2007 NLL season

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2007 NLL season
League National Lacrosse League
Sport Indoor lacrosse
Duration December 30, 2006 – May 12, 2007
Number of teams 13
Regular season
Season MVP John Grant, Jr. (Rochester Knighthawks)
Top scorer John Grant, Jr. (Rochester Knighthawks)
Playoffs
Eastern champions Rochester Knighthawks
  Eastern runners-up Buffalo Bandits
Western champions Colorado Mammoth
  Western runners-up Calgary Roughnecks
Champion's Cup
Champions Rochester Knighthawks
  Runners-up Arizona Sting
Champion's Cup MVP John Grant, Jr. (Rochester)
NLL seasons

The 2007 National Lacrosse League season, the 21st in the history of the NLL (including the Eagle Pro Box Lacrosse League and Major Indoor Lacrosse League years) began on December 30, 2006 and concluded with the championship game on May 12, 2007.

The Rochester Knighthawks finished the regular season with a 14–2 record, winning their last 12 games. They followed this up by beating Toronto in the first round, and then clinched the Eastern division title by defeating Buffalo in the Eastern division finals, with league MVP John Grant, Jr. scoring in overtime.

The Arizona Sting finished third in their division, but defeated the Calgary Roughnecks in the first round, and then beat the San Jose Stealth to clinch their second division title in three years. The championship game was awarded to Rochester because of their higher seed, but the Blue Cross Arena was unavailable on the day of the game, so the Championship game was held in Phoenix.[1]

The Knighthawks continued their winning streak in the desert, defeating the Sting 13–11. John Grant, Jr., who had been named the league MVP only two days before, was named game MVP.[2] It was Rochester's second championship overall, and first since 1997. The championship game loss was Arizona's second in three years.

The season began with a blockbuster trade just three days before the first game, as the Toronto Rock traded star forward and 2005 MVP Colin Doyle along with Darren Halls and a draft pick to the San Jose Stealth for 1st round draft selection Ryan Benesch, Kevin Fines, Chad Thompson, and two draft picks. Doyle scored nine assists in San Jose's second game of the season, a 17–16 OT win over the Calgary Roughnecks, and finished the season second in team scoring. Benesch was named 2007 Rookie of the Year.

In February, the NLL signed an agreement with Sirius Satellite Radio to air a "Game of the Week" throughout the season as well as during the playoffs.[3] In March, the league announced that New York Titans star Casey Powell would be hosting a weekly radio show on SIRIUS, called Inside the National Lacrosse League with Casey Powell.[4]

Final standings[edit]

Reference: [5]

East Division
P Team GP W L PCT GB Home Road GF GA Diff
1 Rochester Knighthawksxyz 16 14 2 0.875 0.0 8–0 6–2 249 194 +55
2 Buffalo Banditsx 16 10 6 0.625 4.0 6–2 4–4 207 188 +19
3 Minnesota Swarmx 16 9 7 0.563 5.0 4–4 5–3 200 207 -7
4 Toronto Rockx 16 6 10 0.375 8.0 3–5 3–5 187 183 +4
5 Chicago Shamrox 16 6 10 0.375 8.0 4–4 2–6 176 191 -15
6 Philadelphia Wings 16 6 10 0.375 8.0 4–4 2–6 178 186 -8
7 New York Titans 16 4 12 0.250 10.0 3–5 1–7 195 233 -38
West Division
P Team GP W L PCT GB Home Road GF GA Diff
1 Colorado Mammothxy 16 12 4 0.750 0.0 7–1 5–3 209 179 +30
2 Calgary Roughnecksx 16 9 7 0.563 3.0 4–4 5–3 219 202 +17
3 Arizona Stingx 16 9 7 0.563 3.0 6–2 3–5 188 181 +7
4 San Jose Stealthx 16 9 7 0.563 3.0 4–4 5–3 181 170 +11
5 Edmonton Rush 16 6 10 0.375 6.0 4–4 2–6 160 189 -29
6 Portland LumberJax 16 4 12 0.250 8.0 3–5 1–7 153 199 -46

x–Clinched playoff berth; c–Clinched playoff berth by crossing over to another division; y–Clinched division; z–Clinched best regular season record; GP–Games Played; W–Wins; L–Losses
GBGames back; PCT–Win percentage; Home–Record at Home; Road–Record on the Road; GF–Goals scored; GA–Goals allowed; Diff–Difference between goals scored and allowed

