(Photo Courtesy of Halifax Thunderbirds)
The NLL schedule may have been a bit thin this week, but the excitement level on Saturday night was just as high as any night in the league, as Halifax secured their second win of the season and Colorado upset Calgary to get their first win.
Halifax 14, Rochester 12 (Game Sheet)
Behind a stellar performance from rookie forwards Clarke Petterson, the Halifax Thunderbirds secured a 14-12 home victory against the Rochester Knighthawks.
It was a fairly quick start for both teams as Cody Jamieson got Halifax on the board just 19 seconds into the game and Holden Cattoni got Rochester going about two minutes later. Rochester was able to heat up, outscoring Halifax 3-1 the remainder of the first quarter to take a 4-2 lead heading into the second.
While the back-and-forth nature of the game continued through the second, Rochester was able to take a 7-6 lead into the half. However, Halifax came out of the half and played mad in the third quarter, going on a five-goal run, which included two goals from Clarke Petterson, to end the third quarter with a ton of momentum and a 12-8 lead.
Curtis Knight finally stopped the bleeding for Rochester early in the fourth, but Clarke Petterson answered right back for Halifax. The remainder of the fourth quarter was more defensive heavy on both ends. Rochester was able to rattle off two straight to end the game, but Halifax was able to hold onto the win.
Holden Cattoni led Rochester with five points (2G/3A) while Shawn Evans also had four points (2G/2A). Ryan Benesch, who now sits at 9th all-time in NLL scoring with 1,104 points, and Cody Jamieson each had six points (2G/4A) for Halifax while Clarke Petterson tallied five points (3G/2A). Steve Fryer made 30 saves off of 44 shots on goal for Rochester and Warren Hill made 32 saves off of 44 shots on goals for Halifax.
Colorado 8, Calgary 7 (Game Sheet)
Note: Calgary was missing Dane Dobbie due to a six-game suspension and Rhys Duch is still out with an injury.
The Colorado Mammoth crashed the party on Saturday night, spoiling Calgary’s home opener and Championship banner raising and ring ceremony, beating the Roughnecks 8-7 in overtime.
Goalie play and was crucial in this contest as neither side ever let the other break away too much. Curtis Dickson and Tyler Pace scored two straight to get Calgary clicking early. Jacob Ruest got Colorado going midway through the first.
While Calgary held a 3-1 lead at the end of the first, it was all Colorado in the second quarter. The Mammoth scored four consecutive goals, including back-to-back goals from Will Malcom and an insane no look behind the back goal from Dylan Kinnear that made Sports Center, to get ahead 5-3 late in the second. Colorado held a 5-4 lead at the half.
The second half was extremely defensive heavy with both goalies standing tall, especially in the third. Late in the third, Calgary broke the ice with Eli Salama tying things at five heading into the fourth. Each team continued to answer each other throughout the fourth and a Dan Taylor forced overtime for Calgary. In the overtime period, Jordan Gilles scooped up a loose ball and took it to the house, putting it past Christian Del Bianco to secure the narrow 8-7 victory for Colorado.
Colorado was led by Will Malcom with three points (2G/1A) while Jacob Ruest scored two goals, as well. Calgary saw Dan Taylor lead the way with four points (2G/2A) and Marshall King also had three points (2G/1A). In goal, Dillon Ward made 46 saves off of 53 shots on goal for Colorado while Christian Del Bianco made 41 saves off of 49 shots on goal for Calgary.