Thunderbirds Offense Has Put The League On Notice

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

The New York Riptide (0-2) were looking to bounce back after a close game in Week One, which saw a late comeback fall short, eventually falling 15-14 to the San Diego Seals. The Halifax Thunderbirds (2-0) were coming off an 18-8 win over the Philadelphia Wings in their home opener. Both the Riptide and Halifax had a bye week in Week Two.

The goaltending match-up had Steven Orleman in net for the Riptide facing rookie Drew Hutchison in his first NLL start for the Thunderbirds.

After a fairly even first quarter, the Thunderbirds put it into overdrive, never looking back.  Ryan Benesch (5g,4a), Randy Staats (4g,4a), and Chris Boushy (4g,0a) led the way for Halifax, with Clarke Petterson (2g,4a), and Cody Jamieson (2g,5a) working as the setup men.  New York had Reilly O’Connor (3g,3a), Larson Sundown (2g,2a), and Connor Kearnan (3g,1a) lead the offense, with Jeff Teat (2g,6a) being the playmaker.

The Riptide put together a strong third quarter, scoring four times, but a strong fourth from the Thunderbirds had them come away with a convincing 20-11 victory.

To The Game:

The Riptide got off to a quick start with Jake Fox, and Connor Kearnan staking them to a 2-0 lead.  Ryan Benesch got Halifax on the board, but was answered by Larson Sundown at 5:48.

The rest of the quarter was dominated by the Thunderbirds, scoring five unanswered to end the quarter.

Ryan Benesch started the onslaught converting a Randy Staats pass at 5:56, followed by Cody Jamieson blasting an Eric Fannell pass at 7:11.  Chris Boushy finished off a Ryan Benesch feed 0:34 seconds later, followed by Ryan Terefenko scoring off an Austin Shanks feed at 7:58.  Randy Staats added a power play goal with just 0:46 seconds left in the quarter to give the Thunderbirds a three goal lead.

After one quarter, Halifax 6 New York 3.

Second Quarter:

The Thunderbirds continued to flex their offensive muscle in the second quarter.

Chris Boushy and Ryan Benesch scored 0:32 seconds apart to increase the lead to 8-3.

Randy Staats made it 9-3 which chased Steven Orleman from the New York net for Gowah Abrams.

Reilly O’Connor stopped the bleeding for the Riptide converting a Jeff Teat feed at 7:22.  Chris Boushy and Ryan Benesch again scored back to back for the Thunderbirds to make the score 11-4.

The Riptide scored two power play goals.  Connor Kearnan scored off a Reilly O’Connor feed at 11:54, followed by O’Connor himself scoring off a Damon Edwards pass 0:14 seconds later. 

Randy Staats finished the half with two more goals for the Thunderbirds.  The first was in transition off a David Brock pass at 13:07, followed by converting an Austin Shanks pass at 13:50.

At the half, Halifax 13 New York 6.

Third Quarter:

Whatever was said in the New York dressing room at the half had them motivated to start the second half.

Jeff Teat opened the scoring off a Larson Sundown pass at 2:06, followed by Sundown driving to the net beating Gowah Abrams to the shortside off a Jeff Teat behind the back pass at 3:15.

Jeff Teat scored his second of the quarter off a Matt Marinier pass at 6:30.  The teams then exchanged power play goals to end the quarter.

After three quarters, Halifax 14 New York 10.

Fourth Quarter:

Chris Boushy opened the fouth quarter scoring on the power play, converting a Clarke Petterson feed at 5:27, followed by Petterson himself finishing off a Cody Jamieson pass at 6:54. 

Reilly O’Connor got one back for New York off a Connor Kearnan pass at 7:12, but was answered by Clarke Petterson converting a Cody Jamieson feed at 11:06. 

The Thunderbirds finished the game with a flurry of three goals in three minutes.  Ryan Terefenko scored unassisted at 11:25, followed by Cody Jamieson on the power play at 12:31.  The final goal of the game was scored unassisted by Eric Fannell with just 0:30 seconds left.

Final score, Halifax 20 New York 11.

Game Stats:

  • Shots on goal favored Halifax 55-40.
  • Jake Withers dominated faceoffs for Halifax 28-7.
  • Halifax went 4 for 12 on the power play, while New York went 3 for 5.
  • The loose ball battle went to the Thunderbirds 97-49.

Top Scorers:

New York Riptide:

  • Jeff Teat (2g, 6a)
  • Reilly O’Connor (3g, 3a)
  • Larson Sundown (2g, 2a)

Halifax Thunderbirds:

  • Ryan Benesch (5g, 4a)
  • Randy Staats (4g, 4a)
  • Cody Jamieson (2g, 5a)

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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.