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Lacrosse players take it inside for NLL

January 12, 2007

Well, it’s that time again. Time to drive down the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Philadelphia to see another Philadelphia Wings home opener in the National Lacrosse League.

Wings at Mammoth in 2006That’s pro indoor lacrosse — a fast paced hybrid of the outdoor lacrosse game, mixed with rules from basketball and hockey.  And it’s a heck of a good time at the arena. 

The Wings open their home schedule against the second-year Portland (Ore.) Lumberjax (which scores more in Scrabble with that “X” in there).

Coming back to Philly will be the Wings’ former “all-star, all-world, all-everything” goaltender Dallas Eliuk, who spend over 10 years with the Wings, winning four titles — truly a league legend — now between the pipes for the Jax.

Here’s a clip on Dallas from YouTube, done by the Jax:

The Wings already lost a game this year, losing in the final second to the Edmonton Rush (see the clip of the final goal here). But the team is stacked with young talent and No. 1 draft picks, and is hungry to shed its four-year playoff drought.

For those that have never seenthe sport of indoor pro lacrosse (either the NLL or in the minor leagues in Canada), here’s some things that make it an exciting sport to watch (clips after the break):

  • There’s a 30-sec. shot clock, which makes the teams shoot often and creates movement and scoring chances.
  • Teams usually switch their offensive and defensive units on the fly as the ball changes hands. They do this hockey style, and sometimes the organized chaos can lead to 2-on-1 scoring chances and breakaways in transition.
  • Goals. Tons of them. Sometimes as many as 35 per game between the teams. That’s a lot of jumping up for your team’s goal celebrations.
  • The players are not “professional” in terms you’re used to. They all have day jobs, and some fly in from their home cities just to practice and play on game nights. They make anywhere from $200 to $1,000 per game, depending on seniority and skill.
  • The action does get heated, and a fight breaks out once in a while, just like in hockey (See Geoff Snider of the Wings get in his first NLL scrap here — one of the best fights I’ve seen, clip from B2 Networks).

For some other examples of the fast action of the NLL, here’s a few more clips off of YouTube. Enjoy, and go Philly. W-I-N-G-S WINGS!

First, a highlight reel for the 2007 All-Star game in Portland:

Second, a highlight reel from ESPN clips….and an odd dancing cameraman:

Third, a very nasty collapse by the Wings last season in Toronto:

If you wanna see more, check out the NLL Saturday night game of the week on Versus network.

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