The last time the New England Black Wolves took the floor at Mohegan Sun Arena they sat atop the East Division standings. That game was only two weeks ago, but for the Black Wolves, it must feel like a lifetime away.
New England is now in the basement of the East and looking to stop their current four game skid. With that said, New England still is far from out of the race for the playoffs as they are only a game and a half out of first. But with only four games remaining, Head Coach Glenn Clark and his squad knows exactly what they need to start doing, win.
“We realize what we’re up against in terms of making the playoffs. It’s very tight in the East, but we’re on the outside looking in right now. We’re down to four games left in the season and we need to correct the tailspin we’re in. That’s the focus. We’ve made some small adjustments and are looking for answers to improve in all areas of our game, and that is the process we go through each week. It’s certainly been a disappointing little stretch the last four games and we need to correct that.”
Sunday afternoon the Black Wolves will take on the Calgary Roughnecks in their only meeting of the season. While both teams have matching 6-8 records on the season, Calgary has already clinched the third and final playoff spot in the West. The Roughnecks have never lost to the Black Wolves in three all-time matchups.
In the East, Rochester and Buffalo are tied at the top while Georgia and Toronto are only a half game back. Georgia and Toronto will face off this weekend while Rochester and Buffalo are idle. This could be a good recipe for New England who desperately needs to gain some ground in the standings with only four games remaining. The winner of the Swarm and Rock will join the Knighthawks and Bandits in first while the loser will fall back closer to the Black Wolves who need to jump two teams to get into a playoff spot.
The Black Wolves struggling offense has had some bright spots as of late with Kevin Crowley continuing to score goals at an incredible pace and Callum Crawford consistently putting up points. Crowley has five straight hat tricks and has scored a goal in 33 consecutive games for the Black Wolves. His 41 goals are good for first in the National Lacrosse League. Crawford has also been riding a hot streak since his midseason acquisition from Buffalo. He has scored at least a goal in all five games in a Black Wolves uniform, totaling 19 points (7G, 12A).
For Calgary, there are four offensive weapons that will keep Aaron Bold and the New England defense busy. Curtis Dickson (36G, 26A), Wesley Berg (29G, 31A), Dane Dobbie (26G, 33A), and Holden Cattoni (21G, 29A) all have at least 50 points on the season and Dickson leads the NLL with 232 shots. Calgary also leads the NLL with nine shorthanded goals and Dickson is tied for NLL lead with three of them. At the other end of the floor, Christian Del Bianco leads the NLL in save percentage (.803) and goals against average (10.30).
Face off between the Black Wolves and Roughnecks is at 2:00 p.m. EST at Mohegan Sun Arena.