Written by “Muffler” Mike Kostiuk
Lax Philly  – A Division of Edge of Philly Sports Network

The New York Riptide traveled to Blue Cross Arena to play the Rochester Knighthawks Saturday night in the second of three meetings between the teams this season. Rochester, who traded forward Shawn Evans to Halifax earlier this week, would also be playing without goalie Rylan Hartley, currently on injured reserve. The Riptide came out firing early and held off numerous rallies to win 15-12, improving to 3-8 and dropping Rochester into last place in the East Division.

It’s A Blowout!…Oh Wait…

With Knighthawks backup netminder Joel Watson making his first career NLL start, it was hard not to imagine the Riptide would attack him from the opening faceoff. That’s just what happened, as they opened up a 6-0 lead in the first quarter. Connor Kearnan (3g. 1a) would find the back of the net twice within the first two minutes (0:37; 1:36). League-leading rookie scorer Jeff Teat (2g. 7a; 3:44) and Dan Lomas (1g, 1a; 4:21) followed. Kearnan notched his hat-trick goal at 6:04, and Callum Crawford (5g, 1a) joined the mix at 13:41.

The second quarter was a different story. Rochester outscored New York 6-2 as Watson settled down and started seeing the ball much better. Thomas Hoggarth (5g, 1a) tallied a pair of goals about a minute apart (2:09; 3:04). Ryan Smith (2g, 2a) got on the board with a power play goal 54 seconds later. Hoggarth’s hat trick goal at 7:14 made it 6-4 before the Riptide’s Scott Dominey (8:47) scored in transition to push the lead back to three.

Rochester responded with Ryland Rees (1g, 1a; 11:34) in transition and Hoggarth’s fourth (11:47) to make it 7-6. Crawford appeared to have his second at the 12:23 mark, but the officials had conflicting calls, and a replay review could not determine conclusively whether the ball had crossed the goal line. However, a violation in the crease by Knighthawks defender John Wagner resulted in a penalty shot for the Riptide. Teat beat Watson five-hole for his second of the night to make it 8-6 at halftime.

Back and Fourth

Unfortunately for Rochester, they would be unable to get closer than two goals the rest of the game. Larson Sundown (1g, 2a; 0:43) opened the third quarter scoring for the Riptide, increasing the lead to three. Tyler Halls, handling faceoff duties for Rochester when Chris Willman was scratched, would score his first career NLL goal at 9:04 to make it 9-7. Crawford’s second at 9:31 pushed the lead back to three, then Hoggarth’s fifth (12:35) would cut it to two again.

The alternating goals continued into the fourth quarter. Crawford’s hat-trick goal on a power play (0:57), then Smith’s second (2:20) made it 11-9. Crawford’s fourth (2:54), then Holden Cattoni (1g, 2a; 3:45), 12-10 Riptide. Crawford’s fifth (5:27), then Curtis Knight (1g, 2a; 10:41), 13-11. Jake Fox (12:20) with a dunk that held up under review, then Turner Evans (1g, 3a; 13:45) made it 14-12. Rochester pulled Watson for an extra attacker to close the gap, but Mack Mitchell (1g, 1a) added an empty-netter at 14:26 to seal the win for New York. These teams meet once more in Long Island on April 16.

3 Stars of the Game

  • 1st Star: Jeff Teat
  • 2nd Star: Thomas Hoggarth
  • 3rd Star: Callum Crawford

Other Stats of Note

  • Power Play: NY 1 of 2; ROC 1 of 5
  • Loose Balls: NY 73; ROC 99
  • Jay Thorimbert (NY): 20 of 31 on faceoffs
  • Steven Orleman (NY): 46 saves; Watson: 37 saves
  • Crawford: Needs 1 assist to become the eighth player in NLL history with 700 career assists
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.