This afternoon the New England Black Wolves (2-4) will host the Colorado Mammoth (3-3). Both these teams are winless in their last seven combined games, after winning their first five combined.
After winning their first two games the Wolves have fallen on some hard times losing four straight, including Friday nights 13-12 OT thriller of a loss to Toronto. This was their best game since their 17-7 win over Rochester in the beginning of the season.
Black Wolves are averaging 12.1 GF and 13.2 GA. The Black Wolves are led by the four horsemen. Kevin Buchanan (12G/19A), Kevin Crowley (12G/18A), Kyle Buchanan (13G/16A), and Pat Saunders (12G/17A). These four have been gelling very well together and when things click they can be dangerous. Now add Brett Bucktooth, who saw his first action last weekend and you have a potent offense that can run smoothly.
There defense and transition game has much improved in the last two weeks. Captain Joel White (4G/3A) is playing the transition game just about to perfection. With a team leading 74 loose balls, White is third in the league (Thorimbert 105LB in 9 games). It seems that last seasons teachings from former teammate Brodie Merrill has helped White. Brett Manney and company are playing a tough defense. But the toughest part of the D is William O’Brien.
When you try to go through the defense and O’Brien is on the floor, you can be assured you will run into him. Don’t try to run through him, it’s a task yet to be accomplished.
Evan Kirk has been standing on his head so far this season. despite a 2-4 record and a 12.95 GAA, Kirk has been a huge bright spot for the Wolves.
Their task today is the Mammoth. Grant Jr., Adam Jones, Drew Westervelt will try to get on track. After starting 3-0, the Mammoth have lost three straight. Including the home and home matchup last weekend against the Edmonton Rush. After starting 3-0 the Mammoth have lost their last three games, and will look to get back on the winning trail.
Face-offs will be something to watch. Ran Hotaling for the Black Wolves is 82/153/53.5% and Bobby Snider 103/184/55.97% will definitely put a show on at the face-off circle.
The game will come down to a few things.
1- Which team will play a full 60 minutes.
2- Can the Wolves defense contain Grant Jr., and company.
3- Can the Wolves offense all click at the same time.
4-Special Teams. New England Power Play 16/36/ 44.44% and their Penalty Kill is 50%. Colorado 14/32/43.75% and Penalty Kill is 48%.
A taste of victory by New England could be just what they need to get back on track. For Colorado, a win will draw them a half game closer to Edmonton for first place