Thunderbirds Hold On In A Matinee Gem In Halifax

Gary Groob
All Lacrosse All The Time  – A Division of Edge of Philly Sports Network

The New York Riptide (2-7) visited the Halifax Thunderbirds (5-5) for a rare Sunday afternoon matinee at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Since the last meeting with Halifax, New York has made a flurry of roster moves, specifically on the offensive side of the ball. The team moved Callum Crawford and Jake Fox in separate deals while adding Brett Hickey and most recently Mike Burke. Jeff Teat continues to develop his game, and the Riptide’s leading scorer sits second in the league with 65 points in eight games. Reilly O’Connor (8G, 26A), and Larson Sundown (12G, 6A) have been able to work on the left side to provide Teat with scoring options off the increased defensive attention. Connor Kearnan (14G, 21 A) leads the righties.

Austin Shanks ( 10G,34A), Randy Staats (14G, 33A), Clarke Petterson (15G, 31A), Ryan Benesch (15G, 24A), and Cody Jamieson (11G, 24A) lead Thunderbirds scorers. Eric Fannell (18G, 15A) is also having a career year.

The goalie match-up had Steven Orleman in net for the Riptide facing Warren Hill in net for Halifax.

Halifax took a little time to get warmed up, but five straight goals had the Thunderbirds leading at the half 7-6. Jeff Teat (6G,3A) scored three for the Riptide, including a penalty shot, but equally as impressive was the work of Clarke Petterson (2G,5A) for the Thunderbirds, with a couple of highlight reel goals. Both goalies played well, making plenty of saves to keep the game close at the half.

The second half saw Jeff Teat put the Riptide on his back, and nearly carry them to victory.  However, a strong few minutes near the end saw Ryan Benesch (2G,5A), and Cody Jamieson (3G,1A) put the game away for the 13-12 nail-biter finish.

To The Game:

Jeff Teat opened the scoring for the Riptide off his own rebound, converting a Reilly O’Connor feed at 3:58 from the outside.

Cody Jamieson tied the game on the power-play with a quick stick off a Clarke Petterson pass at 7:16.  The assist was Petterson’s 100th in his career.

Dan Lomas regained the New York lead with a wide open shot from the outside off a Jeff Teat pass at 13:29, followed by a transition goal off a long lead pass from Steve Orelman to Kevin Brownell at 14:46.

After one quarter, New York 3 Halifax 1.

Second Quarter:

The Thunderbirds opened the second quarter scoring when Clarke Petterson faked a drop pass but instead drove to the net beating Orleman off a Ryan Benesch pass at 3:08.

Jeff Teat was awarded a penalty shot when he was hauled down on a breakaway.  Teat made no mistake going top shelf for the score at 3:31, then followed it up with a great individual effort, scoring on the run at 4:04. 

Johnny Pearson got one back for the Thunderbirds on a breakaway when Graeme Hossack fed him a lead pass just 0:22 seconds later, making no mistake.  Randy Staats then beat Orleman with a behind the back shot off a Chris Boushy pass at 6:01.  Clarke Petterson scored his second of the game on another beautiful individual effort, bouncing a shot through the five-hole at 6:23. The Thunderbirds took their first lead of the game when Ryan Benesch bounced a shot to the far corner off a Max Wilson pass at 9:06.  Chris Boushy scored with a dive across the crease off a Ryan Benesch pass at 12:41.

The Thunderbirds were playing for the final shot of the half, but off a turnover, Matt Marinier fired a shot the length of the floor for an empty net goal with just 0:07 seconds left in the half to bring New York within one.

At the half, Halifax 7 New York 6.

Third Quarter:

The Thunderbirds opened the scoring on a great individual effort from Cody Jamieson coming from corner to restore the two goal lead off a Randy Staats pass at 1:03, followed by Chris Boushy going in on Orleman all alone off a Clarke Petterson feed at 3:48. 

Jeff Teat stopped the mini run of Halifax, scoring his fourth of the game with a laser to the top corner off a Mike Burke feed at 4:27, but Randy Staats got it back when he bounced a shot through the five-hole of Orleman off a Ryan Benesch feed at 8:19.

Steven’s brother Kevin replaced him in net for the Riptide at this point.

Jeff Teat then scored his fifth and sixth goals of the night both diving across the crease.  The first came from finishing off a Matt Marinier pass at 9:03, followed by Jeff finishing off a Brent Noseworthy feed 0:50 seconds later. 

After Three quarters, Halifax 10 New York 9.

Fourth Quarter:

The New York Riptide tie the game 0:37 seconds into the quarter when Reilly O’Connor fired a shot off a Larson Sundown feed.

On the next set of plays, Riptide goalie Kevin Orleman went down with any injury.  Steven Orleman came back in the net.

Randy Staats welcomed the younger Orleman back to the game with a shot to the top corner off a Chris Boushy pass at 1:51.  Larson Sundown tied the game up on the power play from beside the net, converting a pass from Jeff Teat at 8:19. 

Ryan Benesch picked up a loose ball from a scrum, headed to the net by himself and scored low to low at 10:55, followed by Cody Jamieson firing a howitzer for his third of the night off a Clarke Petterson pass 0:25 seconds later for a two goal lead. 

Reilly O’Connor scored for the Riptide off a Connor Kearnan feed at 13:35 to set the stage for a heart-stopping finish.  New York through everything at the Halifax net, but the Thunderbirds hold on for the win.

Final score, Halifax 13 New York 12.

The Three Stars:

  1. Jeff Teat
  2. Ryan Benesch
  3. Clarke Petterson

Game Stats:

  • The Thunderbirds outshot the Riptide 52-38.
  • The faceoffs were dominated by Halifax 22-6.
  • The Thunderbirds dominated the loose ball battle 93-48. 
  • New York was 2 for 2 on the power play, while Halifax was 1 for 4.

Top Scorers:

New York Riptide:

  • Jeff Teat 6G, 3A
  • Reilly O’Connor 2G, 0A
  • Larson Sundown 1G, 1A

Halifax Thunderbirds:

  • Ryan Benesch 2G, 5A
  • Clarke Petterson 2G, 5A
  • Randy Staats 3G, 3A

Don’t forget to check us out every Sunday night at 9pm (ET)

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.