BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — After over a year and a half long hiatus from playing, the National Lacrosse League will open up the 2021-22 season with Face Off Weekend on December 3-4th with six games across North America, the league announced on Wednesday.
This upcoming season, the NLL will be dividing into two Conferences, with the East comprising of the Albany FireWolves, Buffalo Bandits, Georgia Swarm, Halifax Thunderbirds, New York Riptide, Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks and Toronto Rock, and the West comprising of Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Panther City Lacrosse Club, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush and Vancouver Warriors.
With the league splitting into Conferences, the playoff format will be different. The top four teams in the East and the top three in the West will advance to the playoffs, with the eighth and final spot going to the team with the better record between the fifth place East and fourth place West teams.
The first game of the season will be on Friday, December 3rd. The Buffalo Bandits will open up their season on Saturday, December 4th when they play host to Calgary in one of five games that day.
“It’s very exciting to announce Face Off Weekend and returning to play,” NLL Commissioner Nick Sakiewicz said. “Face Off Weekend will mark a long-anticipated return to play for the NLL in a very big way with a new TSN Game of the Week partnership featuring 20+ games on linear television and the remaining match-ups streamed on TSN digital platforms.”
The entire NLL schedule and game times, as well as national broadcast showings, will be announced in the coming weeks. Each team will have 9 home games during the regular season, followed by the playoffs and the league championship series. The Calgary Roughnecks, who defeated the Bandits to win the 2019 NLL Title, are the league defending champions, since the 2019-20 NLL season was not completed due to the pandemic.