One week after taking one on the chin from the Philadelphia Wings, the New York Riptide returned the favor Saturday night at Nassau Coliseum to snap a three-game slide and move up the ladder in the NLL’s East Division standings.
Jeff Teat continued his torrid scoring pace with a hat trick and five assists, Reilly O’Connor added a hat trick and a pair of helpers, and goaltender Cameron Dunkerley made 48 saves in his Riptide debut to highlight a 13-10 victory. Mitch Jones totaled nine points for the Wings, who defeated New York by seven goals in Philly on March 4.
“It’s a huge win,” head coach Dan Ladouceur said after the Riptide improved to 3-9 and inched ahead of Georgia and Albany in the standings while dropping the Wings to 5-6. “We laid an egg last week and had to entirely flip the script,” he added. “We were more aggressive and had balanced scoring.”
A few red flags from last week were solved. Jones exploded for 14 points in the previous meeting while Joe Resetarits and Ben McIntosh had nine and eight points, respectively. This time the trio combined for 16 points, just over 50 percent of the production. The Riptide also had 69 penalty minutes on March 4.
In an attempt to shake things up, Ladouceur called upon the recently signed Dunkerley to operate between the pipes. “Cameron really delivered and the defense played pretty well in front of him,” Ladouceur said.
It was Dunkerley’s second career NLL start and he certainly made a case for a third nod this Saturday night when the Riptide host Albany in a 7:30 p.m. faceoff.
“They’re all must-wins for a lot of reasons, from making a playoff push to the growth and culture of the team,” Ladouceur said of the final six contests.
New York opened Saturday’s game with four different players finding the back of the net. Reilly O’Connor (6:44) kicked things off. Connor Kearnan (8:41) and Larson Sundown (10:53) followed with power play tallies and Dan Lomas (13:00) made it 4-0 Resetarits finally got the Wings on the board and solved Dunkerely.
“Super excited,” Dunkerely said. “I’ve been practicing for this and getting ready for a long time. It was helpful playing against Philadelphia last week and getting to watch some of their guys.”
The Riptide led by five goals midway through the second quarter thanks to goals by Tyler Digby, Mike Burke and Teat. It was 7-4 at intermission.
Goals by Teat and Jack Kelly in the third quarter allowed the Riptide to withstand a four-goal run from the Wings and the lead was 9-7 entering the fourth.
New York came out strong in the final stanza, with an O’Connor top-shelf goal off a ridiculous behind-the-back feed from Teat, a Scott Dominey breakaway goal, and then a power play goal from O’Connor. Philadelphia responded with two goals from Jones and one from McIntosh, but the red-hot Teat was able to ice the game by completing the hat trick.
Teat’ 96 points lead the league. At his current pace, he would set a single-season record for points.
Cystic Fibrosis Night this Saturday
The Riptide announced details for the 2nd annual Cystic Fibrosis Night at Nassau Coliseum when Albany visits this Saturday.
The team has partnered with the Boomer Esiason Foundation (BEF) and Westhampton Beach Brewing Co. to raise awareness and resources for the cystic fibrosis community.
"Our entire organization is honored to have the opportunity to further elevate and educate the battle against cystic fibrosis," said Riptide General Manager and Executive Vice President Rich Lisk. "We are extremely grateful to partner with the Boomer Esiason Foundation to raise awareness for CF with the support of the Westhampton Beach Brewing Co., both of which proudly represent the Long Island community."
"For nearly 30 years, BEF has raised money and awareness for the cystic fibrosis community," said Boomer Esiason. "We are thankful for the support from our friends at the New York Riptide and Westhampton Beach Brewing Co. in bringing 'Cystic Fibrosis Night' to life at the Nassau Coliseum for the second consecutive year."
A pre-game reception will be held at 6 p.m. in the Grand Thornton Lounge inside Nassau Coliseum. Esiason will be a special guest at the pre-game reception and will also participate in the ceremonial ball drop.
Each ticket will include reception entry, game ticket and food (beverages and auction bids not included). Auction items will be provided by the Riptide, Westhampton Beach Brewing Co., and Boomer Esiason Foundation. Proceeds from tickets and auction will go towards the BEF in their work to support the cystic fibrosis community.
The Riptide will unveil an exclusive, custom-designed BEF jersey that will be worn by the players. Following the game, the jerseys will be signed by Esiason, WFAN Morning Show co-host Gregg Giannotti and the players. Those jerseys will then be available for auction on March 22. More information on the auction will be available soon on the Riptide’s website.