FireWolves Top Riptide, Clinch First Round Home Playoff

The Albany FireWolves traveled to Nassau Coliseum for their second matchup with the New York Riptide this season. The game had numerous implications: an Albany win would guarantee them a Top 4 seeding and a home game in the first round of the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Riptide remained alive for the last remaining playoff spot with Vancouver’s loss to San Diego the night before. A win, plus a win by either Panther City or Toronto, would punch New York’s ticket to the postseason. Ethan Walker and Tye Kurtz each recorded 10 points as the FireWolves broke their five-game losing streak with a 16-10 win. Albany finishes the season 11-7 and will be the #3 seed in the playoffs. New York (8-10) still has a shot at clinching the #8 seed, pending outcomes of remaining games this weekend.

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FireWolves race out to big first half lead

Albany couldn’t have asked for a better start, shutting out the Riptide 5-0 in the first quarter. The FireWolves got two power play goals from Alex Simmons and Marshall Powless after New York defenseman Callum Jones took a 5-minute major penalty. Travis Longboat, Tye Kurtz, and Ethan Walker followed to extend Albany’s early lead. New York finally got on the board in the second quarter, with back-to-back goals from Connor Kearnan. But Simmons and Kurtz each netted their second to push the lead back to five, 7-2. Jeff Teat scored on a power play for New York, but the FireWolves responded with a three-goal run. Sam firth, Walker’s second, and Nathan Grenon put Albany up 10-3. Reilly O’Connor scored with under 10 seconds left to make it a 10-4 game at the half.

FireWolves hold off Riptide to clinch #3 seed

Walker opened the second half with his hat trick goal to push the lead to 11-4. New York chipped away at the lead, with Kearnan’s hat trick goal, a pair from Teat, and one from Reilly O’Connor cutting the deficit to 11-8. Kurtz netted his hat trick to put the FireWolves back up four. Taggart Clark and Simmons traded goals to keep it a four goal game, 13-9, heading into the final frame. Firth struck again to push Albany’s lead to 14-9. Teat netted his fourth to narrow the margin to 14-10, but Albany kept up the pressure as Walker and Simmons put the game away in the final minutes.

Other Stats of Note

FireWolves: Walker (4g, 6a); Simmons (4g, 5a); Kurtz (3g, 7a); Firth (2g, 3a); Powless (1g, 2a); Longboat (1g, 1a); Grenon (1g, 1a)

Riptide: Teat (4g, 3a); Kearnan (3g, 3a), O’Connor (2g, 2a); Clark (1g); Kiel Matisz (5a); Larson Sundown (4a); Stephen Keogh (1a)

Brent Noseworthy (NY): 11 Loose balls (led all players)

Doug Jamieson (ALB): 39 saves

“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.