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Lacrosse Rox the Sears Centre

By Todd McClamroch in News on Jan 7, 2007 1:02PM

01_06_06_shamrox.jpgProfessional indoor lacrosse debuted Saturday night in front of a near-sellout crowd of 8,456 at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates. Two National Lacrosse League (NLL) expansion teams, the New York Titans and the Chicago Shamrox dueled it out in a match that was close until the closing minutes of the game.

It did not take long for the goal scoring to start. The New York Titans christened the goals with the first NLL goal in Chicago minutes into the game. Shortly after, Jason Clarke of the Shamrox scored the first goal for the franchise. For the first three periods of play the teams traded goals often with neither team able to gain a clear advantage. At the half the Shamrox trailed by two goals, 9-7. During the intermission Head Coach and General Manager Jamie Batley analyzed the power play goals on video with the team and it worked.

The Shamrox defense played a stellar second half, only allowing three goals. Coach Batley commented, "We shut their power plays down in the second half". With the defense on top of its game the offense was able to erase the first half deficit. With less than five minutes left in the game the Shamrox pulled away, scoring several goals to run out victors 15-12.

The Sears Centre, a newly built sports and concert facility, proved to be a great venue for the game giving all fans a great vantage point for the action. The game itself was exciting and faced-paced not to mention rough with a series of tough checks into the boards and even a few post play scuffles. The environment was definitely geared towards the family and the kids likely outnumbered the adults. At times Chicagoist could have used some earplugs to dull the high pitched screams of the young fans behind us. We were, however, excited to see them enjoying themselves. Especially after the game where all fans were invited onto the turf to meet the team. Tickets for games start at $15.

The Shamrox now hit the road for four games before returning for their next home game on Sunday, February 11. If you are a sports fan and find yourself near the Sears Centre or don't mind a 35 minute drive, we suggest you check out the Shamrox. View some shots of the action on the Chicagoist Flickr Stream.