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Week 15 Was an Offense Lover’s Dream

Panther City Ends Philadelphia’s Comeback Dreams in OT

Week 15 lowered the curtain with a matinee matchup in Philadelphia, where the visiting Panther City Lacrosse Club battled the Wings. The pendulum swung back-and-forth during the final two quarters, with Philadelphia initially scoring three straight to square things 5-5 in the third. PCLC then ripped off three of their own to claim an 8-5 lead, only to see the home club blast three more dramatic scores, including Ben McIntosh’s hat trick goal on a power play with 31 seconds left, bringing the contest to an unexpected overtime session. In the extra frame, the Texas-based squad took the win when Phil Caputo found the back of the net 4:31 in for his second of the day. Will Malcom led the way for PCLC with three goals and five assists, with Jonathan Donville donating two scores and six helpers. Ryan Sheridan contributed two goals including a sick behind-the-net dunk. 

On the South Philly side, Ben McIntosh secured a hat trick and Joe Resetarits added two goals and three assists, in what turned out to be a roller-coaster of an afternoon for Paul Day’s team. 

More than 8,000 fans went through the Wells Fargo Center turnstiles on the first day of Daylight Saving Time. 


The Thunderbirds Could Not Stay Out Of The Sin Bin

The final game of Saturday night’s schedule played out in Southern California, as the Halifax Thunderbirds traveled to beautiful San Diego for a matchup with the Seals. The hardest working person in Pechanga Arena, on this night at least, was the individual operating the penalty box door. The teams combined for 18 infractions, with Halifax holding responsibility for a whopping 78 percent of the rule-breaking, resulting in six power-play goals for San Diego, en route to a 12-8 win. Austin Staats had another huge night with four goals and one assist. The top-heavy Seals were also paced by Wesley Berg’s one goal and seven assists, along with Dane Dobbie’s two scores and six helpers. Halifax leaped out to an early 3-1 lead, only to witness the Seals flip the switch and outscore the visitors 9-4 from the second quarter onward.

Austin Shanks, Cody Jamieson and Clarke Petterson connected on two goals apiece for the fellas from Nova Scotia, but playing shorthanded during so many portions of the game was an untenable circumstance for the now 7-6 Thunderbirds.

The Seals move to 9-4 on the season, with the quest for their 10th triumph occurring next weekend at Calgary.


Connor Fields Is On A Different Level Right Now

Last week, Rochester Knighthawks star Connor Fields registered three goals and 11 assists in his club’s 19-15 win at Panther City. Saturday night, Fields followed up his Texas two-step by blasting another six goals and five assists, leading Rochester to an 18-12 victory over their Empire State rivals from Albany. Thomas McConvey built upon his six-goal spectacle in Fort Worth with a four-goal, two-assist carnival, but this time it was to the delight of the hometown fans at Blue Cross Arena. The Knighthawks were hitting on all cylinders throughout with Ryan Smith connecting on five scores and five helpers, while Ryan Lanchbury contributed 11 assists of his own, matching Fields’ generosity from the week prior. After the game went into halftime tied 9-9, Rochester rocketed into orbit during the final 30 minutes, outscoring the high-performing FireWolves by a decisive 9-3 margin.


Albany was playing on the second night of a back-to-back, having bussed 3.5 hours through the Upstate New York darkness, in the wake of their 13-8 home victory over the Vancouver Warriors. Sam Firth and Tye Kurtz each found themselves in the hat trick column, but come the second half, the team that entered the night with a 10-2 record appeared to have simply run out of gas.

Next week, Rochester and Albany will meet again, with the FireWolves looking for a dose of revenge on their MVP Arena home floor.


The Rock Sit Alone Atop The NLL

The now 11-2 Toronto Rock easily disposed of the visiting Colorado Mammoth, cruising to a 12-7 conquest in front of more than 9,000 fans in downtown Hamilton. The Rock’s fifth straight win occurred after the home team jumped out to a 4-0 lead, before the two-time defending West Conference champions matched affairs at 4-4. The two upper-echelon franchises traded a series of goals until late in the third quarter when the boys from Ontario erupted with a six-goal display to separate themselves from a prideful bunch of Rocky Mountain combatants. Mark Matthews tallied one goal and six assists, with “Captain America” Tom Schreiber netting two scores and four helpers. Dan Lintner had one of the best games of his career, providing the FirstOntario Centre faithful with a hard-earned hat trick. The Rock will seek their 12th win of the 2023-2024 campaign when the Halifax Thunderbirds pay a visit next week.

Colorado’s difficult season rolls on, with the 2022 NLL champions moving to 4-9. Eli McLaughlin and Tyson Gibson combined for four goals, but when a team is held scoreless in the fourth, it is nearly impossible to come out ahead in a lacrosse battle.


