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The League’s Best Owned It in Week 14

A Wild Sunday Afternoon Battle in North Texas

Week 14 concluded with an absolute offensive celebration in Fort Worth, as the visiting Rochester Knighthawks outlasted the Panther City Lacrosse Club 19-15. Rochester’s goal-scoring frenzy snapped the six-game losing streak the team had been carrying with them for more than two months. What a way to reclaim a spot in the win column! Thomas McConvey posted a sock trick, connecting on six goals and one assist, while Connor Fields proclaimed three goals and a stupefying 11 assists. Ryan Smith added three goals and four assists for a Knighthawks group that jumped out to a very early 4-0 lead.

Despite coming out on the losing end of the afternoon’s festivities, PCLC’s Will Malcom established a career high with seven goals, finishing the day the owner of 11 points. Jonathan Donville posted three scores and four helpers for a Fort Worth team that gave up a season high in opposing goals.

Panther City’s four-goal loss cemented a devastating weekend for the home team, who also came out on the losing end of their Friday night matchup with the San Diego Seals.

  

The Rock & Seals Swung For The Fences In San Diego

Saturday’s marquee matchup involved a series of unique circumstances. In addition to the Toronto Rock and San Diego Seals meeting for the first time in almost two years, both franchises played box lacrosse in different cities on Friday night, with Toronto making the 330-mile trek from Las Vegas and San Diego journeying 1,700 miles from Dallas/Fort Worth due west to Southern California. Both teams won their Friday night contests.

This slugfest of 9-2 and 8-3 squads was wild from the jump, with Tom Schreiber scoring 21 seconds into the first. The opening half quickly turned into an offensive extravaganza, with the high-powered squads largely trading one goal after another, until the halftime horn left the Seals with a 10-9 lead. The score came down a bit in the second half, culminating in a San Diego 13-12 surplus five minutes into the fourth. From that point forward, it was all Rock, as the league’s best team provided three straight scores, shocking the Pechanga Arena fans and heading out into the San Diego night proprietors of a 15-13 win.

Schreiber and Corey Small each netted a hat trick, while Mark Matthews helped on six of his teammates’ goals. Austin Staats and Dane Dobbie combined for seven goals and seven assists but came up just a hair short.

While many would consider a winter trip to Las Vegas and San Diego as a wonderful vacation opportunity, the Rock treated their sojourn as a hard-fought and wildly successful business trip.

  

The FireWolves & Riptide Are Moving in Contradictory Directions 

The Albany FireWolves recently encountered their first bit of rough seas this season, losing two games in a row after jumping out to a 6-0 start. It is now safe to say that two-game stretch of choppy water is ancient history, as the upstarts from New York’s state capital are the proud owners of a three-game win streak in the wake of Saturday’s 14-8 victory over the Riptide. The devastating combination of Alex Simmons and Ethan Walker were at it again at MVP Arena, with Simmons blasting three goals and four assists, and Walker posting three goals and two assists of his own. Tye Kurtz and Marshall Powless added a combined 11 points, as the hometown FireWolves dominated this one from the opening faceoff.

The lads from Long Island never really got the boat out of the harbor with no member of the club scoring more than twice, including the great Jeff Teat, who was limited to two goals and three assists. While most players would love a stat line similar to this, when it comes to Mr. Teat, his output is almost always significantly higher.

Albany moves to 9-2 on the season, while New York’s third consecutive loss slides them back to 5-7.

Doug Jamieson of the Albany FireWolves. (Photo: Kevin McGurn/NLL)

 

The Wings Were Brilliant in the Final 15 Minutes

NLL fans were treated to a Saturday matinee in South Philadelphia when the Wings hosted the Calgary Roughnecks at Wells Fargo Center. Come the end the third quarter, it looked like the visitors from Alberta had the contest under control, courtesy of relatively comfortable 9-6 advantage. Once the fourth quarter was displayed on the scoreboard, Philadelphia transformed into a juggernaut, outscoring their opponents 5-0 in the final frame, locking up an impressive 11-9 victory. Joe Resetarits was responsible for two of the fourth quarter efforts, solidifying his five-point afternoon. Mitch Jones also involved himself in the final 15 minutes of fun, scoring one late goal amid tabulating an identical two-score, three-helper equation.

Tyler Pace led the Roughnecks with three goals and one assist. Tanner Cook tossed in a total of four points, but when a team goes scoreless in the final quarter, a win is likely not going to be a part of the day’s festivities.

More than 8,500 fans took in the Wings’ triumphant comeback spectacle. 

 

The Rush Really Enjoyed Their Visit to Colorado 

The Saskatchewan Rush ran circles around the Colorado Mammoth on Saturday evening, coasting to a runaway 15-7 takedown of the 2022 NLL champs. The Rush’s three-headed monster of Ryan Keenan, Robert Church and Zach Manns absolutely stole the show for the visitors. Keenan had a ridiculous night, posting five goals and three assists. Church and Manns each donated a hat trick, while combining for eight assists. The Rush dominated every inch of this battle, with the boys from Saskatoon outshooting their Colorado counterparts 59-39. Simply stated, the Rush played their best game of the season, by far.

