HALIFAX, NS (April 23, 2023) -- The Halifax Thunderbirds made a statement at home on Saturday night, defeating the New York Riptide 15-6 in front of a team-record crowd at Scotiabank Centre.
Austin Shanks paced the Thunderbirds with an eight-point outing, netting a hat trick in the process. Randy Staats (4G, 2A), Cody Jamieson (5A), Clarke Petterson (2G, 2A), Ryan Benesch (1G, 3A), and Chris Boushy (3G, 1A) also had solid outings.
From the jump, the Thunderbirds controlled momentum with some timely goals and stifling defence in front of Warren Hill, who made 30 saves to capture his eighth win of the year.
Reilly O’Connor opened the scoring for the visitors, but Halifax followed that by scoring five of the next six goals to end the first quarter. Ryan Benesch started it off, and he was quickly followed by an Eric Fannell tally. Petterson, Shanks, and Staats followed up after a MIke Burke goal tied things up at 2.
After 15, Halifax held a 5-2 advantage. That lead grew to seven as New York managed just a single goal to the Thunderbirds’ five in the second. Staats had a pair while Shanks and Petterson added to their goal totals on the night to make it 10-3 heading to half.
Chris Boushy stepped up in a big way in the second half, scoring two of his three goals for the night in the third quarter to help the Birds push their lead coming out of the locker room. Staats completed the hat trick to help Halifax reach 13 in the frame. Heading into the final quarter, the Thunderbirds held a nine-goal advantage.
They’d maintain that gap the rest of the way, splitting the fourth 2-2 with the Riptide, coming out with a massive 15-6 victory.
The Thunderbirds also set a new record for attendance since moving to Halifax, as 10,008 fans packed The Nest on Fan Appreciation Night to cheer the team on.
Halifax now sits at 9-8 on the season with the victory. They head into the final game of the season a chance to seal their playoff fate against Georgia. Opening face-off from Gas South Arena is set for 8:00 p.m. AT.