Grizzlies Advance

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

In the Arena League West, the semi-finals took place.

The first game had the Grizzlies taking on the challenge of the Shooting Eagles.

The Grizzlies entered the game riding a five game winless streak.

Their fortunes turned with an 11-7 victory to advance to the Finals.

How it Happened

In this game, the goaltenders stole the show. A combined 18 goals on 100 shots.

Sekawnee Baker (1g) gave the Grizzlies a 1-0 lead at 13:36. Andrew Gresham (3a) set it up.

Kieran McKay (2g, 2a) followed by James Baker (3g, 3a) on the man advantage, increased the lead to 3-0 with 3:34 to play

After thirteen and a half scoreless minutes, Jake Foster (1g) broke through for the Shooting Eagles. Aidan Murphy (1a) and Declan Fitzpatrick (2a) accounted for the helpers.

That shut the door on the opening stanza with a 3-1 Grizzlies advantage

Second Quarter

The offenses started finding their groove with a seven goal quarter

Brian Smith (1g, 2a) pushed it to 4-1 at 12:40.

Three minutes later, Erik Maas (2g, 3a) took advantage of the work of McKay and Gresham to make it a four goal advantage on a power play.

The Grizzlies were not quite finished and got it to 6-1 when McKay hit rope at 8:39.

The Eagles finally began to break through with Justin Digby (1g) followed with a man down marker from Dylan Laprade (1g, 1a) and we had a new game, 6-3.

Mitch McDole (1g, 3a) for the Grizzlies and Rhys Blake (1g) for the Eagles, closed the half with a 7-4 game.

To the Second Half

Mark Yingling (2g) with a power play goal at 11:06 and Doug Porter (1g, 1a) kept the pressure on, making it a one goal game at 7-6.

The Grizzlies countered courtesy of Andrew Joseph (1g) at 2:23 and Erik Maas (2g, 3a) that closed the third quarter with a 9-6 Grizzlies advantage

Final Quarter

Yingling took advantage of a pretty passing play from Porter and Brandon Fitzgerald (1a).

But, the Grizzlies made it four of the last five goals when James Baker scored a pair.

First at 7:33 and again at 3:30 on a man up to close the stat sheet


• Shots on Goal were 52-48 for the Eagles..

• Brandon Humphrey gathered the Number One star with his 45 saves on the 52 shots and an assist.

“They really made my job a lot easier and that is how we have to play. It is pretty tough to steal games as a goalie – we are not going to steal them very often – so when the team plays as a team, it means I can just do my job and don’t have to do anything extra and do too much, and just let everybody do their role,” commented Humphrey.

Brody Harris was Star number 2 with 37 saves and an assist.

• Despite the defeat, the Eagles Brandon Fitzgerald was dominant from the dot with his 12 of 17.

• The Grizzlies went 3 of 11 on the advantage while The Shooting Eagles went 1 for 7 but, did have a short handed goal.

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.