The New York Riptide and Panther City Lacrosse Club will meet on Saturday, January 13th at 7:30 PM in Uniondale, New York, at the Nassau Coliseum. The New York Riptide are coming off its best performance of the year last Sunday, where they took down the Philadelphia Wings to claim their first victory of the season. Jeff Teat and Connor Kearnan led the offense in that matchup, while Cameron Dunkerley played his best game of the year, only allowing nine goals. Panther City dropped to 1-3 last weekend after losing a hard-fought game to the Georgia Swarm. The game was back and forth, with Callum Crawford leading the offense with eight points in that contest. This Saturday’s game will begin at 7:30 PM ET at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, NY, and will be broadcast on ESPN+. For live stats and updates, follow @Newyorkriptide on Instagram & Twitter.
The New York Riptide are riding high after beating the Wings 16-9 in Philadelphia last Sunday. The Riptide offense clicked on all cylinders, getting goals from nine different players, led by Jeff Teat with five goals and Connor Kearnan with three goals. The 16 goals were the most the Riptide had scored all season and the most Philadelphia had allowed all year as well. The Riptide’s defense played exceptionally well too, holding the Wings’ offense to single-digit goals as Cameron Dunkerley collected his first win of the season, making 31 saves.
Panther City is on the other side of a streak, losing their last three games after opening the season with a win over Vancouver. While Panther City may have a 1-3 record, each game has been tightly contested until the final whistle, as seen last weekend against Georgia, where the game was tied with 5 minutes to go. The Swarm managed to take the lead again with three minutes left and held on for the victory. Callum Crawford has been the leader for Panther City so far this year with 23 points through the team’s first 4 games. The 39-year-old has been relied upon in crucial moments this year and has consistently delivered in them. This game will be Crawford’s first game back in New York since he was traded on January 18th, 2023.
Callum Crawford’s Return:
Callum Crawford will make his return to Long Island for the first time since the blockbuster trade that landed him in Panther City midway through last season. Callum was a member of the Riptide for the 2022 season and three additional games in the 2023 season. Crawford led the Riptide in goals during the 2022 season while commanding the right side opposite Jeff Teat. The duo combined for 196 points between them that year, leading the Riptide to a 6-12 record in just the team’s second season in the league. Callum Crawford’s impact went beyond scoring and assisting goals; he also served as the Assistant Captain for the Riptide.
History Between the Teams:
Panther City and New York have met just once before as both teams are some of the newest expansion teams in the league. New York and Panther City met on January 15th, 2022, which was Panther City’s first season in the NLL. Panther City traveled to the Nassau Coliseum and collected their first win in franchise history. While the teams look much different now, Will Malcom was still a crucial factor for Panther City in that matchup and will look for the same success in this matchup once again. Callum Crawford had eight points in that game, on one goal and seven assists, for the Riptide but now will be returning to Long Island as a member of Panther City.
Riptide Milestone Watch:
Faceoff specialist Jay Thorimbert is closing in on the biggest milestone of his career. Jay is just nine faceoff wins away from becoming the first NLL player to ever break 3000 career faceoff wins. He began his career in 2009 with the Boston Blazers and has not missed a season in his decorated 15-year career. Another milestone set to be achieved on Saturday is by Cameron Dunkerley, who is at 398 saves, just two shy of reaching 400 in his career. Dunkerley, in his first year as a full-time starter in the NLL, has a promising future ahead at the young age of 24.
The Battle for the 8th spot:
With Unified Standings being introduced to the NLL this year, there will be more teams contending for the final spots in the playoffs. Through six weeks, there are currently six teams sitting at 1-3 (with Calgary just ahead at 1-2, having played only three games). Currently, the 8th spot in the playoffs is being held by Philadelphia, who fell to the Riptide last weekend. The season is far from over, but this race for the eighth spot will be something to monitor as the season picks up, and each game matters more than the previous. This year is the first of unified standings in the NLL. This initiative eliminated the previous structure, which had two separate conferences, Western and Eastern, that were split based on geographical location. This new split will reward the best eight teams in the league with a playoff berth, no matter where they are located.