HAMILTON, Ontario (January 14, 2023) – The Halifax Thunderbirds (3-3) fell to .500 after a 17-8 loss to the Toronto Rock (3-2) in FirstOntario Centre on Saturday night.
Ryan Benesch broke open the scoring, finding twine off a pass from Austin Shanks to give the Thunderbirds the lead. Challen Rogers tied things up off a penalty shot, but Benesch got the Thunderbirds back in front. Stephen Keogh would score in transition on the power play to tie things up at two apiece.
The second quarter started with another Keogh goal, and penalties became the name of the game. Petterson netted a power play marker of his own to tie things up, Tom Schreiber put the home team back in front, and Dawson Theede, in his first game of the season, knotted things at four.
Reigning NLL Defensive Player of the Year Mitch de Snoo kicked off a three-goal run for his Rock, and halftime came with the Thunderbirds down 7-4.
The Rock run continued into the second half with a pair of goals before Theede’s second of the night got the visiting club back on the scoreboard. Another three-goal Rock run bled into the fourth quarter. A reverse shovel shot from Eric Fannell stopped it early in the frame, the Rock up 12-6.
Rogers netted another penalty shot to jumpstart a four-goal run, capped by Shanks stinging short side. The two teams would trade goals before the final buzzer rang, the Thunderbirds falling 17-8.
Benesch (2G, 2A), Petterson (1G, 3A), and Shanks (1G, 3A) all led the Thunderbirds with four points apiece. Drew Hutchison got the start, finishing with 44 saves.
Schreiber’s seven points (5G, 2A) led the Rock in scoring, and Nick Rose’s 48 saves earned him the win.
The Thunderbirds take a bye week after their tough doubleheader weekend. They return to Scotiabank Centre on Friday, Jan. 27 to take on the Rochester Knighthawks (4-0). Face-off is set for 7:00 p.m. AT.