With almost every team in action, it was a jam packed Saturday night of NLL night. However, big performances from Dane Dobbbie and Austin Staats, and Buffalo taking down Halifax highlighted the night’s action.
Buffalo 13, Halifax 9
In a key North Division clash, the Buffalo Bandits took down the Halifax Thunderbirds 13-9.
Buffalo got out to a hot start, going up 4-0 at the end of the first. And Mitch de Snoo goal 25 seconds into the second push their lead out to 5-0. Then Halifax started to answer with Scott Campbell and Austin Shanks both scoring goals in the second, making it an 8-2 Buffalo lead at the half.
As they have in previous games, the Thunderbirds put it all together in the second half and started to mount a comeback. However, a three-goal run in the third and fourth wouldn’t be enough. Buffalo was able to subdue the comeback, scoring three straight, including two from newly acquired Dan Lintner, to help secure the victory.
Josh Byrne (4G/3A) and Corey Small (1G/5A) led Buffalo, while Austin Shanks put up six points (4G/2A) for Halifax.
Matt Vinc made 52 saves off of 61 shots on goal for Buffalo. Halifax saw Warren Hill and Peter Dubenski get some time in net. Dubenski saw the most and made 32 saves off of 39 shots on goal.
Rochester 13, New York 12
In a battle of expansion franchises, both teams came in searching for their second-ever win. Ultimately, Rochester was able to come out on top, despite missing Shawn Evans due to injury.
Trailing 3-2 entering the second quarter, Rochester started to heat up. The Knighthawks went on a seven-goal run that stretched into the third quarter to help them get ahead 10-4 early in the third.
New York was able to cut the Rochester lead to 12-6 heading into the fourth with two goals from Kieran McArdle and Gale Thorpe. Holden Cattoni scores just seconds into the fourth, putting Rochester back up seven. The Riptide caught fire down the stretch, ending the game on a six-goal run, which included four straight from Dan Lomas, but they weren’t able to force overtime as they fell 13-12.
Curtis Knight had eight assists for Rochester, while Holden Cattoni had six points (4G/2A). Dan Lomas led New York with eight points (6G/2A).
Rylan Hartley made 49 saves off of 61 shots on goal in his first career start for Rochester and Alex Buque made 29 saves off of 39 shots on goal for New York. Gowan Abrams also saw some time in net.
Colorado 11, Philadelphia 10
After a back-and-forth first half, the second half got underway with things tied at 4-4. But a six-goal run that stretched into the fourth quarter and included two goals from newly acquired Tyler Digby gave turned the momentum in the Mammoth’s favor.
However, the Wings were not going to just roll over. Philadelphia got hot in the fourth, ending the game on a four-goal run. The Wings has a few chances to tie the game and force overtime, but the Mammoth defense showed their teeth and shut the Wings offense down multiple times in the final minutes of the contest to secure the win.
Ryan Lee (4G/3A) and Tyler Digby (2G/4A) led the way for Colorado. Matt Rambo (2G/4A) and Kevin Crowley (2G/4A) led the way for Philadelphia. Brett Hickey also had five points (2G/3A) for the wings.
Dillon Ward surpassed the 900 career save mark in the win, making 36 saves off of 46 shots on goal. Zach Higgins made 35 saves off of 46 shots on goal.
Toronto 9, Saskatchewan 8
They say defense wins championships. And while no championship was on the line today, defense did win the contest.
Saskatchewan took a 1-0 lead heading into the second. But they were then able to outscore Toronto 5-2 in the second to take a 6-2 lead heading into the half.
The script flipped in the second half as Toronto’s offense woke up in the third. The Rock used a four-goal run, which included two straight from Reid Reinholdt, to tie things up at 7-7 heading into the fourth. The Rock scored teen goals early in the fourth and Saskatchewan follows with one. Nick Rose and the Rock defense held their own down the stretch to silence the Rush offense and secure the win.
Reid Reinholdt (3G/1A) and Rob Hellyer (1G/3A) led the way for Toronto, while Robert Church (3G/2A) led the way for Saskatchewan. Evan Kirk made 44 saves off of 53 shots on goal for Saskatchewan and Nick Rose made 42 saves off of 59 shots on goal for Toronto.
San Diego 13, Calgary 12
The ending to this one was crazy as replay showed that a Calgary goal went left of the post mark when the goal got knocked out of position and there was a clear missed call before that. San Diego was pretty much able to run the clock out after that whole fiasco.
But prior to that, the Austin Staats scored four consecutive goals from late in the second to early in the third to put the Seals up 11-8, giving them their first lead since early in the second. Despite a huge push from Calgary down the stretch, which included Dane Dobbie scoring his seventh goal of the game to tie the game up at 12-13, Calgary was never able to regain the lead. Casey Jackson scored the game-winning goal for San Diego.
Austin Staats led San Diego with eight points (5G/3A), while Wes Berg also had eight points (1G/7A). Dane Dobbie had seven goals to lead the way for Calgary.
Frank Scigliano played the majority of minutes for San Diego and made 26 saves off of 30 shots on goal. Christian Del Bianco made 44 saves off of 57 shots on goal for Calgary.
Georgia 14, Vancouver 7
This one never was much of a game as the Swarm got hot early and stayed hot through the final buzzer.
Georgia jumped out to a 6-1 first quarter lead and then a 9-3 halftime lead. They started to slow things down in the third, but still held a 13-4 lead entering the fourth. Vancouver was able to end the game on a bit of a run, but a comeback was never in the picture as Georgia pretty much put this one away in the first half.
Randy Staats (2G/7A) and Lyle Thompson (3G/3A) led Georgia. Jordan McBride (4G/1A) and Riley Loewen (3G/1A) led Vancouver.
Eric Penney made 47 saves off of 61 shots on goal for Vancouver and Mike Poulin made 33 saves off of 38 shots on goal for Georgia.