In Search of the Top Seed

The Salt City Eels (6-0) took on the Saugerties NightPandas (0-5) at the Burnet Park Arena. The Eels in search of the top seed in the Empire North Conference. Bobby DeFreze led the way in the Salt City 17-10 victory to clinch the Division. DeFreze posted a seven-point game with a pair of goals and five helpers. We caught up DeFreze and he was very complimentary toward his teammates.

“All the credit goes to my teammates for getting open and burying the ball when I got it to them. Our offense started clicking towards the end of the first and we settled down a bit. We just rode that out the next two periods. Tried to keep it loose in the dressing room. We play our best ball when we are having fun out there and after a bit of a slow start it felt good to match the effort of our defense and goalie who played their tails off all game.”

To The Action

A wild opening stanza yielded ten goals with salt City getting six of them started by Timothy Zdimal (3g) with just 1:02 played  It took a minute thirty for an equalizer supplied by Darren Nagy (2g) with Alfredo Martinez (2g) and Alex Linder (2g,3a) kicking off his big day to make it a 3-1 NightPanda advantage. Salt City went on a run with netbenders from Zdimal, James Schutt getting the helper on a Leroy Halftown (2g) marker followed by a pair from Jordan Jarvis (4g). Matt Johnson (1g) put an end to the rally making it a 5-4 game.

DeFreze got his first to end the opening stanza with the Eels in front by a 6-4 score. DeFeeze went to work as a playmaker, setting up Jarvis at the 1:06 mark to stretch the advantage to 7-4. Linder answered a minute fifteen later and the battle was intensifying. Linder found Matt Ross (1g) and we were sitting on a 7-6 game. It took 61 seconds for James Schutt (2g,3a) to have an answer putting it to an 8-6 affair.

The Climax

Things were just warming up and Linder hit a breaking Matt Rosenthal (1g,1a) to make it 8-7 at the 8;04 mark. DeFreze hit the other Halftown, Kori (1g,2a), Junior Bucktooth (2g) with an unassisted score. Matthew Schultzie (1g ) setting up with Zdimal collecting his Hatty at 13:18 to close the thrilling middle stanza with Eels seemingly in command, 11-7. DeFreze connected with Jarvis for a man-up goal. Matthew Bennett (1a) did the work and Schutt reaped the benefits and with just 3:35 elapsed, it was 13-7.

Cam Smith (1g) ended the five-goal uprising with a man-up goal with Schutt and Nagy exchanging goals before the Halftown’’s hooked up on the advantage with Kori feeding Leroy making it 15-9. Schutt set up DeFreze with Martinez and Bucktooth closing it out with the Eels seizing first place in the Empire North Salt City now waits to see who their opponent will be. The Pandas went  1 of 4 on the advantage and Salt City was 2 for 4. Shots favored the Eels, 46-41. William Dempsey saving 31 shots for Salt City with counterpart, Keegan Thomas knocking away 29 for the Pandas in search for the top seed.

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.