ALL Championship Set

Kevin M. Neibauer
LaxPhilly- Part of the Edge of Philly Sports Network.

The Arena League West Championship is set

The Top Ranked, Sea Spray used a fast start to win an 11-7 contest against the Black Fish at the Langley Events Center.

Fast Start? How Fast?

The Sea Spray made a big splash by scoring on their first two shots just eight seconds apart.

John Hofseth (1g, 1a) at 14:38 and face off specialist, Gordie Phillips (2g, 1a) winning the ensuing draw and starting his big day at 14:30.

Phillips found net again at 12:21 and was complemented at 9:37 with a Rob Hofseth goal that was set up by Tyler Kirkby and Nick Preston.

When the smoke settled, it was a 4-0 game after 15:00.

“You always want to come out and score the first goal and set the pace of the game, and that is what we did. It is a lot harder to fight back then it is to play from out in front.” Gordie Phillips.

We Move On

It took forty six seconds for Chase McIntyre (3g) to put the Fish on the board.

Undaunted, Eli Batt (1g) sent a pretty pass that Aidan Ellis (1g) buried to regain the four goal edge.

Jon Phillips (4a) set up McIntyre for a second time.

Tyler Kirkby (2g,1a) hit on the advantage followed :50 later with an Evan Pattinson (1g) net bender that closed the half with the Sea Spray holding a five goal advantage, 7-2.

To the Third

Only three balls found the net, starting with Ethan M’Lot (1g) cutting it to 7-3.

Kirkby, off Adam Dickson (1a) and Phillips at 2:28 restored five goal edge

With :40 remaining, Keegan Bell (1g) was the recipient of a long transition pass from netminder, Mateo Tuck.

With 15:00 to go, it was a six goal game at 9-3.

Pride Comes Out

The Black Fish felt a sense of urgency and dug in deep.

Evan Messenger (1a) started a rally with his crisp pass to Ryan Jones (1g, 1a) who made zero mistake at 14:04.

Nick Jensen (1g) buried a short handed goal thirty one seconds later

Greg Lunde (1g) joined the party with McIntyre getting his hat-trick with help from Jones and Phillips

Suddenly, it was a two goal game with 7:28 to play.

But, any hopes of a total comeback were dashed when Nick Preston (1g, 2a) and, with the goalie pulled, Zac Christiansen (1g) ended the comeback and the game.


• Shots on Goal went 69 to 55 for the Spray.

• Matteo Tack had 44 stops in the Spray nets.

The Black Fish employed two netminders.

Justin Geddie made 39 stops while allowing 9 goals in his 42:26.

Gordy Bowden went 16:48 with an assist and knocking aside 19 of the 20 he faced

• Power plays were anything but. The Sea Spray we’re a dismal 1 for 11 with the Black Fish equally unimpressive, 1 for 8 with a short handed marker

• Gordie Phillips, Sea Splash face off man was outstanding. 2 goals, an assist and 15 of 19 from the dot.

“We did a good job of when they had their runs, settling down and controlling the game. But the score was kind of scary there until late in the game,”

“We let things slip in the end. Both their goalies played well (but) I think if we had picked our shooting a little bit better today, we could have ended this game a little bit earlier.”

Sea Splash Head Coach, Russ Heard.

The Sea Splash and Grizzlies meet up Saturday and Sunday, March 26.

ALL Championship Set.

Gary Groob
Gary Groob

Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.

An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.

Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.

In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.

Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).

Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.

Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.