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GAME 15 MATCHUP PREVIEW – FIREWOLVES AT KNIGHTHAWKS

The Albany FireWolves (2-12) will play their final road game of the season this Saturday, April 8, at 7:00 p.m. against the Rochester Knighthawks (9-6).  This will be the second and final time the two teams will meet this season, with the Knighthawks taking the first matchup by a goal, 14-13, back in December.  Rochester is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Philadelphia after going on a five-goal run in the fourth quarter only to lose the game in overtime. This weekend’s game can be watched on My4 Albany or ESPN Plus.

FireWolves Players to Watch:

Ethan Walker has been on a tear over the past three games.  Since being held scoreless for the only time this season four weeks ago, Walker has recorded 14 total points over this stretch, leading the team.  Last weekend, he was a pass-first player, logging three assists to go along with a goal.  Thanks to his recent play, Walker now ranks second on the Wolves with 21 goals and is fourth with 39 total points and 18 assists.  While the FireWolves may be eliminated from playoff contention this year, the team is beginning to form a dangerous offense that will be a serious threat as they continue to gel.

Speaking of being on a tear, Marshall Powless has been everything the FireWolves needed him to be and more since they acquired him just a few weeks ago.  In his three games with the team, the young forward has scored 13 total points on four goals and nine assists.  Furthermore, he led the team in scoring each of the last two games and is just one point behind Walker for the most points combined in the last three games.  Powless has already proven to be an offensive weapon in just his second season in the NLL.  Expect him to continue to put up big numbers for the rest of the season as he continues to showcase his skills and earn his place in the conversation for best forwards in the league some time in the near future.

Mike Byrne is not a guy who will light up the scoreboard, but he is a ball of energy who seems to be everywhere when he is out on the floor.  In last weekend’s defeat to Panther City, Byrne recovered a team-high nine loose balls, caused two turnovers, and chipped in an assist.  His assist came in transition after he received an outlet pass from Justin Geddie in net.  Last weekend showed his ability to do a little bit of everything, and that is a major asset to the team.  The FireWolves defense has been a strong suit of the team all season long, and Byrne is another guy who can give opposing offensive players fits.  Don’t be surprised to see Albany steal a goal in transition thanks to Byrne’s ability to run out and find an open forward making their way onto the floor. 

Opposing Players to Watch:  

Connor Fields was acquired by the Knighthawks prior to this season and has played a massive role in turning the franchise around from where they were a year ago.  The former UAlbany standout leads the club with 93 total points, 46 goals, and 47 assists.  He ranks second overall in the NLL in goals and is tied for fifth in total points.  He had himself a day in his return trip to the Capital Region for the FireWolves’ home opener back in December.  In the win, Fields notched eight total points on four goals and four assists.  Two of his goals came in the fourth quarter, including one with four minutes to play that put the Knighthawks up by a goal.  With Rochester still fighting to get at least the third seed in the East, Fields will undoubtably come out on his A-game – something that the FireWolves defense must be ready for. 

Holden Cattoni has been another major factor in the Knighthawks’ turnaround this season.  Last time Albany saw Cattoni, he scored four total points on two goals and two assists.  What’s more outstanding is that the forward took 16 shots on goal in the game… yes, 16.  He has been a natural scorer all season, ranking second on the team across the board in total points (73), goals (32), and assists (41).  The FireWolves can’t afford to let Cattoni see another 16 shots on net in this one, or else there is a good chance that he will bury more than just two.

Ryan Hartley has put together a productive year in between the pipes for the Knighthawks.  Appearing in all 15 games thus far, the netminder boasts an 11.37 GAA, and has made 617 saves with a 78% save percentage.  As good as he has been, his 171 goals allowed are the most in the league, something Albany has to take advantage of.  The FireWolves managed to jump on Hartley early when the teams met back in December, scoring the first three goals of the game.  Albany’s defense has been much better the second half of the season, and if they can get out to a hot start like last time, it will bode well for the FireWolves to hold on in a low scoring affair.

Fans can secure their tickets now for Albany’s next home game on Saturday, April 15 against UAlbany Great Dane legend Lyle Thompson and the Georgia Swarm!  For more information regarding tickets and Union Strong Night, 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. 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/.

Albany FireWolves