Colorado at Calgary
Synopsis: Calgary made an early exit from the postseason a year ago, but that's not likely to happen this season. The top-seeded Roughnecks hold an advantage over the Mammoth in every phase of the game. Colorado's John Grant Jr. is always a threat and could keep the game close, but Calgary should pull away late. Prediction: Calgary 14, Colorado 10
Minnesota at Toronto
Synopsis: Fourth-seeded Minnesota is actually a West Division team, but since it finished with a better record than the fourth-place team in the East, Minnesota gets in and Buffalo's season is over. Toronto has the best record in the league at 10-6, but there isn't much question the West Division is tougher than the East. All great prognosticators must take a risk every now and then and I'm going to do it here. I think Minnesota is battle tested after playing in the tough West all season. Look for the Swarm to go into Toronto and pull off the upset. Prediction: Minnesota 15, Toronto 13
Philadelphia at Rochester
Synopsis: Before the season I picked Philadelphia to win the NLL championship, but I'm going to backtrack. Second-seeded Rochester is the defending champion and goalkeeping in the playoffs wins championships. The Knighthawks have the best in the business right now in Matt Vinc. Prediction: Rochester 10, Philadelphia 8.
Washington at Calgary
Synopsis: The only thing favoring the Roughnecks in this matchup will be the home field. Washington took two of three from the Roughnecks during the regular season and if it weren't for a questionable five-minute major penalty called on goalkeeper Tyler Richards in the fourth quarter of the Stealth's lone loss, it would have been a clean sweep. Without question the Roughnecks have one of the most talented teams in the league, but the Stealth seem to have their number. Prediction: Washington 12, Calgary 10.
Minnesota at Rochester
Synopsis: The run ends for Minnesota against Rochester. Again, Matt Vinc will be the difference just as he was in last year's postseason. The Knighthawks will be helped by playing at home and should be inspired to get back to the final and defend their championship. Prediction: Rochester over Minnesota.
Rochester at Washington
Synopsis: The matchup to watch will be Vinc and Richards, the two best goalkeepers during the regular season. The teams met once in the regular season, with the Stealth winning a 13-12 decision on opening night. This one won't be quite as high-scoring, but it will be just as good. It's really too close to call, and when in doubt, pick the home team. Prediction: Washington 9, Rochester 8.
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