PANTHER CITY GETS FIRST WIN IN FRANCHISE HISTORY
by “Muffler” Mike Kostiuk
The Panther City Lacrosse Club visited Nassau Live Center on Saturday night to play the New York Riptide in a key matchup of winless teams.
Panther City had played on both sides of the holiday break, losing close contests to Colorado and San Diego. Meanwhile, the Riptide had not played in over a month, with their late December game being postponed due to covid.
However, both teams came to play, and provided perhaps the most exciting game of Week 7. PCLC earned the first win in franchise history with a 13-12 overtime triumph. New York falls to 0-4 on the season with the loss.
Covid strikes Panther City
Things looked rather grim for Panther City even before the opening faceoff happened. Six of their players were put on the Covid Protocol List. The players included team captain Chad Cummings, leading scorer Phil Caputo, goaltender Nick Damude, and defensemen Matt Hossack, Connor Sellars, and Liam Patten, whose four transition goals currently leads the league.
To The Action
The roster moves did nothing to faze the expansion squad, as they opened the game with a 4-goal run. 2021 first-round draft pick Nathan Grenon (2g) beat Riptide netminder Gowah Abrams off a broken play just 1:21 into the game.
Patrick Dodds (3g, 5a), the reigning Rookie of the Week, continued his stellar play of late, finding twine at 5:32. Four minutes later, lefty forward Taite Cattoni (3g, 4a) would begin his big night, followed by Grenon again 10 seconds later, extending the lead off the ensuing faceoff.
The Riptide, who have struggled mightily in the first quarter of each game so far this season, finally broke through at 10:21. Jake Fox (3g) put a dunk attempt past PCLC goalie Kevin Orleman (41 saves), playing in place of Damude, to make it 4-1. Then Kieran McArdle (1g, 3a) netted a power play marker at 12:23.
Back to even strength, Cattoni scored his second goal just twenty seconds later. Jeff Teat (3g, 2a; 14:07) responded with some nifty stick work in front of the crease to cut the lead to 5-3 in favor of PCLC as the first quarter came to a close.
Panther City Pours it On
The second quarter was all Panther City on the scoreboard, as New York continued to try to shake off the rust of not playing for 4 weeks. Dawson Theede (2g, 1a; 1:32), Will Malcom (2g, 3a; 7:37), and Cattoni’s hat trick goal (12:54) extended the lead to 8-3, and chased Abrams from the game.
Steven Orleman, the younger brother of PCLC goalie Kevin, came into the game in relief. The Riptide had numerous scoring chances in transition, primarily with Scott Dominey and Damon Edwards pushing the pace, to no avail.
Kearnan, Teat, Fox Take Over
Finding themselves in need of players, PCLC re-signed forward Jack Jasinski shortly before the game. Jasinski, wearing the jersey of a former PCLC player, scored his first career goal at 2:45 of the third quarter.
Down 9-3, the Riptide were not going out without a fight.
. Over the next 21 minutes of the second half, New York would outscore Panther City 7-1 to tie the game at 10. Jake Fox went back-to-back (3:07, 4:05) to complete his hat trick before exiting the game with an undisclosed injury.
Connor Kearnan (4g, 2a) followed with his first of the night at 5:20.
Dodds (1:23) responded with his second goal to start the fourth quarter.
New York then tallied the last 4 goals of their game-tying run. A pair of shorthanded goals by Dominey (4:33) and Teat (5:57), then Kearnan’s second on a power play (7:42) and Teat’s hat trick goal (8:07), and we had a nail-biter in the making.
The teams went tit-for-tat over the last seven minutes. Malcom’s second (8:40), Theede’s second (11:45), and Kearnan’s third and fourth goals (9:45; 12:00) gave the fans their money’s worth as the game went to overtime tied at 12.
A Wild Finish
The extra frame of play saw not one, but two potential goal scoring attempts go to the booth for review. First, Callum Crawford (7a) appeared to score a highlight-reel game-winner for the Riptide, but replays showed his foot in the crease.
Then Dodds looked as if he’d closed out the game for Panther City. However, he was whistled for a crease violation that was upheld by review.
Finally, after almost 11 minutes of extra time (10:50), Dodds made history, beating Steven Orleman short side for his hat trick goal. This time, there were no doubts about foot placement, and PCLC celebrated the biggest milestone in their history to date.
3 Stars of the Game
1st Star: Patrick Dodds
2nd Star: Connor Kearnan
3rd Star: Jeff Teat
Other Stats of Note
Power Play: PCLC 0 of 5; NY 2 of 3
Liam Byrnes (PCLC) and Scott Dominey (NY) led all players with 12 loose balls each
Jay Thorimbert (NY): 15 of 29 on faceoffs
Abrams (NY): 12 saves; Steven Orleman (NY): 16 saves
Dominey (NY): 5 caused turnovers.
“I got a close one called back a couple of possessions before,” said Dodds, who scored three goals and had five assists. “I had almost the same shot I had the possession before … I’m happy it went in!”
Dodds commented on the extra time marker.
History Made in the National Lacrosse League
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.