Toronto won the 3-way tiebreaker with Philadelphia and Chicago due to their 5–7 record against divisional opponents (Philadelphia was 4–8, and Chicago was 5–8).[6]
Calgary won the 3-way tiebreaker with Arizona and San Jose because of their head-to-head record (Calgary was 2–1 against Arizona and 1–1 against San Jose, while San Jose went 0–2 against Arizona).[6]

Playoffs[edit]

Divisional Semifinal Divisional Final Champion's Cup Final
                 
1 Rochester 10
4 Toronto 6
1 Rochester 14 (OT)
Eastern Division
2 Buffalo 13
2 Buffalo 14
3 Minnesota 8
E1 Rochester 13
W3 Arizona 11
1 Colorado 14
4 San Jose 15 (OT)
3 Arizona 9
Western Division
4 San Jose 7
2 Calgary 9
3 Arizona 13

The Knighthawks had the overall top seed in the playoffs, but were unable to host the Championship game due to a scheduling conflict at the Blue Cross Arena.[1]

Team Movement[edit]

The 2007 season features two new expansion teams, both in the East Division: the Chicago Shamrox and the New York Titans.

Rule Changes[edit]

A number of rule changes were made for the 2007 season.[7] The main changes are:

  • Cross-checks to the head are more severely punished
  • Cross-checking a player without the ball is now illegal
  • Scoring from behind the net is now allowed, provided there is no contact between the ball and the goalie or his equipment (this effectively allows the "Air Gait" move invented by Gary Gait)
  • When a penalty shot is awarded, the coach can choose any player on the team to take the shot

Milestones[edit]

  • January 6:
    • Chicago and New York played their first ever games
    • Chicago recorded its first win and first home win
    • New York's first goal was scored by Gewas Schindler
    • Chicago's first goal was scored by Jason Clark
    • Edmonton won its first ever home game, defeating the Philadelphia Wings 13–12
  • January 12: San Jose beat Calgary 17–16 in overtime in the longest game in NLL history.[8] The game lasted 71 minutes and 42 seconds before Luke Wiles scored at 11:42 of overtime, narrowly beating the old record of 70:45 during an Arizona-Anaheim game in 2004.
  • January 20: New York records its first win and first home win at Madison Square Garden with an 11–9 victory over the Chicago Shamrox. The game is also the first loss for the Shamrox.
  • January 26: New York plays their first game at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, losing 16–11 to the Philadelphia Wings. The New York Titans will split their home games between the Coliseum and Madison Square Garden.
  • January 27: Rochester Knighthawk star John Grant Jr. sets a new NLL record for points in a single game with 15 (9 goals, 6 assists) in a 22–18 defeat of the New York Titans.[9]
  • February 22: After a 12–9 loss to Toronto, the Calgary Roughnecks fired head coach Chris Hall, the only coach in team history.
  • March 24: Calgary teammates Kaleb Toth and Tracey Kelusky both reach 500 career points in the same game, as Jeff Dowling wins his first game as head coach.[10]
  • March 31:
    • Rochester beats Philadelphia 12–10 in Rochester, setting a new franchise record with their ninth consecutive win.[11]
    • The 1,000th regular-season game in league history is played at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul,[12] with Colorado defeating Minnesota 11–9.[13]
  • April 6: The Calgary Roughnecks play their 100th game in franchise history against the Edmonton Rush at the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary.

All Star Game[edit]

The 2007 All-Star Game was held at the Rose Garden Arena in Portland, Oregon on March 10, 2007. The East won the game 20–16, on the strength of Mark Steenhuis' six goals. Steenhuis was named game MVP. Steenhuis was also named game MVP in the 2004 All-Star game, and became the first player in NLL history to be named All-Star Game MVP twice.[14] The game was broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio; Travis Demers and Martin Wright called the action.