The Riptide Regain Their Form

Saturday evening, the New York Riptide played their first game on Long Island since announcing next season’s relocation to Ottawa. Despite the team’s very public future plans, the Riptide gave everything they had to the lacrosse-loving fans inside the Nassau Coliseum, outlasting the sophomore squad from Las Vegas 13-11. Larson Sundown lit up the marquee like a Broadway performer, attaining a sock trick courtesy of a dazzling display of goals. The always extraordinary Jeff Teat contributed big-time to the cause, establishing a nine-point enterprise that featured two scores and seven helpers. The New Yorkers jumped out to a 5-1 lead, with the Sin City swashbucklers mounting a furious comeback, cutting the Riptide advantage to a mere one-goal, during stretches of both the third and fourth quarters. But Vegas’ most valiant of efforts was not quite enough to send the contest to an overtime session.

The Desert Dogs were led by Casey Jackson’s five goals and three assists, while Rob Hellyer and Jack Hannah combined for four scores and five helpers. No other Vegas player captured more than one goal. New York’s victory snapped a three-game losing streak.


Rush & Bandits Showcased the NLL at its Best

Downtown Buffalo was the setting for an absolute classic with the visiting Saskatchewan Rush and defending champion Bandits trading breathtaking goal for breathtaking goal throughout the course of the 65:22 contest. The clubs exchanged scores every stretch of the way, with no team ever holding more than a one-goal lead. Tehoka Nanticoke started and ended the scoring for Buffalo, connecting on an early 1-0 horn blower and the 15-14 game-winner in overtime. Nanticoke finished with four goals and two assists. Teammates Josh Byrne and Chris Cloutier performed some of the craziest acts of scoring on record, with Byrne producing an airborne quick-stick backhand extravaganza and Cloutier showcasing both a between-the-legs and behind-the-back magic trick, leaving Banditland in a state of lacrosse euphoria. Byrne added four scores and seven helpers to his resume, while Cloutier netted a memorable hat trick. Dhane Smith also found his way to glory, leaving KeyBank Center with three goals and seven assists.

The Rush were led by Robert Church, who rang the sock-trick bell with six goals and two assists, alongside Ryan Keenan who totaled seven points. The Rush played their hearts out but left the Bandits floor the recipients of a soul-crushing defeat.

Nearly 17,000 fans witnessed this action movie, which included the return of Buffalo goaltending icon Matt Vinc, who missed the last several weeks due to injury.


The Roughnecks & Swarm Needed OT to Settle Things

Friday’s second overtime thriller occurred in suburban Atlanta, where the Georgia Swarm and Calgary Roughnecks battled their way into OT, only to see the hometown Swarm walk away owners of a 13-12 triumph. Georgia led throughout much of the game, including a 10-7 advantage early in the fourth quarter. From that point forward, Calgary decided to take it up a notch, achieving five of the next six goals. On both the tying and go-ahead tallies, reigning MVP Christian Del Bianco initiated the offense, serving as the assist-man on Shane Simpson and Tyler Pace scores. CDB had the very unique stat line of 45 saves and three assists.

Just when it looked like the Roughnecks were going to claim a comeback victory, Andrew Kew leveled the score at 12-12 with under a minute left in the fourth, setting the stage for a Zach Miller sudden death goal in OT. Kew and Miller each netted hat tricks for Georgia, with Shayne Jackson dishing out seven assists and Lyle Thompson scoring twice and helping on two others.

The star of Calgary’s stampede was the aforementioned Pace, who secured five goals and one assist. Jesse King added one score and four helpers for a valiant Roughnecks squad that clearly has never heard the word quit. What a game at Gas South Arena!


The FireWolves are Playing at an Elite Level

The early faceoff of Friday night’s slate took place at Albany’s MVP Arena, with the 9-2 FireWolves hosting the 3-8, but very much on the rise, Vancouver Warriors. In the wake of a scoreless first quarter, the must-see TV FireWolves found their groove, scoring three consecutive goals en route to a comfortable 13-8 win. Travis Longboat stole the show for the now 10-win Empire Staters, blasting four goals and one assist. Rookie VIP Alex Simmons was the consummate team player, scoring once, while assisting on six more. Ethan Walker had a relatively quiet night, for his standards at least, attaining a goal and assist.

Albany bench boss Glenn Clark continues to get the very best out of his young and highly energetic roster.

Keegan Bal served as the shining light for the visitors from British Columbia, tabulating four goals and one assist, amid reaching his fifth hat trick of the season. With no other Warrior scoring more than a single goal, Bal’s big-time night was all for naught, as Vancouver was clearly overmatched in this one.