The Albany FireWolves traveled to ScotiaBank Centre in Halifax for the back end of a home-and-home series with the Thunderbirds. Halifax used a late fourth quarter run to win 14-11 in Albany last weekend. The FireWolves had goalie Doug Jamieson back in the lineup, but were without the services of their leading scorer, forward Connor Kelly.

Albany was thoroughly dominated 24-1 at the faceoff dot, and squandered a three-goal lead in the second half. However, the FireWolves rallied late in the fourth quarter to force overtime. Kieran McArdle (4g, 4a) led seven FireWolves in scoring, playing the role of overtime hero in an 11-10 victory. The win moves Albany back to .500 (2-2) on the season. Halifax falls to 3-2, and finishes a doubleheader weekend in Toronto tomorrow night.

FireWolves take slim lead after penalty-filled first half

The Thunderbirds quickly got the home crowd fired up, as Colton Armstrong buried one past Jamieson in transition just 52 seconds into the game for a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, Halifax also managed to get into penalty trouble from the outset. The FireWolves capitalized on this, with Ethan Walker (2g, 1a; 3:43) scoring a power play marker. Wake:Riat BowHunter restored the Halifax lead with a shorthanded goal (6:37), but Colton Watkinson (14:10) equalized for Albany. At the end of one quarter, it was tied 2-2.

The teams traded goals again in the second quarter. Justin Scott (1g, 1a; 2:25) gave the FireWolves a brief lead before Chris Boushy (2g; 3:00) leveled the score. 2022 draft pick John Piatelli (1g, 2a; 5:40) restored Albany’s lead. They would hold on to that lead heading into halftime.

McArdle Show propels FireWolves to victory

The game would go scoreless for over 17 minutes from the Piatelli goal to Jackson Nishimura’s (1g, 2a) transition tally at 8:24. McArdle (9:28) followed to push the FireWolves’ lead to three. That lead would disappear in the matter of a minute, courtesy of a three-goal Thunderbirds run. Austin Shanks (1g, 3a; 10:36), Eric Fannell (3g, 1a; 10:52), and Fannell again (11:36) suddenly tied the score, 6-6.

The Thunderbirds tacked on two more goals entering the fourth quarter to retake the lead. Boushy’s second (1:27), then Clarke Petterson (1g, 3a) 40 seconds later put Halifax up by two. Tanner Thomson (1g, 3a; 3:07) ended the Halifax run. Fannell’s hat trick goal (4:47) restored a two-goal lead, but then McArdle took over the game. His second goal (10:29) closed the gap to one, but Petterson countered with his second of the game (11:20).

Undaunted, McArdle notched his hat trick (12:12) to again cut the deficit to one. Next, Piatelli found Walker cutting through the defense to the doorstep. Walker fired a bouncer through the five hole of Halifax goalie Warren Hill to tie the game at 10-10 with just 32 seconds left. The game remained tied and went into overtime, where McArdle had the final say, wrapping a sidearm rocket past Hill at the 1:44 mark for the win.

Other Stats of Note

Shots on Goal: ALB 50; HFX 63

Power Play: ALB 1 for 6; HFX 0 for 2

Randy Staats, who had ten points the previous week against Albany, was held to just two assists. Ryan Benesch and Cody Jamieson were also held to just 2 assists each.

Ryan Terefenko (HFX): 16 LB (led all players)

Graeme Hossack (HFX): 6 CTO (led all players)

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“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk

“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk was formally introduced to box lacrosse when he attended a New England Black Wolves game on a whim in 2016. Instantly hooked, he has since become an avid follower of the National Lacrosse League. Following the postponement of the 2019-2020 NLL season, he was offered the chance to share his wealth of statistical knowledge and unique insights with the lacrosse community at large. He cheerfully accepted, and covers NLL, PLL, WLA, and Major Series Lacrosse for the network.