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Calgary, ABThe Albany FireWolves (10-4) will play their fifth game in the month of March as they travel west to face the Calgary Roughnecks (5-8) on Friday, March 22 at 9 pm ET for the first time since the team has been in the Capital Region. The FireWolves can clinch a playoff spot with a win against Calgary and continue their incredible turnaround season into the postseason.

Two straight losses to the Rochester Knighthawks have the FireWolves eager to play a different opponent and get back on track. Albany will treat this matchup like it is a playoff game with a chance to secure an NLL playoff berth for the first time since 2022 on the line. The game will be played at the Scotiabank Saddledome at 9 pm ET and will be available to watch on ESPN+, TSN+, and locally on MY4.

Ebbs And Flows 

The story of an NLL season is always full of highs and lows as the 18 game regular season tests even the best of teams. The FireWolves’ 6-0 start seems like it was such a long time ago as they have since endured two straight losses, then a four-game winning streak, and now have suffered two more losses. Despite these ebbs and flows, this young group has the leadership, the skill, and the resiliency to respond with a full group effort against a strong opponent in Calgary. Even with the prospects of the playoffs getting close, head coach Glenn Clark likes to focus on one game at a time rather than the bigger picture and his team will be doing the same as they put all their effort into getting a win at the Saddledome this Friday.  

Spread The Wealth  

The FireWolves offense has been a huge reason for the team’s big turnaround this season, but it hasn’t been all because of one or two players. Six players have 30 points or more as the offense has been spreading the wealth with a by-commitment attitude and being unpredictable to defend against. Rookie Alex Simmons leads the team with 79 points (30g, 49a), but the ball is just as likely to start or finish in someone else’s stick. Guys like Travis Longboat exploded for a 4-goal game against Vancouver and Tye Kurtz had a 6-goal game in Buffalo. This group gets so many opportunities thanks to their aggressive play to get repossessions as they go up against big defenders in the corners. Playing with that unselfish, but intense style is going to be huge for the FireWolves to finish the regular season strong.  

Scouting The Roughnecks 

The last time the FireWolves franchise played against the Calgary Roughnecks was all the way back in January 2019 as the then New England Black Wolves came out with a 16-10 victory in Calgary. Only three members of the current FireWolves roster played in that game (Colton Watkinson, Nick Chaykowksy, and Doug Jamieson). Calgary has had some rough patches this season but has pulled out impressive wins against the Toronto Rock and Halifax Thunderbirds. The Roughnecks love to play fast, and it starts with 2023 NLL MVP Christian Del Bianco in net as he is always ready to make a save and launch the ball up the floor to spark transition. Lefty Jesse King and righty Tyler Pace are a deadly one-two punch that will test the FireWolves defense.  

FireWolves Players To Watch 

Colton Watkinson missed last weekend’s game due to illness, but he will be back and provide a big scoring threat in transition and his leadership as captain will help steady the FireWolves bench.  

Tye Kurtz has been having a tremendous rookie season and we have seen that he plays his best ball in front of big crowds like the one he will see this weekend in Calgary.  

Patrick Kaschalk got back on the score sheet with a goal last weekend and his continued contributions in transition will be huge. He has been a monster on loose balls as well, averaging 8 in his last four games.  

Opposing Players To Watch  

Jesse King is a big, fast, and super skilled forward who will take every inch he gets and make the FireWolves pay. Staying tight on him and limiting his shooting chances will be crucial for the Albany defense.  

Christian Del Bianco was the 2023 NLL MVP for a reason, and he is still playing at that high level. He has a very athletic style that will force the FireWolves to tire him out with cross crease passes and crisp ball movement all game.  

Shane Simpson might be the fastest player in the NLL and he has been a force in transition for the Roughnecks with 10 goals on the season.

Join the FireWolves at their last regular season home game for Retro Night on Saturday, April 6! For more information regarding tickets, visit www.albanyfirewolves.com or call/text the FireWolves ticket hotline 518-612-4196.     

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/ 

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