New England Black Wolves (8-8) At Rochester Knighthawks (9-7)
Blue Cross Arena
Saturday, April 21, 7:30 p.m. ET
Live on NLLTV
Last Game: The New England Black Wolves won 10-6 on the road over the Colorado Mammoth on Saturday, April 14th. The Rochester Knighthawks won 14-11 over the Toronto Rock on Friday, April 13th.
Players to Watch: New England – Through 16 games, Kevin Crowley leads New England with 69 points on a team-high 49 goals and 20 assists. Stephan Leblanc leads the Black Wolves in assists (40), and is second in goals (21) and points (61). Reilly O’Connor ranks second on the team in assists (35). Jay Thorimbert leads the team in loose balls with 125.
Rochester – Joe Resetarits leads Rochester in scoring with 92 points on a team-high 34 goals and 58 assists. Cody Jamieson leads the Knighthawks in assists (59) and is second in points (83). Kyle Jackson ranks second on the team in goals (32) and third in points (63). Both Graeme Hossack and Jake Withers share the team lead with 137 loose balls.
- The Black Wolves are 2-0 against the Knighthawks this season.
- New England cannot be eliminated from the playoffs with a loss or clinch with a spot with a win at Rochester.
- The Black Wolves limited the Mammoth to the fewest goals since an 11-6 win at Georgia on January 17, 2016.
- New England ranks third in the league in penalty killing percentage (52.6).
- The Black Wolves are 4-0 this season in games decided by one goal.
- With a team-high five goals against Colorado, Crowley set a new single-season career-high with a league-leading 49 goals on the year. It was his seventh straight hat trick, his ninth in 10 games and his 12th of the season. He extended his streak of consecutive games with at least one goal to 35, and now has 14 multiple-goal games on the season.
- With four assists at Colorado, O’Connor set a new single-season career-high with 35 on the year.
- Kyle Buchanan is just three loose balls short of posting his third-straight season with at-least 100. He also needs four assists to reach 200 for his career.
- Aaron Bold leads all NLL goaltenders with 621 saves.
- Jay Thorimbert is fourth in the league in faceoff wins (219) and eighth in loose balls (125).
- Rochester is second in the NLL in power play conversion percentage (63.3).
- The Knighthawks are second in the league in scoring average (13.44) and tied for third in average goals against (11.63).
- Rochester is 7-0 when leading at the half.
- Resetarits is fourth in the league in points (92) and assists (58), and is tied for sixth in goals (34).
- Jamieson ranks third in the NLL in assists (59) and sixth in points (83).
- Both Hossack and Withers are tied for fourth in the league with 137 loose balls.
New England Black Wolves coach Glenn Clark
“Pretty much the same situation we’ve been in for the last three weeks to be honest, I don’t think a whole lot has changed. We’ve certainly kept ourselves in the mix, but we said going into the last four-game stretch that we were likely going to need to go 3-1, so I don’t think anything has changed. Having said that, we’re not in a position where there is any comfort level at all. We’re pretty much playing playoff lacrosse right now in terms of desperation and necessity of wins. We’re up against it like we’ve been the last couple weeks and it’s obviously a tough place to play, a tough place to win in Rochester and they’re playing well, so we’re going to be testing every facet of our game.”
What worries you most about the Knighthawks?
“A bunch of things, obviously, Matt Vinc has been one of the top goaltenders in the league for quite a long time and has quite a resume of championships and success at a lot of different levels, so finding a way to get to him and quality shots and creating quality looks is going to be key. Their defense is big and strong and very good systematically, so we’re going to have to be active and scheming to find ways to create some good looks. Offensively, they’ve really been clicking. They’re playing as good as anybody in the league right now – so very similar to what my message was about the Colorado game – we’re going to have to be very disciplined. We’re going to have to not look to take any shortcuts because they won’t present themselves. We’ll have to be playing a very disciplined, a very controlled game, and that’s the only way we’re going to have success against Rochester.”
Next Game: The New England Black Wolves host the Georgia Swarm at Mohegan Sun Arena on Sunday, April 29th at 5:00 p.m. ET. For more details or to purchase tickets, visit blackwolves.com.