THUNDERBIRDS CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH, ELIMINATE RIPTIDE

by “Muffler” Mike Kostiuk

Lax Philly – A Division of Edge of Philly Sports Network

The New York Riptide hosted the Halifax Thunderbirds on Long Island Saturday night with significant playoff implications. Halifax was 1-6 in their last 7 games, still needing just one win to secure a playoff berth. New York was 6-10, but 4-2 in their last six games, and welcomed Callum Crawford back to the lineup. Despite Jeff Teat and Steven Orleman setting new NLL single-season rookie records, the Thunderbirds won 16-13 to punch their ticket to the playoffs.

Goals Aplenty

Dan Lomas (3g) opened a wild first quarter, beating Halifax goaltender Aaron Bold at 2:09. Austin Shanks (5g, 3a; 3:07) responded for Halifax a minute later. Callum Crawford (5g, 3a; 3:30) then announced his return to the lineup. The Thunderbirds would retake the lead, with Clarke Petterson (3g, 4a; 6:18) and Shanks’s second (7:39) on a power play.

Lomas (8:16) would net his second to tie the game at 3. Chris Boushy (3g; 9:32) gave Halifax the lead again before Lomas tallied his hat trick goal (10:29; power play) and Crawford (11:04; power play) netted his second. Colton Armstrong (11:26) scored in transition to make it 5-5. Jake Fox (1g, 2a; 14:21) dunked one past Bold before Petterson (14:50) tallied his second to close the first quarter tied at 6.

The second quarter by comparison was much quieter. Graeme Hossack (1g, 2a; 3:26) restored Halifax’s lead, only to see Crawford (4:20) tie it up with his hat trick goal. Boushy’s second (9:31) and Shanks’s hat trick goal (11:43) gave the Thunder birds a 9-7 lead going into halftime.

Ticket Punched

Nonkon Thompson (1g, 5a) pushed the lead to three just 22 seconds into the third quarter. New York cut the deficit to one with goals from Connor Kearnan (7:39) and Jay Thorimbert (9:17). But Shanks would push the lead back to three with his fourth (11:29; power play) and fifth (12:34) of the night.

Petterson would add his hat trick goal 22 seconds into the fourth quarter. Crawford scored his fourth of the night at 1:30. Stephen Keogh (1g, 1a; 2:24) made it 14-10 Halifax before New York responded with a three-goal run, starting with Crawford netting his fifth (4:28). Jeff Teat (2g, 8a) who had already broken the previous rookie records for assists and points earlier in the game, finally found twine at 7:11. He found it again on a power play at 12:04 to close the gap to 14-13 and give the fanbase hope that comeback was in the works.

But it was not to be, as Boushy added his hat trick goal just 20 seconds later. Tyson Bell iced the game with an empty-net marker at 13:54, and the Thunderbirds clinched the 6th of 8 playoff spots. With the win, Halifax has locked up the #3 seed in the East Division. The Thunderbirds will finish the regular season on the road against Rochester next week, then travel to Hamilton to play the #2 seed Toronto Rock in the first round of the playoffs.

3 Stars of the Game

  • 1st Star: Austin Shanks
  • 2nd Star: Jeff Teat
  • 3rd Star: Callum Crawford

Other Stats of Note

  • Power Play: HFX 2 of 3: NY 3 of 5
  • Scott Campbell (HFX): 9 loose balls (led all players)
  • Thorimbert (NY): 18 of 33 on faceoffs; Withers (HFX): 15 of 33 on faceoffs
  • Teat (NY): Has 67 assists this season, breaking the rookie record for assists (61) previously set by Tom Schreiber in 2017. Teat also has 103 points this season, breaking the rookie record for points (95) previously set by Randy Staats in 2016.
  • Orleman (NY): With 39 saves tonight, has 628 saves this season, breaking the rookie record for saves (603) previously set by Matt King in 2002

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“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk

“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk was formally introduced to box lacrosse when he attended a New England Black Wolves game on a whim in 2016. Instantly hooked, he has since become an avid follower of the National Lacrosse League. Following the postponement of the 2019-2020 NLL season, he was offered the chance to share his wealth of statistical knowledge and unique insights with the lacrosse community at large. He cheerfully accepted, and currently serves as Edge of Philly’s correspondent for both the Albany FireWolves and New York Riptide.

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