Written by Gary Groob
Lax Philly – A Division of Edge of Philly Sports Network
The Toronto Rock (1-1) traveled to Halifax, Nova Scotia, to face the Thunderbirds (2-0) in week two action. Both teams had one goal victories in week one, with Eric Fannell scoring an overtime goal for Halifax, and Dan Dawson with the late game heroics for the Toronto Rock. Both teams are expected to have great seasons, and this could be a look at one of the playoff series down the road.
To the game…
The first quarter had the Rock starting out a bit flat footed, with the Thunderbirds taking full advantage. Clarke Petterson (6g,1a) opened the scoring at 8:55 on a feed from Chris Boushy, and increased the lead with his second of the game with just one second left in the quarter off a Stephen Keogh feed.
While the Rock had opportunities, they just didn’t seem comfortable throughout the quarter.
After one quarter, Halifax 2, Toronto 0.
The Rock got back into the game when Dan Craig (1g,3a) fired a Tom Schreiber pass past Warren Hill (Thunderbirds goalie) at 3:06, making the score 2-1.
Clarke Petterson continued his hot hand converting a Stephen Keogh pass at 6:55, followed by Chris Boushy (3g,4a) burying a Stephan Leblanc pass at 7:21. Petterson scored his fourth of the game converting an Eric Fannell pass at 9:48, and then potted his fifth of the game when he again converted a Chris Boushy pass at 13:01.
The Rock never really got going in the first half, and whenever they started to get on track, they ran into the hot goaltending of Warren Hill in the Thunderbirds net.
At the half, Halifax 6 Toronto 1.
Bill Hostrawser tried to give the Rock some momentum to start the quarter, as he dropped the gloves with Nonkon Thompson at 1:11. Also on the play, Jason Noble from the Rock got a two minute cross checking penalty, and Chris Boushy took a five minute goalie interference penalty, giving the Rock an opportunity to get back in the game on the power play.
The Halifax penalty kill was spectacular, keeping the Rock primarily to the outside, not giving them too many decent opportunities to score. The result was a successful kill, with the score remaining 6-1 in favor of the Thunderbirds.
Toronto definitely had more jump in their step in the third quarter, but credit the Halifax defense, and Warren Hill in net with spectacular play in this game.
Just to add insult to injury, Chris Boushy fired a long shot (from the restraining line) beating Nick Rose (Rock goalie) while shorthanded at 8:32, but Tom Schreiber (4g,1a) finally got the Rock on the board on the power play off an Aaron Forster pass 0:26 seconds later, making the score 7-2.
Chris Boushy scored his third of the night with just 41.5 seconds left to make the score 8-2, but the Rock struck right back when Tom Schreiber scored on a quick stick at 14:59.
After three quarters, Halifax 8 Toronto 3.
Clarke Petterson achieved the Sock-trick, scoring his sixth of the night on a Chris Boushy pass just 1:48 into the quarter.
Rob Hellyer (1g,2a) scored to cut the lead to 9-4 at 4:42, followed by Latrell Harris (1g,0a) scoring off a Dan Craig pass at 6:06. Tom Schreiber scored his third of the night off a Reid Reinholdt pass at 9:50, and then grabbed his fourth of the night on a long lead pass from Nick Rose shorthanded at 11:16, bringing it to a two goal deficit.
Stephen Keogh (1g,3a) stopped the Rock’s roll, when he scored on the power play off a Tyson Bell feed at 12:14, and then Nonkon Thompson (1g,0a) scored his first NLL career goal at 13:21 to put the game out of reach.
Final score, Halifax 11 Toronto 7.
“They certainly were the better team tonight from start to finish, we got what we deserved with the commitment we put forth in the first half,” said Rock Head Coach Matt Sawyer. “The goal is to get a team win and we just didn’t have enough guys on board tonight to pull that out.”
- The Rock outshot Halifax 52-42
- Toronto went 0 for 4 on the power play, with one shorthanded goal.
- Halifax went 1 for 5 on the power play, with one shorthanded goal.
- Jake Withers was dominant on faceoffs going 17 for 22 for the Thunderbirds.
Tom Schreiber 4g, 1a
Dan Craig 1g, 3a
Rob Hellyer 1g, 2a
Clarke Petterson 6g, 1a
Chris Boushy 3g, 4a
Stephen Keogh 1g, 3a
Of note, Tom Schreiber scored his 100th goal of his NLL career on his second goal of the night.
Toronto’s next game is back home at the First Ontario Centre next Saturday night, Dec. 18 to face the Philadelphia Wings.
Halifax has a bye next week, but will head to Calgary Thursday December 30th to face the Roughnecks.
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 10 years ago. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob had 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).
Mr. Groob 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.