New England Black Wolves (6-4) vs. Toronto Rock (5-6)
At Mohegan Sun Arena
Friday, March 16th, 7:30 p.m. ET
Last Game: In the second of three meetings between the two teams this season, the New England Black Wolves won 8-7 in overtime over the Toronto Rock at Air Canada Centre on Sunday, March 11th.
Players to Watch: New England – Through 10 games, Kevin Crowley leads New England in both goals (27) and points (41). Stephan Leblanc leads the Black Wolves in assists (23), and is second in goals (15) and points (38). Reilly O’Connor ranks second on the team in assists (20) and third in points (26).
Toronto – In 11 games, Adam Jones leads Toronto in goals (24), assists (37) and points (61). Rob Hellyer is second on the Rock in goals (23), assists (36) and points (59). Brett Hickey ranks fourth on the team in goals (18) and points (29).
· At 6-4, the Black Wolves are in first place in the East Division.
· After the overtime win last week, New England is 1-1 against Toronto this season.
· The Black Wolves have won two straight games in overtime.
· New England is second in the NLL in penalty killing percentage (55.6). They also rank second in the league in power play conversion percentage (54.5) when at home.
· The Black Wolves are 6-0 in games decided by four goals or less.
· Kevin Crowley (three goals) recorded his eighth multi-goal game of the season. It was also his sixth game with three or more goals. He has now scored in 29 straight games for the Black Wolves and is just two points shy of 500 career points.
· Aaron Bold recorded a career-high 51 saves against Toronto.
· Callum Crawford scored a goal in his first game in a Black Wolves uniform last week. He also collected a season-high 10 loose balls in the game.
· Kevin Buchanan posted his first hat trick of the season against the Rock. He also recorded his 250th career assist and surpassed 400 career points in the game.
· Jay Thorimbert is second in the NLL in faceoff wins (153) and ninth in loose balls (87).
· Kevin Crowley is tied for third in the NLL in goals with 27.
· Toronto leads all NLL teams in penalty minutes with 231.
· The Rock has allowed the second fewest goals against to their opponent (127).
· Toronto ranks second in the league in scoring average (13.36 goals per game).
· The Rock are 0-4 when trailing at halftime.
· Adam Jones is tied for sixth in the NLL in points (61), tied for eighth in goals (24) and eighth in assists (37).
· Rob Hellyer ranks eighth in the league in points with 59.
New England Black Wolves coach Glenn Clark
“We’re happy with the win, really happy with our defense. In particular, I thought that was Aaron Bold’s best game of the season, and it was good for a lot of reasons. It was good because we kind of challenged him as a coaching staff to be a little bit more aggressive in his net and play with a little more confidence. He certainly responded, so that was good to see. I think when he plays like that, we can be a very effective and dangerous team. We didn’t put up a huge number from an offensive standpoint, but optically, I liked our offense to be honest. We generated a lot of scoring chances, a lot of shots. I have to give credit to Nick Rose as well. He played very well. But overall, I thought we had a very good, complete game.”
How important is this upcoming stretch of games for you guys?
“It’s very important, more-so because it’s in the East. We see how tight everything is in the East, so obviously, winning games in the East is very important. The potential to get tie-breakers against teams is very important, especially when it appears it is going to be very tight down the stretch. This is a really important stretch, starting with the last game against Toronto. We have three games in a row against the East, so to be able to grab a couple of wins there does a lot for you (when looking towards a post-season run).”
Are you excited for your new offensive weapons, Callum Crawford and Johnny Powless, to play in their first Black Wolves game in front of your home crowd?
“Yes, we are, and I think they’re just going to get better and more comfortable as they move along. I’m excited about where our group is. I was also really happy with how Aaron (Bold) played because that was playoff and championship caliber goaltending. If he can keep rolling that out, we’re going to be a tough team to deal with.”
Next Game: The New England Black Wolves will host the Buffalo Bandits at Mohegan Sun Arena on Friday, March 23rd at 7:30 p.m. ET. Click here for more details or to purchase tickets.