A Franchise Building Block

The Philadelphia Wings (1-1) had the grim task of traveling across the continent to take on the defending NLL Champions, the Calgary Roughnecks (2-2) on the final weekend of 2019.

Philadelphia pulled off the biggest victory in the history of the new franchise with a thrilling 8-7 victory over Calgary.

For a change, Philadelphia was on the receiving end of a few good omens. 

Calgary was hit with a delay of game penalty due to being unable to start the game on time.
Josh Currier (1a) and The Big Cat, Kevin Crowley set up Matt Rambo (2g) just 1:25 in and Philly had the 1-0 advantage.

The first period was a heavyweight battle with both squads counter-punching for the duration.

Crowley once again was in the giving mood and aided Brett Hickey (1g, 1a)
to double the lead, 2-0.

Calgary took the hits and rebounded with a Tyson Bell (1g) short-handed goal.

A transition goal, started when Liam Byrnes (2a) outlets to Kiel Matisz (1a) who hit Crowley (3g, 3a) to put Philly in front, 3-1 at 8:02.

Calgary wiped their brow and went on a run with goals from Dan Taylor (2g) who buried a Marshal King (2a) pass.

Curtis Dickson (3g,1a) found rope behind Wings netminder, Zach Higgins.

36 ticks later, Mitch Wilde (1g) found the net to push the ‘Necks to a 4-3 edge.

Just twelve seconds after the Wilde goal, Trevor Baptiste won the faceoff cleanly, took it to the house and picked up his first NLL goal to close the high spirited first stanza with a 4-4 tie.

Both teams defenses had enough of the run and gun and took over the game.

The only lamplighter in the second came from Curtis Dickson, who converted a Marshal King to Dan  Taylor feed to close the half with Calgary clinging to a one-goal advantage at 5-4.

Finally, after a scoring drought of 24:35, Kevin Crowley leveled the score.

With 3:53 remaining, Dickson stole the lead back and the fourth quarter was upon us with Calgary leaking oil and holding the 6-5 upper hand.

Zach Higgins was in the midst of the best game he had ever played and his teammates fed off of it and witnessed Corey Vitarelli (1g) put the tying goal behind Christian Del Bianco, the Calgary netminder.

Just :50 later, at 4:34, Crowley fired a laser that gave Philadelphia the lead.

A minute fifty later, Dan Taylor deposited a Tyson Bell (1a) and Shane Simpson (1a) set up behind  Higgins and overtime loomed.

Crowley, Hickey, and Rambo never got the memo and Rambo ended the affair at the 19:57 mark to give Philadelphia its biggest franchise win thus far.

Dis and Dat: Shots on Goal were even at 55-55.

Loose balls went the way of Calgary, 75-71.

By: Kevin Neibauer

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Gary Groob
Gary Groob

Gary Groob has been involved with Lacrosse for the majority of his life, whether playing, coaching, or covering the sport for the media.

An avid fan, with a real drive about helping to “grow the game”, Gary became part of podcasts about the game in 2010. Through the podcasts, Mr. Groob was given an opportunity to write about lacrosse, and the rest as they say, is history.

Through many miles (flying and driving) Gary has made inroads with the National Lacrosse League, Major Series Lacrosse League, the Ontario Lacrosse Association, as well as the Arena Lacrosse League, covering the leagues, their teams, and players, working for, and in concert with all of them.

In the year 2020, Mr. Groob was made the media person for the Arena Lacrosse League, voted onto the board of directors of the Brampton Excelsiors Lacrosse Club, as well as being made administrator of the Lacrosse page “Global Lacrosse” with a membership of 9000 members in over 90 Countries. Gary was also made an administrator of Lacrosse History Past Present and Future in 2022.

Mr. Groob co-hosts a weekly Lacrosse show on Spanglish Sports World, and ZingoTV channel 250, as well as writes a weekly lacrosse column for La Portada Canada News (both in print, and online).

Gary also hosts a Lacrosse talk show and podcast for The Edge of Philly Sports Network, seen live Sunday nights at 9pm (ET), and archived on the Edge of Philly YouTube page, as well as Spotify.

Mr. Groob’s other sports interests include Hockey, Football, Boxing, Wrestling, and Baseball, competing competitively in Boxing and Wrestling for many years.

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