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Four Teams could clinch playoff berths this weekend

March 24, 2005 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) News Release

The Calgary Roughnecks became the first team to clinch a playoff berth with a pair of victories last weekend. The Roughnecks may not be alone at the dance for long. Arizona, Buffalo, Colorado and Rochester all have a chance to join Calgary in the postseason if things go their way this weekend. Buffalo can clinch a playoff berth with a win over Toronto at home on Saturday. The other three will need some help from outside games in order to clinch this weekend.

The following are the playoff scenarios for clubs as the league enters Week #13 of the regular season, with games on March 25th & 26th.

East Division

Buffalo (8-4) can clinch a playoff berth with a win over Toronto on Saturday. Buffalo would be assured of a record no worse than 9-7, and would win tie-breakers for the final East playoff berth by virtue of winning the season series against both Toronto (2-1) and Philadelphia (2-1). Currently 1-1 vs. Rochester as well for overall record of 5-3 vs. division.

Rochester (7-4) can clinch a playoff berth with a pair of wins over Minnesota AND a Toronto loss to Buffalo this weekend. Rochester would be assured of a record no worse than 9-7 and would win tie-breakers for a playoff spot by virtue of winning the season series against both Toronto (2-1) and Philadelphia (3-0). Currently 1-1 vs. Buffalo as well for overall record of 5-3 vs. division.

Toronto (7-3) cannot clinch a playoff berth this weekend. A win against Buffalo would ensure Toronto of a record no worse than 8-8. Buffalo, Philadelphia and Rochester can also potentially finish with at least 9 wins and ahead of Toronto in the standings. Toronto has six regular season games remaining, the most of any team in the East, including three with Philadelphia which may effect potential tiebreakers.

West Division

Calgary (8-3) has already clinched a playoff berth. Calgary cannot clinch a home playoff (second place) this weekend.

Colorado (7-5) is idle this weekend. Colorado can clinch a playoff berth if San Jose wins at least one of its two games vs. Anaheim this weekend. Colorado holds tie-breaker advantages over both San Jose and Anaheim via their season series (2-1 vs. SJ, 2-0 vs. Anaheim with one game remaining). San Jose (3-9) can only tie Colorado's record with a best possible finish of 7-9. Anaheim (2-8) will be in the same situation if they lose a game this weekend to give them nine losses on the season.

Arizona (6-5) can clinch a playoff berth win a win over Calgary on Friday AND two wins by San Jose over Anaheim this weekend. A win would guarantee a finish no worse than 7-9. Arizona won the season series against San Jose 2-1, and would win a tie-breaker with San Jose for the last playoff spot. A pair of losses would make Anaheim 2-10, and unable to catch Arizona.

About the NLL Champion's Cup Playoffs

The top three teams in the East and West Divisions advance to the Champion's Cup Playoffs. All playoff games are single-game elimination. The playoffs begin on the weekend following the conclusion of the regular season, which ends on April 17th. The 2004 Champion's Cup Final was won by the Calgary Roughnecks, who defeated the Buffalo Bandits 14-11 in front of a sold-out crowd of 19,289 at the Pengrowth Saddledome in Calgary on May 7th, 2004. The 2005 Champion's Cup Final will air live on NBC on Saturday, May 14th at 3:30pm Eastern.

Champion's Cup Playoffs Schedule

Opening Round: April 22-24
East #3 at East #2
West #3 at West #2
(East #1 and West #1 recieve bye)
Dates and teams TBD

Semifinals: April 29-May 1
East #2/#3 winner at East #1
West #2/#3 winner at West #1
Dates and teams TBD

Champion's Cup Final: May 14
East winner vs. West winner
3:30pm Eastern live on NBC
Location and teams TBD

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.