(Photo Courtesy of NLL)
Saturday night was quite an exciting one in the National Lacrosse League. Georgia dusted Philadelphia, New England took down the Rush in Saskatoon, Vancouver evaded a late game run to defeat New York, and Toronto took down San Diego. In addition, there were multiple players that reached milestones or had record performances on Saturday night.
Milestones and Record Performances
- Georgia goalie Mike Poulin surpassed 2,000 total career saves
- Georgia head coach became just the fourth coach in NLL history to record 100 regular season wins, joining the likes of Derek Keenan, Darrius Kilgour, and Troy Cordingley.
- Saskatchewan defenseman Kyle Rubisch had two goals, making it his third multi-goal game in his career.
- Toronto’s Dan Dawson surpassed the 1,4000 career points mark.
- Toronto rookie Zach Manns scored his first career NLL goal.
- Toronto head coach Matt Sawyer recorded his 30th win as head coach of the Rock.
- Vancouver’s Mitch Jones tallied his 300th career point.
- Vancouver’s Logan Schuss, Bon Snider, and Matt Beers all played in their 100th career NLL game.
Georgia 12, Philadelphia 6 – Box Score
Despite a very defensive heavy start and minor late-game comeback from Philadelphia, the Georgia Swarm absolutely burned the Philadelphia Wings in their home opener to move to 2-0 on the season. Behind a seven point night from Lyle Thompson and stellar play in goal from Mike Poulin, Georgia was able to go on multiple multi-goal runs to get ahead early and keep Philadelphia down. The Wings were able to convert some quality chances, but overall just couldn’t crack Georgia’s defense on a regular enough basis to force a comeback.
Georgia thrived behind a seven point (4G/3A) performance from Lyle Thompson. Additionally, Shayne Jackson tallied five points (3G/2A) while Jordan Hall and Randy Staats each put up five points (1G/4A) in the win. Mike Poulin made 42 saves off of 48 shots on goal for Georgia, including making his 2,000th career save.
Kevin Crowley led the way for Philadelphia with four points (2G/2A) while Kyle Matisz also had four points (1G/3A). Matt Rambo, Brett Hickey, and Cory Vitarelli each tallied one goal for the Wings, as well. Zach Higgins made 35 saves off of 47 shots on goal for Philadelphia and veteran Brandon Miller also saw some action late in the game for the Wings, as well.
New England 12, Saskatchewan 8 – Box Score
In what turned out to be the game of the weekend, the New England Black Wolves went into the SaskTel Centre and defeated the Saskatchewan Rush. The Black Wolves came out firing on all cylinders and took full advantage of the Rush’s mishaps early on, taking a 4-1 lead at the end of the first and 9-4 lead at the half. However, two consecutive goals from Kyle Rubisch, one late in the second and the other early in the third, helped provide the spark that the Rush needed to try and mount a comeback. Also, Adam Schute came in to replace Evan Kirk in net in the second quarter. The Rush made a very strong push, but the Black Wolves early efforts were just too much to overcome.
New England was led by Callum Crawford with with six points (3G/3A) while Andrew Kew also tallied six points (2G/4A), as well. Reilly O’Conner also had five points (2G/3A) and Doug Jamieson made 44 saves off of 52 shots on goal for the Black Wolves
Mark Matthew led Saskatchewan with five points (4G/1A) while Kyle Rubisch had two goals and Jeff Shattler tallied two points (1G/1A). In net, Adam Schute played the majority of the minutes, making 25 saves off of 30 shots on goal.
Toronto 13, San Diego 6 – Box Score
Even the final score is a little generous in this one as the Toronto Rock BLASTED the San Diego seals to ruin their opening night. Toronto 5-0 early in the second quarter before Wes Berg finally got San Diego on the board. Toronto continued their onslaught, taking an 8-2 lead at the half, And while San Diego was able to get some momentum going in the second half, this was ultimately Toronto’s game to lose, especially after their hot start. The Rock ended the game on a three-goal run that including rookie Zach Manns first career NLL goal.
Toronto was led by Tom Schreiber with five points (3G/2A) and Dan Dawson with four points (3G/1A). Additionally, Dan Craig tallied six points (1G/5A) in the win. Nick Rose played fantastic, making 52 saves off of 58 shots on goal.
Wes Berg led San Diego with five points (4G/1A) and Connor Fields scored two goals, as well. Nick Damude played the majority of the minutes in goal, making 24 saves off of 33 shots on goal.
Vancouver 14, New York 10 – Box Score
In a very physical battle of no win teams, the Vancouver Warriors came out on top at home to secure their first win of the season. The first quarter was very tightly contested as things were tied at three heading into the second. However, a few Vancouver runs allowed them to take an 8-6 lead at half and sway the energy in their favor. While Vancouver continued to dominate in the second half, New York was able to start heating up late in the game and start pushing for a comeback. The Warriors were able to hang on and secure the win.
Mitch Jones led Vancouver with nine points (4G/5A) while Jordan McBride scored four goals and Keegan Bal had eight points (2G/6A). Additionally, Logan Schuss had four points (2G/2A) and Aaron Bold got the starting nod in goal, making 41 saves off of 51 shots on goal.
New York was led by Connor Kelly with six points (2G/4A) while Tyler Digby had four points (2G/2A). Alex Buque made 32 saves off of 46 shots on goal for the Riptide.