The Albany FireWolves are off to a tremendous start through their first two games of the 2023-2024 NLL season. With two wins and milestones being reached all over the floor, there are plenty of reasons to be fired up about this team. This week we will take a look at a few of the key numbers behind their early season success.
17 Goals Tied Franchise High
The last time Albany scored 17 goals was April 30, 2022 in a win over the New York Riptide. The FireWolves tied that franchise record this past Saturday and did it against the Bandits’ eight-time NLL Goaltender of the Year Matt Vinc.
Vinc has given up 17 goals in a game only four other times in 315 total games played in his eighteen seasons in the NLL. The young FireWolves shooters peppered Vinc to get a huge confidence boost that proves they can put up big numbers against the best in the world. The goals came from a variety of different ways: step down shots, rebounds, side to side passing, bouncers, and from defenders in transition. The FireWolves are currently second in goals scored in the NLL with 29 in two games.
League Leading 5 Players With 10+ Points
The FireWolves offense is not only the youngest in the NLL, but it is also the most balanced with an NLL leading five different players having 10 points or more through two games. This group has been playing very unselfish lacrosse and each of them has a unique skill set that contributes to the overall success of the group.
Rookie Alex Simmons has a rocket of a shot, can finish in tight, and sling great passes to his teammates. Ethan Walker is the quarterback who sets up the plays, gets to the middle, and has a sixth sense of where to be on the floor. Travis Longboat plays like a dog out there as he sets great picks, has deceptive shooting, and gets to the dirty areas for loose balls and big plays. Rookie Tye Kurtz can shoot from deep or be the set-up man. Sam Firth works his tail off to set picks and has great lacrosse IQ along with accurate shooting.
Marshall Powless’ 9 points is just shy of the others, but his crafty goals and pinpoint passing have also been a huge part of the FireWolves’ great start.
Although most of these players have never played together on an indoor lacrosse team until now, they have quickly found chemistry in offensive coach Darryl Gibson’s offense.
500 Faceoff Wins For Nardella
Joe Nardella won his 500th career faceoff in the FireWolves win against Buffalo, which is impressive considering he did it in only 33 career games through the 2020 cancelled season and the team’s relocation to the capital region. Coming back from a knee injury he sustained last year, through two games Nardella has shown why his return to the FireWolves could be a difference maker all season long.
Against the Bandits, he did a little bit of everything as he won 21 out of 29 faceoffs taken, picked up 15 loose balls, scored a goal, and even dropped the gloves for a fight. #91 has brought some much needed juice in between the lines for the FireWolves.
The Albany FireWolves return to action this Saturday as they travel to play the Philadelphia Wings who are 1-1 and will provide another great test for the upstart FireWolves. Watch the game live on ESPN+, TSN+, and locally on MY4 at 1 PM ET.
Single game tickets for the 2023-2024 FireWolves season are available now! For more information regarding tickets, visit www.AlbanyFireWolves.com or call/text the FireWolves front office at 518-362-4900.
About Albany FireWolves
The Albany FireWolves is the Capital Region’s very own Professional Box Lacrosse team, playing in the National Lacrosse League out of the MVP Arena in downtown Albany, NY. For more information, contact the Albany FireWolves Front Office at (518) 362-4900 or visit AlbanyFireWolves.com. Follow the team on Facebook at facebook.com/AlbFireWolves, Twitter @AlbFireWolves, and Instagram @AlbFireWolves.
About the National Lacrosse League
The National Lacrosse League (NLL) is North America’s premier professional lacrosse league. Founded in 1986, the NLL ranks third in average attendance for pro indoor sports worldwide, behind only the NHL and NBA. The League is comprised of 15 franchises across the United States and Canada: Albany FireWolves, Buffalo Bandits, Calgary Roughnecks, Colorado Mammoth, Georgia Swarm, Halifax Thunderbirds, Las Vegas Desert Dogs, New York Riptide, Panther City Lacrosse Club (TX), Philadelphia Wings, Rochester Knighthawks, San Diego Seals, Saskatchewan Rush, Toronto Rock, and Vancouver Warriors. For more information, visit NLL.com and find @NLL on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
About MVP Arena
MVP Arena is a full-service entertainment and sports facility featuring a wide variety of family shows, sporting events, trade shows and concerts. Owned by Albany County and managed by ASM Global, MVP Arena opened in 1990 and is home to the Albany FireWolves of the National Lacrosse League, the Albany Empire of the National Arena League and the Division I Men’s College Basketball Siena Saints. For more information, please visit https://www.mvparena.com/.