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CHASING HISTORY: THE FIREWOLVES’ INCREDIBLE PATH TO THE PLAYOFFS

Albany, NY – The Albany FireWolves are chasing history. After a disappointing 3-15 season last year, the 2023-24 National Lacrosse League (NLL) season has seen the FireWolves rise from the ashes to win a franchise tying 10 games and clinch an NLL playoff berth. This weekend, they have the opportunity to secure their first ever home playoff game at MVP Arena and reach a franchise record 11 wins.  

It’s time to bring playoff lacrosse back to the Capital Region.  

With a win on the road at Nassau Coliseum this Saturday, April 20 against the New York Riptide, the Albany FireWolves will secure a home playoff game at MVP Arena on Sunday, April 28 at 3 PM for the first time since the team relocated to Albany in 2021. 

This group of players has strategically been put together by Head Coach/General Manager Glenn Clark and his coaching staff to have the right mix of skill and grit to be successful, but they had no idea it would happen this quickly. Thanks to the infusion of talented young players, a strong core of veterans, and a hardworking business-like culture, the youngest team in the league has exceeded all expectations with a 10-7 record and become a serious contender for the NLL Cup.  

Head Coach Glenn Clark

The FireWolves shocked the lacrosse world with their 6-0 start to the season, beat the defending champion Buffalo Bandits twice, and have had resilient team efforts to reach 10 wins. This team’s turnaround has made for one of the best comeback stories the NLL has seen in years. There is no shortage of storylines revolving around this upstart team.  

Alex Simmons is the front runner for Rookie of the Year with 87 points and Tye Kurtz is the next closest in rookie scoring with 69 points. Rookies Zach Young and Nicholas Volkov have held their own on defense against the best players in the world.  

Colton Watkinson took over as Captain after Brett Manney’s retirement and has been the steady leader they have needed during this rollercoaster season. Watkinson’s fight in front of 18,000 fans in Buffalo earned him the dog of the game award from his teammates, which showed his willingness to stick up for this group. The addition of veteran defenseman Anthony Joaquim from the Colorado Mammoth has brought more championship experience to the locker room and he has helped guide this young team.   

Several players returned from injuries that stopped them from playing last year. Jackson Nishimura came back from a broken leg and has been a catalyst on defense and in transition. Joe Nardella returned from a torn ACL and is dominating in the faceoff circle and contributing all over the floor. Travis Longboat tore his ACL at training camp in 2022 and came back to not only earn a spot on the team but have his best NLL season yet with 55 points.  

Defensemen like Patrick Kaschalk, Nick Chaykowksy, and Mike Byrne are workhorses who make the plays between the lines and score momentum shifting goals in transition although they might not get the attention they deserve in the media.  

Goalie Doug Jamieson is having one of the best seasons of his career. He has been the backbone of this turnaround season with clutch saves and a calming presence every time he steps in net.  

 

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The FireWolves are a team of savvy playmakers, grinders, and dreamers who are ready to complete this incredible story with a playoff run to remember. They are a perfect fit for the city of Albany as they play with a chip on their shoulder and are eager to earn the respect they deserve.  

With a win this weekend against the Riptide, they will continue to make history. The FireWolves need Albany and the Capital Region to rally behind them and be ready to fill MVP Arena as the hunt for the NLL Cup begins.  

Watch the Albany FireWolves chase their playoff destiny against the New York Riptide this Saturday, April 20 at 7:30 pm ET on ESPN+, TSN+, and locally on MY4. Join the waitlist for playoff tickets here https://bit.ly/PLAYOFFTICKETS

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 Firebirds of the Arena Football League and the Division I Men’s College Basketball Siena Saints. For more information, please visit https://www.mvparena.com/ 

Albany FireWolves