CLax Power Rankings – Courtesy Matt Caruk
The fourth week of a sports season is when the top teams and players begin to separate themselves from each other. It’s also the week where rivalries start to show themselves. These statements were definitely true in week four of the Canadian Lacrosse League. Although there were just two games featuring four of the league’s five teams, fans saw the action heat up, both on the floor and the scoreboard. With the league leading Lock Monsters idle in week four, the top spot in the standings, and the league’s power rankings, was up for grabs.
Here are the Power Rankings for the Canadian Lacrosse League following the fourth week of play:
1. Ohsweken Demons (4-0 record, last week: 1st)
Week 4: 18-10 win over Barrie
Week 5: Friday, February 28th 8pm vs Niagara; Saturday, March 1 2pm @ Durham
The Demons hang on to top spot in the power rankings after defeating the Blizzard on Sunday. The team was without their regular coaching staff yet still managed an eight goal cushion. As if their roster wasn’t impressive enough, Ohsweken was able to come to terms with Roger Vyse who had two goals. Imagine what he can do when he’s not the new guy in the lineup. Ohsweken is firing on all cylinders and it doesn’t appear anyone can keep up with them …
2. Niagara Lock Monsters (4-1, last week: 2nd)
Week 4: bye
Week 5: Friday, February 28th @ Ohsweken
… except maybe the Lock Monsters. Niagara will be looking for revenge Friday night after Ohsweken downed them 14-11 in week three in St Catharine’s. Top to bottom the Lock Monsters have a solid lineup but they’ve put a lot of stock into Connor Danko this season, and he has been inconsistent failing to finish back-to-back starts in week three (including versus the Demons). Who starts between the pipes, and how effective they are against the most potent CLax offense, will determine Niagara’s chances of victory on Friday.
3. Southwest Cyclops (2-2, last week: 3rd)
Week 4: 18-14 win over Durham
Week 5: Saturday, March 1st 8pm vs Barrie
The Southwest Cyclops could easily be 3-1. And their closest game saw them score nineteen against the top ranked Ohsweken Demons. Unfortunately the Cyclops won’t get another crack at the leaders before the playoffs. The Cyclops continue to wear down goaltenders with a league-high 259 shots on net through just four games. Expect more of the same against Barrie in week five.
4. Durham Turfdogs (1-4, last week: 4th)
Week 4: 18-14 loss to Southwest
Week 5: Saturday, March 1st 2pm vs Ohsweken
Yes, the Turfdogs are 1-4 dropping their last two. But they were to Niagara and a hot Southwest squad. Even a trade with Barrie prior to week four couldn’t help the Turfdogs over the Cyclops. Maybe more deals are the answer with injuries starting to mount for Durham. The schedule becomes even tougher in week five as the Ohsweken Demons roll in. It will take a heroic effort to avoid going 1-5 on Saturday. The Turfdogs have the leaders to get them there though and in the game of lacrosse, anything is possible.
5. Barrie Blizzard (0-4, last week: 5th)
Week 4: 18-10 loss to Ohsweken
Week 5: Saturday, March 1st @ Southwest
It should come as no surprise Barrie – in last place – were blown out by Ohsweken – in first. However, the reasoning extends beyond records. Two of the top pieces of their offense were shipped to Durham, and the defensive help they received in return were unable to dress Sunday. Furthermore, two new players were added to a lineup headed by a new coach. Something needs to be said for the resiliency of the Blizzard playing to the last buzzer, and their passion which showed at the end of the fourth. A full week of practice with new bodies and a new coach should help the club. Saturday night is a statement game for Barrie. A good performance could translate into wins. But time may be running out already for the Blizzard.