The FireWolves Woes Continue While The Rock Keep Rolling

The Albany FireWolves (10-6) welcomed the Toronto Rock (13-3) to MVP Arena on Saturday. 

The game theme was Retro Night as the FireWolves wore the Albany Attack jerseys as an homage to the first NLL team that played in the Capital Region from 2000-2003. Former FireWolves Captain Brett Manney was also honored before the game for his contributions to the organization and to celebrate his career.  

The FireWolves and the Rock have been the top teams in the NLL all season with many fans counting down the days until they finally met on the floor.

Alex Simmons leads the FireWolves with 82 pts (31g,51a) as he continues his Rookie of the Year campaign.  Ethan Walker, Tye Kurtz, Travis Longboat, Marshall Powless, and Sam Firth round out a deep Albany offense.

For the Rock, Mark Matthews has led the way with 82 pts (25g,57a) but Toronto also has plenty of weapons.  Tom Schreiber, Corey Small, Dan Craig, Dan Lintner and Chris Boushy have been big contributors. They also have some of the best transition players in the league such as Challen Rogers, Mitch De Snoo, and rookie Justin Martin.

The goaltending match-up had Nick Rose in net for Toronto facing Doug Jamieson in net for the FireWolves.

Albany looked to bottle up the potent Toronto offense, going up 2-1 after one quarter.  A Rock explosion of six goals in the second quarter changed the complexion of the game, with Toronto leading 7-3 at the half. 

While the Albany defense came back in the second half, the offense all but disappeared.  While the teams traded three goals each, ot was Nick Rose, who helped his cause,  scored a goalie goal with 0:04 seconds left to seal the Rock  victory 10-7 over the FireWolves.

To The Game :

The Rock got on the board with Challen Rogers scoring from in close finding the far corner off a Mark Matthews pass at 5:58, but Alex Simmons fired a laser from the outside off a John Wagner pass at 7:36 to tie the game.

On the last possession of the quarter Albany’s Sam Firth beat Nick Rose with a low to low shot off a Tye Kurtz pass at 14:55.

After one quarter, Albany 2 Toronto 1.

Second Quarter:

The Rock opened the second quarter scoring when Chris Boushy converted a Tom Schreiber pass at 0:25 seconds, followed by Mark Matthews with an outside shot off a Tom Schreiber pass at 2:03.  Schreiber then got on the board finding the shortside off a Corey Small pass at 2:40.

Toronto increased the lead on the power-play when Corey Small fired a laser beating Doug Jamieson at 6:42, followed by Mitch de Snoo unassisted in transition at 7:23.

The FireWolves got on the board when Alex Simmons scored his second of the game off a Jackson Nishimura pass in transition at 12:20, but was answered immediately by Chris Boushy from in close off a Corey Small feed at 13:12.

At the half, Toronto 7 Albany 3.

Third Quarter:

The Rock opened the second half when Dan Lintner converted a Tom Schreiber pass from in close at 2:21.  Nick Chaykowsky answered in transition for Albany finding the far corner off a long lead pass from Doug Jamieson at 4:47.  On the power-play Sam Firth scored his second of the game quick sticking a Tye Kurtz pass at 14:00.

After three quarters, Toronto 8 Albany 5.

Fourth Quarter:

Toronto opened the fourth quarter scoring when Mark Matthews fired a laser with just seconds left on the shot clock off a Chris Boushy pass at 1:47, but on a delayed penalty Anthony Joaquim went in all alone in transition to beat Nick Rose at 3:57. 

While Shorthanded the FireWolves brought the game within two when Colton Watkinson scored off a Nick Chaykowsky feed at 5:26, but Nick Rose sealed the game with a goal of his own in to the empty net at 14:56.

Final score, Toronto 10 Albany 7.

The Three Stars:

1. Nick Rose
2. Mitch de Snoo
3. Tom Schreiber

Game Stats:

  • The shots on goal favored Toronto 55-54.
  • The faceoff battle went to TD Ierlan of the Rock, winning 17 of 21.
  • The loose ball battle went to Toronto 82-67.
  • Toronto went 1 for 4 on the power-play.
  • The FireWolves went 1 for 3 on the power-play, also scoring a shorthanded goal.

Top Scorers:

Toronto Rock:

  • Tom Schreiber 1g, 6a
  • Mark Matthews 2g, 2a
  • Corey Small 1g, 3a

Albany FireWolves:

  • Alex Simmons 2g, 1a
  • Sam Firth 2g, 0a
  • Nick Chaykowsky 1g, 1a

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Gary Groob
Gary Groob

Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.

An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.

Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.

In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.

Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).

Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.

Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.