Buffalo, N.Y. – Kevin Crowley continued his remarkable scoring streak with a season-high five goals, but the New England Black Wolves could not quite overcome another slow start, dropping a 14-11 decision to the Buffalo Bandits on Saturday night at KeyBank Center.
Crowley recorded his fifth hat trick in a row, his seventh in eight games and his 10th overall this season . He extended his scoring streak to 33 games with at least one goal, posting his 12th multiple-goal game of the season. He now has 41 goals this season. His career high was 45 in 2017.
It was the fourth straight loss for the Black Wolves (6-8). Buffalo (8-7) completed a three-game season sweep of New England.
Trailing 5-0 early on, the Black Wolves battled back to tie the game twice. The visitors were within one at 12-11 when Kyle Buchanan (two goals, two assists) scored eight minutes into the fourth quarter. But Mitch Jones (two goals, one assist) scored 33 seconds later for Buffalo and Jordan Durston (two goals) clinched the win by scoring with 2:08 left.
Aaron Bold had a career-high 54 saves for New England while Reilly O’Connor had one goal and tied his career high with six assists. Josh Byrne had four goals and two assists to lead the Bandits while Chase Fraser had a career-high three goals.
Buffalo jumped to a quick lead in the first 13 minutes of the game. Dhane Smith and Frasier scored five seconds apart, at 1:54 and 1:59, respectively, to start the game. Goals by Byrne, Shawn Evans and Frasier pushed the lead to 5-0.
That’s when Crowley began to have a major impact on the game, scoring twice in 29 seconds to make it 5-2 with 1:36 left in the first quarter.
New England continued to surge as Adam Bomberry and Nick Chaykowsky scored goals in the first 1:23 of the second quarter. Chaykowsky’s goal, the first of his NLL career, answered a Buffalo goal by Vaughn Harris, making it 6-4.
After a goal by Durston made it 7-4 with 5:09 gone in the second quarter, New England rallied for three goals in just over three minutes. Crowley scored twice in that span while Callum Crawford also had a goal. Crowley tied the game at 7-7 with just over four minutes left in the half.
Byrne scored his second goal of the half with just 44 seconds to intermission, making it 8-7 at the break.
Frasier scored the only goal of the third quarter to make it 9-7, but goals by Crowley and Buchanan tied the game early in the fourth quarter. Byrne and Jones answered for the Bandits to make it 11-9, and after O’Connor scored, Byrne struck again to make it 12-10.
New England returns home to host the Calgary Roughnecks on Sunday, April 8 at 2 p.m. Get tickets.