NLL: Controversial game-winner gives Black Wolves win over Wings

Callum Crawford (centre) and the New England Black Wolves wait to hear their overtime winner called good. (Photo credit: K Ton/NLL)

With five points on the night, Callum Crawford’s goal kept New England’s undefeated season alive with an 8-7 overtime thriller against the rival Philadelphia Wings Saturday night at Mohegan Sun.

Coming off back-to-back bye weeks, many might think the Black Wolves would come out unable to tangle with the Wings who were on a three-game winning streak. And they would be right as the Wings jumped out to an early 5-2 lead early – the fewest goals New England has scored in an opening half all season.

But in the second half the Wolves came to play, reminiscent of their first three games. Staying on-brand, the Black Wolves high-powered offence led by Crawford and company worked away at the Wings’ lead and eventually tied the game at five.

This tie game then read 6-6 as goals from Philadelphia’s Matt Rambo and New England’s Riley O’Connor knotted the game back up.

Philadelphia then regained the lead as Rambo recorded his third goal of the game giving the Wings a 7-6 lead going into the final quarter.

Coming out of the break with the same intensity and urgency seen from the Black Wolves in the third, the Wolves – led by Doug Jamieson – shut out the Wings in the third quarter while their own Joe Resetarits scored his second of the game to send this match to overtime.

Overtime saw more back-and-forth action until the electric green and yellow sneakers of Callum Crawford were seen soaring through the air at 3:47. In an incredible display of athleticism and hand-eye coordination, he leapt around Wings’ goaltender Zach Higgins and buried it far-side for the game winner. It wasn’t without controversy – video reply was inconclusive as to whether his foot was in the crease.


With that win, the New England Black Wolves remain seated atop the east division with a perfect 4-0 record and have been a force to be reckoned with so far in the season. Winning three games in a row against very formidable opponents in Toronto (3-1), Saskatchewan (3-2) and now Philadelphia (3-2) it is very clear to see this New England team has built a forceful roster from the top down.

This was evident on Saturday night with not only the offence, but the stunning performance from Jamieson, who turned away 50 shots en route to a franchise performance in only his fourth season in the league.

The Black Wolves’ next game is on January 26th at Mohegan Sun Arena against another divisional rival in the Georgia Swarm.