Colorado, on the other hand, put together a pretty dismal showing with Eli McLaughlin’s three goals and one assist representing the only bright spot for the home club.

Because it’s Denver, 10,449 fans jammed Ball Arena to take in the action.

Mike Messenger of Saskatchewan scores a break away goal in the second. Saskatchewan Rush at Colorado Mammoth on 03/03/24 from Ball Arena in Denver Colorado. (Photo: John Harrison/NLL)

 

A Flying Sock Alert In Las Vegas 

Boushy vs. Hannah was the place to be on the southern edge of the Las Vegas Strip! 

What is better than one NLL star achieving a sock trick in a game? How about two players reaching that illustrious plateau in the very same event? This scenario played out at Michelob Ultra Arena on Friday, with the Toronto Rock’s Chris Boushy notching seven goals and four assists, while Las Vegas Desert Dogs young phenom Jack Hannah found his way to six scores of his own.  

Aside from the aforementioned pair’s heroics, the dynamic Rock squad kept the good times rolling courtesy of a 16-11 road win. Toronto’s 9-2 record places them atop the NLL standings. While Mr. Boushy dominated the scoring, Josh Dawick added three goals to the tally, as many of their teammates contributed meaningfully to the offensive outpouring. Mark Matthews, Corey Small and Tom Schreiber totaled an astonishing 19 combined assists.  

On the Desert Dogs’ scoresheet, Zack Greer and Rob Hellyer combined for 13 points in a game in which the Rock fell down 2-0 early, before flipping the switch to connect on 16 of the evening’s final 25 goals.  

 

The Warriors Shock The Bandits 

The defending champion Buffalo Bandits traveled to British Columbia for a matchup against a Vancouver Warriors team that wanted nothing more than to knock off one of the gold-standard franchises in the sport. Thanks to a hot start and a fortuitous call near the end of the fourth, Vancouver’s dream indeed came true, with the team celebrating a thrilling 13-12 triumph at Rogers Arena. The Warriors trio of Riley Loewen, Keegan Bal and Kevin Crowley each nailed a hat trick, ensuring that the Bandits hard-charging comeback from a 13-9 deficit would not quite be realized.   

For the reigning titleholders, the peak performer was New Westminster, BC native Josh Byrne, who willed his way into five scores and three assists. What a homecoming! 

Back to the fortuitous part of the festivities. With Vancouver owning a one-goal advantage, Buffalo thought they had tied the game late after replays appeared to show Warriors goalie Aden Walsh saving a shot that had already passed the goal line. But after determining that the vantage points did not provide a conclusive look, Curt Malawsky’s bunch were able to leave the field filled with joy. 

 

The Seals Stars Keep Scoring Goals 

The San Diego Seals made their way to Fort Worth for a battle with the boys from Texas at Dickies Arena. This one was as competitive as it gets, with neither squad owning more than a three-score lead at any point throughout the gathering. The game would eventually be decided in overtime when Austin Staats lit the lamp for the third time, inscribing the Seals with a 10-9 triumph. Staats’ spectacular demonstration was accompanied by Curtis Dickson’s five-point showing and Wesley Berg’s four-point expenditure. While he was only responsible for one goal and one helper, the legendary Dane Dobbie made history when becoming the number six scorer in NLL history.  

39-year-old Callum Crawford kept the magic going for PCLC securing three goals and two assists, while fellow Fort Worthians Phil Caputo and Jason Knox found the net on two occasions a piece.  

In the battle of keepers, Chris Origlieri stopped 46 shots, while the losing goalie, PCLC’s Nick Damude prevented 59 shots from finding twine, despite going home in defeat. 

 

The Swarm Survive A Late Halifax Surge 

Friday night’s game at Scotiabank Centre saw the visiting Georgia Swarm lead by six goals, halfway through the fourth, only to hang on for a dramatic 12-11 celebration. In the final few minutes before the horn sounded, the Halifax Thunderbirds never once considered a surrender, with Dawson Theede, Clarke Petterson, Ryan Benesch, Austin Shanks and Graeme Hossack bringing the score from 12-6 to 12-11, only to see their hopes for a comeback squashed at the very end. The boys from suburban Atlanta held firm and refused to allow the tying goal to get past Brett Dobson.

 To the surprise of no one, Lyle Thompson led the charge for Georgia when nabbing four goals and two assists. Brendan Bomberry also left his mark, leaving Halifax with a one-goal, five-assist effort packed in his suitcase.

Just shy of 8,500 Nova Scotians witnessed the down-to-the-wire clash in person, with their beloved Thunderbirds coming up just a tad bit short. 

 

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