For the New England Black Wolves is has been a tale of two different offenses so far this season. The first three games showcased a New England offense that looked unstoppable, while the next four were very much subpar. New England’s last two games have brought the offense back to life, and showed that their big weapons are ready for the stretch run and the second half of the season.
New England (6-3) dominated New York 12-8 in only their third road contest on Friday night and will host a talented Halifax club on Sunday at Mohegan Sun Arena. Halifax (7-2) will come in to The Den for the conclusion of back-to-back contests, after visiting Buffalo on Saturday night.
Coming off an 18-7 win over the Rochester Knighthawks last weekend, the Black Wolves followed it up with a convincing road win over the Riptide on Saturday night. New England came back from being down 3-1 early to score 11 of the game’s next 16 goals to overpower New York for a 12-8 victory.
In that win, the Black Wolves offense scored six straight goals, after being down 5-3, to take an 8-5 lead into the 4th quarter. The New England offense was carried by stalwarts Callum Crawford and Joe Resetarits, while Reilly O’Connor and Andrew Kew came back to life and put this game away in the final quarter.
Crawford finished the game with three goals and five assists while Resetarits and O’Connor each had three goals and three assist efforts for the Black Wolves. Kew, who was a scratch last weekend versus Rochester, added a goal and four assists to solidify the efforts of New England’s big three.
Doug Jamieson and the New England defense also had a big night after the 3-1 hole they dug themselves. Jamieson ended up stopping 41 of 49 shots from the Riptide after giving up five first half goals. New England’s power play kept firing as they went 3-for-4 on Friday night to remain the league’s top power play unit.
In the three games leading into Friday night, some can point to New England’s transition game as the safety vest keeping New England’s offense afloat. Transition studs Tony Malcom and Colton Watkinson had combined for 10 goals and 12 turnovers in those three games to help relieve some of the pressure put on the Black Wolves’ struggling offensive stars.
With Crawford’s huge performances in the last two games, he has settled into second in the National Lacrosse League with 63 points. His 12 and eight point games in the last two contests have made up for the quiet three game stretch where he only contributed 16 points total in four games as the Black Wolves were unable to hold on to first place in the East.
Sunday’s game with the first place Halifax Thunderbirds will complete New England’s first two game weekend of the season, and first of two multi game weekends in the next three weeks.
Halifax comes in with a few familiar foes for New England fans, as Ryan Benesch and Cody Jamieson have been a thorn in their side over the previous seasons. The Thunderbirds’ captain, Jamieson will be coming in after serving a one game suspension on Saturday night, but in their previous four games Jamieson has amassed 10 goals and nine assists while Benesch has contributed seven goals and 14 assists.
Sunday’s 5:00 P.M. face off will certainly be an entertaining contest and one that could very well be seen again once the NLL playoffs open up in April. New England heads to Philadelphia next weekend for a huge East Division matchup on March 7th with the Wings and will not return back to New England until March 15th when they will face Calgary.