The Philadelphia Wings returned to Wells Fargo Center Saturday night after starting the season on a three-game road trip. The opponent in their home opener was the Panther City Lacrosse Club, looking to snap a three-game losing streak. On the back of Will Malcom’s seven-point night, Panther City overcame a four-goal halftime deficit, outscoring Philadelphia 10-4 in the second half to take a 12-10 road victory. With the win, Panther City evens their record at 3-3; the Wings drop to 2-2 on the year.

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Wings push transition game to first half lead

The pace of the game was quick from the opening faceoff, with Panther City hoping to outrun the Wings and set the tone. Jonathan Donville (1g, 2a), the NLL’s leading rookie scorer, struck first at 1:31, beating goalie Zach Higgins. The Wings responded with a three-goal run. Kiel Matisz (1g, 2a) equalized, beating PCLC netminder Nick Damude just nine seconds later off the ensuing faceoff. Joe Resetarits (3g, 2a; 6:03) started another big night, followed by Isaiah Davis-Allen in transition (7:01). Phil Caputo appeared to cut the PCLC deficit in half with a wraparound dunk. However, one official called goal and another official called no goal. Replay reviews were inconclusive, so the “no goal” call made by the lead official was upheld.

The second quarter was a carbon copy of the first. Will Malcom (4g, 3a; 8:04) scored for Panther City, only for the Wings to respond with another three-goal run. Keeping up with the PCLC transition, Chad Tutton (1g, 1a) scored his first goal in a Wings uniform (9:44), followed by Blaze Riorden (2g, 2a; 12:44). Resetarits added his second goal of the game (13:04) to give Philly a 6-2 lead going into halftime.

Panther City rallies in second half

Panther City started the third quarter with a three-goal run of their own. Caputo (1g, 2a; 0:54), Will Malcom’s second (3:05), and Patrick Dodds (1g, 3a; 4:18), trimmed the Wings’ lead to one. Resetarits ended the run with his hat trick goal (6:09), but PCLC would answer with two more goals to tie the game. Rookie Mathieu Gautier (2g, 1a; 12:15), then newly appointed captain Matt Hossack (1g, 1a; 14:26) made it 7-7 with 15 minutes to play.

The PCLC run continued into the final frame, as Gautier’s second (0:39) and a transition marker from Josh Medeiros (2g; 4:35) put them up 9-7. Wings rookie Hunter Lemieux (5:00) ended the run, but Malcom’s hat trick goal (5:52) put PCLC back up by two. Sam LeClair (6:18) and the second from Riorden (8:47) tied the game at 10. PCLC would continue to push the pace, and it would pay off as Malcom tallied his fourth of the night with less than a minute left (14:12). Medeiros would add an empty net marker (14:31) to close the scoring.

Other Stats of Note

Shots on Goal: PCLC 55; PHI 50

PHI: 20 for 26 on faceoffs

Matt Rambo (PHI): 4 assists

Higgins (PHI): 43 saves; Damude (PCLC): 40 saves

Trevor Baptiste (PHI): 17 Loose Balls (led all players)

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“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk

“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk was formally introduced to box lacrosse when he attended a New England Black Wolves game on a whim in 2016. Instantly hooked, he has since become an avid follower of the National Lacrosse League. Following the postponement of the 2019-2020 NLL season, he was offered the chance to share his wealth of statistical knowledge and unique insights with the lacrosse community at large. He cheerfully accepted, and currently serves as Edge of Philly’s correspondent for both the Albany FireWolves and New York Riptide.