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NLL’s Ten Things To Know For Week 2 And Debut Of Defending Champs Buffalo Bandits Sports Techie

Image via Brandon Robinson: credit: NLL/ Buffalo Bandits

National Lacrosse League’s (@NLL) “10 Things to Know” about Week 2, including five games on Saturday and one on Sunday, is ready to read. Last weekend’s “NLL Faceoff Weekend” included lives games on ESPN2 and TSN as well as streaming of all regular season and playoff games on ESPN+ and TSN+. Saturday, Dec. 8, marks the first match for the Buffalo Bandits, the 36th league champion, as well as four other teams that were not on the opening schedule. The Bandits campaign during this 37th season, begins across I-90 at the Albany FireWolves, at 7 p.m., on ESPN+, TSN+, CW23, My4. The largest and most successful professional lacrosse property in the world has a strong local markets and TV contingency, radio row and grassroots fund-raising programs, as well as some key metrics, coaching milestones and player achievements to dive into below. The Sports Techie community blog looks forward to reporting about more high-powered box lacrosse matches across North America, with this week featuring the NLL Game of the Week on TSN up in Toronto, Canada, also streaming on NBC Sports+, and the debut of the local Georgia Swarm in the U.S. in the NLL Saturday Showcase.

National Lacrosse League Opened Last Friday with NLL Faceoff Weekend: Ten Things to Know

Here are 10 things to know about the NLL entering Week 2:

  • TV Time: Local markets continue their strong connections with NLL teams, as eight local broadcasts will complement the ESPN+ and TSN+ broadcast of games this week, alongside the NLL Game of the Week on TSN. NBC Sports + (Philadelphia), CW23 (Buffalo), My4 (Albany), Altitude Sports Network (Colorado), Peachtree Sports (Georgia), SSSEN (Las Vegas), KUSI (San Diego) and Bally Sports Southwest (Panther City) will have live in-market broadcasts of their respective contests.
  • Radio RowAlso on the broadcast front, the Rochester Knighthawks renewed their broadcast agreement with iHeartMedia, keeping the team on the FM dial there. Craig Rybczynski returns for his 22nd season calling NLL games.
  • Here Comes the Metric SystemNLL.com’s content team has been busy with numerous features every week. This week marked the debut of a new feature, “LAXMetrics,” an innovative data approach to better understand the leagueNLL.com’s Cooper Perkins breaks down the Roughnecks and Knighthawks game here.
  • Del Bianco Loves Kids: Calgary Roughnecks goaltender Christian Del Bianco (Coquitlam, B.C.), in partnership with Ascent Consulting Ltd, today launched his Assists for Kids program supporting KidSport. Since its inception in 2018-19, the program has raised over $38,000 for youth sport programs in Alberta. For every assist made by Del Bianco in the 2023-24 NLL regular season, Ascent Consulting will donate $500 to KidSport, with Del Bianco and the Roughnecks Foundation also contributing $30 each.
  • Robinson Gives Back: Buffalo’s Brandon Robinson (Pickering, Ont.) is launching a new initiative this year partnering with Morgan’s Message, a foundation that strives to aid those with mental health issues. He will donate $1 for every goal scored across the entire NLL over this seasonFans can support here.
  • Beer Here: Three Heads Brewing has unveiled a new Knighthawk Hazy IPA, just in time for the 2023-24 season. The local brewery debuted the new beer, described as “loaded with Citra and Mosaic hops, the notes of mango, papaya and citrus are a delight for senses.”
  • The College TryThe U.S. colleges with the most active players in the league on opening day rosters are Robert Morris (15), Ohio State (12), RIT (11) and Denver (11). Top Canadian schools are Guelph (8) and Brock (6).
  • Put Me In, CoachThree active NLL coaches are among the six all-time winningest mentors: Ed Comeau of Georgia (2nd, 122 wins), Paul Day of Philadelphia (4th, 113 wins) and Mike Hasen of Rochester (6th, 98 wins). They have a way to go to catch Derek Keenan, who won 155 games.
  • NLL Players reaching milestones last week included:
    • Halifax D/T Jake Withers (Peterborough, Ont.) now has 1504 faceoff wins after taking 29 of 33 vs. Saskatchewan
    • Philadelphia F Blaze Riorden (Fairport, N.Y.) now has 102 goals after netting four vs. New York
    • Saskatchewan F Zach Manns (Victoria, B.C.) now has 101 points after his three-goal, three-assist effort vs. Halifax
    • Saskatchewan D/T Mike Messenger (Surrey, B.C.) now has 101 points after posting two assists vs. Halifax
  • Player achievements within reach this week are:
    • Albany F Ethan Walker (Peterborough, Ont.) needs nine 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
    • Calgary F Thomas Hoggarth (Lakefield, Ont.) needs four goals to reach 100
    • Colorado F Eli McLaughlin (Surrey, B.C.) needs eight points to reach 500
    • Colorado F Chris Wardle (Victoria, B.C.) needs one goal for 100
    • Colorado F Zed Williams (Silver Creek, N.Y.) needs three assists for 100 and one point for 200
    • 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
    • Philadelphia F Holden Cattoni (Calgary, Alb.) needs one game for 100 and seven points for 400
    • Rochester D Dan Coates (St. Catharines, Ont.) needs two points to reach 100
    • San Diego D Kyle Rubisch (Brampton, Ont.) needs one game played for 200
    • Saskatchewan F Ryan Keenan (Oshawa, Ont.) needs one game played for 100
    • Toronto D Mitch de Snoo (Oshawa, Ont.) needs three points for 100
    • Toronto F Challen Rogers (Coquitlam, B.C.) needs 10 points for 200

Schedule – Week 2 (All Times Eastern)

Saturday

  • Philadelphia Wings (1-0) at Toronto (0-0), 7 p.m., TSN 1/4, TSN+, ESPN+, NBC Sports+ (NLL Game of the Week on TSN)
  • Buffalo Bandits (0-0) at Albany FireWolves (1-0), 7 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, CW23, My4
  • Colorado Mammoth (0-0) at Georgia Swarm (0-0), 7:30 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, Altitude Sports, Peachtree Sports (NLL Saturday Showcase)
  • Rochester Knighthawks (1-0) at Saskatchewan Rush (0-1), 8 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+
  • Calgary Roughnecks (0-1) at San Diego Seals (0-0), 10 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, KUSI

Sunday Las Vegas Desert Dogs (0-1) at Panther City Lacrosse Club (1-0), 4 p.m., ESPN+, TSN+, SSSEN, Bally Sports Southwest Extra

National Lacrosse League

The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America’s premier professional lacrosse league, welcoming a record 1,165,528 fans attending games in 2022-23. Founded in 1986, the NLL is comprised of 15 franchises across the United States and Canada, and recently unveiled its largest brand campaign ever, “Welcome to The Next Major League™” and introduced its comprehensive grassroots initiative, NLL UnBOXed™, that will expand the League’s footprint to more than 60 communities across North America by 2027.

NLL’s comprehensive grassroots initiative, NLL UnBOXed™, will expand the League’s footprint to more than 60 communities across North America by 2027

Sports Techie, my UnBoxed blog also touches on the new official status of sixes lacrosse in the upcoming LA28 Summer Olympics.

Here is a virtual, one-handed cheer to the Bandits, Swarm and the rest of the NLL franchises, coaches and players playing this weekend.

May your StringKing sticks, from an official equipment provider of the NLL, be true to form.

See you later sportstechie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!

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