It was only two weeks ago that the New England Black Wolves were 4-0 and off to the best start in franchise history. Their offense was firing on all cylinders and averaging 13.25 goals per game while only allowing 8.5 goals per game. It has been a completely different ballgame in the last two for the Black Wolves.
On Saturday night the Black Wolves (4-2) welcomed the Vancouver Warriors (3-4), looking to get back on track and respond to their first defeat of the season. Instead, the Warriors took complete control of the game with a 7-2 advantage going into the final quarter, and hung on for a 10-6 win on the road at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Despite scoring the first goal of the game for the third straight contest, New England surrendered seven of the next eight goals. The hole was clearly too deep for the Black Wolves to dig out of as their comeback fell short, in part because of two empty net goals in the last five minutes from the Warriors.
Being down by five goals in the fourth quarter the Black Wolves had no choice but to push the envelope and try to get the offense going again. On two separate occasions with five goal deficits, New England pulled goaltender Doug Jamieson only to see the Warriors capitalize and find to open net.
In their first three games, New England scored 45 goals but in their last two they have only found the back of the net 24 times. The Black Wolves defense and goaltending has remained steady and still has not given up more than 11 goals in a game this year. Even in a losing effort, Jamieson stopped 37 of 45 shots and remained in the mix with the league’s top goaltenders, holding an 8.83 goals against average through six games.
On the flip side, even Callum Crawford was kept quiet for the Black Wolves and held goal-less for the first time this season. Thankfully for New England, Joe Resetarits provided a much needed spark and netted three highlight reel goals, and added two helpers to keep the game within reach. Rookie stud, Andrew Kew also kept rolling for the Black Wolves as he found the back of the net late to give the home team a fighting chance with two minutes to play.
Mitch Jones and Keegan Bal carried the torch for Vancouver as they both had mirrored five point efforts (3G, 2A). Riley Loewen (2G, 2A) and Sam Clare (G, 4A) also had major contributions for the Warriors as they kept this game at arm’s length down the stretch.
Looking to rebound from a difficult stretch, the Black Wolves with have another week off to work on getting back on track before their next game. This next week will be New England’s sixth week off, having only played six games heading into week 13.
The Black Wolves still have two games left on this homestand with the next game possibly being the most important. On February 16th, New England will host Philadelphia for the second time in four games with first place in the East on the line, yet again. Face off is set for 5:00 P.M. in a Sunday matchup at Mohegan Sun Arena.