The New York Riptide return this Saturday, April 22 when they look to defeat the Halifax Thunderbirds for the first time in franchise history, with opening faceoff slated for 6:00 PM at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, NS.
This will be the third and final meeting between the two clubs this season, with Halifax having defeated New York 20-11 in Uniondale on December 17 and 13-12 at the nest on February 19.
Halifax has a balanced offense, with 7 players recording 40 or more points this season, and is led by veterans such as Ryan Benesch, Randy Staats, and captain Cody Jamieson, who have combined for 16, 14, and 11 points respectively in the two prior meetings with the Riptide this season, as well as Jeff Teat’s Cornell and Atlas teammate Clarke Petterson, who is second on the team with 75 points this season, 12 of which have come against the Riptide. On the back end, the Thunderbirds are spearheaded by 3 time defensive player of the year Graeme Hossack, who leads the league with 44 caused turnovers and Ryan Terefenko, who is second among non-faceoff specialists in loose balls. Halifax will also have a decided advantage at the faceoff X, where Jake Withers leads the league in wins and percentage, having won 317/402 draws this season, good for a .789 clip with 208 loose balls, good for third in NLL, and he has won 50/63 in the two games against New York.
New York will look to recover from a heartbreaking overtime loss to Buffalo, a game in which they did not trail until the decisive goal. Jeff Teat led the team in points with 7 and loose balls with 10 in that game, while goaltender Cameron Dunkerley once again looked great with 47 saves, and Scott Dominey contributed 2 goals from the back end. In order to win this game, the Riptide will need to look to offensive sources other than Teat, which was a problem in their last game against Halifax, where Teat was the only Riptide player with more than 2 points. One area that could be key for New York is on the power play, where they have converted on 6 of their 8 chances against the Thunderbirds this season, with Larson Sundown and Connor Kearnan each having 2 power play goals against Halifax.
Saturday’s game will be available to watch on ESPN+, and listen to on WRHU 88.7 FM, WRHU.org and the WRHU iPhone App. Live stats and periodic in-game updates will be available via Twitter @ NewYorkRiptide.