NLL Power Rankings: Seals Reclaim Top Spot After Rochester Falls


Jake Govett and the Seals rode a 7-1 start to a 13-9 win over Colorado last weekend.

It took nine weeks, but the final undefeated National Lacrosse League team has fallen. For the first time in the 2022-23 campaign, the Rochester Knighthawks were solved, and quite systematically. That upset resulted in a change at the top of this week’s power rankings, with a familiar group leading the box circuit again.


The Seals kept Colorado from moving a half-game behind them in the standings by claiming a major clash out west, riding a 7-1 start to a 13-9 win. Backup goalie Chris Origlieri kept the Mammoth from scoring until 4:33 remained in the second half, helping his unit get out to an early 5-0 advantage. A 5-3 run in the third all but put Colorado away, despite a late surge. Wesley Berg led the way on offense with seven points, as the Seals moved back into the No. 1 spot after three weeks of Rochester reign. Last week: 2


The Rock have now won four straight after pulling off the closest triumph during this stretch, an 11-10 overtime victory against Calgary. Following three games with eight-plus goal differentials, Toronto needed a tally in the extra frame from Stephen Keogh to keep the good times rolling. It was an impressive finish, too, as a Dan Craig shot went off the back glass and toward Keogh in front of the net. The veteran smoothly collected the ball to secure a happy flight home. Last week: 3


The K-Hawks were upended for the first time all season and in lopsided fashion. Halifax held Rochester to its lowest total of the season — in addition to limiting Connor Fields to just two points — in the Thunderbirds’ 17-7 victory. Rochester scored four straight across the second and third quarters to cut the deficit to two but only beat Warren Hill once more in the blowout. Last week: 1


The Bandits lost Josh Byrne midway through their game against the Riptide on Saturday but still outscored New York 7-3 in the second half for a 16-10 victory. That secured a 2-0 weekend, as Buffalo opened with a 13-9 triumph against Philadelphia. Dhane Smith combined for 20 points across the two games, but injuries are piling up with the team already without Chris Cloutier and Chase Fraser. They need others to step up, like Brad McCulley notching four points against the Wings and Brandon Robinson producing seven points against New York. Last week: 6


Mark Matthews was at the center of nearly all Saskatchewan’s offense, recording 12 points in a 15-10 win against the Desert Dogs. He was involved in the final five goals of a game-changing 8-0 run in the second quarter and helped hold Las Vegas off by earning a point on every Rush tally in the second half. Alex Buque made 40 saves and Ryan Keenan added eight points. Last week: 7


The T-Birds stabilized the ship after going 0-2 two weeks ago, earning the team’s most impressive victory of the season against Rochester. A seven-goal stretch put Halifax up 8-2 in the second quarter before a 9-1 game-closing run had the Knighthawks wondering what hit them. Austin Shanks totaled eight points, while Chris Boushy and Bo BowHunter each recorded a hat trick in a reinvigorating effort. Last week: 9


A late four-goal run made the final score look better than it could have, as the Mammoth trailed by as much as eight when Tre Leclaire put San Diego up 13-5 early in the fourth quarter. The setback halted Colorado’s three-game winning streak and marked the third time this season the team has been held to single-digit goals. The Seals shouldn’t put Colorado in the rearview mirror, though, as the Mammoth have an excellent chance to challenge again in the standings with upcoming matchups against Georgia and Las Vegas. Last week: 5


Panther City had two players reach double-digit point totals, and Callum Crawford fit in immediately on his new squad in PCLC’s 20-7 victory against Vancouver. Will Malcom (13) and Jonathan Donville (12) each set career highs for points. Crawford, who arrived after a trade with the Riptide, added two goals and five assists as Panther City moved above .500. Last week: 8


The Riggers showed resolve by scoring three goals in the final three minutes to force overtime against Toronto but couldn’t complete the job. Jesse King scored with 19 seconds remaining in regulation to complete Calgary’s excavation from an early 7-1 hole, then the Rock crushed the excitement less than 30 seconds into OT. Last week: 4


The FireWolves had the weekend off and return Saturday at the Philadelphia Wings. Last week: 10


The Wings appeared poised for a complete night of celebration after raising Kevin Finneran’s No. 11 to the rafters and going up 6-2 early on Buffalo on Friday night. Yet the tide turned when Brandon Robinson stole a goal back with a second remaining in the first half, kickstarting a 7-0 Bandits run. Last week: 12


The Riptide were brought back to earth after securing their first win of the season, with the offense going largely dormant in the second half against the Bandits. Reilly O’Connor, Jeff Teat and Larson Sundown steered a 3-1 run to end the first half and tie the score at 7, but Buffalo opened the second with two goals and never trailed again. Jeff Teat had seven points, while Connor Kearnan and O’Connor each had five. Last week: 11


The Swarm’s stretch of two weeks on the sidelines will end on Friday when they travel to Denver to take on the Mammoth. Last week: 13


The Desert Dogs faced their toughest test of the season and fared relatively well, holding an early lead and responding to a Rush run by cutting the deficit to two in the third quarter. Three of Las Vegas’ next four games are against teams sitting .500 or better, a stretch that likely will make or break the expansion franchise’s ability to be in playoff contention in the second half of the season. Last week: 14


The Warriors gave up more than 14 goals for a sixth time and lost by nine or more goals for a third time this season, this go-around doomed by a 12-1 run that stretched from the early stages of the first quarter deep into the second. No Vancouver player recorded more than three points as a disastrous season mercilessly marches on. Last week: 15


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