(Photo: Graig Abel, nll.com)
The final game of the weekend features the NLL's top seed facing the bottom seed, as the Toronto Rock host the Minnesota Swarm.
The Swarm stumbled to the finish line, losing two of their last three games, but they also split their two-game series with the Rock in the regular season, so they match up well with their opposition in this game.
Callum Crawford was fourth in league scoring with 95 points, in spite of missing two games. Along with Ryan Benesch (84 points), the Swarm boast one of the most effective one-two punches in the NLL. Add in rookies Shayne Jackson (63 points) and Kiel Matisz (62 points), and the Swarm have the second-highest scoring offense in the league.
Transition Jordan MacIntosh stepped up in the absence of team captain Andrew Suitor, who was lost to injury five games into the season. MacIntosh contributed 55 points, 197 loose balls and won 55.5 percent of his faceoffs. He won the Transition Player of the Week award four straight times to finish the regular season and will get a bunch of consideration for the Transition Player of the Year Award.
The Rock enjoyed a bye week to wrap up the season, so they should be well rested and ready to go on Sunday.
Like the Swarm, Toronto had a bit of a slow finish to the schedule, dropping three of its last five. Nevertheless, they have to be considered the front-runners going into the playoffs.
Garrett Billings had his second straight 100-point season and fourth straight 30-goal season. Colin Doyle added 84 points and Kasey Beirnes was the Rock's top finisher, scoring 31 goals.
Nick Rose has been nothing short of excellent since he came to Toronto midway through the 2012 season. His 10.61 goals against average was third-best in the NLL; his 607 saves were second-most.
In many respects, I consider this game to be too close to call, in spite of it being the top seed versus the No. 9 seed. When push comes to shove, I have to go with the top seed, though, so I'm going to say 13-12 Toronto win.
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