NLL: FireWolves punch ticket to playoffs with big win over Riptide

Reilly O’Connor. (Photo credit: Albany FireWolves/NLL)

The final week of the NLL season featured a clash of two New York teams. The Albany FireWolves came into this game needing a win to punch their ticket to a playoff berth in their inaugural season, while the New York Riptide were content to play spoiler.

Albany packed on the goals in the second half to win the game 17-9.

New York looked comfortable in the first quarter considering the pressure of facing a motivated in-state rival on the road. Callum Crawford opened up the game’s scoring with two defenders on his back to give the Riptide the early lead. Andrew Kew answered a little over two minutes late to tie the game for Albany. New York went on a 3-1 scoring run to end the quarter up 4-2.

To start the second, Larson Sundown scored to put New York up by three. Less than 20 seconds later, Reilly O’Connor answered for Albany. The FireWolves took control of the quarter after that goal, going on a 4-1 streak. Charlie Kitchen tied the game 6-6 with just three seconds left in the half, firing an SCTop10-worthy behind-the-back shot past Steven Orleman.

The third quarter was completely all Albany. The FireWolves packed on six-straight goals in the including a natural hat trick by Andrew Kew. In the quarter, Kew and Resetarits combined for eight points. The FireWolves held a six-point lead heading into fourth.

Albany continued their scoring into the fourth as they would tack on an additional three goals to extend the goal streak to 10. New York’s Dan Lomas ended the Riptide’s goal-scoring drought. Both teams traded goals to end the quarter with a final score of 17-9. With the win, the FireWolves punched their ticket to the 2022 NLL playoffs.

Joe Resetarits was yet again Albany’s MVP of the game recording 11 points (5G/6A) in the game. He finished the regular season tied for first place in the NLL in goals with Lyle Thompson and Tom Schreiber with 47 goals and third in points in the NLL with 111. The FireWolves would have looked a lot different without Joe Resetarits.

Andrew Kew had a fantastic game as well and would have been the first star of the night during most games. Kew had seven points (5G/2A) in the game, and finished the regular season third in points with 59 points behind Resetarits and Ryan Benesch.

Benesch (2G/5A) and O’Connor (2G/4A) also had big offensive games for Albany.

Doug Jamieson picked up the win, making 23 saves before letting Ethan Woods finish the game.

Albany will face off in Buffalo against the Bandits on Saturday, May 7th at 7:30 p.m at Keybank Center.