In a game that featured two of the league’s best offensive talents, their goaltenders stole the show as New England fought back to win a gritty 8-7 overtime victory over Philadelphia on Saturday night.
The Black Wolves (4-0) came into the game with one of the league’s highest scoring offenses and the league’s top goal differential but Philadelphia (3-2) was riding high, winning their last three games after an opening night loss.
The Black Wolves were coming off two straight bye weeks after starting the season 3-0, the best start in franchise history. The rust showed early as the Wings jumped out to a 5-2 lead in the first half. New England’s two first half goals was their lowest scoring half this season. In fact, New England had only scored two or less goals in a quarter only twice all season, and before the second quarter, they were only shut out in a quarter once this season. New England also never trailed at halftime before Saturday’s game with Philadelphia.
New England goalie Doug Jamieson kept them in the game stopping 23 of 28 shots in the first half as his offense took some time to shake the rust and catch a rhythm on the other side of the floor. Philadelphia goalie Zach Higgins was equally as good stopping 20 of 22 opportunities in the first half from the Black Wolves.
The Black Wolves came out for the second half looking like the team we saw in their first three games of the season. This high powered New England offense scored three straight to open the second half and tied the game at five, midway through the third quarter.
Philadelphia’s Matt Rambo answered the tying goal before Reilly O’Connor quickly countered for New England to tie the game at six. Rambo then found the net again to complete his hat trick and give the Wings a 7-6 lead going into the final quarter.
With much higher intensity and urgency in second half, the Black Wolves offense carried the play and shut out the Wings for the remainder of the game. New England’s Joe Resetarits scored the lone fourth quarter goal, and his second of the game, to even the score at seven and send this game to overtime.
In a game headlined by offensive stars like Crawford and Crowley, the National Lacrosse League’s top two faceoff guys were also showing off their talents. Philadelphia’s Trevor Baptiste dominated New England’s Joe Nardella winning 14 of 19 draws for the Wings. The Black Wolves also looked much slower than the Wings getting their offensive players on the floor in transition, which could easily be excused by having the last two weeks off.
As the clock ran down in the final frame, New England’s Joe Resetarits fired a booming overhand shot from outside to tie the game at seven. Sending the game to overtime meant this would be New England’s first one goal game of the season.
After New England’s defense, and Jamieson, stood tall in overtime, Callum Crawford was finally able to capitalize on the team’s fourth move up floor. Crawford took the ball from the left side of the floor and drove to the front of the net burying the ball past Higgins as he flew through the crease. The controversial goal was reviewed but inconclusive evidence and the call of the lead official allowed the winning goal to stand for New England.
Crawford finished with three goals, Resetarits contributed two, and Stephan Leblanc chipped in with a goal and three assists. Philadelphia got goals from four other players after being led by Rambo’s hat trick.
New England will be back in action on January 26, 2020 at Mohegan Sun Arena against the Georgia Swarm. Faceoff between the two East Division rivals will be at 1:00 P.M.