Lax Philly – A Division of Edge of Philly Sports Network
The Halifax Thunderbirds (9-7) visited the Toronto Rock (12-5) with major playoff implications at stake at the First Ontario Centre in Hamilton, Ontario in front of 10,047 fans.
In this final meeting of the season between these two clubs, Halifax was looking to sweep the season series, while Toronto was looking to clinch a home playoff game with a win.
These teams had been going in different directions for the last number of weeks, with Toronto getting stronger and healthier each week, while the Thunderbirds had been struggling recently.
Nick Rose was in net for Toronto, facing Warren Hill in this match-up.
The Rock played another complete game, handcuffing the Thunderbirds all night long. The Rock scored early and often, on way to a 15-7 win.
To the game…
The Rock took an early lead when Tom Schreiber (4g,5a) took the rebound off the back boards beating Warren Hill at 2:02, but the Thunderbirds stormed back with a give and go between Austin Shanks and Dawson Theede. Shanks (1g,2a) completed the scoring play at 3:32.
Toronto came back with Dan Craig (4g,5a) scoring the next two goals. First, after a fake Craig converted a Tom Schreiber pass at 4:21, then off a Reid Reinholdt pass, Craig increased the lead to 3-1 at 5:29.
Bill Hostrawser took a five minute illegal body checking penalty at 9:12. On the ensuing power play Clarke Petterson (2g,1a) scored off a Cody Jamieson pass at 10:08, followed by Jamieson himself burying a shot from the outside off an Austin Shanks pass at 11:21 to tie the game.
Toronto took the lead once more when Challen Rogers (3g,2a) came in on net scoring off a Zach Manns pass at 12:51.
After one quarter, Toronto 4, Halifax 3.
Dan Dawson (2g,2a) opened the second quarter scoring for Toronto on the power play firing from the top of the crease off a Dan Craig pass at 1:26. Reid Reinholdt (1g,2a) scored next for the Rock while crashing the net converting a Mitch de Snoo pass at 1:55.
The game turned into a track meet with nonstop, end to end action throughout the quarter.
Tom Schreiber increased the Rock lead with two more goals. A laser of a shot converting a Jordan McKenna pass at 4:27, then a screen shot at 6:00 gave Toronto an 8-3 lead.
Halifax replaced Warren Hill with Aaron Bold in net after the last Rock goal.
The Thunderbirds finally put together a run of their own when Dawson Theede (1g,0a) fired a shot shortside off a Clarke Petterson pass at 9:52, then Petterson (2g,1a) himself scored on a beautiful individual effort at 13:08. Chris Boushy (1g,0) quick sticked the next Thunderbirds goal in off an Austin Shanks pass at 14:23, and the lead was only two goals.
At the half, Toronto 8 Halifax 6.
Whatever was said in the dressing room had Toronto fired up. The Rock came out on a mission.
Toronto opened the third quarter scoring with Dan Craig scoring his third of the night off a Zach Manns pass at 2:37, followed by Challen Rogers with his second and third of the game converting a Dan Craig pass at 5:43, and again at 6:00. Dan Craig scored his fourth of the game converting a Dan Dawson pass at 6:51, and the Rock were now up by six.
After three quarters, Toronto 12 Halifax 6.
The Rock opened the fourth quarter scoring playing four on four. Mitch de Snoo buried a Tom Schreiber pass from the top of the crease at 3:19. Dan Dawson scored unassisted, as he lulled the Thunderbirds to sleep, then firing a shot beating Aaron Bold at 6:48.
Eric Fannell got Halifax on the board for the first time in the second, half converting a Cody Jamieson pass at 7:28.
Tom Schreiber scored his fourth of the night off a Dan Craig pass 10:56, and that would end the scoring on this night.
The Rock put Riley Hutchcraft in net for the final 2:52 of the game, coming up big when called upon.
Final score, Toronto 15, Halifax 7.
“You see the crowd tonight, people want to come and watch us in Hamilton, and we want to play in Hamilton, so it was massive for us,” said Craig of the crowd’s energy that helped the Rock clinch a home playoff game.Quote courtesy of the Toronto Rock
“It means everything,” said Rock Captain Challen Rogers of sewing up the first-round home playoff game. “It gives us time to sell out the building. You look at the fans that we had today, the energy they brought, it just fueled us to get a home playoff game for them. It’s going to be great having a home playoff game.”Quote courtesy of the Toronto Rock
- First Star………..Tom Schreiber
- Second Star……Daniel Craig
- Third Star……….Challen Rogers
- Halifax outshot Toronto 54-46.
- Jake Withers of the Thunderbirds out-dualed TD Ierlan of the Rock 19-7 at the faceoff dot.
- Toronto won the loose ball battle 86-83.
- Halifax went 2 for 4 on the power play.
- Toronto went 1 for 5 on the power play.
- Clarke Petterson 2g, 1a
- Cody Jamieson 1g, 2a
- Austin Shanks 1g, 2a
- Tom Schreiber 4g, 5a
- Dan Craig 4g, 5a
- Challen Rogers 3g, 2a
The Thunderbirds next game is Saturday, April 23rd in New York vs. the Riptide.
Toronto has a bye week next week, but will be preparing for their last game of the season against the league leading Buffalo Bandits on Saturday, April 30th in Buffalo.
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 10 years ago. Through the podcasts, he made an association with Kevin Neibauer of Lax Philly, who convinced him to come on board and write for them. The rest 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.
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).
Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.