Thunderbirds ride big first half to win over Panther City

Mar 15, 2024

(HALIFAX, NS) March 15, 2024 – The Halifax Thunderbirds got back into the win column on Friday night, beating Panther City Lacrosse Club 13-9 at Scotiabank Centre. 

Clarke Petterson led the way offensively for the Thunderbirds, scoring three goals and adding three assists in the victory. Austin Shanks (3G, 2A), Aaron Woods (1G, 3A), and Ryan Benesch (1G, 3A) also had efficient offensive nights. 

Ryan Terefenko added a goal and two assists while Jake Withers had a goal and 23 loose balls for the night.

Warren Hill earned his seventh win of the year with a 34-save performance.

The game started off on a high for the Birds, with Cidy Jamieson opening the scoring with a twister from the outside on the power play just under two minutes into the game. Dawson Theede looked to have doubled the lead, but the goal was brought back after a challenge from Panther City. Jonathan Donville knotted things up shortly after with his first of the evening. 

But after that goal by the visitors, it was all Halifax in the first half. The Thunderbirds ripped off a five-goal run to end the first frame. Austin Shanks went bar down off a quick stick after Jamieson fed him at the back post with the shot clock running down. Theede got his first with a behind-the-back finish after scooping up his rebound. Ryan Terefenko blazed past Will Malcom and scored in transition, Aaron Woods buried a bouncer top corner, and Theede got another with another bouncer five-hole on Nick Damude after being left alone with a lane to the net. 

After one, Halifax held a 6-1 advantage. 

The run continued from there, with Shanks burying two straight to complete his first-half hat trick and Benesch potting Halifax’s eighth-straight goal on a pretty give-and-go with woods. Jason Knox ended the run with Panther City’s second of the half, but Petterson had an answer, scoring just eight seconds later to restore the eight-goal lead going into the half.

Going into the third up 10-2, Halifax took their foot off the gas a bit and Panther City took advantage. Malcolm scored his first 11:47 into the half, and he was followed by goals from Donville, Knox, and Ryan Sheridan. Donville got his third to end the third as Panther City ended the third with a 5-0 run and cut their deficit to 10-7 with a quarter to play, 

Despite coming up without a goal to open the second half, the Thunderbirds kicked it into gear to open the fourth. Petterson got open by playing the two-man game with Shanks, and he buried a bouncer to make it 11-7. Jake Withers put his stamp on the game by winning that ensuing face-off and going down the floor for a transition marker with a defender on his back. Petterson got his hat-trick goal at the 11:24 mark when he got open on top of the crease and outwaited PC backup Cam MacLeod.

It took just a minute for Halifax to bring The Nest back to its feet and pull away for good. 

Phil Caputo added a pair of goals late, but Hill and the Thunderbirds' defence shut the door for the majority of the fourth to seal the victory in front of a Thunderbirds record crowd of 10,196. 

With the victory, the Thunderbirds improved to 8-6 for the year. They now face a pivotal three-game road swing that starts in Hamilton next weekend with a showdown against the Toronto Rock. Opening face-off is slated for 8:00 p.m. AT. 

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