Training camp resumed for the Albany FireWolves this past weekend as they went through their second week of practices and scrimmaged the New York Riptide in preseason action at the Toronto Rock Athletic Center in Oakville, ON.
The FireWolves came away with a 15-10 win and plenty of good momentum as they continue to prepare for their National Lacrosse League season opener on Friday, December 1.
Head coach Glenn Clark addressed the team before the first practice on Saturday with a simple message: last season was tough, but now the expectation is that every player is going to give one hundred percent effort at all times to ensure this year is different. The team will find success by everyone leaving their egos behind and putting in the work.
On Sunday, they faced off against the Riptide, and while it may have only been a preseason game, the FireWolves were impressive on both sides of the floor. The offense was clicking right away and the defense were all over the Riptide as they frustrated them with their great communication. There was a ton of energy from every player and the bench was loud all game.
The offense is a young, but very skilled group that scored several highlight reel goals, but also got goals off of great ball movement and picks.
Travis Longboat and Ethan Walker led the way with 3 goals each. Rookies Tye Kurtz and Alex Simmons both added 2 goals in their first NLL experience. Marshall Powless, Sam Firth, Tanner Buck, and Tanner Thomson each scored 1 goal as part of a balanced effort.
FireWolves fans will be treated to a one-two punch of Ethan Walker on the lefty side and Alex Simmons on the righty side of the offense this season. Both players bring a dynamic playmaking ability and are dangerous every time they touch the ball. Walker and Simmons were teammates at the Culver Military Academy and then at Denver University and their chemistry will be fun to watch.
In the second quarter, the FireWolves were hit with a flurry of penalties to give the Riptide a 5 on 3 situation. The momentum could have shifted right there, but the penalty kill unit caused a turnover and Nick Chaykowsky streaked down the floor to score a shorthanded goal. Big plays like that will be huge once the regular season begins.
The defense was strong throughout the scrimmage and Goalie Justin Geddie was solid in the first half as he made several key saves to keep Albany in the lead. Cameron Pilon and Andrew Kidd played a quarter each in net in the second half and both had strong showings. Jonah Boehm and Mike Bryne dominated in the faceoff circle and gave the FireWolves a big edge in possessions and opportunities to score.
The scrimmage was the first real NLL action for draft picks Tye Kurtz, Alex Simmons, Nicholas Volkov, and other rookies who needed to adapt quickly to the speed and physicality of the next level. The roster still needs to be cut down quite a bit so the players fighting for spots did everything they could to show they belong.
The Riptide scored a few goals toward the end of the scrimmage to make it close, but the FireWolves would maintain their lead and hang tough to finish the game. The 15-10 victory is a fantastic start for the FireWolves, but two more weeks of practices, scrimmages, and roster cuts lie ahead before the start of the season.
The Albany FireWolves will continue training camp this weekend as they scrimmage the New York Riptide again this Saturday, November 18 at the Toronto Rock Athletic Center in Oakville, ON at 1 PM.
Season tickets for the FireWolves’ 2023-24 season are on sale now! Tickets for individual games will be available at a later date. 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/.