Albany, NY – It was a tale of two halves as the Albany FireWolves (6-2) struggled to respond to a second half run by the Las Vegas Desert Dogs (3-5) as they fell 9-6 at MVP Arena.
In front of a great home crowd, the FireWolves got out to a 3-0 lead in the first quarter and the game would go into halftime 3-2, but the second half saw the Desert Dogs take control. Ethan Walker paced the FireWolves offense with 2 goals and 1 assist while Tye Kurtz, Travis Longboat, Mike Byrne, and Nathan Grenon each scored 1 goal. Justin Geddie got his first start of the season in net for the FireWolves and finished with a great performance making 45 saves on 54 shots. For Las Vegas, Jack Hannah scored a team high 5 points on 2 goals and 3 assists.
Three straight goals from the FireWolves in the first quarter looked like it would be the start of great offensive game for Albany as they clicked early. Walker scored the first goal of the game, Longboat put in another a minute later, and Kurtz fired in a power play goal. Vegas would respond in the second quarter with 2 goals and the teams would go back and forth throughout the quarter as they tried to gain an edge over each other. The half would finish with Albany leading 3-2.
The third quarter would be a tumultuous one as the Desert Dogs made a 2-goal run to start the second half and that gave them a 4-3 lead. Nathan Grenon would respond for Albany on a shot from up top that made it 4-4. Another goal from Vegas gave them the lead again at 5-4.
The last minute of the third quarter saw a game tying goal from Tye Kurtz be wiped off, but FireWolves head coach Glenn Clark threw the challenge flag to have the goal reviewed. On the replay, the ball hits the back of the net and goes behind the crossbar, but because the overheard angle showed that the ball did not cross the goal line, the officials ruled that it was still no goal. Albany would also receive a roughing penalty immediately afterwards, which would result in the Desert Dogs extending the lead to 6-4 on a power play goal to end the quarter.
In the final quarter, the Desert Dogs would score another to extend the lead to 7-4, but the FireWolves offense did everything they could to find the back of the net as the defense made big stops and kept the score close. Defenseman Mike Byrne scored his first goal of the season in transition and got the crowd back into the game with a score of 7-5. However, Vegas would score 2 more goals to grow their lead to 9-5. Albany would add 1 more goal with a minute left, but the game would end with Vegas taking the win 9-6.
Albany now sits at 6-2 after two straight losses, but these setbacks offer a great opportunity for the youngest team in the league to learn and reset for a big stretch of games in the coming weeks.
Up next for the FireWolves is another bye week before returning to action on Saturday, February 17 at 7 pm ET against the Colorado Mammoth at MVP Arena.
Single game tickets for the 2023-2024 FireWolves season are available now! 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/