All-Star teams[edit]

Eastern Division starters   Western Division starters
John Grant, Jr., Rochester Dan Carey, Colorado
John Tavares, Buffalo Dan Dawson, Arizona
Thomas Hajek, Philadelphia Andrew Turner, Edmonton *
Cam Woods, Chicago Taylor Wray, Calgary
Geoff Snider, Philadelphia Brodie Merrill, Portland **
Matt Roik, Philadelphia (goalie) Rob Blasdell, Arizona (goalie)
Eastern Division Reserves Western Division Reserves
Casey Powell, New York Colin Doyle, San Jose
Aaron Wilson, Toronto Gavin Prout, Colorado
Ryan Boyle, New York Tracey Kelusky, Calgary
Scott Evans, Rochester Jeff Zywicki, San Jose
Josh Sanderson, Toronto Ryan Powell, Portland
Ryan Ward, Minnesota Chris Gill, Edmonton ***
Shawn Williams, Rochester Lewis Ratcliff, Calgary
Ryan Cousins, Minnesota John Gallant, Colorado
Mark Steenhuis, Buffalo Pat Jones, Portland
Pat McCready, Buffalo Peter Lough, Arizona (Starting in place of Turner)
Steve Toll, Rochester Josh Sims, Colorado (Starting in place of Merrill)
Brandon Miller, Chicago (goalie) Gee Nash, Colorado (goalie)
  Richard Morgan, Portland (replacing Merrill)
  Jimmy Quinlan, Edmonton (replacing Gill)
  Bruce Alexander, Portland (replacing Turner)

* Unable to play due to personal reasons
** Unable to play due to injury
*** Unable to play due to family commitments

Awards[edit]

Annual[edit]

Award Winner Team
MVP Award John Grant, Jr.[15] Rochester
Rookie of the Year Award Ryan Benesch[16] Toronto
Les Bartley Award (Coach of the Year) Ed Comeau[17] Rochester
GM of the Year Award Marty O'Neill[18] Minnesota
Tom Borrelli Award Ty Pilson[19] Calgary
Executive of the Year Award Dave Zygaj[19] Buffalo
Defensive Player of the Year Award Ryan Cousins[20] Minnesota
Transition Player of the Year Award Steve Toll[21] Rochester
Goaltender of the Year Award Anthony Cosmo[22] San Jose
Sportsmanship Award Tracy Kelusky[23] Calgary
Championship Game MVP John Grant, Jr.[2] Rochester

All-Pro Teams[edit]

First Team

Second Team

All-Rookie Team[edit]

Weekly Awards[edit]

The NLL gives out awards weekly for the best overall player, best offensive player, best transition player (new for 2007), best defensive player, and best rookie.

Month Week Overall Offensive Defensive Transition Rookie
December 1 Brian Langtry Brian Langtry Dallas Eliuk Josh Sims Jed Prossner
January 2 Gee Nash Chris Gill Brandon Miller Josh Sims Bill McGlone
3 Pat O'Toole Jeff Zywicki Pat O'Toole Brodie Merrill Kyle Wailes
4 Rob Blasdell John Tavares Rob Blasdell Mark Steenhuis Ryan Benesch
5 John Grant, Jr. John Grant, Jr. Brandon Miller Geoff Snider Athan Iannucci
February 6 Bob Watson Dan Dawson Bob Watson Josh Sims Jamie Shewchuk
7 John Tavares John Tavares Curtis Palidwor Mark Steenhuis Ian Llord
8 Steve Dietrich Dan Dawson Steve Dietrich Nenad Gajic Kyle Wailes
9 John Grant, Jr. John Grant, Jr. Gee Nash Pat McCready Cody Jacobs
March 10 John Tavares John Tavares Peter Lough Steve Toll Brendan Mundorf
11 No awards given due to All-Star Game
12 Gary Rosyski Gary Rosyski Curtis Palidwor Mark Steenhuis Ryan Benesch
13 John Tavares John Tavares Bob Watson Mark Steenhuis Ryan Benesch
April 14 Dan Dawson Dan Dawson Bob Watson Brett Bucktooth Mike McLellan
15 Steve Dietrich John Grant, Jr. Steve Dietrich Mark Steenhuis Athan Iannucci
16 Luke Wiles Luke Wiles Nick Patterson Steve Toll Matt Zash

Monthly Awards[edit]

Awards are also given out monthly for the best overall player and best rookie.

