BY Chris Davis
Pechanga Arena SD — If the San Diego Seals wanted to know where they stand in the National Lacrosse League, they must just look at their last two games. Last week they traveled to Saskatchewan and lost by four to the reigning champions. This week, the team that faced Saskatchewan in the finals, Rochester Knighthawks.
In their home opener the Seals (2-2) showed the entire league that they are here. They did so be claiming a gutsy 12-10 victory in front of a near sell-out of 11,343 at the Pechanga Arena San Diego. “The crowd was electric,” Seals General Manager and Head Coach Patrick Merrill said. “They were louder in the fourth quarter, thought I’d give them a little present,” Austin Staats said when talking about the crowd and his final goal of the night.
The Seals began the day talking to the “other” SEALS in town. Yeah, the ones that call Coronado home, the Navy SEALS. “It is all about the brotherhood,” assistant captain Dan Dawson said after the game when asked what the SEALS talked to the team in the morning.
“Been working hard all this week,” Staats, the rookie that the entire NLL was clamoring to get in the draft said after the game. “The building was the loudest that I’ve heard in the four games so far.” The rookie had four goals to bring his season total to 13 and a team-leading 22 points. The 13 goals has him in a tie for second in the league with Ben McIntosh of Saskatchewan, and only two behind Dane Dobbie of Calgary. Calgary comes to town on Friday (Jan. 18) to take on the Seals.
Just 76 seconds into the contest, Adrian Sorichetti put his second goal of the year into the net for the first Seals home goal. A feat that would be repeated several more times throughout the night.
There were several highlight type goals that is a signature of the NLL. The first would be a goal by Staats in the first quarter where he dove across the goal mouth to get the ball into the net. Not to be out done, Cory Vitarelli of Rochester got the ball behind the goal crease and then dove forward to get the angle. That was just the first quarter.
In the second quarter, with the score tied at four, Dawson scored a goal that must have appeared to have been illegal from Rochester’s point of view because they challenged the goal. While replays showed that it was close, Dawson had already released the ball from his stick when his foot finally did get into the crease.
Rochester began the second half with a power play goal just 34 seconds into the half to take their first lead of the game. 37 seconds later, Rochester was called for an illegal cross-check to put San Diego on the power play. Something that Rochester might have been worried about at the beginning of the game as San Diego came in leading the NLL in power play hitting on 66.7-percent of the time. This evening however, the Knighthawks weren’t worried at all as the Seals went 0-for-6 on the man advantage. “They were blocking shots,” Staats said after the game. “We saw it in film, but we didn’t think they were that good. But they ended up being pretty good.”
As for Rochester, Cody Jamieson had five assists on the evening giving him 401 for his career. Jake Withers won 14 of the 23 face offs that he took, giving him enough to move into the top five in the Knighthawks all-time list (321).
Staats was the player of the game with a five-point night.
1st Quarter Recap: Shots: ROC — 13, SD — 11.
1:16 — SD: Sorichetti (2) (Scigliano, 2) 1-0
1:44 — SD PEN: Pearson (Delay of Game) 2:00
2:47 — ROC: Jackson (4 (1st PP) (Jamieson 5, Resetartis 5) PP 1-1
3:34 — SD: Evans (6) (Staats, 9) 2-1
7:52 — ROC PEN: Withers (Holding) 2:00
10:13 — SD PEN: Dawson (Slashing) 2:00
12:46 — SD: Staats (10) (Evans, 7), 3-1
13:34 — ROC: Vitarelli (5) (Resetartis 6), 3-2
14:11 — ROC: Vitarelli (6, 2nd) (Resetartis 7) 3-3
2nd Quarter Recap: Shots: ROC — (12/25), SD — (15/26).
0:37 — SD: Buchanan (5) (Merrill, 3) 4-3
0:41 — SD PEN: McIntosh (Illegal Cross-check) 2:00
2:09 — ROC: Hossack (1) (UA) PP 4-4
4:46 — SD: Dawson (3) (Reinholdt, 2) 5-4 (ROC Challenge, Good Goal)
7:35 — ROC: Jackson (5, 2nd) (Jamieson) 5-5
8:08 — SD PEN: Sorcichetti (Boarding) 2:00
8:08 — ROC PEN: Shanks (Goalie Interference) 2:00
10:06 — ROC: Jackson (6, 3rd) (Powless) 5-6
11:17 — SD: Billings (3) (UA) 6-6 (Behind the back shot)
12:31 — ROC PEN: Barclay (Illegal Cross-check) 2:00
14:47 — SD PEN: McIntosh (Illegal Body check) 2:00 (Carry over)
3rd Quarter Recap: Shorts: ROC — (9/34), SD — (11/37).
0:34 — ROC: Jamieson (5) (Robinson 2, Jackson 4) PP 7-6
1:11 — ROC PEN: Barclay (Illegal Cross-check) 2:00
3:36 — SD: Dawson (4, 2nd) (Buchanan, 11) 7-7
5:43 — ROC PEN: Barclay (Holding stick) 2:00
6:35 — SD PEN: Bench (Illegal Substitution) (Pearson) 2:00
8:10 — ROC: Resetartis (2, 1st PP) (Jamieson 5) PP 8-7
9:40 — ROC PEN: Jamieson (Roughing) 2:00
11:46 — SD: Staats (11, 2nd) (Dawson 11, Billings 5) 8-8
4th Quarter Recap: Shorts: ROC — (15/48), SD — (12/49).
1:01 — SD: Buchanan (6, 2nd) (UA) 9-8
2:34 — ROC: Resetartis (3, 3rd) (UA) 9-9
2:51 — SD: Staats (12, 3rd) (Buchanan 12) 10-9
3:18 — ROC PEN: Dawson (Holding) 2:00
6:35 — ROC: Shanks (3) (Hossacks , Resetartis) 10-10
10:05 — SD: Dawson (5, 3rd) (Billings 6) 11-10
13:35 — SD: Staats (13, 4th) (UA) 12-10
Power Play: ROC — 4-5, SD 0-6.
San Diego Sports Domination Player of the Game: Austin Staats (4 goals, 1 assist)
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