Rock Hold Off Panther City Push For Second Victory

The Panther City Lacrosse Club (1-2) faced the Toronto Rock (2-0) for the first time in franchise history on Friday at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth, Texas. Both teams were coming off bye weeks.

Last time on the floor, Panther City lost in OT to the Las Vegas Desert Dogs, 11-10. Callum Crawford has led the way offensively for Panther City as has registered back-to-back hat tricks.

Toronto entered the contest only having played one game, an 11-7 victory over Philadelphia on December 9th. They are led by newly acquired forward Mark Matthews, who in his lone game with the Rock this season recorded 5 points (4g,1a).

The goaltending match-up had Nick Rose in net for the Rock facing Nick Damude in net for Panther City.

Panther City came out with a lot of energy to start the game getting an early 3-1 lead.  Bruising hits from Chris Boushy helped the Rock get on track.  Led by Boushy and Mark Matthews the Rock jumped out to a 7-5 halftime lead.

The second half saw the Rock’s power-play come alive in the third with two goals.  Panther City put together a five goal run that gave them the lead in the fourth, but two from Matthews, and singles from Corey Small and Chris Boushy gave Toronto the eventual 13-10 win.

“I think the message on the bench was, what’s next, and not really getting too down if they put one in the back of the net,” explained Boushy. “Lacrosse is a relatively high scoring game. You walk into the rink before the game and you know you’re going to get scored on, so just putting that behind you right away. It’s the best thing for your own mental approach to the game.”

Quote courtesy of the Toronto Rock

To The Game:

Panther City opened the scoring on the power-play when Phil Caputo fired a laser off a Jonathan Donville feed at 3:07, but the Rock answered with Dan Craig diving from behind the net off a Challen Rogers pass at 5:34. 

Brandon Goodwin gave the lead back to Panther City diving across the crease off a Tony Malcom pass at 6:31, followed by Evan Messenger’s power-play goal on a bounced shot unassisted at 7:41.

Toronto came back with a Chris Boushy howitzer off a Josh Jubenville pass at 8:39, followed by Justin Martin finishing off a Dan Lintner pass all alone in front of Nick Damude at 12:22. 

With just 0:43.6 seconds left Jonathan Donville beat Nick Rose to the shortside off a Will Malcom pass to again give Panther City the lead.

After one quarter, Panther City 4 Toronto 3.

Second Quarter:

Toronto’s transition got working in the second with Mitch de Snoo firing a rope off a Chris Weier feed at 4:16, followed by Chris Boushy’s second of the night off a Mark Matthews pass at 9:16. 

Phil Mazzuca fired a bounced shot in transition off a Mitch de Snoo pass at 11:34, followed by Challen Rogers bullying his way to the net off a Mark Matthews pass at 12:59.

Panther City came back with Will Malcom converting a Jonathan Donville feed at 13:47 to bring the game within two.

At the half, Toronto 7 Panther City 5.

Third Quarter:

Brent Mitchell took a four minute roughing penalty early in the third giving the Rock opportunity.  Mark Matthews opened the third quarter scoring with a power-play goal off a Corey Small pass at 1:32, followed by Small himself converting a Dan Craig pass also on the power-play 0:19 seconds later.

Will Malcom’s second of the night brought Panther City back within three goals converting a Callum Crawford pass at 4:25, followed by Phil Caputo’s second of the night off a Crawford pass as well 0:41 seconds later.

After three quarters, Toronto 9 Panther City 7.

Fourth Quarter:

Panther City picked up where they left off in the fourth with Callum Crawford scoring one handed on a beautiful individual effort  unassisted at 3:56, followed by Patrick Foley also scoring unassisted at 4:52 to tie the game.  Matthieu Gautier then gave Panther City the lead on the power-play converting a Jonathan Donville feed at 6:07.

Toronto stormed back with Mark Matthews scoring twice in 0:21 seconds to give the Rock the lead for good.  The first goal was off a Challen Rogers pass at 6:36, followed by converting a Dan Craig pass at 6:57.

Corey Small quick sticked a Challen Rogers pass at 9:40, followed by Chris Boushy’s third of the game with just 0:34 seconds left to give the Rock the victory.

Final score, Toronto 13 Panther City 10.

The Three Stars:

1. Mark Matthews
2. Chris Boushy
3. Callum Crawford

Game Stats:

  • Shots on goal were even at 53.
  • TD Irelan was dominant on faceoffs for the Rock winning 26 of 28.
  • Toronto won the loose ball battle 69-62.
  • The Rock went 2 for 2 on the power-play, while Panther City went 3 for 4.

Top Scorers:

Toronto Rock:

  • Mark Matthews 3g, 3a
  • Challen Rogers 1g, 4a
  • Chris Boushy 3g, 1a

Panther City Lacrosse Club:

  • Will Malcom 2g, 3a
  • Jonathan Donville 1g, 3a
  • Callum Crawford 1g,3a

Don’t forget to check us out this Sunday at 11am on eopsports.com

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.

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