Crawford, Leblanc reach milestones in Black Wolves' win

Mohegan — Callum Crawford had five goals and five assists and Stephan Leblanc added three goals and five assists as the New England Black Wolves defeated the Rochester Knighthawks 16-13 on Saturday night at Mohegan Sun Arena.

It was a milestone evening for both Crawford and Leblanc, who went over 900 and 700 career points, respectively, in the win.

Tyler Digby had a hat trick and two assists while Reilly O’Connor had a goal and four helpers in the win for New England (4-3). Alex Buque added 37 saves in the win for the Black Wolves, which snapped a two-game losing streak.

Joe Resetarits had four goals and three assists in the loss for Rochester (2-6) while Kyle Jackson added two goals and six assists. Angus Goodleaf took the loss for the Knighthawks while making 35 saves.

Rochester got things started with a goal from Scott Campbell 3 minutes, 47 seconds into the first, but Crawford picked up his first of the night just 32 seconds later to tie it at 1-1. Rochester scored twice more over the next 1:34 to take a 3-1 advantage.

Crawford found the back of the net for his second of the night, and the 900th point of his career, with 6:49 left in the quarter and scored again 1:20 later to tie the score at 3-3. The Knighthawks took a 4-3 lead with 2:11 left in the first to go up 4-3.

Leblanc got the scoring started for New England in the second, tying the game at 4-4 with 12:42 left. That’s where the score would stand until Digby scored twice in a span of 48 seconds put New England up 6-4 with 11:37 left.

Crawford followed with his fourth of the night with 2:49 left and Dereck Downs found the back of the net with just under two minutes to play in the half to give New England an 8-4 lead.

David Brock put the Black Wolves up 9-4 just 1:29 into the third and the New England streak continued 30 seconds later on another goal by Digby.

Leblanc found the back of the net for the Black Wolves 10:57 to put New England up 11-4, but Rochester scored twice to cut the lead to five, 11-6, with 8:28 left to play in the frame. Andrew Suitor scored to put the Black Wolves back up by six with 6:39 remaining in the third.

Adam Vitarelli found the back of the net with 18.3 seconds left in the quarter to start a four goal run by the Knighthawks over a three minute span to cut the New England lead to just two, 12-10, with 12:54 to play.

Leblanc scored his third of the night with 11:16 remaining to put the Black Wolves up 13-10, but Rochester again found the back of the net with 9:32 to play to cut it down to two again. Just over a minute later, Jackson Nishimura scored his first career NLL goal in transition to put the Black Wolves up 14-11. The New England lead increased to four on an O’Connor goal with 7:54 to play.

The Knighthawks scored again with 5:08 to play to cut it down to a three goal New England advantage and again with 2:16 to play to put the score at 15-13. Crawford iced the victory for the Black Wolves with his fifth of the night with 58.6 seconds left to play.

The Black Wolves will be in action next on Feb. 16 when they travel to Philadelphia to take on the Wings in the start of a home-and-home weekend series. Game time is 7 p.m.

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