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GAME PREVIEW: FIREWOLVES LOOK TO BOUNCE BACK AGAINST LAS VEGAS

Albany, NY – After a week off, the Albany FireWolves (6-1) return to action and welcome the Las Vegas Desert Dogs (2-4) to MVP Arena this Saturday, February 3 at 7 pm ET for their second meeting of the season. This Salute To Service game honoring the military and first responders can be watched on ESPN+, TSN+, and locally on MY4.  

Albany suffered their first loss of the season to the San Diego Seals their last time out, but at 6-1 they are #1 in the NLL standings. The FireWolves defeated the Desert Dogs in their first game of the season on December 1 in Las Vegas for a 12-10 win. With a chance to rest and regroup over the bye week, this is a perfect opportunity bounce back with a win and draw the FireWolves closer to a playoff spot.  

Bye Week Blues  

The FireWolves first loss of the season couldn’t have come at a better time for the youngest team in the NLL. After playing games on four straight weekends with two games being away and two at home, the bye week break allowed the team to get much needed rest and a chance to regroup. The challenge will be to see how the team responds after a loss with so many rookies and new players on the roster. Head coach Glenn Clark has spoken all season long about focusing on one game at a time so this game will be no different for this tight knit team.  

Sharing The Wealth  

On paper the play of rookie Alex Simmons (39 pts) and assistant captain Ethan Walker (37 pts) jumps out as a big reason for the team’s success, but the scoring and big plays have come from all over the FireWolves’ roster. Six players have 20 points or more and twelve players have scored at least one goal so far this season. Even in net, backup goalie Justin Geddie stepped in for the second half against San Diego and made 28 saves. The contributions from Joe Nardella winning faceoffs, the defense scoring shorthanded goals, and everyone grinding for loose balls has shown that this group truly is working together as a collective unit. With added motivation from their first loss, the FireWolves will be hungry to get back in the win column this Saturday.  

Scouting The Desert Dogs 

Las Vegas has had an up and down stretch of games with a 21-12 loss in their last game against Panther City. But this is a team that loves to run and gun and has proven that they have the skill to beat anybody. The Desert Dogs beat the San Diego Seals 10-8 the weekend before the Seals beat Albany. With offensive weapons like Zack Greer and Jack Hannah the Desert Dogs have the firepower, but their defense is falling behind. Goalie Landon Kells is one of the best in the league when he is dialed in, but getting multiple goals on him early will give the FireWolves an edge.  

FireWolves Players To Watch 

Jackson Nishimura had his best game of the year so far against San Diego with 1 goal and 2 assists while also making key defensive plays. Nishimura is a huge part of the defense and controlling the other team’s best offensive players.  

Marshall Powless missed last game, but will be back in the lineup to help get the offense’s rhythm back in sync. His smooth playmaking and off ball picks help the FireWolves find great scoring opportunities throughout the game.  

Nick Chaykowsky has been a workhorse for the FireWolves and is starting to contribute on both defense and offense. His loose balls off of faceoffs will be crucial in a big faceoff matchup between Joe Nardella and Vegas’ Zach Cole.  

Opposing Players To Watch  

Zack Greer recently scored his 600th point and is looking as deadly as ever. He finds open space so well and keeping track of him off ball will be a key for the FireWolves defense.  

Dylan Watson scored 4 goals against Panther City and the rookie seems to be heating up as of late.  

Landon Kells is a very strong goaltender who frustrated Albany for most of the game in their first meeting. Once the FireWolves started to shoot to his weak areas they found success against Kells.  

Single game tickets for the 2023-2024 FireWolves season are available now! Join us for Salute To Service on Saturday, February 3 as we honor military members and first responders. For more information regarding tickets, 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.

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