out in the first half — only the second time that’s happened to a team in the last 10 years as noted by’s Graeme Perrow — but somehow still managed to win 9-7 against Saskatchewan. No team has come back from a scoreless first half to win since 2005, another notable stat dug up by Perrow. The defense kept Georgia in it, with the scoreless 30 minutes only resulting in a 4-0 hole, and a game-closing 6-1 run was enough to leave victorious. Andrew Kew continued to own the fourth quarter, scoring the go-ahead goal. Last week: 7

4. Albany FireWolves (10-5)

The team’s hot start is buoying them in the power rankings, but it is hard not to be a tad concerned after the FireWolves fell for a third straight time on Friday. Despite forcing overtime with a 3-0 fourth quarter, Albany dropped a 10-9 contest to middling Calgary. With upcoming games against Toronto and Panther City, a top three seed is far from a certainty. Last week: 3

5. Halifax Thunderbirds (8-7)

The T-Birds scored just once in the final 22 minutes of game action, eliminating the opportunity to stay in fourth place in the standings and get a game within Albany for third. Clarke Petterson completed his five-point night when he put Halifax up 7-3 with 6:46 remaining in the third quarter. Last week: 4

6. Panther City Lacrosse Club (7-7)

Callum Crawford was crucial in his return from injury Friday night. The veteran dished out the primary assist on back-to-back Will Malcom goals to tie Buffalo at 10, then scored another equalizer to force overtime in PCLC’s 12-11 triumph. Jonathan Donville notched the game-winner on a sidearm bouncer, completing a five-point night. Malcom led the team with seven points. Last week: 8

7. Buffalo Bandits (7-7)

Tehoka Nanticoke put the Bandits ahead with under a minute remaining, but Buffalo couldn’t hold off an equalizer in the final 30 seconds of regulation. Given the one-goal difference, the Bandits will likely be kicking themselves for allowing a goalie goal in the closing seconds of the first half, attempting to beat Nick Damude just a bit too early with Matt Vinc pulled. Dhane Smith and Josh Byrne each had seven points, the only two Bandits with more than one goal. Last week: 5

8. New York Riptide (7-8)

The Riptide re-entered the playoff conversation thanks to a 13-point performance from Jeff Teat. He scored the final two goals for New York to help keep distance between the Riptide and Saskatchewan in a 14-11 win. Stephen Keogh was also critical in the fourth quarter, scoring back-to-back tallies after Saskatchewan inched within a goal. Larson Sundown continued his hot run with eight points. Last week: 11

9. Rochester Knighthawks (6-7)

The Knighthawks led 4-1 after the first quarter and 5-3 at the break, but saw their advantage slip away with Colorado’s six-goal run to start the second half. Rochester only scored twice more the rest of the way in a disappointing 13-7 defeat. Colorado held Connor Fields to his lowest point total since late January, with the MVP candidate recording three goals and an assist. The result snapped a three-game win streak for the K-Hawks. Last week: 6

10. Calgary Roughnecks (6-8)

The Riggers bounced back from a 4-2 hole, then thwarted Albany’s comeback effort thanks to an OT winner from Tanner Cook. Calgary went scoreless for the final 16 minutes of regulation but shut out the FireWolves for the final 5:56 of the fourth to retain a shot at overtime glory. Tyler Pace led the way with six points. Last week: 10

11. Saskatchewan Rush (5-8)

Analysts considered the Rush a major wildcard a few weeks back thanks to a backloaded schedule. After dropping three of their last four, the promise of a dramatic late-season push is starting to fade. Saskatchewan will likely need to make the most of the next two weeks considering season-closing contests with San Diego and Toronto. Last week: 9

12. Vancouver Warriors (5-9)

The Warriors thrashed Philadelphia 21-12, besting their previous season best for goals in a game by six while stringing together a pair of victories for the first time this year. Keegan Bal had 13 points — his highest total since 2019 — as Vancouver got out to a 7-1 lead early in the second quarter and dominated the second half. Last week: 14

13. Colorado Mammoth (5-9)

Eli McLaughlin scored three times as part of Colorado’s pivotal six-goal run, while Zed Williams scored three times in the second half and put the Mammoth ahead for good early in the second quarter. Williams finished with eight points, with McLaughlin right behind him at seven. Dillon Ward made 44 saves. Last week: 14

14. Philadelphia Wings (5-8)

A 4-1 run late in the second quarter helped Philadelphia get within a pair on Vancouver, what proved to be a final gasp in the Wings’ comeback attempt. The squad has followed up its last three wins with defeats and will need to win out to finish above .500 for the first time since 2020. Mitch Jones reached double digits for the first time this season with four goals and six assists. Last week: 12

15. Las Vegas Desert Dogs (4-10)

The Desert Dogs weren’t able to hold on to a 5-1 first quarter lead, nor did they take advantage of Dylan Watson’s equalizer with 6:29 remaining in the fourth quarter. Las Vegas led all the way up to the midway point of the fourth, but couldn’t hold on. Last week: 15