Albany, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The Albany FireWolves (9-9) defeated the New York Riptide (6-12), 17-9, at the MVP Arena in Albany on Saturday evening. The Riptide held a two-goal lead after the first period, but the FireWolves tied it at the half and then scored nine in a row starting in the third quarter to run away with the game. With the win, the FireWolves clinched the fourth spot in the Eastern standings and will face the Buffalo Bandits in a one-game playoff matchup in Western New York.
Full statistics from tonight’s game can be found here: https://albanyfirewolves.com/game/1582/.
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The FireWolves controlled the game’s opening faceoff but failed to score despite two early shots. The Riptide struck first nearly two minutes into action as Callum Crawford buried his first goal of the night. Wasting no time, Albany was able to tie the game at one as Andrew Kew was left wide open in front of the cage. Following a delayed penalty call on the FireWolves, Jeff Teat was able to capitalize by scoring his first of the contest. New York extended the lead after a missed Albany shot as Dan Lomas was able to get open in transition for the score. The FireWolves were able to get a goal back as Joe Resetarits skipped a pass over the defense and found Reilly O’Connor who drilled one into the back of the net. With just under two minutes to play in the quarter, Kieran McArdle fired one in from deep to push the Riptide lead to 4-2.
The second quarter opened with two quick goals in under two minutes, one by New York’s Larson Sundown and one by Albany’s O’Connor. Following a Riptide penalty, Resetarits drilled his first of the evening, cutting the deficit to just a goal. Resetarits quickly notched his second of the night as he dove across the crease to tie the game at five. After over 10 minutes without a goal, Tyler Digby was able to score despite being short-handed to regain the lead for the Riptide. With just seconds remaining in the half, Charlie Kitchen caught a pass over the middle and buried a beautiful behind the back shot to tie it up at six.
After multiple defense stands by both sides, John LaFontaine was able to hit Nick Chaykowsky in stride as he flew in front of the net and gave the FireWolves their lead for the first time in the game. Just seconds later, Kew recorded his second goal of the night after he collected a long rebound and fired one in from deep. Kew wasted no time completing his hat trick as he sniped in his third of the night to extend the lead. Following a New York penalty, Kew scored his third of the period as his shot hit off the crossbar before hitting the back of the goaltender and falling into the net. After another quick penalty on the Riptide, Ryan Benesch took advantage and scored his first of the night. Kew continued to stay hot in the quarter and netted his fifth of the night to double up the Riptide, 12-6.
Albany began the fourth period with possession, and quickly added to their lead as Resetarits completed his hat trick. The FireWolves kept piling up the goals as Adam Bomberry ran out in transition and scored. Following a Riptide turnover, Resetarits caught a pass shortly after running off the bench and beat the goaltender to notch his fourth of the contest, pushing the Albany lead to 15-6 midway through the final quarter. New York finally scored their first goal of the half as Lomas notched his second of the night. Albany quickly got the goal back as Resetarits collected a rebound off the pipe and scored on a wide-open net. One minute later, Lomas completed his hat trick to cut the Albany lead in half, 16-8. On the ensuing FireWolves possession, Benesch fought his way through the Riptide defense and netted his second of the night. Following a defense stop by New York, Darryl Robertson ran the length of the floor and scored a transition goal. Albany was able to run out the clock and cap off the win as the game ended 17-9.
With the victory, the FireWolves will now head to Buffalo for a one game playoff matchup against the Bandits. The game will be on Saturday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m. EST at the KeyBank Center in Buffalo and can be watched on ESPN+ and My4 Albany. Albany and Buffalo met twice this season, with the Bandits edging out the FireWolves both times.