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UNIONDALE, N.Y. (April 23, 2022) – The Halifax Thunderbirds (10-7) claimed their postseason berth by downing the New York Riptide (6-11) at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum 16-13 on Saturday night.
Austin Shanks led the charge for the Thunderbirds in the offensive slugfest, netting five goals and tacking on three assists. The two teams exploded to six goals apiece in the first quarter, but the Riptide were outscored in the middle frames, giving the Thunderbirds the lead they would not relinquish.
The first quarter featured some back-and-forth from both teams' offenses before Shanks scored on the power play, giving the Thunderbirds their first lead of the game. It did not last long, as Dan Lomas’s second goal of the game tied things back up.
After another trading of goals, Lomas gave the Riptide their first lead of the game, followed shortly by Callum Crawford, both on the power play. The Thunderbirds netted two more in the quarter compared to the Riptide’s one, ending the first quarter tied at six apiece.
Graeme Hossack broke open the second quarter in transition. Crawford’s hat trick tied the game up for the last time in the game. Then Chris Boushy and Shanks, netting his hat trick, widened the lead by two goals, putting the Thunderbirds up 9-7 at the half.
Nonkon Thompson kicked the second half off with a short side snipe into the top corner. The Riptide responded with a pair of their own, shortening the differential between the two clubs to just one goal. Shanks would have the final say of the quarter with a power-play goal and low dunk on the crease, his fourth and fifth goals of the contest. The goalies swapped nets for the final time, with the Thunderbirds up 12-9.
Following Thompson’s example, Petterson scored on the first possession in the quarter, running down the right alley unmolested for his hat trick goal. Crawford would bookend a Stephen Keogh goal, and then Jeff Teat found the back of the net twice more to cut the Thunderbirds’ lead to just one goal again.
Teat’s second marker would be the last time his team found the back of the net. Boushy recorded his hat trick running a route around the back of the crease, and Tyson Bell capped the game with an empty netter. The Thunderbirds snapped their two-game losing streak and simultaneously claimed their postseason berth with a 16-13 win against the Riptide.
Petterson was second in scoring for the Thunderbirds at seven points (3G, 4A), followed by Thompson with six points (1G, 5A) and Cody Jamieson with five assists. Petterson recorded his 100th career point on an assist to Shanks in the first quarter, and Keogh netted his 200th career goal. Aaron Bold got the start in net, making 25 saves in the win. He passed Steve Dietrich for seventh all-time in goalie minutes after tonight’s game.
For the Riptide, Teat led the team with 10 points (2G, 8A), setting a new rookie record for most points scored in a single regular season and becoming the first rookie in NLL history to reach 100 points. Crawford was behind him with eight points (5G, 3A). Steven Orleman earned the loss after making 39 saves.
The Thunderbirds wrap up their regular season with a rematch against the Rochester Knighthawks (4-13) at Blue Cross Arena on Saturday, April 30. Face-off is set for 8:00 p.m. AT. Fans can catch the game on the TSN Direct.