Week 6 Game Review
FINAL SCORE: TIGERSHARKS 21 VS THUNDERCATS 14
THUNDERCATS (3-3) TIGERSHARKS (3-3)
Following a tough defeat in Game 5 the Tigersharks came prepared for battle in Game 6 dressing a full squad and adding a deep bench too. Ed Tyszka, Brooke Lang, Dylan Clarke, Tyler Watkins, Zach Goodnough and Trey Steidle returned to the Sharks lineup. Matt Dixon, who had been a well-natured referee early in the season, was cleared by the doc and played his first Shanghai Lacrosse game on Saturday.
The Thundercats maintained their deep roster while adding fan-favorite Wes Proctor to their lineup. Proctor, on a whirlwind tour from Australia via America and Hong Kong, elected to play to the field rather than vie for time as the third-string goaltender. The Cats also returned Matt Nolan, Kevin Miller, Andy Coker, Masashi Yagi, goaltender Mark Lemmon, and rising star Yuto Kinoshita to battle the revitalized Tigersharks squad.
After winning the faceoff and scoring the game's first goal, Mark Collins paced the Thundercats scoring 3 goals in the first half while adding 2 assists. Collins would tally again early in the second half to finish with 6 points (4G, 2A). Kinoshita struck early for the Cats recording his first Shanghai Lacrosse hat-trick. With two goals in the first half and another plus an assist in the second Kinoshita showed his quickness, versatility and endurance through the game. At halftime the Cats had 9 goals on the board.
The extra numbers for the Tigersharks were put to good use. After an early season absence Amir Alamdari started in goal for the second week in a row. Watkins, playing his final game in Shanghai, got to work early scoring the team's first goal. After the first stanza Watkins had recorded 2 goals and an assist while making his presence known defensively as well. Barton Wheeler followed Watkins quick start notching 5 points on the team's first 9 goals. Not one to miss out on a party, Trey Steidle got active scoring 3 goals of his own. Sean Pearce played a quieter role in Game 6 as most of the action happened around the midfield. Nevertheless Pearce scored and assisted in the first half while focusing more on team possession.
Late to the show but not left out was the Tigersharks leading scorer Alex Spang. Despite arriving with less than five minutes remaining in the first half he still got on the board twice before the buzzer with a goal and assist. The Tigersharks were working as a well-oiled machine as 6 different players, Goodnough, Tyszka, Pearce, Wheeler, Watkins, and Spang, each recorded assists in the first half.
At halftime the Tigersharks had a 2 goal lead on the Thundercats, 11-9.
Benefitting from extra legs, the lead, the teamwork, and the late arrival of Spang, the Sharks rode a wave of confidence into the second half. Pearce scored first with help from fresh goaltender Mike Wert (1A). Steidle followed with his fourth goal. But then, a vigorous attempt to 'welcome back' former teammate Wes Proctor with a body-check, Steidle knocked Proctor to the turf but ultimately did more damage to the himself. Steidle (4G) will be day-to-day with an abdominal tear for upcoming games.
The Thundercats were hoping to treat the Sharks to a second-half pounding similar to the one they served up in Game 5. The team's 2 assists in the first half was evidence that they'd have to work more as a team and score fewer unassisted goals to realize those ambitions. Much of the Cats midfield possession time was with a long-stick, leaving the finesse play squarely in the hands of Collins, Kinoshita and Mike Elefante.
The absence of Doug Delange on attack affected the team's options, and the halftime departure of goaltender Curtis Wang 王政中 and Raymond Pan 潘滨 shortened the bench and stacked the odds further against the Cats. With Wang now gone Lemmon took over in net. 3 long-stick players, Coker (1G), Ramie BouSaab (1G), and Naka Watanabe (1G) scored for the Cats. Nolan and Elefante each had goals in both halves to finish with 2 points apiece. The Thundercats added 5 goals in the second half.
Zach Goodnough came alive for the Sharks in the second half scoring hat-trick of his own to finish with 3 goals and an assist. Brooke Lang (1G) found the net as well in the second half. Spang (1G, 4A) menaced goalies with assists rather than goals and picked up three more on three consecutive goals by Watkins, Goodnough and Wheeler. Watkins sealed his Shanghai Lacrosse career scoring 3 second half goals (5G, 1A).
The Men's Game 6 final score was Tigersharks 21 - 14 Thundercats. The Sharks avenged their Game 5 loss but now must retool and figure out how to win without Watkins, and perhaps Steidle. Game 7 is scheduled for Halloween. Spooky.