GAME 13 MATCHUP PREVIEW – FIREWOLVES VS ROCK
The Albany FireWolves (2-10) are back home this Saturday, March 25, at 7:00 p.m. for rematch against the Toronto Rock (10-4). The teams met two weekends ago with the Rock winning on their home floor, 12-6. The game was tied towards the end of the third quarter, but the Rock went on a six-goal run to end the game and come out on top. Currently, Toronto is tied with Buffalo for the most wins in the NLL with 10 and sits in second place in the East due to having one more loss than the Bandits. This weekend’s game can be watched on My4 Albany or ESPN Plus.
FireWolves Players to Watch:
Ethan Walker is coming off his best game of the season and will surely look to carry that momentum into this weekend’s game as he gets another shot at the Rock who held him scoreless last time out. Last weekend against the New York Riptide, Walker led the team with six total points on four goals and two assists. Goals have been hard to come by against Toronto all season as the team has surrendered the second-fewest goals in the league thus far. Albany has the weapons to score, the offense just needs to figure out ways to create opportunities. If Walker and Co. can strike early in this one, it will be a huge boost and potentially propel the team to a much-needed victory.
Marshall Powless joined the team last week and wasted no time assimilating to the offense. He finished his FireWolves debut with a goal and four assists, tying John Piatelli for second most points on the club in the game. Simply put, the man is a scorer, proven by his 32 total points in just 17 career games. Powless could be a difference maker for the FireWolves offense and is another young weapon for fans to be excited about in future seasons. A player with Powless’ scoring ability is exactly what the doctor ordered to help the FireWolves iron out their offensive kinks.
Zac Tucci missed the game when these two teams last met, and it was obvious on the stat sheet. The Rock absolutely dominated faceoffs all night, winning 17 of 22. Tucci has been a solid fill-in since the FireWolves lost Joe Nardella to a season-ending injury and struggled mightily from the dot for a few weeks. The faceoff specialist returned to action last weekend against the Riptide, and as a result, the team came out on top in the faceoff department as he won 18 of 25. The Rock doubled-up the FireWolves’ shot attempts the last time they played each other, in large part to the faceoff differential. Look for Tucci to play a massive role in this one and create some extra possessions for Albany.
Opposing Players to Watch:
Stephen Keogh had a career game against Albany two weekends ago, scoring a team-high seven points on four goals and three assists. The forward is just eight goals shy of his career best in a season and currently has the fourth-most on the Rock. His hat trick goal in the game two weeks ago gave the Rock a third quarter lead and sparked a six-goal run that lasted until the final horn went off. Albany knows they will have their hands full with guys like Tom Schreiber, Corey Small, and Dan Craig, but they cannot afford to lose sight of the savvy vet if they want to pull of an upset this weekend.
TD Ierlan simply dominated faceoffs two weeks ago against Albany. Granted, the FireWolves were without their faceoff guy (see above), but Irelan has quickly become one of the better faceoff guys in the league. On the year, he is currently third with 235 faceoff wins at a 64% clip. Capital Region fans might remember his name as he played his freshman and sophomore years with the UAlbany Great Danes and set single-season NCAA records in faceoff percentage (79.15), faceoff wins (359), and ground balls (254). Last time out against the FireWolves, his dominant efforts from the dot played a large part in the Rock getting 62 shots on goal, but that only translated to 12 goals. Tucci will give him more of a challenge this weekend, which should limit the Rock possessions.
Nick Rose has had an incredible season to this point, and the team can certainly thank him for playing a pivotal role in their 10 wins. Through the team’s 14 games, Toronto has only given up 130 goals – the second fewest across the league. While the defense has been stout, Rose has been a wall, boasting an 80% save percentage, ranking just one percent behind the league lead. He is also one of just four goalies in the NLL to have a GAA under 10, proving that goals will be hard to come by for Albany this weekend. The FireWolves managed to get six goals on him through two and a half quarters the last time they met, but were shutout for the remainder of the game. Albany’s offense may have a tough time scoring again this weekend, but a few early ones could get the momentum on their side.
Fans can secure their tickets now for this weekend’s game on Saturday, March 25 against the Rock! For more information regarding tickets and Star Wars night, visit www.AlbanyFireWolves.com or call/text the FireWolves front office at 518-362-4900.
About Albany FireWolves
The Albany FireWolves is the Capital Region’s very own Professional Box Lacrosse team, playing in the National Lacrosse League out of the MVP Arena in downtown Albany, NY. For more information, contact the Albany FireWolves Front Office at (518) 362-4900 or visit AlbanyFireWolves.com. Follow the team on Facebook at facebook.com/AlbFireWolves, Twitter @AlbFireWolves, and Instagram @AlbFireWolves.
About the National Lacrosse League
The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America’s premier professional lacrosse league. Founded in 1986, the NLL ranks third in average attendance for pro indoor sports worldwide, behind only the NHL and NBA. The League is comprised of 15 franchises across the United States and Canada: Albany FireWolves, Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, Halifax Thunderbirds, Las Vegas Desert Dogs, New York Riptide, Panther City Lacrosse Club (TX), Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock, and Vancouver Warriors.
For more information, visit NLL.com and find @NLL on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For more information visit NLL.com.
About ASM Global
ASM Global is the world’s leading venue management and services company. The company was formed by the combination of AEG Facilities and SMG, global leaders in venue and event strategy and management. The company’s elite venue network spans five continents, with a portfolio of more than 325 of the world’s most prestigious arenas, stadiums, convention, and exhibition centers, and performing arts venues. From Aberdeen to Anchorage, and Sydney to Stockholm, its venues connect people through the unique power of live experiences. ASM Global’s diverse portfolio of clients benefit from the company’s depth of resources and unparalleled experience, expertise and creative problem solving. Each day, the company’s 61,000 passionate employees around the world deliver locally tailored solutions and cutting-edge technologies to deliver maximum results for venue owners and amazing experiences for guests. By consistently looking for new ways to envision, innovate and empower the spaces and places that bring people together, ASM Global elevates the human spirit while delivering the highest value for all stakeholders. For more information, please visit www.asmglobal.com.
About MVP Arena
MVP Arena is a full-service entertainment and sports facility featuring a wide variety of family shows, sporting events, trade shows and concerts. Owned by Albany County and managed by ASM Global, MVP Arena opened in 1990 and is home to the Albany FireWolves of the National Lacrosse League, the Albany Empire of the National Arena League and the Division I Men’s College Basketball Siena Saints. For more information, please visit https://www.mvparena.com/.