PHILADELPHIA WINS FIRST OF TWO THIS WEEKEND

The Philadelphia Wings took on the New York Riptide Saturday morning in the first of two home games this weekend. The loss by Halifax to Buffalo the night before afforded Philadelphia a chance to move up to fourth place in the East Division with a perfect weekend. New York, on the other hand, has been playing better as of late, but have still dropped four of their last five games. Mitch Jones had his breakout game as a member of the Wings, scoring 14 points in a 19-12 win over the Riptide. Philadelphia improves to 4-5 on the year, and can move back to .500 with a win Monday against Toronto. Meanwhile, New York drops their fifth game in the last six, falling to 2-9 on the year.

Resetarits, McIntosh power Philadelphia to halftime lead

Philadelphia came out laser focused, with Joe Resetarits (4g, 5a; 0:44) and Ben McIntosh (4g, 4a; 5:22) giving the Wings a 2-0 lead. Reilly O’Connor (1g, 2a; 6:44) struck back for New York, but Resetarits scored his second a minute later to restore the two-goal lead. The teams continued to trade goals through the remainder of the first quarter. Jeff Teat (1g, 8a; 8:16) and Jay Thorimbert (11:52) scored for the Riptide, while Mitch Jones (6g, 8a; 8:37) and Alex Crepinsek in transition (12:35) gave the Wings a 5-3 lead after 15 minutes of play.

McIntosh (0:41 second quarter) extended the Philadelphia lead to 6-3. A goal from Tyler Digby (2g, 3a; 2:26) and a power play dunk from Larson Sundown (1g, 2a; 7:00) made it 6-5. Matt Rambo (1g, 4a; 10:18) and the second from Jones (14:09) gave Philadelphia an 8-5 halftime lead.

Jones turns it up as Philadelphia triumphs

Philadelphia finally solved their third quarter doldrums, outscoring New York 7-4 in the frame. Sam LeClair (1:26) made it a four goal lead, 9-5. Connor Kearnan (4g, 1a; 1:55) responded, but Jones went back-to-back (2:37; 3:46 power play) to make it an 11-6 game. Digby scored his second (4:33), but Jones countered with his fifth of the night (5:34). Twenty seconds later, Mike Burke (2g, 1a) went top cheese for his first goal as a member of the Riptide.

Philadelphia followed with a three-goal run. McIntosh (10:18) and Blaze Riorden (2g, 3a; 10:52) took advantage of two Riptide penalties to score power play goals, extending the Wings’ lead to 14-8. Resetarits tacked on his hat trick goal (12:01) before Kearnan broke the run with his second of the game (14:56). Kearnan struck again twenty seconds into the fourth quarter to make it 15-10. However, Philadelphia refused to take their foot off the gas. The sock trick goal from Jones (1:57) and a second power play marker from Riorden (4:04) restored the seven-goal edge. After the Jones goal, tempers boiled over, with Brent Noseworthy and Eric Shewell engaging in fisticuffs.

New York tried to rally the troops, with Kearnan’s fourth (6:37) and Burke’s second (8:17) closing the gap to 17-12. Unfortunately for the Riptide, Resetarits (12:10) and McIntosh (12:29) would each net their fourth goal of the game to put it out of reach. The goal from Resetarits marked his 600th career point in the NLL. The final two minutes remained tense, with Riorden and Curtis Conley sent to the locker room after a scuffle. Another tilt followed between Kearnan and Ian Llord that saw them hit the showers early. These two teams meet again in Long Island on March 11, so expect more fireworks.

Other Stats of Note

Trevor Baptiste dominated Jay Thorimbert on faceoffs, winning 28 of 35. Baptiste also led all players with 19 Loose Balls.

Power Play: NY 1 for 3; PHI 4 for 6

Zach Higgins (PHI): 41 saves

Kiel Matisz (PHI): 4 assists

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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 covers NLL, PLL, WLA, and Major Series Lacrosse for the network.

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