After dropping their second straight game, the FireWolves remain on the road for a matchup against the Vancouver Warriors. Despite leading after the first quarter a week ago, the FireWolves were unable to come out of Long Island with a win. Currently, Albany holds the sixth spot in the East, sitting just behind Philadelphia for the fifth place. Though the FireWolves do not hold one of the eight playoff spots, Albany still has a decent chance to get in with remaining games against Philadelphia and New York after this weekend. For full coverage of this weekend’s matchup against the Warriors, fans can tune into on My4 WNYT and ESPN Plus to watch, or 104.5 The Team ESPN Radio to listen at 10 p.m. EST.
Vancouver comes into the game matching the FireWolves with six wins thus far on the season. Splitting their last four games with a 2-2 record, the Warriors most recently took down the top-seeded San Diego Seals. The matchup against Albany will be Vancouver’s second leg of a back-to-back weekend as the team travels to Calgary on the Friday night prior. Vancouver’s offense has been solid all season, ranking second overall in the West with 148 goals scored.
FireWolves Players to Watch:
Joe Resetarits has been a bright spot for the FireWolves all season long. Though there was not much to take away from last weekend’s loss to the Riptide, Resetarits still turned in a nice performance. The team’s leader in the three major offense stat categories, Resetarits added one goal and four assists to his season totals. Though Buffalo’s Dhane Smith has gained space at the top of the league’s leaderboards, Resetarits remains second over all with 87 total points on the season. His 37 goals also rank second while his 50 assists have him in third. In a game the FireWolves seemingly need to have, you can expect Resetarits to come out firing in this one.
Reilly O’Connor also had a nice outing last week despite the team losing by nine. The forward tallied four points on two goals and two assists and has been cementing himself as a key piece to the Albany offense. O’Connor now has four points in each of his last two games and is a guy that the FireWolves need to stay hot down the stretch. Lookout for the assistant captain to be heavily involved in this matchup as Albany will continue to rely on him to not only setup teammates for scoring opportunities, but to also find the back of the net himself.
Joe Nardella has been maybe the most consistent player in the league to this point in the season. The specialist has simply dominated all year at the faceoff dot and that’s proven by his league-leading 257 faceoff wins and 70.0 percent win-rate. In last week’s defeat to the Riptide, Nardella still did his thing at the dot, winning 16 of 25 faceoffs in the contest. His opponent in this one, Tyrell Hamer-Jackson, is coming off back-to-back outings with 20 faceoff wins. Hamer-Jackson currently ranks eight overall in the NLL with 152 faceoff victories. The FireWolves will continue to depend on Nardella to do what he does best and win faceoffs to give the team extra possessions. In a must-win game, Nardella is exactly the guy you want at the dot for every faceoff opportunity.
Opposing Players to Watch:
Keegan Bal has certainly solidified himself as one of the premier offensive talents in the NLL. On the season, Bal leads the team with 71 points, 24 more than the next Warrior. Bal’s 71 points rank seventh overall in the league and the man has been on a tear lately, scoring 20 points over the team’s last two games. Two weeks ago, Bal has a ridiculous eight goal, four assist performance, proving to be someone who can light up a scoreboard on any given night. Albany just surrendered 15 goals to the Riptide a week ago and must find a way to tighten up on defense and limit Bal in order to come out of the West with a much-needed victory.
Logan Schuss ranks second on the team in total points behind Bal and is another guy who can burn an opposing offense at any time. Like Bal, Schuss is coming off back-to-back solid performances, racking up 14 points over his last two outings. In those two games, Schuss has 11 assists. He has consistently set up his teammates all season and will be a player that the Albany defense must be aware of as he looks to jumpstart the Vancouver offense in this one. He does have one hat trick on the season, but he is more likely to beat you by setting up other goal scorers. The FireWolves need to not only lock him down, but limit passing lanes for Schuss as he looks for open teammates.
Goaltender Alex Buque was initially on the FireWolves roster before the club traded him to Vancouver in July for a draft pick. With a 5-5 record to his name, the goalie is having a middle of the road season, allowing just under 12 goals per contest. Buque has racked up 412 saves at a .774 percent clip to this point in the season. In his last outing, Buque allowed 12 goals and stopped 38 shots as the team defeated San Diego. Albany is going to come into this game determined to make a statement win and keep playoff hopes alive, so expect the FireWolves to pepper Buque with shots all night.
This will be the first and only time that the FireWolves meet the Warriors during the season. Though the two teams are in different divisions, this game holds heavy playoff implications as the FireWolves could still gain that fourth playoff spot in the western bracket and a win would give them the tiebreaker over Vancouver.
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/.
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 Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Instagram.