San Diego — The Albany Firebirds ended the San Diego Seals six-game winning streak with a 13-12 win on Saturday, February 26th at Pechanga Arena San Diego in front of 5,783 fans.
Albany (5-6) outscored the Seals (6-2) by a 6-4 spread in the second half (3-2 in both the 3rd and 4th quarters). Four FireWolves had multi-goal nights led by Jacob Ruest (14 goal on the season) with a four-goal night.
At the end of one quarter of play it was tied 1-1 after Cam Holding scored for the Seals. Holding got the outlet pass from Scigliano and ran down the right wing. He had an option on the left wing with a 2-on-1 breakaway, but took the shot himself and put it in the back of the net for his third of the season.
A wild and crazy second period turned an extremely defensive game into the offensive barnburner that NLL fans enjoy. Both teams combined for 13 goals after just one per side in the first.
The Austin Staats got things going in the second with a rather “mundane” goal to give the Seals a 2-1 lead. Compared to some of his goals later in the game, it was boring. Zack Greer (3) would push the lead to 3-2 after Albany tied it up just six seconds prior. Three Albany goals, Wes Berg (21) got his first of what would end up being four goals on the night. The Coquitlam, British Columbia product by way of Denver University, would score again just over 90 seconds later to tie the game back up at 5-all.
The game was not tied for long as Albany would re-take the lead just 18 seconds later on the second of Ruest’s goals. They would extend their lead on a Andrew Kew’s first of two goals on the night. Staats would score his second goal of the festivities. Then Berg would score on back-to-back power play goals, giving him four on the man-advantage this season and a 8-7 lead at intermission.
Austin “the Human Highlight Reel” Staats would get the scoring going in the third quarter with an insane behind-the-back, no look shot, upstairs over the goalies shoulder that literally had every single one of the 5,783 in attendance saying “what the hell just happened?”.
As the infomercials on late-night television say, “but wait there’s more!” That is because Staats one-uped himself with his fourth goal of the night muscling his way through two defenders who were on him like a cheap suit and still got it passed Doug Jamieson for the Seals’ tenth goal of the game. He had two defenders on him, not just because he is Austin Staats, but also because the Seals were on the penalty kill.
Sadly tho, that shortie was just the game-tying goal. Albany would outscore the Seals 3-2 in the final quarter.
The Seals will be back in action on Friday, March 4 when the Roughnecks of Calgary (3-5) come to Pechanga Arena San Diego for the final time this season. Opening faceoff is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.
Seal Notes: With the 12 goals, the Seals sit at 99 goals for the season…Austin Staats’ shorthanded goal in the third quarter give the Seals seven short-handed goals which is tied for the NLL lead (New York), both teams are one shorty ahead of Colorado…Even with allowing 13 goals, Frank Scigliano’s Goals Against Average went up .98 (from 7.40 to 8.38). He still leads the NLL by just more than half a goal a game.