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Preview: New England at Georgia


New England Black Wolves (6-6) At Georgia Swarm (6-7)
At Infinite Energy Arena
Saturday, March 24th, 7:05 p.m. ET
Live on NLLTV

Players to Watch: New England – Through 11 games, Kevin Crowley leads New England in goals (33). For the Black Wolves, Stephan Leblanc and Callum Crawford are tied for the lead in both assists (29) and points (50). Reilly O’Connor ranks second on the team in assists (23).  
 
Georgia – In 13 games, Lyle Thompson leads Georgia in goals (27), is second in points (58) and third in assists (31). Shayne Jackson leads the Swarm in both assists (38) and points (61), and is second in goals (23). Kiel Matisz ranks second on the team in assists (33) and is tied for fourth in points (45).

Noteworthy:
·     The Swarm fell 13-11 to the Black Wolves in New England’s home opener on December 8th.
·     New England is third in power play conversion percentage at home (50.0). They also lead the NLL in overall penalty kill percentage (57.4).
·     Anthony Joaquim scored his first career goal against the Rock.
·     With three goals against Buffalo, Kevin Crowley recorded his eighth hat trick and tenth multi-goal game of the season. He also extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one goal to 31.
·     Callum Crawford is just four goals shy of 300 career goals.
·     Georgia has the lowest power play conversion percentage in the NLL (39.2).
·     The Swarm are tied for third in the league in penalty kill percentage (50.0).
·     Lyle Thompson is currently seventh in the NLL in goals (27).
·     Shayne Jackson ranks ninth in the league in points (61) and 10th in assists with 38.
·     Jordan MacIntosh is sixth in the NLL in faceoff wins (134).
·     Mike Poulin leads all goaltenders this season with 511 saves.

New England Black Wolves coach Glenn Clark
Opening Statement
“Last weekend was a disappointing result for us. I think if you look at it over the entirety of the season, Toronto is a good team and we got a split with them over those last two games. The disappointing part was that I didn’t think we played our best. We made some uncharacteristic mistakes, but sometimes that’s the game and sometimes you have to give credit to the opponent. Moving into this weekend with Buffalo and Georgia – in the East, we always want to compete well and do well, and hopefully get results against other teams in the East – so these are two very big, important games, not only in standings but in tiebreaker implications, so it’s a very big weekend for us.”

On where the team needs to improve this weekend
“It’s the whole game. You look at the game in its entirety. I would say right now, a big part of our focus is that we need the offense to break out. They need to help us along the way. We have put up eight or nine goals but that’s just not enough in the NLL. We need to score more goals. It doesn’t only come through the offense. We need to start getting some power play opportunities as well. For whatever reason, we haven’t been getting very many power play opportunities. We have 21 power play opportunities on the whole season, and if you look at the stat pack, that’s the lowest by probably double of any other team in the league. In fact, every team except Vancouver has more power play goals than we’ve even had opportunities. We need to start getting some power plays. I don’t know what the magic bullet is for that, about how to generate more power play opportunities, but it is quite an alarming stat when we’re that much lower in opportunities than anybody else. We need our power plays and need to be dangerous when we get those opportunities. Transition is also another way you can generate offense, but our five-on-five sets have to deliver, they have to score. That’s the big focus, and we have to have consistency out of our goaltending. It’s been up and down and it needs to be predictable for us.”

Next Game: The New England Black Wolves faceoff against the Buffalo Bandits at KeyBank Center on Saturday, March 31st at 7:30 p.m. ET. For more details, visit blackwolves.com.