Black Wolves Take Down Defending Champs on Opening Night

PHOTO BY KHOI TON

Shawn Evans had two goals and seven assists in the Black Wolves' opening night win over the Swarm.


New England 13, Georgia 11

The new-look Black Wolves held home turf, using a five-goal third quarter to take a late lead and hold on to beat the defending champion Swarm on opening night. Shawn Evans had nine points on two goals and seven assists and Kevin Crowley scored three of his four goals in the second half, helping propel New England to the upset victory.

Crowley and Kevin Buchanan each scored in the first quarter, fueling a 5-2 early lead. Georgia responded with a seven-goal rally that spanned from the end of the first quarter to the early second half. Jesse King had two goals during the 7-0 run — finishing with three goals and an assist in his first game back since missing the 2017 season due to injury.

Down 9-5 in the third quarter. the Black Wolves came up with a run of their own. Crowley added two goals before the end of the third quarter, fueling a comeback that led to a 10-10 tie entering the final period.

The teams traded goals to start the fourth quarter, before the Black Wolves took the 12-11 lead behind a goal from Evans. Crowley added his fourth goal with 5:32 left to help seal the win. 

Buffalo 13, Toronto 9

The Buffalo Bandits started the 2017-18 campaign on a positive note, breaking open a tie game at halftime and running away with the 13-9 win over the Toronto Rock. Alex Buque had 55 saves in his first game as a Bandit, while rookie Josh Byrne had a goal and four assists in his NLL debut.

The first half was highlighted by runs, as the Bandits began the game with three straight goals. Dhane Smith assisted on two of the three goals to give Buffalo a strong start. The Rock answered with a 4-0 run from four different scorers, including Adam Jones, who had a team-high five points, and Dan Lintner, who tallied a hat trick to lead the team.

Mitch Jones tallied his second goal of the half to help Buffalo tie the game at 5-5 at the break. Toronto led 32-27 in shots at halftime.

Byrne and Callum Crawford scored their first goals with Buffalo in the third quarter, part of a 4-2 run that gave the Bandits the lead entering the final quarter. Crawford finished with two goals and two assists in the victory.

Buffalo sealed the win with a 3-1 fourth quarter, allowing a late goal from Jones.







Colorado 15, Vancouver 8

The Mammoth used balanced scoring to break open good game early and cruise to the most comfortable win in Friday night's action. Chris Wardle had four goals and an assist to lead all scorers, while Dillon Ward had 48 saves to lead the Mammoth.

In a contested first quarter, Logan Schuss had two early goals to help the Stealth to a 4-2 lead. Colorado, though, came up with three out of four goals in the final 3:05 of the first quarter to tie the game at 5-5.

It was all Mammoth after the first quarter. Four different scorers found the goal in the second quarter, including former RIT product Ryan Lee’s first NLL tally. Lee finished with two goals and two assists, but it will be hard to top his first career goal.

The momentum continued throughout the second half with Wardle, Lee, Ryan Benesch helping push the lead to 15-7 before a late Vancouver goal from Joel McCready.

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