Uncasville – Kevin Crowley converted a pass from Jordan Hall with 3.5 seconds left in regulation on Sunday afternoon, and for the second time in a row, the New England Black Wolves survived a thriller at Mohegan Sun Arena, pulling out a 16-15 win over the Georgia Swarm.
Back on February 14th, the Black Wolves edged Toronto 17-16 in overtime, forcing an extra session on a goal from Shawn Evans with seven seconds left in regulation before Kyle Buchanan clinched the win 49 seconds into sudden death.
“I don’t like it at all,” joked Black Wolves coach Glenn Clark when asked if he was enjoying all of the late-game drama, which included a game-tying goal by Georgia forward Johnny Powless with 32 seconds left in regulation. “I think the key for us is we didn’t lose contact and kept it close. We kept our composure. It’s a game of runs. You hope you come out on the right side.”
New England (5-2) solidified its hold on first place in the East Division, one game ahead of Buffalo (5-4) with its win of the season over Georgia (4-5).
Crowley finished with three goals and three assists while Hall – acquired from Rochester in a trade on February 12th – had three goals, six assists and 10 loose balls. The last of his assists was an improvised pass to Crowley for the game winner.
“Evy (Shawn Evans) gets locked off and that creates an opening for Hall and I,” Crowley said, explaining how the Swarm were intent on not letting Evans beat them. “I guess I was on the right side.”
Evans had three goals, including career No. 300 just 1:43 into the game, and seven assists for 10 points. He also finished with a season-high 11 loose balls. Evans is now 22nd all-time with 302 career goals.
“For us to win the last two games like this is big for us,” said Hall, a former Philadelphia Wings star who was reunited with a number of former teammates in New England, including Crowley.
Veteran forward Kevin Buchanan had two goals and four assists. He has nine assists in the last two games. Kyle Buchanan added two goals, two assists and a season-high nine loose balls.
Georgia, held to six goals in the first meeting between the teams back on January 17th, entered the game with the NLL’s top offense, averaging 13.75 goals per game. Josh King led the Swarm with four goals and six assists while Powless finished with three goals and three assists.
New England goes on the road for its next two games, traveling to West Division frontrunner Colorado (7-2) on March 5th before visiting Rochester on March 12th.