To say the 2017 season has started off exciting would be an understatement. Rochester is back on track after taking apart New England, Georgia took advantage of a Rush team without Bold and McIntosh (1 game suspension) and the Vancouver Stealth won both games this weekend on the road!
1-Vancouver Stealth (2-0). Last Week #8. Started the season with a big win over Calgary 12-11. Stealth led the entire night and led 12-7 with just over 11 minutes to go in the game. Calgary would pit a run but it wasn’t enough. On Saturday they traveled to Colorado, and was more of the same. This was a game of runs, after Colorado had their four goal run to take an 8-7 lead, Vancouver would score eight of the final nine goals to win 15-9. Weekend scoring for the Stealth, Rhys Duch (8G/8A), Corey Small (5G/11A), Logan Schuss (5G/4A) led the offense as Tyler Richards stopped 79 of 99 shots faced. Vancouver will open their home schedule this weekend as they host Calgary Saturday 10pm.
2-Toronto Rock (1-0). Last Week #3 After an opening week 12-5 win over Rochester, the Rock had a bye this past week. This week they host the Rush who will have Aaron Bold back in goal and Ben McIntosh on offense. Game time 7pm Saturday.
3-Georgia Swarm (1-0). Last Week #6. The Swarm opened up the 2017 campaign with a solid win over the two-time defending champion Rush. 18-10. Granted the Rush were without goalie Aaron Bold and Ben McIntosh, but even with them the Swarm played a flawless game. Game was tight for the first three quarters, then Georgia scored six times to put it away. Miles Thompson (4G/1A), Lyle Thompson (2G/6A), Jordan Hall (6A), Shayne Jackson (4G/2A), and Rookie of the Year Randy Staats (3G/4A) helped buzz the Rush. Georgia will shuffle off to Buffalo 7:30pm Saturday.
4-Rochester Knighthawks (1-1) Last Week #9. Rebounded 15-8 over New England. After an opening night embarrassment to Toronto, the Knighthawks jumped into the win column. After a close first half, the Knighthawks outscored New England 11-3 in the second half. Rookies Kyle Jackson (2G/9A), Josh Currier (2G/3A), and Dan Lomas (2G/3A) led the attack. Stephen Keogh returned with a (3G/3A) performance. Special teams were huge as Rochester was 9-10 on the power play. Knighthawks have a bye this week, and will prepare to visit Saskatchewan on January 21st..
5-Colorado Mammoth (1-1) Last Week #2. In a classic western conference game, the Mammoth fell 15-9 to the Vancouver Stealth. Neither team would have more then a two goal lead until Vancouver tied it at eight 11:25 into the third quarter. That goal would lead to the Stealth scoring eight of the next nine goals for the victory. Eli McLaughlin (4G), Callum Crawford (1G/5A) led the offense for Colorado. Colorado will look to rebound this weekend as they host the New England Blackwolves Saturday 9pm.
6-Saskatchewan Rush (0-1). Last Week #1. Fell to Georgia 18-10 and started the season without goalie Aaron Bold and Ben McIntosh who were serving a one game suspension from a preseason fight. Rush kept the game close trailing only 8-7 at the half and were hanging on at 12-8 at the start of the final quarter. But two shorthanded goals by Georgia early put it away. Every time Saskatchewan would score one, Georgia would score two. Saskatchewan will look to get back on track, as they travel to Toronto for a 7pm Saturday matchup.
7-Buffalo Bandits (0-1). Last Week #5 After an opening loss at home to Colorado 12-8 to start their 2017 campaign, the Bandits were on a bye week. Buffalo looks to get into the win column as they host Georgia (1-0), Saturday January 14 at 7:30.
8-Calgary Roughnecks (0-1). Last Week #7. Opened their 2017 season at home with a 12-11 loss to Vancouver. Calgary was without Frank Scigliano(G), Greg Harnett and Garrett McIntosh, all serving a game suspension from a fight in preseason. Calgary fell behind early and never could get on the plus side of the game. Calgary put a four goal run in the final quarter, but it wasn’t enough. Wes Berg (3G/1A), Dane Dobbie (2G/2A), Curtis Dickson (1G/4A). Calgary will now go on the road and face Vancouver (2-0). Calgary can ill afford to lose a second game to Vancouver this early in season. Game is scheduled for Saturday 10pm.
9-New England Blackwolves (0-1) Last Week #4. Fell to Rochester 15-8. Unfortunately this is a 60 minute game. The Blackwolves held a 5-4 lead at the half, and that would be the last time they would have the lead. New England was outscored 11-3 in the second half. Special teams were disastrous, as they allowed Rochester to go 9-10 on the power play. All seven of Rochester’s goals in the final quarter were power play goals. Pat Saunders (2G/1A) and Chad Culp (1G/3A). New England looks to get back on track as they travel to face Colorado 9pm Saturday.
(Source: Rocco Granato – http://inlacrossewetrust.com/power-rankings-stealth-soar-to-top/)