NLL Friday Recap: No More Unbeaten’s, Buffalo-Rochester Rivalry Still Alive

(Photo Courtesy of Toronto Rock)

After Saturday night there are no longer any undefeated teams in the NLL this season, as the Toronto Rock took down the Halifax Thunderbirds to give them their first loss of the season.

Saturday night also saw two one-goal wins, as well. The Buffalo Bandits defeated the Rochester Knighthawks in an overtime thriller and the Georgia Swarm took down the Philadelphia by one goal in a goaltender battle. 

Georgia 12, Philadelphia 11 (Box Score)

After a high-scoring back-and-forth first half which saw Georgia got ahead 10-7, both goaltenders stepped up big time in the third, turning practically everything away. Kevin Crowley was able to break the silence, scoring with 4:33 left in the third to pull the Wings back within two. After some slashes, Randy Staats punched Liam Patten in the head, giving Philadelphia a 7-minute power play that stretched into the fourth. Matt Rambo fired one past Poulin to tie it up at 10, but Georgia answered with two from Randy Staats. Down 12-11 late in the game, Philadelphia had some prime opportunities but Poulin stood tall, making multiple huge saves to secure the win. 

Shayne Jackson led Georgia with seven points (3G/4A) while Jordan Hall (2G/4A) and Lyle Thompson (1G/5A) each tallied six points. Matt Rambo led Philadelphia with seven points (2G/5A) while Kevin Crowley also had five points (2G/3A). 

Mike Poulin made 33 saves off of 44 shots on goal for Georgia and Zach Higgins made 32 saves off of 44 shots on goal for Philadelphia. 

Toronto 12, Halifax 9 (Box Score)

The Halifax Thunderbirds are undefeated no more as they took their first loss of the season on the road against the Toronto Rock. In the first, Toronto ended on a three-goal run to get ahead 1-3. Halifax was able to get their offense flowing in the second, scoring three straight to make it a 4-3 game. Ultimately,  Toronto was able to use two big runs in the both the second and third to get ahead 11-5 at the end of the third and help them secure the win. Halifax made a push in the fourth quarter, but it wouldn’t be enough to complete the comeback as Toronto walked away with the W.

Dan Dawson led Toronto with four points (3G/1A) while Rob Hellyer tallied three points (2G/1A) and Zach Manns dished out three assists. Clarke Petterson led Halifax with six points (2G/4A). Cody Jamieson (2G/2A) and Ryan Benesch (1G/3A) each had four points for Halifax, as well. 

Nick Rose made 42 saves off of 51 shots on goal for Toronto while Warren Hill made 37 saves off of 49 shots on goal for Halifax. 

Buffalo 16, Rochester 15 (OT) (Box Score)

If you thought the Buffalo-Rochester rivalry was dead, then you thought wrong. These two battled it out just like the old days.

Buffalo started hot right out of the gate, taking a 5-1 lead at the end of the first and a 7-3 lead at the half. Holden Cattoni’s two consecutive goals just seconds into the third quarter really got Rochester going. Those two goals from Cattoni was the spark that light an 8-2 Rochester run in the third quarter to help them get ahead 11-9 heading into the fourth. Each team went back-and-forth taking shots at each other for the majority of the fourth quarter. Shawn Evans put Rochester ahead 15-14 in the final minutes, but Chris Cloutier answered in the dying seconds to force overtime. In the overtime period, Corey Small put in a quick stick right on the doorstep off a pass from Chris Cloutier to secure the win for the Bandits. 

Buffalo was led by Dhane Smith who tallied 11 points (4G/7A) and Chris Cloutier with eight points (4G/4A). Josh Byrne also tallied six points (2G/4A). Holden Cattoni led Rochester with nine points (3G/6A) and Shawn Evans with seven points (4G/3A). 

Matt Vinc made 52 saves off of 62 shots on goal for Buffalo and Steve Fryer made 27 saves off of 37 shots on goal. 

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