Seals Win First Round Nailbiter in OT Sending Panther City Packing 4/27/24

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Christopher Crane, NLL Correspondent
Lacrosse is Awesome©

Featured Image Photo Credit:  Jake Whiting

Opening night of the 2024 NLL Playoffs on April 27, 2024 was a whirlwind of excitement, treating fans to thrilling matches in both Buffalo and San Diego.

Despite missing Jonathan Donville, Panther City displayed impressive prowess. The goals scored by the Seals were hard-earned, showcasing their physicality and resilience against a sturdy Panther City defense. Austin Staats (4g, 1a) shined with four goals, while Dane Dobbie’s (3g, 1a) hat-trick, including the game-winner, sealed the deal. Trevor Baptiste (19/21 .904) dominated the face-off, and the defense held firm when it mattered most. The Seals’ victory marks a significant milestone as they advance past the first playoff round defeating Panther City.  Final Score OT:  Seals 9—Panther City 8.

In an epic quarterfinal showdown that kept fans on the edge of their seats, Dane Dobbie and Austin Staats each delivered hat-trick performances to propel the San Diego Seals to a thrilling 9-8 victory over the Panther City Lacrosse Club in a do-or-die playoff clash at Pechanga Arena. The game started as a defensive battle, with both teams tied 2-2 after the first quarter. Dobbie opened the scoring for the Seals just 2:26 into the game, while Cam Holding (1g, 1a) showcased his defensive skills with a breakaway goal off a Panther City turnover.

The second period saw an equal number of goals scored in the third equaling the three other periods in regulation.  The back-and-forth action, with Tre Leclaire (1g, 1a) and Staats putting the Seals ahead early in the quarter only for Panther City to respond with back to back scores from Ryan Sheridan (2g) and Patrick Foley (1g) to take a 5-4 lead at 8:49.  San Diego’s Staats would make it a 5-5 game at 5:32.  Then Panther City would turn right around to take a 6-5 lead on a Will Malcolm (1g, 2a) score at 2:57.  But Dobbie would fire a beater buzzer with 3 seconds left in the half to tie it back up again 6-6.

Photo Credit: Jake Whiting

Defense would continue to dominate in the third.  Staats added his third goal of the night for yet another lead change 7-6.   The only other marker would come with 6:50 remaining.  Mathieu Gautier would get the feed from Wil Malcolm to find the back of the net, tying the game once more.

In the final quarter, Panther City seized an 8-7 lead just 2:21 into the frame, but Staats would come up clutch once again, notching his fourth goal with 10:25 left in the season.  For the remaining 10 and change, neither team found twine as Damude and Origlieri stood on their heads while the shooting battle ensued.  With no other points going on the board, the game would head to an extra frame.  Score at the end of the fourth:  San Diego 8—Panther City 8.

Then, in sudden death, it was Dobbie who delivered the decisive blow, teaming up with Berg and Dickson to net the game-winner just 2:49 into the extra period, sending the Seals into a frenzy and securing their spot in the next round of the playoffs.


Panther City—SOG 45; Saves 54; Sv% .857%; FO 2-21; PP 0-3
San Diego—SOG 63; Saves 37; Sv% .822%; FO 19-21; PP 0-2


San Diego will now eagerly await the outcome of the No. 3 Seed Albany FireWolves vs. the No. 6 Seed Halifax Thunderbirds contest today, Sunday April 28, 2024, game time 3:00 p.m. EST at MVP Arena to determine their semifinal opponent.

Christopher Crane, NLL Correspondent
Lacrosse is Awesome©