2007 NLL season
|2007 NLL season|
|League||National Lacrosse League|
|Duration||December 30, 2006 – May 12, 2007|
|Number of teams||13|
|Season MVP||John Grant, Jr. (Rochester Knighthawks)|
|Top scorer||John Grant, Jr. (Rochester Knighthawks)|
|Eastern champions||Rochester Knighthawks|
|Eastern runners-up||Buffalo Bandits|
|Western champions||Colorado Mammoth|
|Western runners-up||Calgary Roughnecks|
|Finals MVP||John Grant, Jr. (Rochester)|
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.
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. 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. 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.
|1||Rochester Knighthawks – xyz||16||14||2||.875||0.0||8–0||6–2||249||194||+55||15.56||12.12|
|2||Buffalo Bandits – x||16||10||6||.625||4.0||6–2||4–4||207||188||+19||12.94||11.75|
|3||Minnesota Swarm – x||16||9||7||.562||5.0||4–4||5–3||200||207||-7||12.50||12.94|
|4||Toronto Rock – x||16||6||10||.375||8.0||3–5||3–5||187||183||+4||11.69||11.44|
|7||New York Titans||16||4||12||.250||10.0||3–5||1–7||195||233||-38||12.19||14.56|
|1||Colorado Mammoth – xy||16||12||4||.750||0.0||7–1||5–3||209||179||+30||13.06||11.19|
|2||Calgary Roughnecks – x||16||9||7||.562||3.0||4–4||5–3||219||202||+17||13.69||12.62|
|3||Arizona Sting – x||16||9||7||.562||3.0||6–2||3–5||188||181||+7||11.75||11.31|
|4||San Jose Stealth – x||16||9||7||.562||3.0||4–4||5–3||181||170||+11||11.31||10.62|
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; GB: Games back; PCT: Win percentage; Home: Record at Home; Road: Record on the Road; GF: Goals scored; GA: Goals allowed
Differential: Difference between goals scored and allowed; GF/GP: Average number of goals scored per game; GA/GP: Average number of goals allowed per game
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).
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).
|Divisional Semifinal||Divisional Final||Champion's Cup Final|
|4||San Jose||15 (OT)|
A number of rule changes were made for the 2007 season. 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
- January 6:
- January 12: San Jose beat Calgary 17–16 in overtime in the longest game in NLL history. 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.
- 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.
- March 31:
- 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
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. The game was broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio; Travis Demers and Martin Wright called the action.
|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
|MVP Award||John Grant, Jr.||Rochester|
|Rookie of the Year Award||Ryan Benesch||Toronto|
|Les Bartley Award (Coach of the Year)||Ed Comeau||Rochester|
|GM of the Year Award||Marty O'Neill||Minnesota|
|Tom Borrelli Award||Ty Pilson||Calgary|
|Executive of the Year Award||Dave Zygaj||Buffalo|
|Defensive Player of the Year Award||Ryan Cousins||Minnesota|
|Transition Player of the Year Award||Steve Toll||Rochester|
|Goaltender of the Year Award||Anthony Cosmo||San Jose|
|Sportsmanship Award||Tracy Kelusky||Calgary|
|Championship Game MVP||John Grant, Jr.||Rochester|
- John Tavares, Buffalo
- John Grant, Jr., Rochester
- Dan Dawson, Arizona
- Steve Toll, Rochester
- Ryan Cousins, Minnesota
- Anthony Cosmo, San Jose
- Gavin Prout, Colorado
- Colin Doyle, San Jose
- Casey Powell, New York
- Lewis Ratcliff, Calgary
- Shawn Williams, Rochester
- Nick Patterson, Minnesota
- Ryan Benesch, Toronto
- Geoff Snider, Philadelphia
- Athan Iannucci, Philadelphia
- Bill McGlone, Chicago
- Nenad Gajic, Colorado
- Jamie Shewchuk, Colorado
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.
|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|
Awards are also given out monthly for the best overall player and best rookie.
|January||Rob Blasdell||Geoff Snider|
|February||Gee Nash||Nenad Gajic|
|March||John Tavares||Ryan Benesch|
Bold numbers indicate new single-season records. Italics indicate tied single-season records.
|Goals||John Grant, Jr.||Rochester||51|
|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|
- "Arizona To Host Championship Game". NLL.com. April 30, 2007. Archived from the original on April 16, 2008. Retrieved April 30, 2007.
- "John Grant Named Championship Game MVP". NLL.com. May 12, 2007. Archived from the original on May 17, 2007. Retrieved May 13, 2007.
- "NLL & SIRIUS Sign Broadcasting Agreement". NLL.com. February 1, 2007. Archived from the original on May 4, 2007. Retrieved March 24, 2007.
- "NLL & SIRIUS Announce Lacrosse Talk Show". NLL.com. March 7, 2007. Archived from the original on March 12, 2007. Retrieved March 24, 2007.
- "National Lacrosse League - 2007 Regular Season - Standings". NLL.com. Retrieved May 3, 2012.
- "Opening Round Playoff Matchups Set". NLL.com. April 14, 2007. Archived from the original on April 21, 2007. Retrieved April 14, 2007.
- "NLL Announces Rule Changes For 2007". NLL.com. December 12, 2006. Archived from the original on December 27, 2006. Retrieved January 1, 2007.
- "Weekend Recap: NLL News & Notes". NLL.com. January 15, 2007. Retrieved January 15, 2007.
- "K-Hawks Outscore Titans in Shootout". NLL.com. January 27, 2007. Retrieved January 27, 2007.
- "Week 13 Recap: News and Notes". NLL.com. March 26, 2007. Archived from the original on April 1, 2007. Retrieved March 26, 2007.
- "Rochester handles Wings 12–10". NLL.com. March 31, 2007. Retrieved April 1, 2007.
- "NLL to play 1,000th game on Saturday". NLL.com. March 27, 2007. Archived from the original on April 1, 2007. Retrieved April 10, 2007.
- "Mammoth come back to beat Swarm, 11–9". NLL.com. April 1, 2007. Retrieved April 10, 2007.
- "East Wins All-Star Game 20–16". NLL.com. March 11, 2007. Archived from the original on March 15, 2007. Retrieved March 11, 2007.
- "John Grant Wins Dodge Nitro MVP Award". NLL.com. May 10, 2007. Archived from the original on May 13, 2007. Retrieved May 10, 2007.
- "Benesch Named Rookie of the Year". NLL.com. May 8, 2007. Archived from the original on May 12, 2007. Retrieved May 8, 2007.
- "Ed Comeau Wins Les Bartley Award". NLL.com. May 3, 2007. Retrieved May 3, 2007.
- "Marty O'Neill Named GM of the Year". NLL.com. May 4, 2007. Retrieved May 4, 2007.
- "Dave Zygaj Named NLL Executive of the Year". NLL.com. May 7, 2007. Archived from the original on May 12, 2007. Retrieved May 7, 2007.
- "Cousins named Defensive Player of the Year". NLL.com. May 1, 2007. Retrieved May 1, 2007.
- "Toll named Transition Player of the Year". NLL.com. May 1, 2007. Retrieved May 1, 2007.
- "Cosmo Wins Progressive Goalie of the Year". NLL.com. May 2, 2007. Retrieved May 2, 2007.
- "Kelusky wins Sportsmanship Award". NLL.com. April 30, 2007. Archived from the original on June 12, 2007. Retrieved April 30, 2007.