Saturday’s game was one that the New England Black Wolves knew they had to have. Riding two of their offensive horses, the Black Wolves made sure they did not let this one slip away as they beat the Rochester Nighthawks 16-13 at Mohegan Sun Arena.
Callum Crawford came into Saturday’s matchup with the Rochester Knighthawks as one of the hottest players in the National Lacrosse League. All he did was keep his hot streak going with a ten point night, including his fourth straight hat trick and fifth in New England’s seven games played.
Crawford also reached a major milestone as he scored the 900th point of his career. Joining Crawford in a milestone night was Stephan Leblanc who recorded his 700th career point.
New England (4-3) fell behind early as Rochester (2-6) started the scoring 3:47 into the first. Crawford answered just 32 seconds later before the Knighthawks put away two more quick ones to make it a 3-1 lead.
Crawford made it a tie game yet again as he finished off the hat trick before the end of the first quarter. His second goal of the night was the 900th point of his career.
The Knighthawks scored with 2:11 left in the first frame as they took a 4-3 lead to the second quarter. That would be the last lead of the game for Rochester as New England outscored them 5-0 in the second quarter and went on an 8-0 run to take an 11-4 lead just over four minutes into the third quarter.
As the Black Wolves stretched their lead to seven, they were able to sit back and keep the Knighthawks at arm’s length for the remainder of the game. Even with Rochester battling back to get the game to within two at one point, New England never really let them sniff a chance to take this one out of their hands.
While Crawford had a game high ten points (5G, 5A), New England was finally able to see a few guys join him with big nights on the scoresheet. Leblanc, who scored his 700th career point in the second quarter, contributed in a big way with eight points (3G, 5A). Also having big nights were Tyler Digby (3G, 2A) and Reilly O’Connor (1G, 4A). Putting the game away in the final quarter for the Black Wolves was Jackson Nishimura who recorded his first career goal.
Perhaps cementing his spot as the Black Wolves’ starting goalie, Alex Buque made 37 saves in his second straight start since coming in for relief of Doug Jamieson two weeks ago against Buffalo.
Rochester saw a few big nights of their own on offense as Joe Resetarits (4G, 3A), Kyle Jackson (2G, 6A), and Cody Jamieson (3G, 3A) did all they could to keep the Knighthawks in the game. Angus Goodleaf made 35 saves in the loss for Rochester.
The New England Black Wolves will be in action again on Saturday, February 16th when they travel to Philadelphia for their first matchup with the Wings. They will be back at Mohegan Sun Arena on Sunday, February 17th to finish the weekend home-and-home series with Philadelphia.