Albany FireWolves lose despite strong game from backup goalie

Albany FireWolves lose despite strong game from backup goalie

ALBANY – The Albany FireWolves played Saturday night without Doug Jamieson, one of the National Lacrosse League’s top goalies.

But Jamieson’s absence due to an ear infection isn’t the reason the FireWolves lost 14-11 to the Halifax Thunderbirds in a National Lacrosse League game in front of 3,843 fans at MVP Arena.

Backup Justin Geddie made his second career start and made 61 saves in an admirable performance. Twice he stayed in the game after being injured in the second half.

“I thought he played well,” FireWolves head coach Glenn Clark said. “It wasn’t for him, that’s for sure. He did what he had to do to keep us in the game.”

Instead, the FireWolves (1-2) beat themselves with mistakes, including penalties that led to the tie and fourth-period insurance goals.

“Tie game going into the fourth, that’s a game you want to win,” said Albany forward Connor Kelly, who scored four goals. “I think we’re beating ourselves up in the locker room right now. Some guys are looking in the mirror and saying, ‘What could I have done better?’ I know I could have done some things, throwing a pass late in the game. … Credit to them, but we have to get better.”

Albany led 11-10 before going scoreless for the final 11 minutes, 10 seconds.

The Thunderbirds (3-1) tied the score on a power-play goal by Chris Boushy with 8:40 to play. It was set up by a penalty by Albany’s Brett Mitchell, who was whistled for delay of game when he threw the ball toward the Halifax end instead of downing it after a turnover of possession.

Halifax’s Randy Staats scored for a 12-11 lead with 6:46 left. Albany linebacker Brett Manney was then called for holding, which the Thunderbirds converted on Clarke Petterson’s field goal that made it 13-11 with 6:07 remaining.

“When it’s a lacrosse game, and you get a penalty, and something goes south, you can take them,” Clark said. “Obviously, and I’m not putting this on Brett, you can’t do that. You should know better. They really hurt.”

The FireWolves committed 11 penalties in a total of 28 minutes.

That said, Clark wasn’t thrilled with the officialization.

“I don’t know how far down the rabbit hole I want to go, but yeah, I didn’t like the calls,” Clark said. “I thought it was their parity and the start, I don’t like the way games against Halifax usually go. I will say that,”

The FireWolves play the Thunderbirds again on Friday in Nova Scotia.

One silver lining was the play of Geddie, who made one start for the San Diego Seals last season, making 42 saves in a win over Saskatchewan. He signed as a free agent with Albany in the offseason.

Clark said he found out Thursday that Jamieson had an ear infection. He said Jamieson told the team on Friday morning that he did not feel well enough to travel, which put Geddie in the starting line-up.

“I got the text from Clarkie on Friday morning,” Geddie said. “It was good to spend a lot of time up front just to focus and get called up for today’s game … I felt like I saw (the ball) pretty well in the second half. There’s definitely some, I’ll look at the tape, there’s some that I think I could have returned. But yeah, I’m not a selfish guy, but we just have to regroup for next week, just be better.”

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