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New England at Philadelphia: Who will win the series?

March 6, 2020 - National Lacrosse League (NLL) - New England Black Wolves News Release

UNCASVILLE, CT. - The New England Black Wolves head to Philadelphia for their last matchup against the Wings this season. The contest is scheduled for a 1pm start at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday, Mar. 7.

The Black Wolves are currently first in the East Division with an overall record of 7-3 and a division record of 3-2. Philadelphia sits with a 7-5 overall record and a 3-3 record against opponents in the East.

History: The two opponents will faceoff for just the sixth time in history and third time in the Wells Fargo Center. Philadelphia currently holds a 3-2 advantage over the Black Wolves and the two are tied at one in the series this year.

New England: The Black Wolves concluded week 14 with a 2-0 record after grabbing wins over New York and Halifax. The Pack defeated the Riptide 12-8 on the road Friday evening and grabbed a 16-10 home win over the Thunderbirds on Sunday.

Offense: New England previously saw some hiccups in its offense during a three-game losing streak this season but has turned things around in the last three wins. After last weekend's play, Crawford moved back into the top spot in the league with 31 goals and also slid his way into a three-way tied at second in assists with 40. Joe Resetarits also finds himself among the ranks in the top ten in scoring with 23 goals for New England. Rookie Andrew Kew found his groove again after scoring four goals and tallying eight assists in the last two games leaving him at 13 goals and 25 assists this season. Kew sits ranked third in league scoring behind New York's Tyson Gibson and Halifax's Clarke Petterson. He also sits tied at first in assists with Gibson.

Defense: The story all season has been the Black Wolves' stellar defense. The Pack's defense runs about 10-men deep and receives consistent effort from individuals like Brett Manney, Adam Bomberry, Greg Downing, Ty Logan and Nick Chaykowsky. Additionally, transition players Colton Watkinson and Tony Malcom and faceoff specialist Joe Nardella have had an immense impact on defensive and offensive play for the Black Wovles. Malcom and Nardella lead the team in both loose balls and caused turnovers. Malcom has a team-high 87 loose balls and nine caused turnovers. Nardella has 81 loose ball recoveries and a team-high 10 caused turnovers. Manney, Downing and John LaFontaine add veteran leadership to the defense alongside players like Chaykowsky, Logan and Jackson Nishimura. On the faceoff X, Nardella has 151 faceoff wins which places him fourth in the league among other faceoff specialists.

Standing in the net for the Black Wolves is Doug Jamieson. The fourth year keeper has started in all 10 games for New England this season, has made 418 saves and has been averaging a save percentage of .823.

Philadelphia: The Wings are receiving offensive production from five main players. Leading the team in goals this season is Brett Hickey (26), former Black Wolf, Kevin Crowley (20) and Matt Rambo (20). In addition to Crowley and Rambo who have a team-high 41 and 31 assists, respectively, Kiel Matisz and Blaze Riorden have both contributed 23 assists apiece thus far.

Defensively, Liam Byrnes, Steph Charbonneau and Anthony Joaquim have caused the most trouble for opponents' offense. Together they account for 31 of the team's 80 caused turnovers. Transition players, Trevor Baptiste and Matisz lead the Wings with 133 and 87 loose balls collected. Baptiste also faces off on the X for Philadelphia. He currently has 216 faceoff wins which ranks him second in the league. Zach Higgins stands in the net for the Wings this season and has a total of 473 saves and a .817 save percentage.

Looking Ahead: New England will have a quick turnaround the weekend of Mar. 14 as they compete against Buffalo at 7pm on Saturday and then head home to faceoff against the Calgary Roughnecks on Sunday, Mar. 15 at 3pm.

Tickets for the 2019-20 season are on sale now and start at $15 per game. For more information, contact a Black Wolves sales representative by calling 844-LAX-WOLF or visiting blackwolves.com.


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