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HAMILTON, Ontario - Bookending the game with four-goal quarters, the Halifax Thunderbirds (4-1) bounced back from their first loss of the season with a 13-10 win against the New York Riptide in FirstOntario Centre.
It was a balanced offensive effort for the home team, a solid mix of scoring at even strength, on the power play, and transition. Despite a late push from the Riptide, the Thunderbirds stepped on the gas at the right time for their fourth win of the season.
While Connor Kearnan netted a power play goal early to open the scoring, Cody Jamieson retaliated with his first goal of the season – also a power play goal. Eric Fannell followed suit with another power play goal, and Austin Shanks continued his torrid run with a pair to put the Thunderbirds up 4-1 at the end of the first.
After being the healthy scratch in the previous Thunderbirds’ game, forward Kyle Jackson responded with his best game of the season, netting his first goal of the night well into the second quarter. Damon Edwards responded with a shorthanded goal, Stephan Leblanc retaliated on the power play, but the Riptide proceeded to outscore the home team 4-1 the rest of the half. The two teams went to the locker room with the Thunderbirds up, 7-6.
Callum Crawford’s big night continued with a quick power play goal to tie things at seven apiece. It would be the last time the two teams would be tied for the night, as Jackson netted another and reigning NLL Defensive Player of the Year Graeme Hossack scored his first goal of the season, putting the Thunderbirds up 9-7 heading into the final frame.
Seven goals were scored in the last 15 minutes of the game, but most of them came at the hands of the home team. Jamieson’s second of the night, benefit of a nearly empty net widened the lead to three, and Chris Boushy created even more separation with a gloveside rip.
Kearnan cut the lead back down to three goals. Colton Armstrong netted his first goal of the season off the fast break, but two power play goals from the RIptide shrank the Thunderbirds’ lead. However, rookie defenseman Ryan Terefenko would have the last laugh, scoring the empty netter for the first NLL goal of his career. The Thunderbirds burned the remaining 2:37 min. in the game for a 13-10 victory.
Shanks’ seven-point (2G, 5A) night led the team in scoring. Since returning from the Injured List, the Ohio State University alum has posted 18 points (9G, 9A) in three games. Boushy, Jackson, and Jamieson all finished the night with three points (2G, 1A) apiece.
Goaltender Warren Hill continued his strong campaign with 38 saves, finishing the night with a .792 Sv%.
Crawford also finished the night with seven points (4G, 3A). Kearnan (2G, 1A), Tyson Gibson (1G, 2A), and Jeff Teat (3A) all finished behind him with three points apiece. Steven Orleman earned the loss between the pipes after making 48 saves and posting an .800 Sv%.
The Thunderbirds continue their homestand in Hamilton by welcoming the Philadelphia Wings (5-3) to FirstOntario Centre on Sunday, Feb. 13. Face-off is set for 2:00 p.m. AT. Fans can catch the game on TSN Direct.