The New York Riptide hosted the Albany FireWolves Saturday night in the final game of their season series. With several teams just ahead of them struggling in recent weeks, New York still had a reasonable chance of making the playoffs as the Wild Card entry. Meanwhile, Albany found themselves in the midst of a seven-game losing streak. The FireWolves’ season would continue on in dismal fashion, as the Riptide won 13-10 to sweep the season series. New York improves to 4-9, and are two games out of the Wild Card spot with five games to play. Albany drops their eighth straight game, falling to 2-10.

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New York doubles up Albany in first half

Ethan Walker (4g, 2a) opened the scoring just 56 seconds into the game. But New York answered with a four-goal run, courtesy of Scott Dominey (1:32), Connor Kearnan (4g, 2a; 4:06), Dan Lomas (6:44), and Mike Burke (1g, 4a; 8:22). Connor Kelly (3g; 8:53) ended the run, cutting the Riptide lead to 4-2 after one quarter.

New York would outscore Albany 4-2 again in the second quarter. Jeff Teat (3g, 6a; 3:28; 11:22 power play; 13:02) picked up his hat trick, then Kearnan added his second (5:20 power play). Jake Fox (1g, 2a; 9:26) and Walker’s second (11:55) made it 8-4 entering halftime.

FireWolves’ late charge held off by New York

Connor Kelly’s second goal of the game (2:34) brought the FireWolves to within three. However, the Riptide responded with another three-goal run. Tyler Digby (1g, 1a; 4:49 power play), Larson Sundown (1g, 1a; 5:30), and Kearnan’s hat-trick goal (7:42 power play) gave New York a six-goal lead, 11-5. Connor Kelly struck again (10:15) for his hat trick to make it 11-6 entering the final frame.

Kearnan’s fourth goal of the night (6:15) and Jack Kelly (1g, 1a; 7:04) extended New York’s lead to seven, 13-6. Albany finally put together a four-goal run of their own as the clock ran down. Newly acquired forward Marshall Powless (1g, 4a; 9:02) scored his first goal in a FireWolves uniform. John Piatelli (1g, 3a; 9:20) followed. Walker then went back-to-back (10:23; 14:56 power play) for his third and fourth goals to close the scoring at 13-10.

Albany hosts the 10-4 Toronto Rock next weekend at MVP Arena. New York hosts the 3-8 Georgia Swarm, needing to continue their recent winning ways to catch Philadelphia and Halifax (both 6-7) for the Wild Card playoff spot.

Other Stats of Note

Faceoffs were one of the few bright spots for Albany, winning 18 of 25 with Jay Thorimbert still unavailable for the Riptide

Power Play: ALB 1 for 5; NY 4 for 7

Mike Byrne (ALB): 12 Loose Balls (led all players)

Cameron Dunkerley (NY): 35 saves; now 3-0 in 3 career NLL starts

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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.