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NLL Takeaways: Week 6

New York needed that performance, and that win


After a 0-3 start, the Riptide were looking a bit listless. The offense wasn’t clicking, defense was giving up too many goals and goaltending seemed a bit shaky. Against the Wings, it all got sorted out. On opening night, Philly got out to a big lead over New York and as much as the Riptide tried to battle back, the Wings always got the goal they needed to stave off a comeback. This weekend in Philly, the roles were reversed. New York went up 3-0 in the first, and Philly battled back to tie it at 4, the Riptide went on a four goal run. Philly would fight, but the Riptide got timely goals, and they got them settled, in transition, and on the power play. Jeff Teat was masterful with nine points, and Connor Kearnan’s excellent production continued with seven points of his own. Austin Madronic got his first goal of the year, part of a three goal effort and a welcome sight for Riptide fans. New York still needs to close out quarters better. Philly scored in the closing minute of each of the four quarters. But this was a much improved performance. 


Yet again, no lead is safe


Lacrosse just kind of goes that way. In the PLL, if you have a faceoff edge (maybe less so these days) and some shooters, thanks to the two point line, you were never really out of it. Indoors has no two point line, but still, the comebacks were abound. Albany went on a 4-0 run in the 2nd quarter against Halifax to go up 7-4, and the Birds would rattle off a 6-1 run of their own to take a 10-8 lead in the 4th. And then, because Albany is still Albany, they score four straight to win it. Georgia was up 9-4 at the half at home, the game looking well in hand. But after a shutout quarter from PCLC, the game was tied in the 4th not once but twice, and the Swarm barely escaped with a win. Buffalo was all over the Mammoth early, leading 7-1 at the half. But a 6-3 3rd quarter that went Colorado’s way had the Mammoth threatening late. They did ultimately come up short, but it was fun watching leads get erased in games all weekend. 


Shayne Jackson got crazy hot


OK so maybe unfair to say Jackson got crazy hot. He’s been crazy hot. He took the floor against PCLC with 20 points to his name on the season already. But he was on a whole other level against PCLC. Jackson notched a sock trick, an impressive feat on its own made even more impressive by the fact that it only took him eight shots to get it. Six goals on eight shots is efficiency on a level most players don’t reach. And beyond just the volume, the timeliness of the goals was massive. Georgia got shut out in the third quarter as PCLC clawed back into the game, eventually tying it at nine early in the 4th. Jackson scored the goal to put Georgia back up. When PCLC tied it at ten, Jackson scored the goal to put Georgia back in front again. That was the game winner. He scored Georgia’s first goal, and their game winner, in the course of netting six. Can’t do much better than that. 


Callum Crawford refuses to age


Panther City is out to a rough start. They were very promising to watch week one with a win over Vancouver, but since have found themselves on the wrong end of close games. They lost a heartbreaker to Vegas, then fell by three to Toronto. This weekend, Despite a valiant battle back to tie the game at 10 late and erase a five goal deficit, Panther City came up short against Georgia. The schedule has not been easy. Through it all, Callum Crawford just keeps racking up points. Crawford is 39 years old, but players like a man literally half his age. He had eight points in this game, including a hat trick, once again leading Panther City. He’s had at least four points in every game this year, and at least three goals in three of four games. It’s early in the season, so while the legs are fresh it seems fair to expect Crawford to continue to produce at this electric level. But at some point he has to show his age. Right? Doesn’t he??


Another week, another Albany win


The Firewolves are now 5-0. This team didn’t win a home game a year ago, they were meant to be in a rebuild. Playoffs? Please. And now, it’s hard to image the playoffs without them. They’ll have a legit shot to the top of power rankings, as they remain at the top of the standings. Albany, on DraftKings, has been an underdog against the spread in all five games, and still won all five. They have wins over both Buffalo and Halifax. Alex Simmons feels like he has Rookie of the Year all but won (he’s almost certainly Rookie of the Week again after his five point performance). Albany weather a storm against Halifax in this one, pulling out a win with their young group against veteran, all-pro caliber defenders from the Birds. Down two in the 4th, Albany went on a four goal run to win the game, something that is not easy for a young team to do. They play beyond their years, they play fun, they score, they have players to root for. It’s one of the most fun stories in lacrosse.


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