After opening the season with two road wins, the New England Black Wolves returned home on Friday night and dominated the New York Riptide in their first ever matchup. With the 21-11 win, New England improved to 3-0 to start the season, the best start in the six year history of the franchise.
The Black Wolves fell behind early as the Riptide (0-3) put two behind Doug Jamieson in the first two and a half minutes, but that was short lived and nearly forgotten after the offensive show put on by Callum Crawford and company.
After the two goal deficit to start the game, New England went on an 11-0 run with six different players contributing goals. In all, New England had eight different players score goals in the game and 10 players pick up at least a point.
Reilly O’Connor finished off his first hat trick of the night only 28 seconds into the second quarter as he buried a no look dish from Crawford. Less than a minute later, rookie Andrew Kew scored a power play goal which led to the Riptide pulling former Black Wolves goalie Alex Buque after allowing seven goals just over 16 minutes into the game.
New England scored four more goals in the next seven and a half minutes and Buque was put back into the game to replace Gowah Abrams. New York finished the first half on a 5-1 run, clawing their way to a 12-7 deficit and keeping this game from being a total runaway at the half.
Crawford opened the scoring in the second half with his third goal of the game 2:58 in. The goal was his 11th point of the night and at the time left him three points away from 1,000 in his career. New York then scored three quick goals to narrow the margin to 13-10 but New England finished the game with an 8-1 stretch that showcased exactly why they are one of the scariest teams in the National Lacrosse League.
Crawford reached the 1,000 point milestone with a low laser at 9:17 of the fourth quarter for his 14th point on the night. Coming into the night Crawford was third in the NLL with 13 points, but after more than doubling his point total, he now sits atop the league with 27 points in three games.
Not to be outdone, O’Connor had himself a impressive night with six goals and eight points. Also picking up hat tricks for the Black Wolves were Kew and Joe Resetarits. Kew finished the night with nine points while Resetarits finished with six points. Stephan Leblanc quietly had a solid performance himself as he finished with a goal and five assists.
New England goalie Doug Jamieson finished the game with 32 saves in the win.
Former New England forward Tyler Digby led the way for New York with two goals and two assists, while Gale Thorpe also added two goals for the Riptide. The top pick in the 2019 NLL Draft, Tyson Gibson contributed a goal and four assists in the losing effort.
The New England Black Wolves will enjoy two weeks off before returning to action on January 18, 2020 at Mohegan Sun Arena against the Philadelphia Wings. The Black Wolves will open the New Year with five straight home games and six of their next nine games against East Division rivals.