noun: chronicle

1. a factual written account of important or historical events in the order of their occurrence.



April Showers bring May Flowers, but when April turns to May in the National Lacrosse League (NLL) it signals the start of the Playoff run toward the NLL Champions Cup.

For the San Diego Seals, the team concluded their inaugural season with a 10-8 record which was enough for a second place finish in the Western Division and the chance to host their inaugural playoff game on home turf on Monday, May 6th. Inside this edition of Seals Summarized, we'll recap the end of the regular season and the 2018-19 NLL Playoffs.

SEALS @ CALGARY (3/30): San Diego kicked off their final road trip of the regular season against the Calgary Roughnecks. The Seals used sixteen combined points from Dan Dawson and Garrett Billings for an emphatic 16-9 road victory over the Calgary before 10,854 at Scotiabank Saddledome. Head Coach and General Manager Patrick Merrill praised his team for their performance.

“It was a complete team effort by the team out there tonight, [The Scotiabank Saddledome] is a tough place to play and an even tougher place to win. It was huge to get the season series against these guys tonight. It was a statement win, and I couldn’t be prouder of this group.” 

Dan Dawson eclipsed another career milestone in the victory by netting his 500th career goal. "My 500th goal is a testament to the coaches I’ve been playing for the past 18 years, I’ve been surrounded by teammates who have made my job easy. I’m lucky to have been able to do it with this group tonight.” 

Frank Scigliano approved of his team's defensive effort. "The defense was letting me see the ball well, We played our system tonight, and I thought we played a full 60 minutes. That’s a step in the right direction. You want to win all of the season series, and that’s a big one for us tonight.” 

SEALS @ GEORGIA (4/5): The rest of the road trip wouldn't be as kind to the Seals as they headed to the East Coast to the face the Georgia Swarm. The game came at a hefty price as the Seals not only saw their five-game winning streak get snapped in a 17-10 defeat, but they would also lose highly touted rookie Austin Staats to a torn ACL.

Patrick Merrill tipped his cap to the Swarm for being prepared for the challenge. “They were really well prepared, Right from the opening whistle they played with a purpose and put us on our heels. They out-competed us and executed all night. They’re a good lacrosse team. We can’t play like that if we expect to beat a team like that. We need to rebound quickly and think about New England to get a split on the weekend.”

SEALS @ NEW ENGLAND (4/6): Playing a back to back along with a shorthanded roster,  San Diego fell behind the eight ball on against the New England Black Wolves. Trailing 7-2 after the first quarter, 13-5 at halftime and 15-6 after the third quarter, the Seals managed to put up an eight spot in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't meant to be as the New England Black Wolves held off the Seals' comeback bid for the 17-14 victory before 6,046 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.

While the game didn't appear to have many bright spots for the Seals, there were two that manifested in the form of a pair of Connors. First, Connor Fields, San Diego's tenth overall entry draft pick made his long-awaited season debut and made the most of it. Fields would score his first two career NLL goals while adding an assist for a three-point debut (2 g - 1 a).  Then there was Connor Kelly, who had himself a career day with a six-point game (4 g - 2 a) and was a key component of San Diego's near-miracle comeback.  

Despite the ending result, Patrick Merrill was pleased with how his team resolved. “New England is really good at home, They were aggressive and pushed the ball hard on us in the first half. We had some costly breakdowns on defense and costly turnovers on offense. We dug ourselves too big of a hole to comeback. I liked our resolve in the second half to attempt a comeback, but it was too little too late.” 

Connor Kelly added his thoughts on his play against New England. “I felt comfortable out there tonight, I’m working with some great players who are helping me along the way. It wasn’t the result we wanted, but hopefully, I can build off this and continue to help this team compete down the stretch.” 

The Siren Dance Team hosted a Junior Sirens dance clinic and even hosted a Halftime performance with the youngsters during Halftime of the April 27th home game against Buffalo.

The Siren Dance Team hosted a Junior Sirens dance clinic and even hosted a Halftime performance with the youngsters during Halftime of the April 27th home game against Buffalo.

SEALS vs. SASKATCHEWAN (4/12): Coming into the game, the Seals had won every season series against their Western Division counterparts, the Saskatchewan Rush would deny their bid at that feat. San Diego's losing streak extended to three in a row after Ben McIntosh had an eight-point night (6 g - 2 a) and Mark Matthews added six points (2 g - 4 a) as Saskatchewan retook first place in the NLL's Western Division while handing San Diego their third straight loss with a 14-8 victory before 6,245 at Pechanga Arena San Diego.

The night was an emotional one, to say the least, as the Seals hosted their first ever #StickUpForACure Night. The team along with the Sirens wore special jerseys and shirts bearing the name of someone or a group of people who have or are currently battling cancer. Both teams along with the Sirens and the Rush all stood together as one in front of the player benches with their own "I'M STICKING UP FOR" cards. 

