Halifax Keeps Playoff Hopes Alive With Dominant Performance

Eduardo Curros  – Field reporter for All Lacrosse All The Time

The New York Riptide (4-13) were looking to play spoilers to the Halifax Thunderbirds (9-8) playoff hopes Saturday evening at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia in front of just over 10,000 fans.  While the Thunderbirds were looking to secure a playoff berth, the Riptide had other ideas. New York, though not playoff bound,  recently have had some impressive games in their mission to rebuild their team yet again. 

When former Brampton and Cornell teammates faceoff against each other things always get interesting.  Clarke Petterson and Jeff Teat have been on the same teams all through their growing up in lacrosse.  Teat has been nothing short of spectacular in both the NLL and PLL, while Petterson has not been far behind.

The goalie match-up had Cam Dunkerly in net for New York against Warren Hill in net for Halifax.

The Riptide looked like they were going to give the Thunderbirds a run for their money, but three quick goals to end the first quarter would distance Halifax for good.  Dominant second and third quarters left New York down 13-4 heading into the fourth, and though gave a hearty fight, they weren’t able to overcome, losing 15-6 to the Thunderbirds.

Strong performances from Randy Staats (4g, 2a), Austin Shanks (3g, 5a), Chris Boushy (3g,1a) and Clarke Petterson (2g,2a) led the Halifax Thunderbirds. Reilly O’Connor (2g,1a), Mike Burke (1g,1a), Larson Sundown (2g,0a), Scott Dominey (1g,0a) and Jeff Teat (0g,4a) would be the offense for New York.

First Quarter:

Reilly O’Connor opened up the scoring off a Tyler Digby pass at 2:40, but Ryan Benesch quickly tied it just 0:18 seconds later. Eric Fannell converted an Austin Shanks pass for the Thunderbirds first lead of the game, but New York managed to tie it with a goal from Mike Burke off a Reilly O’Connor feed at 6:22. Clarke Petterson, Austin Shanks and Randy Staats closed out the first quarter scoring for the Thunderbirds.

After one quarter, Halifax 5 New York 2.

Second Quarter:

Colton Armstrong expanded the Thunderbirds lead at 7:09 followed by a powerplay goal from Randy Staats at 8:45. Austin Shanks and Reilly O’Connor then traded goals. O’Connor’s goal came on the power-play at 11:43.  Halifax charged ahead with two power-play goals of their own. Clarke Petterson converted a Cody Jamieson feed at 14:02, followed by Randy Staats just 0:32 seconds later to put an exclamation point on the half.

At the half, Halifax 10 New York 3.

Third Quarter:

The Thunderbirds continued their dominant performance in the third quarter. Chris Boushy increased the lead on a Jake Withers pass at 4:30, but the Riptide’s Larson Sundown answered off a Tyler Digby feed at 5:38. 

Randy Staats scored his third of the night off a Cody Jamieson pass at 6:44, followed by Chris Boushy converting a David Brock pass in transition at 13:21.

After three quarters, Halifax 13 New York 4.

Fourth Quarter:

Chris Boushy opened the scoring converting a Ryan Benesch pass at 1:45.  A beautiful dive from behind the net from Scott Dominey got the Riptide back on the board at 6:12.

Austin Shanks and Larson Sundown traded goals to close out the scoring giving Halifax the convincing victory.

Final score, Halifax 15 New York 6.

Halifax plays the Georgia Swarm next with the winner getting the final playoff spot in the East Division.

The Three Stars:

  1. Austin Shanks
  2. Randy Staats
  3. Chris Boushy

Game Stats:

  • Halifax outshot the Riptide 56-36
  • The faceoff battle was dominated by Jake Withers of Halifax 20-5.
  • The loose ball battle went to Halifax 84-46.
  • New York went 1 for 8 on the power-play, while the Thunderbirds went 3 for 4.

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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.