• ReLaxing Luke

Riptide Meet the Pack


New England is ready to host New York in their first meeting...

New York versus New England. The very thought conjures images of the New York Giants stunning the New England Patriots, not once, but twice in Super Bowl matchups. This matchup has led to two Super Bowl instant classics. In Super Bowl XLII, New York stunned undefeated New England 17-14. This was the third largest upset, according to betting lines, in Super Bowl history. In Super Bowl XLVI, the Patriots looked for revenge. They didn’t get it, as the Giants won 21-17. Two epic meetings.


The stakes aren’t the same for an early season meeting between the New York Riptide and New England Black Wolves; however, you get the point. Meetings between professional franchises from these markets are special. With New York entering wolf territory for the first time, this has the makings of a potential rivalry. These two teams should hate each other. The franchises are separated by a two-hour drive. So, what are the keys for each program to escape round one with a victory? I have two keys for each team. Read on.


NY Riptide Key 1: Which New York do we see?


In game one, we saw New York get absolutely obliterated, 4-12, against Halifax. Halifax was the Death Star and New York was Alderaan. The Riptide went 2 of 19 on faceoffs and 0 for 3 on power plays. New York scored their first goal against Halifax down 0-8. They can’t afford to dig themselves in such a whole against New England. The wolves will swarm and tear them apart. A rather pitiful performance. Game two was a different story. New York fell 10-14 in Vancouver; however, their overall play improved. Against the Warriors, New York went 17-29 on faceoffs, 3 for 4 on power plays, and scooped 75 loose balls. A much better performance! The question is, will we see the New York that played at Halifax or Vancouver? This makes or breaks the game.


NY Riptide Key 2: Will Everyone Play?


In both games, New York has missed vital pieces. Alex Woodall (17-29 on faceoffs) missed Halifax and faceoff play was a disaster. Against Vancouver, the Riptide were without Tyson Gibson (1 goal, 1 assist) and their best defensemen Andrew Suitor (15 loose balls, 2 turnovers). With those two present, New York probably wins. I haven’t seen anything on game availability, but if any of the three miss New England, things could get ugly.


NE Black Wolves Key 1: Do they Allow 8?


In each game, New England has only allowed eight goals. They scrapped to 12-8 victories at Toronto and Saskatchewan. Very impressive! Against a team that lacks the same offensive firepower, can New England hold the Riptide under eight? It’s possible; however, key players need to step up. Look for captain Brett Manney, Nick Chaykowsky, and Joe Nardella to have monster games; thus, keeping New York below eight.


NE Black Wolves Key 2: Rowdy Crowd?


Tomorrow is New England’s home opener. Will the fans show up? That’s the question management has to be asking after New England was last in 2018/19’s average attendance (5,526). The Black Wolves have stormed out to an impressive 2-0. Their wins are against elite competition. I heavily encourage and challenge Connecticut residents to support this team. They deserve the support and are primed for a special spirit. Buy tickets and help lead this team to victory!


Conclusion


Do you agree with my keys to the game? Disagree? Who do you think wins? Whatever your thoughts, air them by connecting with me on Twitter or Instagram. You can comment directly onto this article by subscribing. By subscribing, you’ll be notified whenever I publish a new article. Any and all support is appreciated. Regardless, thank you for reading and hope you all had a wonderful Christmas Day. Good luck to New York and New England!

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