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GAME 11 MATCHUP PREVIEW – FIREWOLVES AT SEALS

After losing both games in last weekend’s back-to-back slate against Buffalo and Toronto, the Albany FireWolves will look to end their current three-game losing streak as the team travels to the west coast to face the San Diego Seals.  Albany (4-6) currently sits in sixth place in the Eastern Division, just one game behind the Philadelphia Wings.  For full coverage of this weekend’s matchup against the Seals, fans can tune into on My4 WNYT and ESPN Plus to watch, or 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio to listen.

The Seals come into the game with a 6-1 overall record after winning six games in a row while sitting at the top spot in the Western Division.  San Diego won their last game two weeks ago in dominating fashion, taking down the expansion team, Panther City Lacrosse Club, 10-4 on the road. The Seals have had their share of close games so far this season, with four of their seven games played being decided by three goals or less.

FireWolves Players to Watch: 

Andrew Kew has had a solid past three games despite the FireWolves coming up short in each of them.  After returning from a brief injury absence, Kew has tallied 13 total points over his last three games on seven goals and six assists.  In an offense that has been carried by Joe Resetarits and Ryan Benesch, Kew has been a dangerous player and continues to show why he is one of the rising stars in the game.  The second year forward currently ranks third on the team in total points (32) and goals (17) despite missing a pair of games.  The FireWolves will need Kew to stay hot in this one if they want to end the losing streak while defeating one of the best teams in the league on their own turf.

Joe Nardella has been nothing short of dominant at the faceoff circle through ten games this season.  In the two games a weekend ago, Nardella won a whopping 36 of 51 faceoffs and continuously creates additional possessions for the FireWolves offense.  He has won 72.2 percent of his faceoffs thus far and ranks first among all faceoff specialists in the league. Through the early ups and downs of Albany’s season, Nardella has been incredibly consistent.  Nardella will see a lot of San Diego’s Brandon Clelland at the X this weekend, a guy who has won just under 50 percent of his faceoffs on the season.

Greg Downing has been a staple in Albany’s defensive-oriented team all season long.  Despite missing the game last Friday against Buffalo, he came back on Saturday night and scooped up eight loose balls, blocked one shot, and caused one turnover.  As if the defensive stat line was not good enough, Downing added two assists to his sheet as well.  Downing is a key veteran piece in the FireWolves defensive unit that is loaded with experience.  Look for Downing to continue to put pressure on opposing offenses and force them into unwarranted shots all game long.  Downing and Co. must try to keep San Diego under 10 goals in this one, something the Seals have done just once all season, coincidentally in the only game the team has lost. 

Opposing Players to Watch:  

Wesley Berg leads the Seals in total points (37) while he sits in second on the team in goals (17) and assists (20).  37 total points might seem low when compared to the overall league stats leaderboard, but Berg is just another weapon in an extremely balanced San Diego offense.  He is one of five Seals with at least 25 points on the season so far and he has been consistent all season long.  Berg has logged five or more points in all but one game this year and is coming off a dominant three goal, three assist performance.  The FireWolves will certainly have their hands full with the Seals offense but making things difficult for guys like Berg will go a long way in trying to take down the first-place team out west. 

Dane Dobbie signed with the Seals this past offseason and has not disappointed since joining the club.  Regarded as one of the best lacrosse players to ever do it, Dobbie has racked up over 900 career points, won two championships, and was named MVP after a 115-point 2019 season.  San Diego brought him in this offseason to light up the scoreboard and he has done just that as he leads the team with 21 goals.  The veteran has logged at least three points in each game this season, including a nine-point outing against his former team back in December.  He is currently one of three Seals with at least 30 points so far on the season and will certainly give the FireWolves defense fits as he has every other opponent throughout his career.

Goaltender Frank Scigliano has had a nice season so far for San Diego, allowing under 10 goals in four of the five games he has been in net, and one of those games was in an 8-7 loss to open the season.  The veteran goalie is coming off one of his best performances this season, allowing merely four goals to Panther City as the Seals cruised to victory.  He has only allowed 35 goals all season and boasts a league-best 7.40 GAA.  Scigliano also has recorded 147 saves through his five games and has been a big reason the Seals sit atop their division with only one loss.  The FireWolves have struggled to score goals late in games and will need to devise a way to get a few past Scigliano down the stretch to come away with a win in this one. 

This will be the first and only time the Seals and FireWolves will meet this season.  Albany will return to the Capital Region the following weekend on Saturday, March 5, for a rematch against the Buffalo Bandits at 7 p.m.

Fans can secure their tickets for any of the 2021-22 FireWolves games today!  For more information regarding tickets, visit www.AlbanyFireWolves.com or call/text the FireWolves front office at 518-362-4900.

The Albany FireWolves 2021-22 Inaugural Season is presented by CDPHP.

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 NLL, 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. For more information visit NLL.com.

About ASM Global

ASM Global is the world’s leading venue management and services company. The company was formed by the combination of AEG Facilities and SMG, global leaders in venue and event strategy and management. The company’s elite venue network spans five continents, with a portfolio of more than 325 of the world’s most prestigious arenas, stadiums, convention, and exhibition centers, and performing arts venues. From Aberdeen to Anchorage, and Sydney to Stockholm, its venues connect people through the unique power of live experiences. ASM Global’s diverse portfolio of clients benefit from the company’s depth of resources and unparalleled experience, expertise and creative problem solving. Each day, the company’s 61,000 passionate employees around the world deliver locally tailored solutions and cutting-edge technologies to deliver maximum results for venue owners and amazing experiences for guests. By consistently looking for new ways to envision, innovate and empower the spaces and places that bring people together, ASM Global elevates the human spirit while delivering the highest value for all stakeholders. For more information, please visit www.asmglobal.com.

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/.

About CDPHP®

Established in 1984, CDPHP is a physician-founded, member-focused and community-based not-for-profit health plan that offers high-quality affordable health insurance plans to members in 26 counties throughout New York. CDPHP is also on FacebookTwitterLinkedInPinterest, and Instagram.

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