Month Overall Rookie
January Rob Blasdell Geoff Snider
February Gee Nash Nenad Gajic
March John Tavares Ryan Benesch

Statistics Leaders[edit]

Bold numbers indicate new single-season records. Italics indicate tied single-season records.

Stat Player Team Number
Goals John Grant, Jr. Rochester 51
Assists John Tavares Buffalo 61
Points John Grant, Jr. Rochester 111
Penalty Minutes Scott Ditzell Rochester 68
Shots on Goal Lewis Ratcliff Calgary 203
Loose Balls Brodie Merrill Portland 196
Save Pct Anthony Cosmo San Jose 79.2
GAA Anthony Cosmo San Jose 10.22

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Arizona To Host Championship Game". NLL.com. April 30, 2007. Retrieved April 30, 2007. 
  2. ^ a b "John Grant Named Championship Game MVP". NLL.com. May 12, 2007. Archived from the original on 17 May 2007. Retrieved May 13, 2007. 
  3. ^ "NLL & SIRIUS Sign Broadcasting Agreement". NLL.com. February 1, 2007. Archived from the original on 4 May 2007. Retrieved March 24, 2007. 
  4. ^ "NLL & SIRIUS Announce Lacrosse Talk Show". NLL.com. March 7, 2007. Archived from the original on 12 March 2007. Retrieved March 24, 2007. 
  5. ^ "National Lacrosse League - 2007 Regular Season - Standings". NLL.com. Retrieved May 3, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b "Opening Round Playoff Matchups Set". NLL.com. April 14, 2007. Archived from the original on 21 April 2007. Retrieved April 14, 2007. 
  7. ^ "NLL Announces Rule Changes For 2007". NLL.com. December 12, 2006. Archived from the original on 27 December 2006. Retrieved January 1, 2007. 
  8. ^ "Weekend Recap: NLL News & Notes". NLL.com. January 15, 2007. Retrieved January 15, 2007. 
  9. ^ "K-Hawks Outscore Titans in Shootout". NLL.com. January 27, 2007. Retrieved January 27, 2007. 
  10. ^ "Week 13 Recap: News and Notes". NLL.com. March 26, 2007. Archived from the original on 1 April 2007. Retrieved March 26, 2007. 
  11. ^ "Rochester handles Wings 12–10". NLL.com. March 31, 2007. Retrieved April 1, 2007. 
  12. ^ "NLL to play 1,000th game on Saturday". NLL.com. March 27, 2007. Archived from the original on 1 April 2007. Retrieved April 10, 2007. 
  13. ^ "Mammoth come back to beat Swarm, 11–9". NLL.com. April 1, 2007. Retrieved April 10, 2007. 
  14. ^ "East Wins All-Star Game 20–16". NLL.com. March 11, 2007. Archived from the original on 15 March 2007. Retrieved March 11, 2007. 
  15. ^ "John Grant Wins Dodge Nitro MVP Award". NLL.com. May 10, 2007. Archived from the original on 13 May 2007. Retrieved May 10, 2007. 
  16. ^ "Benesch Named Rookie of the Year". NLL.com. May 8, 2007. Archived from the original on 12 May 2007. Retrieved May 8, 2007. 
  17. ^ "Ed Comeau Wins Les Bartley Award". NLL.com. May 3, 2007. Retrieved May 3, 2007. 
  18. ^ "Marty O'Neill Named GM of the Year". NLL.com. May 4, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2007. 
  19. ^ a b "Dave Zygaj Named NLL Executive of the Year". NLL.com. May 7, 2007. Archived from the original on 12 May 2007. Retrieved May 7, 2007. 
  20. ^ "Cousins named Defensive Player of the Year". NLL.com. May 1, 2007. Retrieved May 1, 2007. 
  21. ^ "Toll named Transition Player of the Year". NLL.com. May 1, 2007. Retrieved May 1, 2007. 
  22. ^ "Cosmo Wins Progressive Goalie of the Year". NLL.com. May 2, 2007. Retrieved May 2, 2007. 
  23. ^ "Kelusky wins Sportsmanship Award". NLL.com. April 30, 2007. Archived from the original on 12 June 2007. Retrieved April 30, 2007. 

External links[edit]