Halifax Thunderbirds

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Halifax Thunderbirds
SportBox lacrosse
Founded2019
LeagueNational Lacrosse League
ConferenceEastern
Team historyRochester Knighthawks (1995–2019)
LocationHalifax, Nova Scotia
ArenaScotiabank Centre
ColoursPurple, Orange, White, Black
       
OwnerCurt Styres
Head coachMike Accursi
Division titles1 (2020)
Playoff berths2 (2022, 2023)
Websitehalifaxthunderbirds.com

The Halifax Thunderbirds (known colloquially as the T-Birds) are a professional box lacrosse team based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, playing in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) as a member of the Eastern Conference. The team plays their home games at Scotiabank Centre which they share with the Halifax Mooseheads of the Quebec Maritimes Junior Hockey League.

History[edit]

On September 13, 2018, the NLL approved a franchise relocation to the city of Halifax. [1] Curt Styres, the previous owner of the NLL's Rochester Knighthawks, moved the Knighthawks' franchise to Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Knighthawks intellectual property (name and logo) was sold to Pegula Sports and Entertainment, owners of the Buffalo Bandits, which founded a new expansion franchise that started play in the 2019–2020 season under the Knighthawks moniker.[2][3] While located in Rochester the franchise won 5 championships.

The Halifax Thunderbirds made their league debut on December 7, 2019, defeating the New York Riptide 12–4 in front of a crowd of 6,847 at the Scotiabank Centre.[4]

The Thunderbirds made their first playoffs in the 2022 season but were defeated in the first round in overtime 14–13 by their rival, the Toronto Rock.

[edit]

According to the Toronto Star, Curt Styres got the idea for the team's name when he saw a lacrosse stick made from the wood of tree that had been struck by lightning and wanted to reflect the "one in one thousand odds" that was the lacrosse stick's embodiement.[5]

Previous location[edit]

The franchise was founded in 1995 during the Major Indoor Lacrosse League era and first played their home games at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, New York. The team made the playoffs their first 13 seasons in a row and won 5 championships between 1997 and 2014. In 2018 after losing to the Saskatchewan Rush in the NLL finals, it was announced the franchise would move to Halifax. Franchise owner, Curt Styres sold the team's original name and logo to Terry and Kim Pegula (Owners of Pegula Sports and Entertainment) and relocated the franchise to Halifax. PSE founded a new expansion franchise with the same name but different logo that started play the following season. The new franchise based in Rochester is not a continuation of original franchise as all of the original team's championships and records were transferred to Halifax as part of the relocation.

Current roster[edit]

Active (21-man) roster Inactive roster Coaches
Goaltenders
  • 37 Canada Drew Hutchinson
  • 30 Iroquois Warren Hill
Defensemen
  • 4 Canada Graeme Hossack
  • 9 Canada Max Wilson
  • 15 Canada Johnny Pearson
  • 18 Canada Jake Withers
  • 22 Iroquois Brayden Hill
  • 45 Canada Luc Magnan
  • 68 Canada Trevor Smyth
  • 94 Canada Tyson Bell
  • 96 Canada Keaton Thomson
Forwards
Transition
  • 34 United States Ryan Terefenko
  • 44 Canada Colton Armstrong
Practice Squad
  • 16 Canada Kevin Owen Hill
  • 19 Iroquois Nonkon Thompson
  • 51 Canada Dawson Theede
  • 84 Iroquois Oakley Thomas
Injured Reserve
  • 13 Canada David Brock
Head Coach

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Legend
  • * Suspended list
  • (C) Captain
  • (A) Alternate captain

Roster updated 2023-01-14
NLL Transactions

Awards and honors[edit]

Year Player Award
2020 Graeme Hossack Defensive Player of the Year
John Catalano Executive of the Year
2022 Pat Gregoire Tom Borrelli Award

All-time record[edit]

Season Division/Conference[a] W–L Finish PCT Home Road GF GA Avg Attendance Coach Playoffs
2020 North 8–4 1st .667 6–1 2–3 139 126 7,642 Mike Accursi No playoffs held
2021 Eastern Season cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic
2022 Eastern 11–7 3rd .611 7–2 4–5 198 195 5,439 Mike Accursi Lost Conference Semi-Final
2023 Eastern 10–8 3rd .556 5–4 5–4 238 210 8,512 Mike Accursi Lost Conference Semi-Final
Total 3 Seasons 19–11 .633 18–7 11–12 575 531 7,198
Playoff Totals 2 Appearances 0-2 .000 0-0 0-2 24 29 No Home Games 0 Championships

Playoff results[edit]

Season Game Visiting Home
2022 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals Halifax 13 Toronto 14
2023 Eastern Conference Semi-Finals Halifax 11 Toronto 15

Draft history[edit]

NLL entry draft[edit]

First-round selections

  • 2019: Clarke Petterson (5th overall), Trevor Smyth (14th overall)
  • 2020: Ethan Riggs (11th overall)
  • 2021: Max Wilson (12th overall)
  • 2022: Wake:Riat "Bo" Bowhunter (12th overall)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Conference play began in the 2022 season

References[edit]

  1. ^ "National Lacrosse League Awards Halifax Franchise". Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  2. ^ Pegulas confirm they will take over the Knighthawks wivb.com
  3. ^ "National Lacrosse League relocates Rochester Knighthawks to Halifax". Retrieved September 13, 2018.
  4. ^ "NLL: Halifax Thunderbirds Kick Off New Era With Win in Front of 6,847 Home Fans". Retrieved January 30, 2020.
  5. ^ "League names new pro lacrosse team Halifax Thunderbirds". thestar.com. 2019-02-16. Retrieved 2023-01-29.

External links[edit]