PANTHER CITY CLOSES IN ON FIRST POSTSEASON BERTH

The Panther City Lacrosse Club returned home to Dickies Arena to face the Albany FireWolves in Week 18 action. With Calgary’s loss last night, Panther City had an opportunity to chase the Roughnecks for second place in the West. Albany, meanwhile, are playing out the stretch in a forgettable season. In all likelihood, the FireWolves will get the #1 pick in the Entry Draft and the chance to add lefty phenom Dyson Williams to their lineup. PCLC made the most of their chance to move up, winning 12-8 over the FireWolves.

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Panther City gets some surprises in the first half

The first surprise came in the form of backup Justin Geddie getting the start in net for Albany, after Doug Jamieson was reportedly injured during warmups. The next surprise came when Albany opened the game with a three-goal run. Ethan Walker (1g, 3a; 1:32), Hiana Thompson (5:19), and Tanner Thomson (1g, 3a; 8:56) beat Nick Damude to put PCLC in an early hole. Patrick Dodds (2g, 2a: 12:55) and Will Malcom (2g, 2a; 14:37 power play) broke the run. After one quarter, Albany led 3-2.

Connor Kelly (2:13) pushed the FireWolves’ lead back to two early in the second frame, but Panther City rallied. Two quick goals from Phil Caputo (2g; 3:48) and Dodds (4:41) leveled the game at 4-4. Josh Medeiros (13:21) and Malcom’s second (14:01) put Panther City ahead 6-4 at halftime.

Panther City wears down Albany for ninth win of season

Jonathan Donville (1g, 2a) extended the Panther City lead to 7-4 just 29 seconds into the third quarter. Marshall Powless (2g, 3a; 1:30) broke the run for Albany, but Connor Sellars scored in transition for PCLC 57 seconds later. John Piatelli (2g, 1a; 4:56) cut the deficit to two, but Tony Malcom (5:54) and Nathan Grenon (7:43) answered to put Panther City up 10-6 after 45 minutes of play.

Piatelli (4:04) and Powless (6:33 power play) tried to mount a FireWolves rally, narrowing the gap to 10-8. However, Caputo scored his second on a nasty behind the back shot (12:21). Then captain Matt Hossack (13:55) followed to close the scoring for the home victory. Panther City is now 9-6, one game behind Calgary at 10-5. Two of PCLC’s last three games are against Calgary, so a home playoff game is still a very realistic possibility. Albany drops to 2-12 on the year, and travel to Rochester next week for their final road game of the season.

Other Stats of Note

Faceoffs: ALB 7; PCLC 17

Tyler Burton (PCLC): 11 Loose Balls (led all players)

Callum Crawford (PCLC): 4 assists

Justin Geddie (ALB): 33 saves

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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.

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