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Longboat’s Hat Trick Leads FireWolves to Victory

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Last night the Albany FireWolves played host to the Vancouver Warriors in a match where Albany celebrated Indigenous Celebration Night, and what better way to celebrate than with a huge victory over the Warriors by a score of 13-8. Leading the way for the FireWolves was forward Travis Longboat who scored 4 goals and added an assist on route to the victory, while rookie forward Alex Simmons continues to separate himself from the competition for rookie of the year as he was able to add seven points to his already outstanding point total (68) for this season. In a game that saw dueling hat tricks with Vancouver forward Keegan Bal, the FireWolves were able to get scoring from all over the roster having eight different goal scorers with goals coming from captain Colton Watkinson, Nick Chaykowsky, Ethan Walker, Tye Kurtz, Marshall Powless and Nathan Grenon rounding it all out.

As the first quarter started Vancouver was on top of the FireWolves in every single way defensively, only letting two shots on goal in the first six minutes and it seemed as if the FireWolves were having some struggles getting set up offensively. There were multiple times the FireWolves were held to their 30 second offensive zone time as the Warriors were able to play lockdown defense and do everything to put themselves in any shooting lanes Albany had. While the FireWolves had a small struggle in their offensive game in the first quarter, the defense was also able to be a thorn in the side of the Warriors, preventing a lot of solid scoring chances that Vancouver were working endlessly to set up. However any time the Warriors seemed to break through, the main thorn in the side began to shine, that being goalie Dougie Jamieson who was making some very acrobatic saves to keep this game tied at zeros after the first quarter.

It didn’t take the FireWolves long to score in the second quarter, where Travis Longboat was able to open up the scoring around 30 seconds in, which gave him his first of four on the night. Another breakdown on the Warriors defense led to a FireWolves breakaway and a goal as Nick Chaykowsky was able to add to the Warriors lead. Longboat wouldn’t take long to get his second of the night and help the FireWolves finally get their scoring touch back up to standard and take a three goal lead. The Warriors would get two unanswered goals to end the second quarter but this wouldn’t be any type of energy killer for Albany as they kept up the intensity
right up until the quarter ended.

As Albany came out for the third quarter they were able to get started on the powerplay and it wouldn’t take them long to score, bringing that same type of intensity that they had at the end of the second quarter. While Albany picked it up more in their offensive game, finding the shooting lanes they had struggled to find in the first quarter, Vancouver was playing with less discipline than they had hoped and took three straight penalties. Albany was able capitalize on all the powerplay chances they had during the third this including the goal that would give Travis Longboat his hat trick, and what was more of an emotional game for Longboat as he was able to score a career high four goals in the game, on Indigenous Celebration Night in front of his family. As his parents were in the stands it seemed to give Longboat the extra push to lead Albany to this victory. With the fourth quarter starting Vancouver tried to push back into the game as fast as they possibly could with a quick goal, which Albany would answer right away with a goal of their own. As the fourth quarter rolled on Vancouver was still doing whatever they could to mount a comeback however the FireWolves were able to shut that down at every single turn.

Any time the Warriors found themselves back in their offensive zone and any rally seemed possible, Dougie Jamieson shined bright again showing once more why he should be a lock for goalie of the year this season. As the fourth was winding down the Warriors decided to attempt any offense on the man advantage as they would pull their goalie multiple times scoring twice on the man advantage yet the FireWolves would also use this to their own advantage as the captain Colton Watkinson was able to stick the dagger into this game as the FireWolves would go on to win their fourth straight game and tenth win this season.

With this win the FireWolves inch themselves closer to a playoff spot and for top spot in the National Lacrosse League with the Toronto Rock being the other team that is vying for regular season champions. However the FireWolves focus shifts to Rochester as they will take on the Knighthawks on Saturday, March 9th in Rochester, and the question stands, will the Knighthawks be able to put a stop to the surging FireWolves?

Caden Balint is a graduate of La Salle Institute in Troy, NY and Merrimack College in North Andover, MA and has been in love with sports forever. Whether it is watching, playing, writing, sports have always been a passion. Getting the chance to start his dream of sports journalism with Stream Punk is just the start of a long journey. In his spare time Caden enjoys playing hockey, spending time with his loved ones and playing video games but you will soon get to know him a lot more!

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