Thunderbirds fall to Rock in Overtime

Mar 23, 2024

(HAMILTON, ON) March 23, 2024 -- The Halifax Thunderbirds dropped a close game in overtime, falling to the Toronto Rock 9-8 at FirstOntario Centre on Saturday night. 

Ryan Benesch led all Halifax forwards with three goals and five points for the night. Clarke Petterson and Austin Shanks also finished with four points apiece. 

Warren Hill had one of his best showings of the season, turning away 40 shots on the night.

The Thunderbirds opened the game on a tear, outscoring their rivals 4-0 in the first quarter. Benesch and Ryan Terefenko got early markers and were followed by a power-play goal from Theede and Johnny Pearson's second of the season. 

Toronto bounced back in the second, however, with three goals from Dan Craig, Justin Martin, and Mark Matthews. A Cody Jamieson power-play goal made it 5-3 for the Birds heading into the half. 

Benesch and Petterson picked the team up to open the second half, scoring back-to-back goals to push the lead to 7-3. Tom Schreiber potted his first of the game to make it a three-goal contest heading into the final frame. 

From there, Toronto began to pull the momentum in their favour. Mitch De Snoo scored in transition, and Dan Craig followed up with a second consecutive goal for the hosts. But a Benesch answer made it 8-6 with 10 minutes to play. The Halifax defence and Hill stood tall for the majority of the final 15 minutes, but the Rock offence was able to make good on their looks late in the game. 

Dan Lintner scored in transition to make it a one-goal game and Schreiber tied the game with under a minute to play. 

Heading into overtime, both teams got offensive possessions but were unable to nab the game-clinching goal. But Matthews was able to get in behind the Halifax defence and bury the winner for the Rock. 

With the loss, Halifax sits at 8-7 for the year. Their road swing continues next weekend when they head to Blue Cross Arena for a meeting with the Rochester Knighthawks. 

Face-off is set for 8:00 p.m. AT. 

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