New England Black Wolves (8-9) vs. Vancouver Stealth (8-9)
At Mohegan Sun Arena
Saturday, April 29th, 7:00 p.m.
Live on NLLTV.com
Last Game: New England fell 15-13 to the Rochester Knighthawks on April 22nd. Vancouver won 13-7 over the Colorado Mammoth on April 22nd.
Players to Watch: New England – Kevin Crowley (40 goals, 38 assists) leads the Black Wolves this season in goals and is second in points (78). He had two goals in last week’s loss to Rochester. Shawn Evans (37 goals, 58 assists) is second on the team in goals and leads New England this season in points (95). He had three goals and three assists against the Knighthawks. Kyle Buchanan (30 goals, 35 assists) ranks third on the team in goals. He also added one goal and two assists in the game.
Vancouver – Corey Small (42 goals, 62 assists) leads the Stealth in goals, assists and points (104) this season. He had three goals and four assists in last week’s win over Colorado. Rhys Duch (35 goals, 53 assists) is second on Vancouver in goals, assists and points (88). He had two goals and four assists against the Mammoth. Logan Schuss (33 goals, 38 assists) is third on the team in goals, assists and points (71) this season. He also added three goals and four assists in the game.
– Shawn Evans (four goals, two assists), Kevin Crowley (one goal, four assists) and Kyle Buchanan (three goals) led the Black Wolves to a 17-7 win over Vancouver in their only meeting of the season last year on January 9th.
– Garrett Billings (one goal, three assists), Rhys Duch (two goals, two assists) and Corey Small (one goal, one assist) were the top performers for the Stealth in their 17-7 loss to New England last season.
– Shawn Evans recorded his 1,000th career point against Rochester last week. He registered his eighth hat trick (11th multi-goal game) of the season. He is now tied for sixth in the NLL this season in goals (37), tied for fourth in assists (58) and ranked fifth in points (95).
– Kevin Crowley recorded his 200th career goal and 450th career point against the Knighthawks last week. He is tied for third in the league in goals (40). He has scored in every game this season for the Black Wolves. This week’s game against Vancouver will also be his 100th career regular season game.
– Chad Culp recorded his 500th career point against Rochester.
– Kyle Buchanan set a career-high for single-season goals (30) against the Knighthawks.
– Seth Oakes (three goals) recorded his first career hat trick against Rochester.
– Reilly O’Connor set a career-high for single-season assists (32) last week.
– Evan Kirk broke his career-high for single-season saves (663) against Rochester.
– Sheldon Burns leads the league in defensive goals (9) and is second in defensive points (19).
– Corey Small is ranked second in the NLL this season in goals (42), third in assists (62) and third in points (104). He recorded his 9th hat trick of the season last week and now needs two goals to reach 200 career goals.
– Logan Schuss is tied for second in the league in power-play goals (16). He also recorded his 7th hat trick of the season last week and is now four points shy of 300 career points.
– Matt Beers set a career-high for single-season loose balls against Colorado (95).
– Rhys Duch recorded his 12th multi-goal game of the season last weekend against the Mammoth. He is now two goals shy of 350 career goals.
– Justin Salt has set a career-high for single-season loose balls this season (106).
– Tye Belanger set a new career-high for single-season goalie wins (six) last week against Colorado.
New England Black Wolves coach Glenn Clark
“Disappointed last weekend with our level of execution, but that’s been a bit of our season so far. We have a chance for a bounce-back game this weekend, which is obviously important for both teams. I think it’s going to have a playoff-type atmosphere because you’ve got potentially both teams playing for second place in the West and the East respectively. I think it’s going to be a good game and we have no excuses not to be ready and amped up for it.”
If you win, you’re in second place. If you lose, then you have to hope for a little help this weekend.
“Yeah, it’s as simplistic as it gets. It’s kind of a win in any scenario. I mean, there are other things that can play out, but you really have to simplify it and respond to pressure, you can’t hide from it. The opportunity to win the game and get into the playoffs is what should challenge you and energize you, so that’s our approach.”
Although, technically, you could be in the playoffs by the time the game starts?
“Yeah, there is that very real possibility because I believe Rochester is at home to Georgia on Friday, so that will be determined, but that can’t change our mindset too because we still want to – even though we’re in – the next goal is getting that home playoff game.”
What do you expect this weekend from Vancouver?
“I think they’re a dangerous team. I mean, I think they are a very complete team. Their offense has a ton of weapons, very good, skilled players on the offensive side of the ball. I think they’ve got a good, aggressive D and Tye Belanger’s been playing great. I think they’re thick throughout the lineup and they’ve been playing very well. They beat a really good Colorado team last weekend, which essentially was a head-to-head match for them to potentially get second place. They’re going to be a good team and you’re going to have to earn everything you get.”
Even if you do get a playoff spot, is it still important to have a good effort this weekend in order to carry a positive feeling into the playoffs?
“Absolutely. Results aside, we want to play well. You can’t always guarantee the result, but we want to have a game that we’re happy with where we delivered on what we can deliver on. You could run into penalties, you could get a bad bounce, there are lots of things that can happen during the game when the teams are so close, but we certainly want to be able to control our results and control how we play.”