Rock’s Offense Comes To Life In Laval

The Toronto Rock (7-2) took on the New York Riptide (5-5) Saturday night at Place Bell in Laval, QC. This was the Rock’s first regular season game in Montreal since they played the Express in 2002, the lone season of existence for the Quebec based NLL team.

Both teams have Express Alumni on the sidelines in this matchup, as Rock coaches Bruce Codd and Matt Sawyer were both in Montreal for that season in 2022. For the Riptide, Jason Crosbie was another member of the team.

Jeff Teat has been on a tear in this stretch, as the only player in the NLL to reach the 30-goal mark as well as to break 60 points in the 2023-2024 season. Teat had a hand in every goal during the Riptide’s 6-goal comeback against the Seals last weekend.

The Rock are just 1-2 in their last three games and are coming off a surprising loss to the Calgary Roughnecks.  Corey Small was the catalyst for the Rock offense in that matchup, scoring 5 goals on the night.

The goaltending match-up had Cam Dunkerley in net for the Riptide against Nick Rose in net for the Rock.

Jeff Teat got the Riptide rolling early, scoring twice and assisting once getting the Riptide out to an early 3-0 lead.  New York was up 6-3 when the Rock started their comeback tying it 7-7 at the half.  Tempers boiled over near halftime with a fight between Brad Kri and John LaFontaine.

The second half was all Toronto!   The Rock held the Riptide scoreless in third ,while getting on a five goal run themselves.  They outscored New York 9-3 in the second half for the 16-10 victory.

To The Game:

The Riptide started lightning quick.  Connor Kearnan opened the scoring with a behind the back shot off a Jeff Teat pass at 1:27, followed by Teat himself firing a laser off a Stephen Keogh pass 0:32 seconds later.  Jeff Teat added another all alone in front of the net off a Connor Kearnan pass at 2:44.

The Rock got on the board when Josh Dawick converted a Mark Matthews rebound at 3:11, but a long lead pass from Cam Dunkerley sent Callum Jones in all alone for his first NLL goal at 5:27. 

Corey Small got Toronto closer with a howitzer from the outside on the power-play off a Tom Schreiber pass at 8:26, but Larson Sundown answered for the Riptide converting an Austin Madronic pass in front of the net at 13:10.

After one quarter, New York 5 Toronto 2.

Second Quarter:

Toronto got on the board shorthanded when Justin Martin scored off a Matthews give and go at 1:47, but was immediately answered by Larson Sundown from behind the net off a Reilly O’Connor pass 0:32 seconds later on the power-play.

Mark Matthews scored for the Rock on the power-play with a blast from the outside off a Tom Schreiber feed at 4:19, followed by Challen Rogers in transition finding Matthews again at 7:16. 

Jeff Teat scored his third of the night converting a Reilly O’Connor pass at 9:49, but Dan Craig answered with a beautiful shot to the top corner off a Tom Schreiber pass at 11:50.  Mark Matthews tied the game crashing towards the net off a Josh Dawick pass at 13:06.

Tempers boiled over with just over a minute to go on the half.  Brad Kri and John LaFontaine were the main combatants.

At the half, Toronto 7 New York 7.

Third Quarter:

The Rock opened the scoring when Dan Craig scored quickly crashing towards the net off a Corey Small pass at 0:47 seconds.  Small added to the Toronto lead with a low to low outside shot off a Dan Craig pass at 6:13, followed by Mark Matthews’ fourth of the night off a Tom Schreiber feed at 11:17.

After three quarters, Toronto 10 New York 7.

Fourth Quarter:

Thr Riptide got themselves in penalty trouble in this quarter, and the Rock made them pay. 

Dan Lintner opened the scoring with the Rock on a two man advantage.   Lintner converted a Mark Matthews pass with a quick stick at 3:27, followed by Dan Craig’s third of the night with a quick stick off a Tom Schreiber pass just 0:26 seconds later also on the power-play.

Stephen Keogh answered with a pair of goals for New York.  First he converted a Jeff Teat pass diving towards the net at 4:41, followed by Keogh firing a laser off a Teat rebound at 6:12, shorthanded.

Toronto then rhymed off the next four tallies.

Tom Schreiber scored with a low to low shot from the outside off a Mark Matthews pass at 7:50 on the power-play.  Josh Dawick fired a beautiful shot that caught the far corner off a Schreiber pass at 11:50, followed by Corey Small with a pair of goals.  Small’s first was off a Mark Matthews pass at 12:14, followed by a power-play goal again off a Matthews feed at 13:39.

The Riptide got one more goal when Larson Sundown converted a Stephen Keogh pass at 14:27, but it was too little too late.

Final score, Toronto 16, New York 10.

“It was great, we were just talking about it in the room that it was a pretty good game for the fans to see,” said Rock forward Mark Matthews. “A lot of goals, a lot of action and a fight. They were into it the whole game and we fed off it.”

The Three Stars:

1. Mark Matthews
2. Tom Schreiber
3. Jeff Teat

Game Stats:

  • Shots on goal were 55-45 in favor of the Rock.
  • The faceoff battle was dominated by TD Ierlan of Toronto going 21-9.
  • The loose ball battle went to the Rock 73-61.
  • Toronto went 6 for 7 on the power-play, scoring a shorthanded goal.
  • New York went 1 for 2 on the power-play, also scoring a shorthanded goal.

Top Scorers:

Toronto Rock:

  • Mark Matthews 4g, 7a
  • Tom Schreiber 1g, 8a
  • Dan Craig 3g, 3a

New York Riptide:

  • Jeff Teat 3g, 5a
  • Larson Sundown 3g, 1a
  • Stephen Keogh 2g, 2a

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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.