NLL Saturday Recap: New England Secures Playoff Berth, Colorado Comeback Falls Short

Photo Courtesy of New England Black Wolves                                                                                               

Saturday’s action got started earlier than usual as Philadelphia welcomed Calgary to the Wells Fargo Center for a rare noon Saturday game in which Calgary ran away with it early. With three night games on the docket, New England used a huge first half to take down San Diego and clinch a playoff spot, Rochester beat Toronto in a close battle, and Saskatchewan held on through a Colorado comeback to secure the win. 

Calgary 18, Philadelphia 13

The Roughnecks were able to start off hot in this one as they took a 5-0 lead at the end of the first. A three-goal run to start the second for the Wings helped close the gap, but Calgary found the back of the net twice more before the half. Coming out of the half with a 7-3 Calgary started the scoring off in the third as they extended their run. Philadelphia was able to get within three after a run midway through the third. Calgary answered with a two-goal run that started with a man-up goal from Dane Doobie.

While Philadelphia was able to answer, Calgary went on four-goal run that lasted from late in the third to early in the fourth. That run put Calgary up 16-8 as it looked like this one was pretty much over. Philadelphia was able to get some things going late, including closing out the game on a three-goal run. That just wouldn’t be enough as the Roughnecks took this one.

Dane Doobie led Calgary with 11 points (4G/7A), while Curtis Dickson tallied 10 points (4G/6A). Rhys Duch also had 6 points (2G/4A) in the win, Christian Del Bianco made 46 saves off of 59 shots on goal for Calgary. 

Philadelphia was led by Josh Currier who tallied 6 points (5G/1A) and Jordan Hall with 5 points (3G/2A). Kiel Matisz also had 7 points (2G/5A) and Kevin Crowley put up 6 points (1G/5A). In goal, Doug Buchan made 8 saves off of 17 shots on goal and Gowah Abrams made 26 saves off of 35 shots on goal. Abrams saw the majority of time in goal.

Box Score

New England 17, San Diego 14

This one was a tale of two halves as New England secured a playoff spot with this win over San Diego. The Seals did not have either Austin Staats or Kyle Buchanan in the lineup for this second game of a back-to-back weekend. However, Connor Fields did make his NLL debut after being sidelined with a knee injury for nearly eight months. 

New England’s offense was on fire in the first quarter, making the San Diego defense scramble and taking every opportunity presented. The Black Wolves were able to build a 7-2 first quarter lead as they dominated on both ends of the floor. Going into the half New England held a 13-5 lead which set a franchise record for most first half goals since moving to New England. San Diego finally woke up in the fourth after a back-and-forth third and returned the favor. The Seals were able to cut the Black Wolves lead to 15-10 early in the fourth. San Diego closed out the game with a three-goal run that included two from Connor Kelly, but that wasn’t enough as New England secured the 17-14 win and a playoff berth. 

San Diego was led by Connor Kelly who tallied 6 points (4G/2A) and Colton Jackson who tallied 7 points (3G/4A). Dan Dawson also had 9 assist on the night as well. In goal, the Seals played Frank Scigliano and Tyler Carlson. Scigliano made14 saves off of 26 shots on goal, while Carlson made 26 saves off of 31 shots in goal. 

For New England, they were led by Callum Crawford who tallied 9 points (3G/6A). Also, Davey Emala had4 points (3G/1A), while Joe Resetarits put up 7 points (2G/5A) and Stephen Leblanc had 6 points (2G/4A) as well. Doug Jamieson was stellar in goal, making 48 saves off of 62 shots on goal in the win. 

Box Score

Rochester 12, Toronto 10

It was a tight one from the start as the first quarter ended with it all tied up at 2. The second quarter was big for Rochester as they were able to start off on a three-goal run and end with two straight. Toronto was able to get a little something going, but it felt like Rochester has more momentum in that first half.

The third quarter was much much tighter and we saw more back-and-forth play with teams practically trading goals for most of the quarter. Toronto went n a three-goal run from late in the third through early in the fourth, cutting the Rochester led to just one. Rochester’s defense was able to limit Toronto down the stretch and a goal late for Rochester secured the 12-10 win. 

Toronto was led by Rob Hellyer who tallied 5 points (1G/4A) and Johnny Powless who had  points (4G/4A). Tom Schreiber also had 4 points (2G/2A) in the loss. Nick Rose and Riley Hutchcraft each saw time in goal for the Rock. Rose made 24 saves off of 35 shots on goal and Hutchcraft had 14 saves off of 14 shots on goal. 

The Knighthawks were led by Ryan Benesch with 6 points (3G/3A). Cody Jamieson also had 5 points (2G/3A) and Mike Burke tallied 4 points (3G/1A). Warren Hill made 42 saves off of 52 shots on goal for Rochester. 

Box Score

Saskatchewan 9, Colorado 7

The Saskatchewan Rush went on the road and took down Colorado, using a big first half performance to do so. Goalie play was a huge part of this game as Adam Schute and Dillon Ward were huge for Saskatchewan and Colorado in this game. 

After getting out to a 2-0 lead Saskatchewan continued to build on that lead in the second. Colorado finally found the back of the net midway through the third before Saskatchewan took a 4-1 lead heading into the half. Colorado picked up the pace in the third as they were able to cut the Saskatchewan lead to 5-3 midway through the quarter. Heading into the fourth Saskatchewan held a 6-3 lead. After Saskatchewan scored first, Colorado was able to make it a two goal game. Saskatchewan pushed their lead back out before Colorado ended with two straight Corey Vitarelli goals. The Mammoth would come up short in their comeback as Saskatchewan took the 9-7 win.

Saskatchewan was led by Mark Matthews who tallied 4 points (2G/2A), while Robert Church and Ryan Keenan each had 2 goals. Adam Schute was huge in the win, making 25 saves off of 32 shots on goal. 

For Colorado, they were led by Corey Vitarelli who tallied 3 points (2G/1A). Jeff Wittig also helped lead the Mammoth offense, scoring 2 goals. Dillon Ward made 46 saves off of 55 shots on goal for the Mammoth. 

Box Score



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