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National Lacrosse League: Ten Things to Know For Week 3

The National Lacrosse League (@NLL), the largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world, with a thrilling second week in the books, returns for Week 3 with one game on Friday and four on Saturday, including the home opener for the defending NLL champion Buffalo Bandits, who will hoist the 2023 title banner before their game vs. San Diego on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+, TSN+) in the NLL Saturday Showcase. The ceremony will be carried on ESPN+, TSN+ and CW23 Buffalo as part of a special half-hour pregame show.

Here are 10 things to know about the NLL entering Week 3:

  • Groove Tube: This week’s five contests will be seen on six local broadcasts, with every game seen in at least one of the team markets, in addition to the ESPN+ and TSN+ broadcasts and NLL Game of the Week on TSN (Georgia at Vancouver, 10 p.m ET/7 p.m. PT). NBC Sports + (Philadelphia), CW23 (Buffalo), My4 (Albany), Peachtree Sports (Georgia), SSSEN (Las Vegas) and MSG Network (New York) will have live in-market airings of their respective contests.
  • Seals the Deal: On Saturday night, global music and TV Bret Michaels traveled to San Diego to support his oldest daughter and Seals & ESPN+ sideline reporter, Raine Michaels, for the team’s season opening win over Calgary. Super Bowl winning NFL quarterback Drew Brees also attended.
  • Community Champs in Fort Worth: The Panther City Lacrosse Club Community Champion Program, a huge success last year, is back, with presenting sponsor Frank Kent Cadillac once again on board in support. The Fort Worth Independent School District became the first honoree of the season on Sunday in the program which highlights one local Fort Worth non-profit at each of the team’s nine regular season home games.
  • Power On: NLL.com correspondent Adam Levi posted his NLL Power Rankings after Sunday’s action, tabbing Toronto (1-0) at No. 1, followed by San Diego (1-0) and Buffalo (0-1). See the top eight here.
  • Stick on 17:The San Diego seals raised Brodie Merrill’s number 17 to the rafters during halftime of the Seals home opener against the Calgary Roughnecks Saturday. Merrill, the overall No. 1 Draft Pick in 2005 by the Portland LumberJax, is the League’s all-time leader in loose balls (2,778).
  • Kid Captains:The Las Vegas Desert Dogs launched their “Power of the Pack” Campaign, supporting their community in a big way by giving several Cure 4 The Kids Foundation patients the opportunity of a lifetime — to join the team! Nine patients of Cure 4 The Kids Foundation (C4K), Southern Nevada’s only pediatric cancer and rare disease treatment center, are being offered two-day “contracts” with the Desert Dogs. As honorary captains, each child will be featured in a video vignette during the official pre-show and then will be the first player to emerge from the tunnel during team introductions. Every team captain will participate in a news conference the night before each game, receive a team jersey, meet with players in the locker room and offer additional support to players. Danny Bueno Peralta was the first, before the team’s opener vs. Albany.
  • Finn With Wings: Newly minted NLL Hall of Famer Kevin “Coach Finn” Finneran will conduct the 28th Annual Coach Finn Lacrosse Holiday/Christmas Camp on Dec. 23 at the Philadelphia Wings Training facility in Voorhees, N.J. Finneran was a 10-year star for the Wings, who retired his No. 11 last year, and a four-time league champion. The camp is open to boys ages 8-15.
  • Tall and the Short of It: The tallest players on active rosters at the start of the 2023-24 season are Saskatchewan’s Mike Triolo (Toronto) at 6’8”, followed by four players at 6’6: Calgary’s Seth Van Schepen (Brampton, Ont.) and Reece Callies (Langley, B.C.), New York’s Matt Marinier (Burlington, Ont.) and Panther City’s Ty Thompson (Nepean, Ont.). Five players are listed, on the other side of the ledger, at 5’8: Calgary’s Adam Bland (Victoria, B.C.), Halifax’s Ryan Benesch (Elmira, Ont.), Buffalo’s Kyle Buchanan (Nepean, Ont.), Las Vegas’s Rob Hellyer (Lion’s Head, Ont.) and New York’s Connor Kearnan (Courtice, Ont).
