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Panther City Lacrosse Club Spoils Las Vegas Desert Dogs Inaugural Home Opener, 9-3

Las Vegas, Nevada (Dec. 16, 2022) – In what was a defensive battle all evening, the Panther City Lacrosse Club (2-0) defeated the Las Vegas Desert Dogs (0-2) in the expansion club’s inaugural home opener, 9-3. Goalie Nick Damude had a career evening as he allowed a career-low three goals on 33 shots for a .909 save percentage, which is also a career-high. He just narrowly missed tying the NLL record (2) for fewest goals allowed in a single game. Assistant Captain Matt Hossack also had a standout game as he forced a team-high three turnovers. The defense as a whole forced nine turnovers on the evening. Tyler Burton led the club with 10 loose balls.

Offensively, Will Malcom led the scoring barrage for the second straight game as he recorded four points (1 goal/3 assists). Patrick Dodds also finished with four points (1 goal/3 assists) and 2021 NLL Entry Draft first overall selection, Jonathan Donville recorded his first career goal 1:48 into the fourth period. Panther City pulled away in the fourth quarter as the team scored five goals and blanked the Desert Dogs. Dean Fairall and Tony Malcom tied for the team-high, as each player chipped in with two goals. Panther City was effective on the power play for the second straight game as the team finished 4-8 on the man advantage with goals from Fairall, Phil Caputo, Dodds and rookie Cam Wengreniuk, who has now scored in two-straight games.

With an assist on the club’s first goal, W. Malcom recorded his 100th career point in his 27th career game. Caputo also joined him in the 100th point club as his goal in the second period marked his eclipsing of the century mark. Defenseman Tyler Burton also became the ninth player in NLL history to record at least 1,300 career face-off wins.

Panther City heads back to Fort Worth on Saturday, December 17 for a matchup with the defending NLL champs, the Colorado Mammoth. Game time is set for 7:00 p.m. CT and can be seen on ESPN+.


On what went well for the team tonight…

“Defensively. Defensively we were a beast. I thought we played five-man strong on the back end and Nicky [goalie Nick Damude] stood his ground. One thing we talked about was stopping the ones you need to stop and I thought he did a really good job of stepping out to the shooters and contesting them and playing his game. Defensively we were communicating and we were packed in tight and we were certainly physical at times.

On the physicality of tonight’s game…

“That is how we said we wanted to play defensively – by committee and certainly hard to play to against in the hard areas. We really denied them time and space all game inside the hard areas where they want to manufacture. If they are shooting the ball from the outside, I like our chances because of our goaltending. What I really liked was our attention to detail to our breakouts, picking up loose balls – there wasn’t a lot of repeat possessions by them. Offensively, we stuck to the process and found a way in the fourth quarter.”

On the performance of Will and Tony Malcom…

“Tony – that is why we went and got him because he is a guy that can change the course of a game through some of the things he does on the transition side. I really liked the way he played defense. I liked the way he picked up loose balls. [Will Malcom] played okay. He has to be our number one. He is our leader on the offensive side. Certainly, contributed tonight. He can be better and the good thing is we get another chance tomorrow.”

On the message to the team with the final game of a back-to-back tomorrow against Colorado…

“This is behind us. We always look forward. That is how we operate. I am happy for the win, but again, it is all about the weekend. My expectation before the weekend is that we are 3-0 by the end of this week. I hate looking at outcome – we always stick to the process, but ultimately, it is what is next.”


On what went well for him this evening…

“The defense. We weren’t satisfied after last game and we all took some time this week to self-evaluate and wanted to come with everyone’s best effort and I think we did that. I can’t even say enough about the defense. Blocking shots, knocking down passes – I went minutes without even seeing a shot. It is a true testament to them. They play for me and I am there bail them out when they make a mistake. I know they are going to help me out when I make a mistake.”

On the momentum going forward with another game tomorrow…

“It is big. We will enjoy this for a little bit and then it is a quick turnaround, so we have to get our heads straight. Colorado is a good team, so we have to bring our A-game tomorrow. It will be a tough task, but we are rolling with some momentum. We have to keep riding that.”

Panther City Lacrosse Club