One reason the New England Black Wolves signed Jay Thorimbert to a free agent contract in the offseason was his talent as a faceoff specialist. He has not disappointed, winning a scorching 65.3 percent of his faceoffs (79-of-121) through five games.
On Friday night, Thorimbert was 15-of-22 on faceoffs during a 10-9 overtime victory against the Rochester Knighthawks at Mohegan Sun Arena. In the process, he moved into third place all-time with 1,781 faceoff wins, edging past former Philadelphia Wings defender Peter Jacobs (1,774).
“He’s been as advertised,” Black Wolves head coach Glenn Clark said. “You always want to have a strong faceoff team and a strong faceoff man. We identified Jay as a potential free agent because he’s good on the faceoff, but also because he can play in his own zone through transition. To be able to get possessions down the stretch, possessions into overtime, it makes a difference. He’s been outstanding on the faceoff. Obviously a lot of the loose balls are off the faceoff, but he even picked up a couple of 50-50 balls in that game where it wasn’t a clear win on the faceoff, and got possession of it. He’s been good, he has given us some strong D, so we’ve been very happy with adding him to our lineup.”
Over the last three games, Thorimbert has won 68.8 percent (53-of-77) of his faceoffs while also collecting 38 of his league-leading 54 loose balls. He had season-highs of 20 faceoff wins (20-of-29) and 14 loose balls – the most loose balls by a New England player since Shawn Evans had 14 against Toronto last April 9th – during a 13-12 win over his former Buffalo Bandits’ on January 28th.
Thorimbert had an NLL-best 289 faceoff wins (8th best in NLL history) last year, and set the NLL single-season record with 338 faceoff wins in 2015. Thorimbert also ranks 12th all-time with 1,190 loose balls, right behind Colorado veteran John Grant (1,202). Thorimbert set the NLL record for most loose balls in a season with 246 in 2015.