Game Preview - Halifax vs Toronto

Mar 16, 2023

The Halifax Thunderbirds return home on Saturday night as they welcome the Toronto Rock to Scotiabank Centre to wrap up their season series in The Nest. Opening face-off is set for 7:00 p.m. AT.

Scouting the Thunderbirds

After back-to-back games scoring single digits, the Thunderbirds will try and get back on track against the Rock this week. 

Randy Staats (21G, 41A) continues to lead the team in scoring, while Clarke Petterson (17G, 40A) and Ryan Benesch (21G, 32A) round out the team’s top three scorers. 

Eric Fannell (20G, 18A) and Chris Boushy (26G, 10A) also continue to be strong crease finishers for the Thunderbirds. They combined for five of the team’s goals in Buffalo a week ago. 

Defensively, Graeme Hossack leads the league in caused turnovers (31) while Jake Withers continues to have a strong year on face-offs. 

Withers will go one-on-one with TD Ierlan this week, who sits second in the NLL with a .660 win percentage at the stripe. 

Warren Hill has put up consecutive strong outings over the last few weeks. He sits with an 11.17 goals-against average and a .770 save percentage for the season.

Scouting the Rock

The Rock boast a high-powered offence that has pushed the team into first place in goals for (171) league-wide this year. 

That unit is led by American righty Tom Schreiber (), who sits third in scoring around the NLL. He’s a threat in any situation on the floor. He’s one of the best playmakers in the league, has a heavy outside shot, and is very elusive one-on-one. 

But his supporting cast has been equally impressive. New off-season adds Corey Small (29G, 30A) and Stephen Keogh (24G, 21A) have been solid all year long, and Dan Craig (24G, 34A) has continued to put up strong numbers after a breakout 2021-22 campaign. 

The Rock also love to push transition and produce from the back end. Captain Challen Rogers was placed on IR last weekend, so his status will be a big talking point heading into this contest. But Toronto also has Mitch De Snoo (10G, 9A), Latrell Harris (6G, 12A), and Brad Kri (3G, 8A), among others, who all like to get out on the run and score. 

In goal, Nick Rose is having another strong year. The Toronto starter boasts a 10-3 record with an 8.82 GAA and a .800 SV%.

Milestone Watch

- Ryan Benesch Needs one game played to reach 250 for his career...Needs six assists to reach 700 for his career...Needs five points to reach 1,200 for his career

- David Brock needs one point to reach 100 for his career

- Graeme Hossack Needs eight points to reach 100 for career

- Randy Staats needs nine assists to reach 300 for his career

Broadcast Info

Fans can catch the Thunderbirds in action this weekend on CTV2 across the Maritimes as well as the TSN App in other regions of Canada. Fans in the United States can watch on ESPN+

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