The New York Riptide dropped Saturday night’s contest to Panther City 14-12. Callum Crawford was exceptional in his return to New York, scoring three goals and three assists on the night to lead the Panther City offense. This was the first game back in New York for Callum Crawford since the blockbuster trade that sent him to Panther City almost exactly one year ago. Along with Crawford, Panther City was led on offense by Jonathan Donville and Jason Knox, who contributed five points each. For the Riptide, Jeff Teat and Connor Kearnan did all they could to keep them in the game with thirteen points together, but their efforts just fell short. The schedule does not get much easier for the Riptide as they travel to Banditland for a battle against the 2023 NLL champions, Buffalo Bandits.
The first quarter was back and forth from the beginning after Reilly O’Connor kicked off the scoring in the game. Jonathan Donville was quick to answer with one of his three first-quarter goals for Panther City. Jeff Teat scored a pair of goals in the first as well, sending the game to the second quarter tied up at 3-3. Panther City got the scoring started in the second quarter with a Riptide own goal, but it was quickly answered by Larson Sundown on the Riptide Powerplay. Callum Crawford tallied his first goal back on Long Island before the half’s end, giving Panther City a slight 6-5 edge at halftime.
To begin the second half, Reilly O’Connor notched his second goal of the game. However, the rest of the quarter belonged to Panther City as they rattled off four straight goals, building the biggest lead of the game. After two more Jeff Teat goals, the Riptide had brought the game back to a two-goal contest before another Panther City run. This run saw the visitors hold a five-goal lead with just under three minutes left in the game. The Riptide scored three goals in the final minutes but ultimately fell 14-12.
Riptide Faceoff Man Jay Thorimbert won his 3000th career faceoff in the matchup tonight, a milestone never before reached by an NLL player in the history of the league. Riptide defenseman John LaFontaine emphasized highlighting the positives and building upon them before a difficult stretch of games. “You’ve got to build on the positives, especially this early in a season.”
The Riptide will return to action on the road next Friday, January 19th, against the Buffalo Bandits. The game will start at 7:30 PM EST at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo. The Bandits and Riptide met twice last year, with the Bandits winning comfortably in Long Island but needing overtime in Buffalo to secure the second matchup. Josh Byrne scored the eventual overtime winner after Dhane Smith tied the game with 29 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter. This game will be available to watch on ESPN+.