GAME PREVIEW: NEW YORK RIPTIDE VS ALBANY FIREWOLVES - New York Riptide

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GAME PREVIEW: NEW YORK RIPTIDE VS ALBANY FIREWOLVES

The New York Riptide and Albany Firewolves will meet on Saturday, March 2nd, at 7:00 PM EST at MVP Arena in Albany, New York. The Firewolves are coming off an impressive victory against the Buffalo Bandits, solidifying their position with an 8-2 record and returning to the top of the NLL rankings. Doug Jamieson has been remarkable this year and continued his hot streak last game, making 46 saves and holding Dhane Smith, Josh Byrne, and the dangerous Buffalo offense to only ten goals. New York has dropped the last two contests after rattling off multiple wins in a row against Colorado. The Riptide let a 2-goal lead at half slip as the Mammoth dominated the second half on their way to the victory. New York will look to Jeff Teat, who is leading the NLL in points, to stop this skid and get back within the Top 8 and a playoff spot. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ and TSN+ to watch at home as well as live updates made available on the Riptide’s X account for anyone unable to watch.

2022-2023 Series:

The 2022-2023 season saw a combined total of eight victories between the New York Riptide and the Albany Firewolves. Last season, the Riptide recorded five wins in total, with three of them being against Albany. The team was a perfect 3-0 against the Firewolves in 2023. The Riptide were 2-13 against the rest of the teams in the NLL outside of Albany. The Riptide won each of the three games by at least two goals, as the team’s only other wins came against Philadelphia and Vancouver. Albany’s wins came against three playoff teams and the eventual NLL champion, the Buffalo Bandits. Both teams have already surpassed or tied their win totals from last year, as New York has five and Albany has eight so far.

Albany’s Young Core:

Albany’s young core of Alex Simmons, Ethan Walker, and Tye Kurtz have been exceptional during the 2023-2024 season. The trio has Albany in first place at 8-2, as all three rank near the tops of the league in points. Alex Simmons is currently at the top of the Rookie of the Year race, leading all Rookies with 54 points. Simmons and Tye Kurtz are both in their rookie years, following the leadership of Ethan Walker, who is just in his third year in the NLL. After last year’s disappointing season, Albany looks to be trending in the right direction, with their young trio leading this team for many years to come. The Firewolves will also welcome the most recent #1 draft pick, Dyson Williams, to the roster next year after his completion at Duke University. Dyson, the son of Vegas coach Shawn Williams, is one of the most highly touted prospects entering the NLL since Jeff Teat.

New York’s Playoff Hopes:

The season began slowly for the Riptide after starting 1-4, but since then, the team has gone on a run, winning five of their next six games to get back into the playoff race. Subsequently, the Riptide lost their last two games and their playoff hopes are now hanging by a thread, positioned at 9 in the rankings (Top 8 teams make the playoffs). The Riptide will look to end their losing streak in this matchup against an Albany team they have had success with. Jeff Teat has been doing everything he can to push the Riptide into their first playoff appearance in the team’s short history with 68 points, which leads the NLL. This game will be the first of two meetings between the New York teams and can have massive implications on the standings if the Riptide can steal both games from the Firewolves.

New York will also welcome back Kiel Matisz after he missed the past two games on the short-term holdout list. Matisz is a leader on the right side of the floor and brings a veteran, calming presence to the Riptide offense. Matisz is fourth on the team in points with 35 in nine games in his first year with the Riptide. Matisz has also been a contributor on the powerplay for the Riptide, with seven powerplay goals this year. His seven goals on the powerplay are tied for fourth in the NLL and are just two back of Robert Church and Corey Small, who leads the league with 9.

New York Riptide
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