(cover photo courtesy of the Vancouver Warriors)
The Vancouver Warriors (0-1) started the 2023-2024 season at home hosting the Panther City Lacrosse Club (1-0) at the Rogers Arena.
The Warriors have undergone substantial changes from the top on downwards. Additions like Kevin Crowley, Matt Beers, Ryan Dilks, John Lintz, and Chris Willman will play a big part in the revitalization of this franchise.
Panther City returns with its core forwards. Will Malcom, Jonathan Donville, Callum Crawford and Phil Caputo return from last season. New to the fold this year, left-handed forward Jason Knox (6’4, 210lbs) and right-handed forward Ryan Sheridan (6’4, 210lbs).
The goaltending match-up had Nick Damude in net for Panther City against Aaron Bold in net for the Warriors.
The game was dominated by Panther City’s defensive unit, as they never allowed more than three goals in a quarter including only allowing a single goal in both the second and third quarters. The offense was steady throughout the the night with twelve players scoring at least one point in the game.
Callum Crawford led the way for Panther City as he recorded five goals on the evening and now is one goal shy of passing Mark Steenhuis for 10th place all time in NLL history for most goals scored. Panther City wins their first game of the season with an 11-7 victory over the Vancouver Warriors.
To The Game:
The Vancouver Warriors got on the board first when Kyle Killen fed a beautiful pass to Marcus Klarich at 1:51, but Jonathan Donville answered in transition for Panther City off a Mathieu Gautier pass at 3:26.
Adam Charalambides gave Vancouver the lead once again on a great individual effort with a low bounced shot off a Marcus Klarich feed at 7:04, followed by Ryan Martel in transition taking a Matt Beers pass going in all alone at 9:45.
After one quarter, Vancouver 3 Panther City 1.
Ryan Sheridan got Panther City within one with a laser through the five hole of Aaron Bold at 0:53, followed by Tony Malcom scoring off the faceoff just 0:16 seconds later to tie the game. Will Malcom went hard to the net giving Panther City their first lead of the night at 3:40 off a Patrick Foley feed.
Adam Charalambides scored his second of the game on the power-play with a blast off a Ryan Martel pass at 9:03, but Callum Crawford scored with the goalie on the bench banking a shot off the post with just 1.6 seconds left in the half.
At the half, Panther City 5 Vancouver 4.
Callum Crawford dominated the third quarter. Crawford opened the scoring taking a Phil Caputo pass, a fake, then a banked shot off the far post at 7:41, followed by a blast from the outside on the power-play off a Will Malcom pass at 9:06. Crawford added his third in a row in the quarter (fourth in a row in the game) converting a Ryan Sheridan pass with another outside blast at 10:41 on a delayed penalty.
Riley Loewen got one back for the Warriors converting a Keegan Bal pass spliting the defense and firing a shot to the top corner at 13:19.
After three quarters, Panther City 8 Vancouver 5.
Liam Patten continued the Panther City dominance early in the fourth, converting a Jonathan Donville pass in transition at 1:30. The Warriors answered with Reid Bowering scoring in transition with a give and go from Ryan Martel at 6:51. Vancouver thought they had another goal from Ryan Martel, but a good Panther City challenge deemed it scored after the shot clock had expired.
Phil Caputo gave Panther City a four goal lead again converting a rebound off a Jason Knox shot at 9:03, followed by Callum Crawford scoring his fifth of the night on the power-play with a blast from the outside off a Will Malcom feed at 10:01.
Vancouver got one more with Reid Bowering scoring unassisted at 11:54, but that was as close as they would get. The Panther City defence was exceptional on this night.
Final score, Panther City 11 Vancouver 7.
“I think we have to shoot a little bit better but I thought Nick [Damude] was good and when we weren’t scoring out the front door we started pushing the ball in transition and we had some good chances and Reid [Bowering] got one and we had some good looks and then he got one later but it’s just kind of the tail of the tape is that our [righties] were 0 for 22 and it’s not because of lack of effort but we need production out of both sides of the floor,”Vancouver Head Coach and GM, Curt Malawsky
The Three Stars:
1. Callum Crawford
2. Nick Damude
3. Will Malcom
- Shots on goal were 51-41 in favor of the Warriors
Vancouver won the faceoff battle 12-9.
- The loose ball battle went to Panther City 75-66.
- Panther City went 2 for 3 on the power-play, while Vancouver went 1 for 4.
Panther City Lacrosse Club:
- Callum Crawford 5g, 0a
- Will Malcom 1g, 4a
- Jonathan Donville 1g, 3a
- Ryan Martel 1g, 2a
- Reid Bowering 2g, 0a
- Adam Charalambides 2g, 0a
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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.