Scores / Schedule
Game PreviewNews

Warriors Get Set for Clash with Seals to Complete Regular Season Action

The Vancouver Warriors (8-9) will take on the San Diego Seals (12-5) in San Diego for their final game of the regular season. 

This is the first matchup between both teams this season. The Warriors are on a five-game winning streak and have won six of their last seven games. They are battling a Seals team who have the second-best record in the NLL and clinched a playoff spot on March 23rd with a 10-9 overtime win against the Las Vegas Desert Dogs. 

There are a plethora of scenarios in which the Warriors would qualify for the playoffs, but one of the more guaranteed ways that would happen is with a win against the Seals. 

Vancouver’s most recent contest saw them beat the New York Riptide 16-10. In a tight first quarter, both teams were tied 3-3 at the end of the first, but the Warriors had a five-goal run in the second and carried that momentum into the third for another three-goal run after halftime to control the game. 

The Warriors offensive, defensive and special teams’ units were firing on all cylinders against the Riptide. Veteran defender, Ryan Dilks, matched up against Jeff Teat holding him to three goals and three assists on the night. Dilks also collected 11 loose balls and forced four turnovers.  

Fun fact: Dilks learned the technique to force turnovers from Seals’ defenceman Kyle Rubisch. 

Warriors’ forward Ryan Martel led the team with nine points, four goals and five assists. He’s amassed 69 points so far this season, which is more points this season than the 64 in his first five NLL seasons combined. 

Keegan Bal and Adam Charalambides each had eight points (3G, 5A) and (4G, 4A) respectively. Brad McCulley had two goals, including a highlight reel backhanded shot and Vancouver had singles from Loewen, Kevin Crowley and Kyle Killen. 

Keegan Bal leads the team with 99 points, 45 goals, 54 assists, Adam Charalambides is just behind him with 93 points of his own (36-57-93) and Martel is the third-highest leading point scorer with his aforementioned 69 points. 

The Warriors were 4-for-5 on the power play, besting their 45% season average. On the defensive side of the special teams, Vancouver is third in the NLL on the penalty kill with a 62% success rate. 

The Warriors’ defence helped Vancouver dictate the pace of the game by limiting the Riptide’s possessions. Goaltender Aden Walsh faced 33 shots in the outing, turning aside 23 shots and the Warriors’ season save percentage is 76%. 

With everything clicking at the right time for the Warriors to match up against one of the top NLL teams, Head Coach and General Manager, Curt Malawsky, said they need to be disciplined and stick to their process against a tough Seals team.  

“We always remember who we are. We don’t want to change who we are, but they play a different style of defence than some of the teams we’ve played. They’ve got really good goaltending in [Christopher] Origlieri, the young guy, and they’ve got a world-class offence in terms of [Trevor] Batiste on the draw,” Malawsky said. “That’s a complete lacrosse team, they’re very well coached and that arena gets pretty rowdy so we’re going to focus on what we can control and then try to counteract what they’re going to do.” 

The Seals lost their Week 20 matchup against the Saskatchewan Rush 13-8 at SaskTel Centre, but have won six of their last eight games. 

The Rush had nine unanswered goals from the Seals between the first and third quarters that decided the game. Goaltenders Christopher Origlieri and Mike Poulin split time between the pipes, Origlieri stopping 21 of 31 shots he faced and Poulin turned aside 15 of 18. 

San Diego forward and Surrey, B.C. native, Jacob Dunbar had two goals and two assists for the Seals in the loss. Forward Austin Staats led the team with five points (1G, 4A) and San Diego got singles from Coquitlam’s Wesley Berg, Surrey’s Tre LeClaire, Dane Dobbie, Victoria’s Chris Wardle and Trevor Baptiste, who also collected 10 loose balls. 

San Diego was 3-for-5 on the power play and have a 57% success rate on the man-advantage this season. They win 71% of their draws and have a 79% save percentage. 

Berg leads the Seals with 100 points (38-62-100), Staats has 48 goals and 49 assists for 97 points and Dobbie has notched 68 points (23G, 45A) all through 17 games. 

Baptiste has picked up a team-high 177 loose balls, Rubisch has 177 (and a team-high 28 caused turnovers), and Surrey’s Patrick Shoemay has 110. 

Faceoff is at 7 p.m. PT at Pechanga Arena. 

Vancouver Warriors