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
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
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.
Kevin has followed and promoted the game of lacrosse since May 19, 1974.
The same day the Philadelphia Flyers won the Cup, the Philadelphia Wings were introduced to Neibauer and Philadelphia.
Kevin has covered many sports, including baseball, football, basketball, and.. lacrosse. A former licensed football referee and baseball umpire, Kevin brings a unique insight to his game coverage.
A published writer in JustHockey Magazine, Kevin covered the American Hockey League as well as a monthly story on a pugilist where Kevin used the pen name, The Rink Rat. Neibauer turned his attentions to lacrosse for a few years and does his part, whether podcasting or writing to grow the game. Kevin branched out to his roots and currently provides insight for all Philadelphia teams for Edge of Philly as well as his full-time duties with LaxPhilly.