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HAMILTON, Ontario (May 6, 2022) – A furious second-half effort from the Halifax Thunderbirds (11-8) forced overtime against the Toronto Rock (14-5), but the Rock scored the final goal of the contest at FirstOntario Centre. With the 14-13 loss, the Thunderbirds were eliminated from the postseason in the quarterfinals.
The Thunderbirds were down 9-3 at the start of the third quarter. A barrage of shots and the defense tightening down as the game went on eventually resulted in the two teams tied at 13. An incredible final offensive shift from the Thunderbirds couldn't win it in regulation, and the Rock capitalized on a transition opportunity to bounce the Thunderbirds from the postseason.
The Rocke leapt to the lead with an explosive five-goal run. Eric Fannell got the Thunderbirds on the board, ending the first quarter down 5-1. While Ryan Terefenko and Austin Shanks both found the back of the net in the second, the Rock doubled up on the visiting team in the quarter. Halftime came with the Thunderbirds down 9-3.
When the Thunderbirds took to the floor again from the locker room, it was like a switch had been flipped. Jake Withers went coast-to-coast in the first 20 seconds, igniting a four-goal run for his team. A pair of power play goals and a Stephen KEogh marker cut the deficit to two goals. Rob Hellyer stopped the run, Tyson Bell responded with a goal in transition, and a pair of goals from the Rock ended the quarter with them still up, 12-8.
Once again, the Thunderbirds came out firing fast and furious to start the final frame. Captain Cody Jamieson's second goal of the game came within 28 seconds of the quarter's start, kicking off a five-goal run. Keogh tied the game at 12, and Dawson Theede gave the Thunderbirds their only lead of the game 15 seconds later.
Tom Schreiber's hat trick goal would tied the game again, but the Thunderbirds refused to quit. They increasingly poured on the pressure down the stretch, and if not for the numerous stellar saves from the Rock's Nick Rose, overtime might not have been needed. But after 60 minutes, the two teams were still tied up at 13.
Overtime would last 2:27 min. The Thunderbirds won the opening draw but were unable to find any success out the front door. A disrupted pass close to the restraining line in the offensive end turned into a 2-on-1 transition opportunity for the Rock, and their captain, Challen Rogers, potted the game-winner, ending the Thunderbirds' season with a 14-13 loss.
Clarke Petterson (1G, 4A) and Jamieson (2G, 3A) led the team in scoring with five points each. Terefenko was next in scoring with four points (1G, 3A). Aaron Bold was solid in relief of Warren Hill, playing the final 50:31 min. and making 32 saves for a 10.69 GAA and .780 Sv%.
Schreiber (3G, 2A), Hellyer (2G, 3A), and Zach Manns (2G, 3A) all had five points for the home team. Rose finished his night wiht 41 saves, good for a 12.49 GAA and .759 Sv%.
The Halifax Thunderbirds finish teh 2021-22 NLL season with a regular season record of 11-7. They wish to extend their heartfelt thanks to their fans and partners for their support in the team's second season in the Maritimes.