Riptide Lose Third In A Row, Drop To 10th Place

The New York Riptide faced the Albany FireWolves at MVP Arena in the first of two meetings this year. New York was looking to break a two-game losing skid after climbing over the .500 mark for the first time in the franchise’s history. Meanwhile, Albany has gone 2-2 in their last four games after a 6-0 start to the year. FireWolves head coach Glenn Clark opted to play all eight forwards, and scratch two defensemen. The gamble paid off, as all of them registered at least one point in a 14-8 victory. The win keeps Albany a half-game behind league-leading Toronto. The third straight loss for the Riptide drops them to 5-7 and into 10th place in the Unified Standings with six games to play.

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Riptide struggle at the dot and on the back end

The FireWolves came out blazing, with Tye Kurtz scoring inside of 30 seconds and Travis Longboat following with a pair for a 3-0 lead. Goals from Connor Kearnan and Jeff Teat (on a power play) cut the Riptide deficit to 3-2. Albany countered with another flurry of goals in the last two and half minutes of the quarter as the veteran Riptide defense struggled to keep pace with a young and fast FireWolves offense. Ethan Walker scored twice in 17 seconds (one on a power play), and Alex Simmons added a third power play goal with just five seconds left to give Albany a 6-2 lead after 15 minutes of play.

Kurtz scored his second, again within 30 seconds of the start of the second quarter to make it 7-2. Stephen Keogh went back-to-back for the Riptide to narrow the gap to three. Nathan Grenon and Marshall Powless also added markers around Teat’s second goal of the game, giving Albany a 9-5 halftime edge. Faceoffs were 10-5 in favor of Albany in the first half.

FireWolves send Riptide back to the drawing board

The FireWolves got goals from Walker, Sam Firth (power play), and Simmons in the third quarter to extend the lead to 12-5. The Riptide further hampered their comeback efforts by racking up 13 minutes in penalties in the quarter, managing only a goal by Kearnan with seven seconds left in the quarter to make it 12-6. Larson Sundown and Kiel Matisz (power play) brought New York within four in the final frame, but Albany would add a pair of empty net goals in the closing minutes for the 14-8 win.

On the bright side for the Riptide, the rest of their schedule is somewhat favorable. They host Las Vegas (4-7; currently 12th place) next week, then have a home-and-home series with Saskatchewan (4-5; 9th place). They finish their 2024 campaign with road games against Rochester (3-6; 14th place) and Vancouver (3-8; 15th place) before hosting Albany for the second game of this series. It’s not a stretch to believe the Riptide could pull off a five-game win streak, and find themselves at 10-7 before going into the revenge game against the FireWolves.

Other Stats of Note

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

Riptide: Teat (2g, 3a); Keogh (2g, 2a); Kearnan (2g); Matisz (1g, 2a); Sundown (1g, 1a)

Faceoffs: NY 6 of 25; ALB 19 of 25

Cam Dunkerley (NY): 49 saves; Doug Jamieson (ALB): 45 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 currently serves as Edge of Philly’s correspondent for both the Albany FireWolves and New York Riptide.