The Thunderbirds Ride A Six Goal Run To Victory

The Halifax Thunderbirds (5-3) were looking to keep their win streak alive in “The Nest” as they welcomed the Las Vegas Desert Dogs (3-5) to Scotiabank Centre on Friday night.

Continuing a two game road trip and coming off a victory against the number one ranked team in the league, the Las Vegas Desert Dogs headed to Halifax.  The Thunderbirds were riding high on a two game winning streak, the last of which came in overtime in a comeback effort against Philadelphia.

Clarke Petterson (16g, 20a) and Ryan Benesch (20g, 12a) lead the Thunderbirds in scoring through seven games.  For Las Vegas, Jack Hannah (9g, 19a), Dylan Watson (7g, 5a), and Sean Westley (5g, 7a) provide secondary scoring for the team, while Jacob Ruest (2g, 10a) also provides good minutes when he’s on the floor. 

The goaltending match-up had Landon Kells in net for the Desert Dogs against Warren Hill in net for Halifax.

Las Vegas and Halifax started the game matching each other goal for goal throughout most of the first quarter.   A six goal Thunderbirds run had Halifax break the game wide open.  Clarke Petterson led the way with three for the Thunderbirds in the first half.  With a couple of minutes left in the half, Sean Westley put the Desert Dogs on his back scoring his second and third of the game to bring them a little closer.

The Desert Dogs played a much tighter third quarter bringing the score within two goals, but Halifax weathered that storm, getting back on track near the end of the third quarter.  A lot of end to end action in the fourth with Dawson Theede scoring twice for Halifax, and Casey Jackson scoring two for the Desert Dogs.  Las Vegas scored another late goal but the Thunderbirds come away with the 12-10 win.

To The Game:

The Thunderbirds got on the board first when Wake:Riat Bowhunter bounced a shot while fighting off a couple of checks, finishing a Ryan Benesch pass at 1:22.  Las Vegas tied it up when Sean Westley fired a low to low shot from the outside that beat Warren Hill off a Dylan Watson pass at 5:16, but Aaron Woods regained the Halifax lead with a blast to the far side off a Clarke Petterson pass just 0:31 seconds later. 

Dylan Watson blasted a low to low shot past Warren Hill on the power-play to tie the game at 8:04, but Ryan Benesch answered quickly with a quick sidearm shot off an Austin Shanks pass at 9:16.  Dylan Watson tied the game once again when he picked up a rebound in front of the crease, backhanding it in at 10:09.

Clarke Petterson scored immediately on the power-play off a Cody Jamieson pass at 12:29, followed by Aaron Woods with the completion of a tic-tac-toe play from David Brock and Ryan Benesch at 13:04.

After one quarter, Halifax 5 Las Vegas 3.

Second Quarter:

Cody Jamieson opened the second quarter scoring with a highlight reel goal that he put through his legs one handed off a Clarke Petterson pass at 3:21, followed by Petterson himself with a quick stick off a Ryan Benesch feed at 5:13.

Clarke Petterson then scored his third of the game on a bounced shot into the far corner off a Ryan Benesch pass at 7:10.  David Brock added a transition goal at 8:03 for a 9-3 Thunderbirds lead.

Las Vegas finally stopped the Halifax six goal run when Sean Westley scored two more.  First, Westley finished off a Rob Hellyer feed at 8:39, followed by a fake then blast from the side of the net again off a Rob Hellyer pass at 14:00.

At the half, Halifax 9 Las Vegas 5.

Third Quarter:

Connor Kirst opened the third quarter scoring for the Desert Dogs with a quick transition goal off a Landon Kells long lead pass at 0:24 seconds.  Rob Hellyer then scored on the power-play with a low to high howitzer off a Jack Hannah behind the back pass at 3:53.

The Thunderbirds stopped the Desert Dogs four goal run when Wake:Riat Bowhunter faked a shot and fed Cody Jamieson, who quick sticked it in at 13:49.

After three quarters, Halifax 10 Las Vegas 7.

Fourth Quarter:

Halifax’s Dawson Theede scored two quick goals to start the fourth quarter.  First finishing off an Austin Shanks pass at 0:39 seconds, followed by a quick stick off a Clarke Petterson feed at 2:53. 

Casey Jackson answered back for Las Vegas with a pair of his own.  The first on a tic-tac-toe play.  John Wagner to Jacob Ruest to Jackson for the goal at 4:17, followed by a little twister off a Rob Hellyer pass on the power-play at 11:05. 

Jack Hannah brought the Desert Dogs closer scoring with the goalie on the bench, but the Thunderbirds were able to weather the storm for the victory.

Final score, Halifax 12 Las Vegas 10.

The Three Stars:

1. Clarke Petterson
2. Dawson Theede
3. Sean Westley

Game Stats:

  • Shots on goal were 55-51 in favor of Las Vegas.
  • The faceoff battle went to the Thunderbirds 16-10.
  • The loose ball battle went to Halifax 78-73.
  • The Desert Dogs went 3 for 6 on the power-play, while the Thunderbirds went 1 for 3.

Top Scorers:

Las Vegas Desert Dogs:

  • Dylan Watson 2g, 3a
  • Casey Jackson 2g, 3a
  • Jack Hannah 1g, 3a

Halifax Thunderbirds:

  • Clarke Petterson 3g, 3a
  • Aaron Woods 2g, 4a
  • Cody Jamieson 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.