By Brandon McCormick & Spencer Barnett –
Behind the back, over the shoulder, between the legs, and diving crease shots were all on display at the National Lacrosse League’s All-Star Game at the Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, NY.
On Feb. 27, the East topped the West 30-26, in one of the highest scoring games in NLL history.
Some Penn Manor lacrosse players took a keen interest in the game.
“I think [fans] got what they expected,” John Tarvares of the Buffalo Bandits said to a reporter of NLL.com. “A lot of offense and no defense. I feel bad for the goalies.”
Tarvares hit a NLL milestone this year. He holds the record for All-Star Game appearances with nine.
“John Tarvares deserved the MVP for the game,” said Alex Cummins, a junior on the Penn Manor lacrosse team.
The East came out strong winning the first face-off, but the West immediately took the lead scoring the first goal with a frozen rope pass from Brett Mydske to Jeff Shattler, only 33 seconds into the game.
The East responded 84 seconds later with a goal scored by Cody Jamieson.
Midway through the first quarter, Andrew Watt, representing the Minnesota Swarm, deflected a shot from Washington Stealth’s Luke Wiles, putting it right past the East goalie Brandon Miller, of the Philadelphia Wings, to put the West up 4-2.
The scoring was an even exchange, yet the East was in charge at the end of the first quarter with the score 8-6.
Tarvares scored his second goal of the day for the East just 16 seconds into the second quarter.
After a series of acrobatic shots and unbelievable passes, the first half closed with a stalemate score of 12-12.
“One thing I loved about the game was all the behind-the-back shots and tricky moves,” Cummins said. “I was rooting for the East to win.”
John Grant, team captain of the West and captain for the Colorado Mammoth, got his turn, putting in three goals in the third quarter alone.
“It was great to be here,” said Grant to a NLL.com reporter. “I was excited to be asked to play. We came and gave it our all.”
Another late scorer, Ryan Benesch of the Minnesota Swarm, put in his first goal late in the third quarter.
Both the East and West put in eight goals a piece in the third quarter, to keep the game going in to the last quarter tied 20-20.
As the fourth quarter rolled around, things started to get serious with both sides. With the score 25-26, the East scored five unanswered goals. Brett Bucktooth (3), Mark Steenhuls (5), and Josh Sanderson (4) all added goals in the last five minutes of the game to give the East a victory by a score of 30-26.
“I’m so pumped for next year’s game,” said Cummins. “It’s gonna be great.”
East goalies Brandon Miller (Philadelphia Wings) and Anthony Cosmo (Boston Blazers) totaled their saves to 55, while the West goalies, Chris Levis (Colorado Mammoth) and Nick Patterson (Minnestoa Swarm), ended the night with a total of 51 saves.
Shawn Evans (Rochester Knighthawks) was named MVP of the night, totaling his stats to four goals and eight assists.
“It was a good, hard game out there tonight,” said Evans. “I’m just honored to play with the guys that played on my team; Josh Sanderson, Colin Doyle, John Tavares, and the veterans on the team. It was great.”