EAST DIVISION SEMIFINAL
New England Black Wolves (3) At Rochester Knighthawks (2)
Blue Cross Arena
Friday, May 4, 2018, 7:30 p.m. ET
Live on NLLTV
Last Game: The New England Black Wolves fell 16-11 at home to the Georgia Swarm on Sunday, April 29th. The Rochester Knighthawks won 15-13 on the road over the Buffalo Bandits on Saturday, April 28th.
Players to Watch: New England – Kevin Crowley led New England this season with 76 points with 25 assists and an NLL-high 51 goals. Stephan Leblanc led the Black Wolves in assists (45) and was second in both goals (25) and points (70). Reilly O’Connor ranked second on the team with 36 assists. Jay Thorimbert led the Black Wolves with 136 loose balls.
Rochester – Joe Resetarits led Rochester in points (100) and was tied for the team lead in both goals (37) and assists (63). Cody Jamieson finished tied for the team lead in assists (63), second in points (89) and fourth in goals (26). Kyle Jackson was tied for the team lead in goals (37) and third on the team in both assists (36) and points (73). Graeme Hossack led the Knighthawks with 163 loose balls.
● The Black Wolves return to the NLL playoffs for the third straight season.
● New England and Georgia are the only two teams in the East that have made the playoffs each of the last three years.
● New England was 3-0 against Rochester during the regular season.
● The Black Wolves ranked second in the league in penalty killing percentage (53.8) and sixth in power play conversion percentage (43.8).
● Crowley led the NLL with a single-season career-high 51 goals, the most ever scored by a player in a Black Wolves’ uniform. Crowley posted 12 hat tricks, 15 multi-goal games and scored in 17 of 18 games for New England this season.
● Thorimbert ranked second in the league with 245 faceoff wins.
● Aaron Bold led all NLL goalies with 712 saves.
● O’Connor set new single-season career-highs for both assists (36) and loose balls (65).
● Kyle Buchanan posted his third-straight season with 100 or more loose balls (111).
● The Knighthawks finished third in the NLL in scoring average (13.11 goals per game).
● Rochester ranked second in the league in power play conversion percentage (59.7) and eighth in penalty killing percentage (48.8).
● Resetarits finished the year tied for third in the NLL in assists (63), fourth in points (100) and tied for seventh in goals (37). He was also tied for sixth in the league with 11 power play goals on the season.
● Jackson was tied for seventh in the league in goals with 37.
● Jamieson finished tied for third in assists (63) and tied for eighth in points (89).
● Hossack ranked third in the league with 163 loose ball pick-ups.
● Jake Withers led the NLL with 279 faceoff wins.
New England Black Wolves coach Glenn Clark
“It’s Exciting. The playoffs are always an exciting time. It doesn’t get any easier. We’re disappointed with our result on Sunday because I thought we had a pretty good chance to battle for that first seed, but we’re (at) the second seed and we’re excited about getting going.”
What worries you most about Rochester?
“I think they just have such a complete game. Matt Vinc has been one of the best goalies in the game for a long time now and he’s been a playoff performer and a championship-level performer, so he’s always difficult. They have a good, systematic defense and they have some dangerous weapons on offense. They are a complete team, they play a complete game and you won’t get away with any shortcuts. It’s going to be one of those battles of attrition where I think mistakes are really going to determine the outcome. If you can minimize the mistakes you’re making and capitalize on ones that are made, that’s going to be the key.”