Toronto Clinches Playoff Spot In A Defensive Battle With Albany.

The Albany FireWolves (2-11) were looking for revenge in their rematch against the Toronto Rock (11-4).  The teams met two weekends ago with the Rock winning 12-6.

Ethan Walkerwas coming off his best game of the season and would surely look to carry that momentum into this game as he gets another shot at the Rock.  Marshall Powless joined the team last week and wasted no time assimilating to the offense.  Zac Tucci missed the Toronto game a few weeks back, and it was obvious on the stat sheet.  The Rock dominated faceoffs winning 17 of 22.  Tucci has been a solid fill in since the FireWolves lost Joe Nardella to a season ending injury.

For Toronto, Stephen Keogh had a career game against Albany two weekends ago, scoring a team-high seven points on four goals and three assists.  The forward is just eight goals shy of his career best in a season and currently has the fourth-most on the Rock.  TD Ierlan simply dominated faceoffs two weeks ago against Albany.  Granted, the FireWolves were without their faceoff guy (see above), but Irelan has quickly become one of the better faceoff guys in the league.  On the year, he is currently third with 235 faceoff wins at a 64% clip.  Nick Rose has had an incredible season to this point, and the team can certainly thank him for playing a pivotal role in their 10 wins.  Through the team’s 14 games, Toronto has only given up 130 goals – the second fewest across the league.  

The goalie match-up had Nick Rose in net for Toronto against Doug Jamieson in net for the FireWolves.

Although Albany kept up with the Rock through the first quarter, a four goal run led by Dan Craig had the Rock take a three goal lead to the half. 

The FireWolves came back from 8-4 to bring it within one goal with just 0:41 seconds left, but a TD Ierlan faceoff win and Latrell Harris empty net goal sealed the deal for the 11-9 Rock victory.

To The Game:

The Rock opened the scoring with a bounce shot from Josh Dawick converting a Brandon Slade pass at 4:13.  John Piatelli evened the score with a high to low shot off a Marshall Powless pass at 6:07, followed by Ethan Walker converting a Piatelli feed 0:21 seconds later.  Tom Schreiber tied the game for the Rock with a sidearm blast from the restraining line off a Dan Craig pass at 6:59. 

Tanner Thomson fired a laser to the shortside to give Albany the lead once again at 9:01, but Dan Craig evened the game on the power-play off a Stephen Keogh feed at 7:59. 

After one quarter, Toronto 3 Albany 3.

Second Quarter:

Toronto opened up the second quarter scoring with Dan Craig’s second of the game from the outside shooting stick side on Jamieson off a Corey Small pass at 2:16, followed by Zach Manns scoring in transition off a Tom Schreiber pass at 3:09.  Corey Small increased the lead from the top of the crease off a Zach Manns pass at 4:00. 

At the half, Toronto 6 Albany 3.

Third Quarter:

After over 30:00 of being held off the board Albany finally beat Nick Rose with Ethan Walker converting a Colton Watkinson pass at 9:33.  Brandon Slade got the Rock on the board in transition with a shot that beat Jamieson through the five-hole at 12:50.  Challen Rogers increased the lead to four goals with a bounce shot high to low off a Stephen Keogh feed at 13:50.

After three quarters, Toronto 8 Albany 4.

Fourth Quarter:

Albany opened up the fourth quarter scoring when Tanner Thomson scored high to low off a Hiana Thompson pass at 0:21 seconds.  Josh Dawick buried his second of the night from the outside off a Corey Small pass at 2:53 to restore the four goal Rock lead.

John Piatelli scored his second of the night beating Nick Rose high to the stick side off an Ethan Walker pass at 6:18, followed by Walker himself, with a great individual effort, scoring at 8:11.

Dan Craig scored his third of the night diving across the crease off a Tom Schreiber feed at 11:11, but Marshall Powless blasted a shot to the shortside off a Thomas Vaesen pass at 12:04.  John Piatelli scored his third of the night with an extra attacker on the floor to the shortside of Rose at 14: 19, but off a faceoff win from TD Ierlan and subsequent pass toLatrell Harris, scoring into the empty net 0:04 seconds later.

Final score, Toronto 11 Albany 9.

Dan Craig is the CoolBet Player of the Game

The Three Stars:

  1. Dan Craig
  2. Josh Dawick
  3. TD Ierlan

Game Stats:

  • Shots on goal favored Toronto 58-42.
  • The faceoff battle went to Toronto 14-9.
  • The loose ball battle went to Toronto 77-49
  • Toronto went 1 for 2 on the power-play, while Albany went 0 for 1.

Top Scorers:

Toronto Rock:

  • Dan Craig 3g, 2a
  • Tom Schreiber 1g, 3a
  • Latrell Harris 1g, 2a
  • Corey Small 1g, 2a
  • Zach Manns 1g, 2a

Albany FireWolves:

  • Ethan Walker 3g, 1a
  • John Piatelli 3g,1a
  • Hiana Thompson 0g, 4a

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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.