Doug Jamieson stood tall and made all the difference as the New England Black Wolves took a bite out of the Saskatchewan Rush’s pre-Christmas festivities.
The Black Wolves netminder racked up 43 saves to push his club to a 12-8 victory over the Rush. It was a sizeable measure of revenge for the Wolves, who were spanked 24-11 at SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon when the two teams met in the Rush’s home-opener two years ago.
For a second consecutive weekend, the Black Wolves came out on top while in hostile territory. New England opened the 2019-20 season with a 12-8 victory over the Toronto Rock.
“A lot of people didn’t think we could win these two games so we’re going to keep that chip on our shoulder,” said Jamieson, who kept his team in front with a terrific stop on Ryan Dilks during a breakaway in the fourth quarter.
“I tried to go steady and make the saves I should and my defense played awesome.”
New England built up 4-1 lead after the first quarter and never looked back with their offence anchored by six-point efforts from both Callum Crawford (3 goals, 3 assists) and rookie Andrew Kew (2 goals, 4 assists). The Black Wolves will make their long-awaited home-turf debut on December 27th against the expansion New York Riptide.
“We love to be at home,” added Jamieson. “It’s a real advantage for us and we want to keep it rolling. We’re off to a good start.”
The Black Wolves jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Dave Emala and Reilly O’Connor before the Rush answered with a Mark Matthews goal on a penalty shot. There was no momentum switch, however, as the Wolves went right back on the attack, eventually chasing Rush goalie Evan Kirk early in the second quarter after Jordan Durston’s long-range shot made it 6-1. The Rush did manage a brief flurry later in the second, but Crawford and Stephan Leblanc scored 27 seconds apart to lift the visitors to a 9-3 lead.
Saskatchewan controlled much of the third quarter, managing the only goals of the frame and got the New England lead down to three heading into the final quarter. Instead of continuing the charge, though, the Rush were thwarted by the Black Wolves’ stout defensive effort and a handful of stops by Jamieson, who ended up with 12 saves in the fourth. Any thoughts of a rally by the home side were doused by Nick Chaykowsky took advantage of a blunder behind the Saskatchewan net and tucked the ball into a gaping net.
O’Connor finished with two goals for the Black Wolves with Joe Resetarits adding a single.
Matthews totaled four on the night for the Rush, two coming in the fourth quarter during a brief comeback bid. Defensive stalwart Kyle Rubisch scored twice for the Rush with Jeff Shattler and Mike Messenger adding one apiece. Kirk was pulled after just 12 saves while Shute made 25 in relief.
The Rush will also face the Riptide in their next outing, one night after the Black Wolves take on the NLL newcomers.