Rock Ground Thunderbirds

The Halifax Thunderbirds (6-1) visited the Toronto Rock (4-2) at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. The Thunderbirds have been rolling along this year with veterans like Cody Jamieson, Ryan Benesch, Mike Burke, Jake Withers, and rookie sensation Clarke Petterson. The Toronto Rock have been battling the injury bug with Adam Jones, and Tom Schreiber out, as well as Dan Craig being placed on the short term hold out list, and have relied on a younger lineup to achieve success. The youth didnt disappoint, giving the Rock an intensity from the start, that they held to for the entire game on way to a 12-9 victory in front of 10, 946 fans.

Kyle Jackson (1-0) opened the scoring for the Thunderbirds on the powerplay at
5:58 converting a Ryan Benesch pass, but Dan Dawson (3g,1a) tied the game firing a Rob Hellyer pass past Warren Hill (Halifax goalie) at 6:59.

The Rock and Thunderbirds played a chippy, intense quarter with both teams getting good opportunities.

The Rock scored a couple of goals in transition at the end of the quarter when Damon Edwards (1g,2a) scored unassisted at 11:23, followed by Scott “Flash” Dominey (2g,0a) with an unassisted goal at 13:59.

After one quarter, Toronto 3 Halifax 1.

The second quarter had the Thunderbirds open with a flurry, scoring three times to take the lead.

Colton Armstrong (1g,0a) scored first on a Graeme Hossack pass at 2:54, followed by Cody Jamieson (2g,2a) converting another Graeme Hossack pass at 3:06 tying the game. Clarke Petterson (2g,4a) gave Halifax the lead on the powerplay, on a long lead pass from Warren Hill at 8:12, but Reid Reinholdt (1g,0a) tied the game up when he converted a Dan Dawson pass at 9:25.

The Rock continued the offensive push, getting markers from Adam Jay (1g,0a) unassisted at 10:06, followed by Dan Dawson with his second of the night from a Zach Manns pass on the powerplay at 11:14.

With just seconds left in the half, and Nick Rose (Rock goalie) on the bench, Challen Rogers (1g,2a) received a Reid Reinholdt pass, firing a laser at the Halifax net, scoring with 0:00.2 left.

At the half, Toronto 7 Halifax 4

The second half opened with Sheldon Burns of the Rock and Mike Burke of the Thunderbirds, in a tussle at 0:41 seconds, setting the stage for the half.

Austin Shanks (1g,0a) opened the scoring for Halifax off a Clarke Petterson pass at 2:30. It looked like Toronto got it back when Challen Rogers crashed the crease at 3:18, but on a Halifax challenge, Rogers had his toe in the crease, disallowing the goal.

The Rock kept their intensity up, and soon were rewarded.

Dan Dawson scored his third of the night off a Zach Manns pass at 5:21, followed by Rob Hellyer (2g,1a) converting a Damon Edwards pass at 7:00. Scott Dominey scored his second transition goal of the night converting a David Brock pass at 7:28, followed by Rob Hellyer scoring his second of the quarter off a Challen Rogers pass at 14:21, and the Rock were cruising.

After three quarters, Toronto 11 Halifax 5.

The fourth quarter opened with Clarke Petterson scoring on the powerplay shooting through a crowd off a Stephen Keogh pass at 5:08, followed by Eric Fannell (1g,0a) converting a Ryan Benesch pass at 6:17.

The Thunderbirds kept pressing and scored when Ryan Benesch (1g,3a) scored on the powerplay from a Cody Jamieson feed at 7:59. Halifax made it a two goal game when Cody Jamieson scored shorthanded at 11:38 silencing the Scotiabank faithful.

David Brock (1g,1a) scored into an empty net off a Brad Kri feed to make it a three goal lead, and the fans breathed a sigh of relief.

Final score, Toronto 12 Halifax 9.

“That was good entertainment for everyone watching,” said Rock Head Coach Matt Sawyer.  “It was a good performance, a big win and one we needed.”

Sawyer went on to say…

“We had five regulars out of the lineup and we got to see our depth, Guys got their opportunities and certainly stepped up and performed tonight.”

“Matty Sawyer preached all week about transition, transition, transition and run the ball.  My game is mostly transition, that’s what I do, run the ball up and score on those breakaways,” said Dominey.

Shots on goal was in favor of Halifax 51-49.

The Thunderbirds won the loose ball battle 88-65.

Jake Withers was absolutely incredible on the faceoffs for Halifax winning 22 of 24.

Halifax went 4 for 6 on the powerplay and scored a shorthanded goal.

Toronto went 2 for 4 on the powerplay.

The Three Stars :

1. Dan Dawson Toronto
2. Scott Dominey Toronto
3. Brad Kri Toronto

Top scorers,


Clarke Petterson 2g, 4a
Cody Jamieson 2g, 2a
Stephen Keogh 0g, 3a


Dan Dawson 3g, 1a
Rob Hellyer 2g, 1a
Damon Edwards 1g, 2a

Halifax’s next game is February 15th at home against the Saskatchewan Rush. Game time is 6pm (EST)

Toronto’s next game is at home against the Buffalo Bandits on February 9th. Game time is 3pm (EST).

Quotes courtesy of the Toronto Rock.

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.