On February 20th, the Black Wolves acquired forward Johnny Powless from the Georgia Swarm. A 5-foot-11 lefthander, Powless is known for his play inside the defense, close to the crease. His New England teammates and coaches got an up close view of that right away in his first game in a Black Wolves uniform.
Powless scored his first goal as a member of the team with 47 seconds left in the second quarter at Vancouver, and his second with 1:40 to play in the third quarter of New England’s overtime win.
“It felt pretty good,” Powless said of his first goal with the team. “It was even better getting that first win out of the way too.”
Powless’ performance was everything that Black Wolves head coach Glenn Clark was expecting when the team acquired the forward.
“It’s funny because two of the things I mentioned about him when we acquired him, I said we like how he plays off the ball and slips and gets to the middle and can score in traffic, and that was his first goal (in Vancouver) to a T,” Clark said. “He slipped inside, caught the ball and scored. The other thing that I said was how he’s very good at when the ball swings, catch and release, and that was his second goal. We saw what we thought we would get out of him and we think that’s going to be a consistent scheme of contribution. He gives us that piece that we didn’t have on a consistent basis, and he shows both elements that I mentioned prior to that game in Vancouver as to why we acquired him and why we liked him.”
For Powless, it’s something he enjoys.
“I’m pretty comfortable (inside),” he explained. “That’s what I had done when I first got into the league. I was more of an inside guy. The coaches are pretty open to letting us play free. They don’t want me to simply play inside. They said if you want to carry the ball that’s fine, shoot the ball that’s fine, so it’s not restricting me from being a complete player. But they know that my bread and butter is inside so that’s what they want me to focus on more.”
In his seventh NLL season, Powless brings an impressive resume to the Black Wolves. He has four Champions Cup titles to his name – three as a member of the Rochester Knighthawks in 2012, 2013 and 2014, and another last season with the Swarm.
One hallmark of those teams? Complete effort from the entire lineup.
“I’ve been pretty fortunate to be on some pretty good teams,” he said. “It’s a full team effort. I think we have a pretty good shot at it this year. I like our chances and I’m looking forward to the rest of the season and the playoffs.”