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GAME PREVIEW: FIREWOLVES FACE RIPTIDE IN REGULAR SEASON FINALE

Uniondale, NY – The Albany FireWolves (10-7) will play their last regular season game this Saturday, April 20 at 7:30 pm ET against the New York Riptide (8-9) at the Nassau Coliseum in a matchup that has serious playoff implications.  

With a win, the FireWolves will secure a home playoff game at MVP Arena on Sunday, April 28 at 3 pm. The Riptide need a win to keep their playoff hopes alive. It will be a dramatic end to the National Lacrosse League (NLL) regular season as both teams play for their playoff destiny.  

Homeward Bound 

The FireWolves have had a tough stretch of games during March and now into April, but thanks to their great start to the season they were able to clinch their playoff spot quite early. Now, the goal is to bring playoff lacrosse back to the Capital Region and host their first playoff game at home for the first time since the team relocated to Albany in 2021. Being able to play at their home arena would give the FireWolves an edge as they are 5-4 at home this season. But first they must win this Saturday, or they will be on the road for their first playoff game. This team has the right players, the determination, and the clutch genes to defeat the Riptide and bring a playoff game to MVP Arena.  

Run And Gun 

There is no lack offensive firepower on the FireWolves with rookie Alex Simmons leading the way with 87 pts (34g, 53a) as well as the balanced scoring from Ethan Walker (75pts – 28g, 47a), Tye Kurtz (69pts – 29g, 40a), and the rest of the offense. These talented scorers will need to be dialed in from the get-go as they hope to overpower the Riptide. Albany has gotten great secondary scoring from the defense in transition all season from defenders like Colton Watkinson, Patrick Kaschalk, Nick Chaykowsky, and Jackson Nishimura. The FireWolves will need both the offense and the transition game to play run and gun lacrosse to get back on track and pull out this crucial win. 

Scouting The Riptide 

The FireWolves and Riptide met back on March 2 which the FireWolves won 14-8, but with playoff hopes on the line expect a much different level of intensity in this Saturday’s matchup. The Riptide boast the NLL’s top goal scorer in Jeff Teat who has 54 goals and 123 pts total this season. He will be the catalyst for the Riptide and will have skilled offensive players like Connor Kearnan, Reilly O’Connor, and Larson Sundown to feed and work to get past the FireWolves defense. The Riptide are 3-2 since playing Albany but with their high-powered offense and solid defense this game will be a battle from start to finish.  

FireWolves Players To Watch 

Tye Kurtz scored 2 goals and added 4 assists against the Riptide back in March and will look to have another big game. Kurtz leads all rookies in loose balls with 107 thanks to his hardworking gritty style of play.  

Doug Jamieson has been so consistent in net for the FireWolves all season with his 10.13 goals against average giving them a chance to win every game. Jamieson knows the Riptide shooters well and Albany will need Jamieson to step up big.  

Patrick Kaschalk has had an incredible sophomore season with 8 goals as a defenseman. He got back on the score sheet with a goal last weekend against Panther City.  

Opposing Players To Watch 

Stephen Keogh is in his twelfth NLL season and his scoring touch is only getting better with age. He can score from the outside or pull of between the leg shots right on the crease.  

Cameron Dunkerley has been solid in net for the Riptide this season and has had several games with 45 saves or more. The FireWolves scored 14 against Dunkerley in their last meeting and will likely have to put up a similar number to get the win.  

Jeff Teat is a player FireWolves head coach Glenn Clark would describe as needing to have “100% of your attention 100% of the time.” Albany held Teat to only 5 pts in their last meeting and will need to replicate that.  

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