Seals Snap Six Game Slide in Vancouver & Take First in the West in Season Finale 4/30/22

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Christopher Crane, NLL Correspondent
Lacrosse is Awesome©

Featured Image Photo Credit:  Jaclyn McKee

As the NLL regular season came to a close this weekend, a few teams had a playoff scenario more complicated than a math problem.  One of those teams was the San Diego Seals (10-8) as they traveled to Rogers Arena on Saturday April 30, 2022 where they faced the Vancouver Warriors (6-12) in front of a crowd of 9,083, a season high for the home team. With a Seals win and a Mammoth loss, they would lock up the Number One seed in the West heading into the playoffs.  On the other side, Vancouver was playing for the upset over San Diego as they had already been eliminated from post season play.  Although it would be a close contest throughout San Diego would hold on to claim the victory.  Final Score:  Seals 10—Warriors 9.

It would be San Diego getting on the board first on an Austin Staats (2g, 5a) power play goal at 2:46 mark.  Vancouver would put up back-to-back tallies from  Riley Loewen (2g, 2a) and Kyle Killen (2g, 2a) giving them the lead at the 6:47 mark 2-1.  The fans would see four “illegal substitution (bench)” penalties in the first (two from each side).  On the second Seals penalty, they’d notch a short-handed goal from Tre Leclaire (1g) at 11:15 for the equalizer.  But the Warriors would fire back scoring on the man up opportunity with Killen capitalizing to take the lead 3-2.  The two teams would exchange goals with Staats putting up his second in the frame at 12:54 and Loewen notching his second at 14:09 for the go-ahead marker to close out the quarter. Score at the end of one:  Warriors 4—Seals 3.

San Diego would start the second period on a man-up opportunity and also take advantage of power play opportunities as they would score three out of there five in the period on the man advantage.  Dane Dobbie (2g, 1a) would get it going early 54 seconds in to tie it 4-4 notching his first of two power-play tallies, which would turn out to be his only two scores of the night. Brett Hickey (1g) would tally the go-ahead marker at 1:33.  Keegan Bal (2g, 2a) would score on the man-up at 2:26 before the Warriors would see Justin Salt head to the sin bin for a double minor (cross-checking and unsportsmanlike conduct) at 4:02 and the Seals would capitalize.  Wes Berg (1g, 4a) would notch his only goal on the night 20 seconds into the man-up and Dobbie would notch the next at 4:57 giving them a two-goal advantage 7-5 over the Warriors. Reid Bowering (1g) would put up another for Vancouver 15 seconds later 7-6; and Casey Jackson (3g) would close it out at 8:36.  For the remaining six and change, both net minders stood on their heads not allowing either offense to find the back of the net. Score at the end of two:  Seals 8—Warriors 6.

Photo Credit: Jaclyn McKee

The third period started off the same as the other two with San Diego scoring first.  Jackson would notch his second on another man-up opportunity, this time off a Bal goalie interference which took only 22 seconds into the power-play at 1:24 giving the Seals a three-goal lead 9-6.   Adam Charalambides (2g) would tally back-to-back scores the first 14 seconds later and the next took a lifetime as it was over seven minutes before it found the back of the net at 8:48 and the gap was now only one 9-8.   San Diego would close out the third just like they did in the second with Jackson scoring giving him his hat trick with 1:41 in the frame and a two-goal lead with 15 to go. Score at the end of three:  Seals 10—Warriors 9.

In the final frame, it would become a defensive battle for both teams.  There would be a total of 22 shots on the cages, 12 for San Diego and 10 for Vancouver.  It wasn’t until the Seals made a mistake and Graydon Bradley would get nabbed for a holding call with 4:16 on the clock that the Warriors would strike.  With 19 seconds left on the man-up, Bal was able to find the back of the net with 2:35 on the clock getting them to within one 10-9.  Unfortunately for Vancouver it just wouldn’t be enough as the San Diego netminder kept them out of the net and they would hold on for the win.  Final Score:  Seals 10—Warriors 9.

Some notable milestones were reached during this game.  In his rookie year, Reid Bowering established a new NLL rookie record and tied another during the game.  The Warriors Rookie of the Year had two caused turnovers to give him 34 on the season which broke the record of 33 set by Calgary’s Zach Currier during the 2018 season.  He also grabbed 23 loose balls which was a season high  giving him 214 loose balls on the season, which tied an NLL record set in 2006 by San Diego Captain Brodie Merrill when he played for the Portland Lumberjax.

Keegan Bal reached a milestone 100 points on the season.  100 points is the highest point total in a season for a Warriors player since the move from Langley in 2018-19.

San Diego Seals—SOG 54; Saves 39; Face-offs 9-23; Assists 17; LB 71; PP 5-6
Vancouver Warriors—SOG 48; Saves 44; Face-offs 14-23; Assists 1; LB 86; PP 3-3


The Vancouver Warriors (6-12) have now closed out their 2021-22 season and will look to regroup for next year.

The San Diego Seals (10-8) with the win, have moved to First Place in the West and will host the Fourth Place Wild Card Philadelphia Wings (9-9) at Pechanga Arena on Saturday May 7, 2022, game time 10:00 p.m. EST for Round One of the 2021-22 Playoffs.  The winner will move onto Round Two.  The loser goes home.

Christopher Crane, NLL Correspondent
Lacrosse is Awesome©