GAME PREVIEW: NEW YORK RIPTIDE VS. HALIFAX THUNDERBIRDS - New York Riptide

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GAME PREVIEW: NEW YORK RIPTIDE VS. HALIFAX THUNDERBIRDS

The New York Riptide and Halifax Thunderbirds will play at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York on Saturday, December 16th at 7:30 PM. After losing to Philadelphia 13-10 in Week 1, the Riptide will play its second home game of the season. Having won at home in the first week of the season over Saskatchewan, Halifax will take the road to play away from home for the first time this year. Both teams had bye-weeks in Week 2 and did not play last weekend.

Full Strength:

For the first time this season, the New York Riptide will be at full strength, with 2022 and 2023 first-round draft picks – Zack Deaken and Callum Jones – making their seasonal debuts. Zack Deaken was selected eighth overall in the 2022 NLL draft, while Callum Jones was picked third at the 2023 NLL Draft, which occurred this past September. Both players will be relied upon to make immediate impacts on the defensive end in front of second-year goaltender, Cameron Dunkerley. Dunkerley had a solid first game of the season, making 36 saves while only allowing 13 goals. While only being in his third year in the NLL, Dunkerley was making his inaugural opening night start.

2022-2023 Season Series:

The Halifax Thunderbirds will be looking to replicate their success last year against the Riptide. The teams played three teams during the season, with Halifax winning each matchup. The Thunderbirds secured the victories in the three matches last season with a cumulative score of 48-29. Randy Staats was sensational in the three games against the Riptide last year, combining for 10 goals and 12 assists in just three games. As a game-time decision, Staats was unable to suit up against the Rush in the opener. Following the team’s bye week in Week 2, Staats will be healthy enough to play this weekend. Randy Staats is also currently sitting at 499 regular-season points. In the 93 regular season games in which he has been active, he has scored a point in each.

More Time for New Faces:

The Riptide had one of the busiest offseason in the NLL, making moves up and down the roster to improve upon their 5-13 record in 2022-2023. Kiel Matisz, Austin Madronic, and Mitch Wilde made immediate contributions in their first game with the new squad. The Riptide will need contributions from those three as well as well as Zack Deaken and Callum Jones who will be making their season debuts. With the loss, the team was still able to find some bright spots in the effort. The Riptide were getting good looks at the cage last game, according to Head Coach Dan Ladouceur, but could not convert them, hitting too many pipes and not finishing their opportunities. The Riptide will need all the goals they can find this game against one of the league’s top goalies, Warren Hill, while also matched up against a Top 5 offense in the NLL.

 

The game will take place on Saturday, December 16th between the New York Riptide and the Halifax Thunderbirds. The game will take place at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, NY at 7:30 PM EST. Live stats and in-game updates will be available on the New York Riptide’s Twitter account @NewYorkRiptide.

 

New York Riptide
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