UNCASVILLE, Conn., Jan. 10 — The New England Black Wolves continue to look impressive in their new home. A week after winning their National Lacrosse League debut against Buffalo at the Mohegan Sun Arena, the Black Wolves picked up where they left off with an impressive 17-7 victory over the three-time defending NLL champion Rochester Knighthawks.
The Black Wolves (2-0) took an early four goal lead and never looked back for a victory in front of more than 4,000 fans. New England’s Kevin Crowley had an outstanding evening with a game-high six goals, four assists and 10 points. Patrick Saunders added three goals and three assists of his own while Kyle Buchanan had three goals and a game-high six assists.
Corey Vitarelli had three goals and two assists leading all scorers for the Knighthawks, now 0-2. Jordan Hall was the only other player on Rochester to have more than one goal registering two goals and one assist.
The Black Wolves controlled the pace of the game throughout, limiting the Knighthawks to just seven goals over four quarters. Goaltender Evan Kirk was tested often, but held strong with 34 saves. Knighthawks goaltender Matt Vinc held up well against an aggressive Black Wolves offense, making 30 saves but it wasn’t enough.
The crowd was ramped up throughout the game, and tensions flared for both sides. Major penalties were given out for fights, and the game ended with a scuffle with gloves being thrown down and sticks flying to the ground.
New England immediately took control as Kyle Buchanan scored 31 seconds into the game starting the scoring for the Black Wolves. Buchanan’s teammates would follow suit as New England raced out to a 4-0 lead in the first quarter.
Rochester would attempt to cut in the Black Wolves lead as they netted two goals at the end of the first quarter to make the first period score 4-2.
Both teams traded two goals in the second quarter to keep New England’s lead at two going into the second half.
The rout was on in the third quarter as the Black Wolves scored six of the eight goals in the quarter to take a 12-6 lead. New England shared the ball well this period as there were five different goal scorers on the six tallies.
New England returns to action on Saturday January 24 when they host the Minnesota Swarm (0-1). The game will start at 7 p.m.
New England 17, Rochester 7
At Uncasville, Conn.
Rochester (1-1) 2-2-2-1 — 7
New England (2-0) 4-2-6-5 –17
Goals: New England – Kevin Crowley 6, Patrick Saunders 3, Kevin Buchanan 2, Kyle Buchanan 3, Jamie Lincoln 1; Rochester – Joe Walters 1, Craig Point 1, Cory Vitarelli 3, Jordan Hall 2
Assists: New England – Saunders 3, Ryan Hotaling 1, Kevin Buchanan 3, Lincoln 4, Quinn Powless 2, Brian Megill 1; Rochester – Dan Dawson 2, Point 1, Aaron Wilson, Vitarelli 2, Brad Self 1, Scott Campbell 1, Hall 1
Saves: Evan Kirk (NE) 34, Matt Vine (R) 30; Shots: New England, 47-41