Panther City Controls Their Playoff Destiny

The Panther City Lacrosse Club welcomed the Albany FireWolves to Dickies Arena Sunday afternoon in the final game of Week 20. Albany was on a four-game losing streak, looking to right the ship before playoffs begin. Panther City was looking to get back above .500 and stay ahead of a number of teams fighting for the final two playoff spots. An unlikely hat trick from Brandon Goodwin and 54 saves from Nick Damude helped Panther City to an 11-7 win over Albany.

Panther City is now 9-8 with the win, and control their playoff destiny. A win over Calgary in Week 21 clinches a playoff spot for them, as does a Halifax win over Colorado that weekend. Because of the head-to-head tiebreakers they hold over certain playoff teams, they can climb as high as the #3 seed and host a first-round playoff game. Albany falls to 10-7, but despite losing five straight games, they remain the #3 seed, and can stay in that position with a win over New York in Week 21. The FireWolves cannot fall any lower than the #6 seed, based on head-to-head tiebreaker wins against Georgia, Buffalo, and Halifax.

Panther City

Six-goal run sets the tone for Panther City

Panther City opened the game with a run that extended into the second quarter. Two goals each from Goodwin, Callum Crawford, and Josh Medeiros had PC up 6-0 after nearly 20 minutes of play. But Albany struck back with four goals in the final ten and a half minutes of the quarter. Goals from Patrick Kaschalk, Alex Simmons, Ethan Walker, and John Piatelli cut the lead to 6-4 going into halftime.

Goodwin scored his hat trick goal in the third quarter, while the FireWolves countered with a goal form Sam Firth to keep it a two-goal game entering the final frame. Two more goals from Crawford to start the fourth quarter made it 9-5. Will Malcom then added a pair of goals to extend Panther City’s lead to 11-5 with just a minute left in the game. Piatelli scored his second goal, and former PC forward Nathan Grenon tallied a marker just before the final buzzer on the Panther City win.

Other Stats of Note

Albany: Piatelli (2g); Walker (1g, 2a); Firth (1g, 2a); Simmons (1g, 1a); Grenon (1g, 1a); Kaschalk (1g); Tye Kurtz (3a)

Panther City: Crawford (4g, 2a); Goodwin (3g); Will Malcom (2g, 3a); Medeiros (2g); Jonathan Donville (4a); Phil Caputo (2a)

Doug Jamieson (ALB): 30 saves

John Wagner (ALB): 4 Caused Turnovers (led all players)

Faceoffs: ALB 19 of 22; PC 3 of 22

“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.