The New England Black Wolves will look to grab their third win over a North Division opponent on Sunday, Mar. 1 against the Halifax Thunderbirds. Faceoff is set for 5pm at Mohegan Sun Arena on Faceoff against Cancer night.
New England heads into Sunday after defeating the New York Riptide, 12-8 on the road Friday night. Halifax will have and even quicker turnaround as they face the Buffalo Bandits on Saturday, Feb. 29 at 7pm in Buffalo, NY.
History: This will be the first all-time matchup between the two opponents since the Thunderbirds’ relocation from Rochester to Halifax as part of the NLL expansion. Doubleheader
New England: After The Black Wolves’ 12-8 victory over the Riptide, they are now 3-0 on the road and 6-3 overall. New England will look to increase its win streak to three as well as improve its home record to 4-3.
Offense: Although a slow start against the Riptide on Friday night, the Black Wolves’ offense got into motion similarly to the matchup against Rochester. After recording three goals and five assists against New York, Callum Crawford now has a total of 26 goals and 37 assists placing him third and first in the league ranks. Joe Resetarits and Reilly O’Connor also added three goals on the night which sits them second and third on the team in goals and points. Resetarits has 21 goals and 18 assists for 39 points and O’Connor has 17 goals and 15 assists for 32 points. Also with 32 points for the Black Wolves is Stephan Leblanc and rookie Andrew Kew who sit second and third on the team, but in assists. The pair has 24 and 22 dimes, respectively.
Defense: The New England defense has proven to be tough in all facets this season. Together the team is averaging 8.6 caused turnovers per game. Tony Malcom leads the Pack with 10 caused turnovers and Adam Bomberry follows with nine. Recently, the Black Wolves have been playing with another defender in the mix which adds to the versatility of the backend. Greg Downing, Brett Manney, Ty Logan, Creighton Reid and Nick Chaykowsky combine for 36 of the team’s 77 caused turnovers as well as 229 of the team’s 774 loose balls. Continuing to sit at the top of the Pack in loose balls collected is Malcom with 78 and Nardella with 72. On the faceoff, Nardella is 129-of-200 which holds him steady at 65 percent on the X and fourth in the league in total faceoffs won.
Doug Jamieson recently recorded his 1000 career save and now sits fourth in all-time saves in franchise history. Jamieson has recorded 664 saves this season, has a .826 save percentage and among goalies in the league with at least 192 minutes of action he ranks second with an 8.87 goals against average.
Halifax: The Thunderbirds are currently 7-2 after starting the season off 6-0. Halifax’s only two losses have come at the hands of Toronto and Saskatchewan.
Helping lead the Thunderbirds offensively is four main players with a one goal differential between the top three spots. Cody Jamieson has scored 17 goals and has assisted on 24 for 41 points. Ryan Benesch has recorded 16 goals and 26 assists for a team-high 42 points. Sitting at third in goals is Stephen Keogh with 15 and third in assists is Mike Burke with 21.
Defensively, Graeme Hossack, James Barclay and Scott Campbell have done the most damage to opposing team’s offense. Hossack has caused 14 turnovers, Barclay 11 and Campbell nine. Together the trio has also collected 205 loose balls. Leading the team in the same category is Jake Withers whose primary location is on the X. Withers has racked up a team-high 109 loose balls and has won 177 of 229 faceoffs this season which places him second in the league in faceoffs won.
Warren Hill stands in the net for the Thunderbirds and has seen 515 minutes of action this season. In nine contests he has recorded 348 saves and has a season save percentage of .813.
Looking Ahead: New England will hit the road for the next two games, making trips to Philadelphia on Saturday, Mar. 7 and Buffalo on Saturday, Mar. 14. The Pack will have an even quicker turnaround the weekend of Mar. 14 as they compete against Buffalo at 7pm on Saturday and then head home to faceoff against the Calgary Roughnecks on Sunday, Mar. 15 at 3pm.
Tickets for the 2019-20 season are on sale now and start at $15 per game. For more information, contact a Black Wolves sales representative by calling 844-LAX-WOLF or visiting blackwolves.com.