Seals Win Home Opener

San Diego's National Lacrosse League team puts on a show at Pechanga Arena

When billionaire and lacrosse enthusiast Joseph Tsai brought the National Lacrosse League to San Diego not many people knew exactly what the reception would be like.

11,323 people packing Pechanga Arena for the home debut of the San Diego Seals is a pretty good sign. So is the thrilling 12-10 win over the Rochester Knighthawks that had the building rocking.

“The scene in here was electric in that 4th quarter,” said Seals head coach Patrick Merrill. “We certainly fed off it and I believe it was the difference.”

The crowd was into it from the start but in the final few minutes found another gear. With the game tied 10-10 “Dangerous” Dan Dawson took a feed from Garrett Billings right in front of the goal and scored what would be the game-winning goal.

But they wanted to add a little extra oomph to finish things off.

Rookie Austin Staats whipped home his 4th goal of the night with 86 seconds to play to put the game out of reach. After the goal Staats turned to the crowd, grabbed the Seals crest on the front of his uniform and pointed to the filled seats.

“They were extra loud in the 4th quarter so I thought I’d give them a little present there in the end. Show them we respect them and enjoy their presence,” said Staats.

Kyle Buchanan had a nice night with two goals and three assists and goalie Frank Scigilano made 38 saves. It was exactly the kind of night the Seals were hoping for in their home debut.

“Our introduction to San Diego was phenomenal,” said Dawson of the crowd. “It was pretty cool being able to show them all what lacrosse is all about.”

The Seals will try to top this historic win when they host the Calgary Roughnecks on Friday night at 7:00 p.m.

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