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Preview: New England at Toronto

New England Black Wolves (5-4) At Toronto Rock (5-5)

At Air Canada Centre

Sunday, March 11th, 3:00 p.m. ET

Live on NLL TV

 

Last Game: The New England Black Wolves won 12-11 in overtime over the Vancouver Stealth on Saturday, February 24th. The Toronto Rock fell 12-7 at home to the Georgia Swarm on Saturday, March 3rd.

 

Players to Watch: New England – Through nine games, Kevin Crowley leads New England in both goals (24) and points (38). Stephan Leblanc leads the Black Wolves in assists (19) and ranks second in goals (15) and points (34). Reilly O’Connor is second on the team in assists (18) and third in points (24).  
 
Toronto – 
In ten games, Adam Jones leads Toronto in goals (24), assists (37) and points (61). Rob Hellyer ranks second on the Rock in goals (21), assists (33) and points (54). Tom Schreiber is currently third on the team in goals (19), assists (30) and points (49).

 

Noteworthy:

·     Sunday will be Callum Crawford’s first game in a Black Wolves uniform after being acquired in a trade from Buffalo in exchange for Shawn Evans on February 28th.

·     The New England Black Wolves fell 21-9 on the road to the Toronto Rock back on January 27th.

·     The Black Wolves rank second in the NLL in penalty kill percentage (53.7) and fourth in power play conversion percentage (50.0).

·     New England is 5-0 this season in games decided by four or less goals.

·     Johnny Powless scored two goals in his first game in a Black Wolves uniform after being acquired from the Georgia Swarm on February 20th.

·     Through nine games, Kevin Crowley is tied for sixth in the league in goals with 24. With another goal in the win over Vancouver, he has now scored in 28 straight games for the Black Wolves and is now only five points shy of 500 career points.

·     Jay Thorimbert ranks third in the NLL in faceoff wins (142) and eighth in loose balls (82).

·     Aaron Bold recorded a career-high 50 saves against the Stealth.

·     Stephan Leblanc scored a season-high four goals in the win over Vancouver, including the game-winning goal in overtime.

·     Toronto has scored the fourth most goals in the league this season with 140. They have also allowed the second-fewest goals to their opponents (119).

·     The Rock are second in the league in scoring average (14.0 goals per game).

·     Toronto is 3-1 in games where they have out-shot their opponent.

·     The Rock scored a league-high 24 goals against Vancouver back on January 6th.

·     Adam Jones is currently fifth in the NLL in points (61), tied for sixth in goals (24) and seventh in assists (37).

 

New England Black Wolves coach Glenn Clark

Opening Statement

“We had a bye week and we made some changes. We’re pretty excited as a group to get back at it, especially in Toronto. I don’t think as a team we were very happy with the result last time, obviously. Players have pride and they want a little redemption and show that they can put forth a better effort than the last one.”

Toronto has dropped three of their last four after being on a hot streak the last time you played them. What do you think has changed for them?
“I really don’t know. It’s kind of the East Division in general, it’s really a game-in game-out sort of thing. Whoever gets hot goaltending or if someone gets a hot stick, it means that nobody is really able to separate themselves. We went on a little mini run and then a mini slump, and most of the teams have done that. Everybody has really taken turns doing that. Obviously, Toronto losing (Tom) Schreiber has affected their offense a little bit because he was arguably their most dynamic player, but it’s a situation where the league is so tight, everyone is jammed in together and I think it’s going to be a dog fight right down to the end.”

Thoughts on Johnny Powless’ first game with the team:

“He played well. It was funny, I was just talking about Johnny (Powless) a week or so ago and two of the things I described prior to getting him or him playing was that the things we like about his game is that he’s very good inside at slipping picks, catching inside and finishing in close, and his first goal of the game was a little slip pick and he finished inside. The other thing I liked about him was how he finds little dead spaces for those catch-and-release shots where he catches the goalie moving, and his second goal of the game was that exact scenario. He got two goals in his debut and he got them in the ways that we were hoping his addition would bring to our group. He had a good start with us, and I think when he gets a little more comfortable with the tendencies of guys on our team, he’s just going to be more effective.”

 

Next Game: The New England Black Wolves will face-off against the Toronto Rock once again at Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday, March 16th at 7:30 p.m. ET. For more details or to purchase tickets, click here.