  • NLL Players reaching milestones last week included:
    • Colorado F Chris Wardle (Victoria, B.C.) now has 101 goals after scoring two vs. Georgia
    • Philadelphia F Holden Cattoni (Calgary, Alb.) has now played in 100 games
    • Rochester D Dan Coates (St. Catharines, Ont.) now has 100 points after notching two assists vs. Saskatchewan
    • San Diego D Kyle Rubisch (Brampton, Ont.) has now played in 200 games
    • Saskatchewan F Ryan Keenan (Oshawa, Ont.) has now played in 100 games
    • Toronto D Mitch de Snoo (Oshawa, Ont.) now has 100 points after dishing out three assists vs. Philadelphia
  • Player achievements within reach this week are:
    • Albany F Ethan Walker (Peterborough, Ont.) needs two points to reach 100
    • Buffalo coach John Taveras needs one victory for 50
    • Buffalo D Steve Priolo (St. Catharines, Ont.) needs one point for 200
    • Buffalo forward Chase Fraser (Vancouver, B.C.) needs five goals to reach 100
    • Buffalo forward Tehoka Nanticoke (OLA Six Nations) needs six points to reach 100
    • Buffalo goaltender Matt Vinc (St. Catharines, Ont.) needs one game dressed to pass Shawn Evans for fifth on the all-time list with 271
    • Georgia forward Andrew Kew (Oakville, Ont.) needs eight goals to reach 100
    • Halifax F Ryan Benesch (Elmira, Ont.) needs one assist to pass Shawn Williams for eighth on the all-time list with 709
    • Halifax D Graeme Hossack (Port Perry, Ont) needs five points to reach 100
    • Halifax forward Randy Staats (OLA Six Nations)needs one point to reach 500
    • Las Vegas forward Casey Jackson (Victoria, B.C.) needs three goals to reach 100
    • Las Vegas forward Zack Greer (Whitby, Ont.) needs 10 points to reach 600
    • New York forward Connor Kearnan (Courtice, Ont.) needs seven assists to reach 100
    • New York defenseman John LaFontaine (Whitby, Ont.) needs one point to reach 100
    • New York forward Jeff Teat (Brampton, Ont.) needs six goals to reach 100
    • Philadelphia F Holden Cattoni (Calgary, Alb.) needs six points for 400
    • San Diego forward Wesley Berg (Coquitlam, B.C.) needs eight goals to reach 200; and five assists to reach 300
    • Vancouver defenseman Brett Mydske (New Westminster, B.C.)needs one point to reach 100

Schedule – Week 3 (All Times Eastern)

Friday

  • Saskatchewan Rush (0-2) at Las Vegas Desert Dogs (1-1), 10 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, SSSEN

Saturday

  • Albany FireWolves (2-0) at Philadelphia Wings (1-1), 1 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, My4, NBCSP+
  • Halifax Thunderbirds (1-0) at New York Riptide (0-1), 7:30 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, MSG Network
  • San Diego Seals (1-0) at Buffalo Bandits (0-1), 7:30 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, CW23 (NLL Saturday Showcase)
  • Georgia Swarm (1-0) at Vancouver Warriors (0-1), 10 p.m., TSN5, TSN+, ESPN+, Peachtree Sports Network

About Jerry Milani

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Jerry Milani is a writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 30 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and as a freelance professional. His PR clients have included Wizard World and FAN EXPO, which produce pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America, USA Wrestling, the National Lacrosse League, Strat-O-Matic Media, the Pacific Life Open and Pilot Pen Tennis tournaments and dozens of others. Milani is also the director of athletic communications for Caldwell University. He is a proud graduate of North Rockland High School and Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at Jerry (at) JerryMilani (dot) com.

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