Wednesday, December 13

[NLL REPORT] Black Wolves take opener over Defending Champs

WEEK 1 - The New England BLACK WOLVES defeated the defending champion Georgia SWARM, 13-11 in front of a lively crowd of over 5,400 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in their season opener. 

It took a while to break the ice, as an unlikely player got the scoring started. Black Wolf defender David Brock scored on a rebound off transition to put N.E. on top.

The rest of the quarter saw nine goals as the two teams were knotted at five. The second quarter was all Swarm as they took an 8-5 halftime lead generated from a 6-0 run, to end the half. At this point the Swarm offense was buzzing. Jesse King coming off ACL surgery was very impressive with three 1st half goals (on a side note I didn't realize the size of King). The 2nd stanza saw Lyle Thompson all over the field while Mike Poulin made 2 big highlight reel saves.

At that point I thought the Swarm would cruise to the win.

Dynamic Duo to the Rescue
If you saw our Eastern Conference preview, we said Black Wolves Shawn Evans and Kevin Crowley were the best right side duo in the league. Confirming my picks and the precision of my crystal ball as the two dominated the second half combining for 5 of 8 second half goals. Evans finished the night with 2g, 7a while Crowley had 4g, 1a.
These two were pitted against each other in the MANN CUP finals this year where Evans' Peterbourgh team outlasted Crowley's New Westminster side. Put these two together you have quite a combo.

Thorimbert Unsung Hero
Jay Thorimbert hit on 17/27 FOs, picked up 18 LBs and chipped in with two assists. The extra possessions and key wins don't show up in the box score, but were big factors.

Georgia Misfires in 2nd
After their 7-0 run, the Swarm struggled to find their groove in the 2nd half. The Black Wolves packed in the defense and the Swarm was unable to breakthrough, only scoring 3 second half goals. Their high powered offense had some great passing and ball movement, but few of their shots were on frame and found Aaron Bold's chest pad.

Mohegan Sun was Rockin!
This was my first visit to the Mohegan Sun Arena. I was really impressed with the noise level and support the Black Wolves received from the home crowd. Although not as large as some venues it certainly isn't small. Quite frankly a perfect size venue for the NLL. Upon walking out of the game area, you are immediately met with gaming and a plethora of food and beverage options ... quite the place! If opening week is any indication, the 2018 NLL season looks to provide plenty of excitement!

Thanks for the time.


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