Fans were encouraged to fill out an "I'M STICKING UP FOR" card and hold it up during a special ceremony at Halftime.

Fans were encouraged to fill out an "I'M STICKING UP FOR" card and hold it up during a special ceremony at Halftime.

Facing the always dangerous Rush, Patrick Merrill shared his thoughts on his team hanging around in the game.  "They're a good team. I felt like we hung in there in the first half and we played our game. It took us too long to get going offensively and we fell apart in the third quarter. I felt like we were way too passive and we were standing around on the outside and take shots from the outside." 

Drew Belgrave touched base on the team staying focused for the whole sixty minutes and playing aggressive. "I think we're having a hard time keeping our focus for a full sixty minutes. We gotta come out and play with a lot of intensity and stick it to them {Colorado next Friday} and move the ball offensively and get everybody touching and on defense play aggressive."

SEALS vs. COLORADO (4/19): Looking to snap their three-game losing streak, the Seals would polish off the season series sweep of their U.S based counterparts, the Colorado Mammoth with a 12-7 victory. That victory also clinched a first-round home playoff game for San Diego that they will host on Monday, May 6th.  

With Colorado cradling a 4-3 lead in the second quarter, San Diego's Garrett McIntosh would be called for a five-minute major penalty for an elbow. The game could have flipped on its head in favor of Colorado with San Diego running with four players during the Penalty Kill. Not only would the Seals not allow the Mammoth to score, but San Diego also did their own scoring as Casey Jackson potted a shorthanded goal to tie up the game at 4-4. He would later score on the Power Play to give San Diego a 5-4 lead, and a lead they wouldn't surrender. 

When asked about the five-minute penalty kill, Patrick Merrill talked about the team's mentality during those five minutes. We just had that 'Whatever it Takes' mentality tonight. That was the key to that kill."

Seals President Steve Govett talked about what it means to host a playoff game as an expansion franchise. “Qualifying for the playoffs as an expansion team is no small feat, and having the opportunity to potentially host one or more games for the amazing fans here in San Diego is special, Unfortunately, a weekend date wasn’t available for this round due to a scheduling conflict rather than sacrifice playing our first-ever playoff game on the road, we elected to take the available Monday night slot in order to deliver an exciting playoff atmosphere to San Diego. Mondays have proven to be spotlight nights for teams in other sports, and we expect it to be the same as we look to bring playoff action, intensity and excitement to America’s Finest City.”

SEALS vs. BUFFALO (4/27): In the final game of the regular season, the Buffalo Bandits showed why they were the top team in the NLL regular season. They used two separate five-goal quarters to go along with outstanding goaltending by Matt Vinc as they ran away from the San Diego Seals 18-7 before 8,357 at Pechanga Arena San Diego.

Fans also had the opportunity to win great prizes throughout the game as the Seals saluted the San Diego Faithful who came out and supported the first year franchise on Fan Appreciation Night with prizes ranging to tickets to other arena events, gift cards, team signed memorabilia and so much more. Halftime of the game also saw more than twenty-five youngsters have the chance to dance with the Sirens Dance Team in the team's halftime performance.  

2018-19 NATIONAL LACROSSE LEAGUE PLAYOFFS: The NLL postseason picture is now in full focus as the regular season is in the books. The format of the playoffs will feature the number one seed facing the number seed, while the number two seed faces the number three seed. The higher seed will have home-field advantage. The first two rounds of the postseason are NCAA March Madness-style. Win, and you move on. Lose, and you go home.

The NLL Champions Cup will feature a Best 2 out of 3 format with the highest seed team hosting Game 1 and Game 3 (if necessary). The lowest seeded team will host Game 2.

In the East, The Buffalo Bandits (14-4) hold the number one seed in the Eastern Division and will face the number four seeded New England Black Wolves (9-9) at KeyBank Center in Buffalo, while the Georgia Swarm (12-6) and Toronto Rock (12-6) face-off from Infinite Energy Arena in Duluth, GA.

Out west, the Saskatchewan Rush (11-7) will host the Colorado Mammoth (6-12) from the SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon, SK. Meanwhile, the San Diego Seals finish their inaugural regular season with a 10-8 record (6-3 at home, 4-5 away) and will get the chance to host a Western Division Semi-Final match-up with the Calgary Roughnecks (9-9) on Monday, May 6th at 7:30 pm PDT from Pechanga Arena San Diego.

PLAYOFF KICKOFF PARTY: To get pumped up for their inaugural playoff game in franchise history, the Seals invited their fans out to Bayside Kitchen + Bat on Pacific Highway for a night of games, drinks and much more. Players including Adrian Sorichetti, Kyle Buchannan, Brandon Clelland, Johnny Pearson and Ethan Schott all took part in games of Cornhole and Shuffleboard with fans and even the Seals writer from the Chronicle. Salty and two members of the Sirens Dance Team also attended the event.

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