Wings Drop a Close One, 13-12

One of the most difficult tasks in Lacrosse is playing two games in two days. Factor in a winless team that is well-rested, the challenge gets bigger. The Philadelphia Wings drop a close one.

In a division where there is a difference of just two games between the top five teams, every match-up is crucial. The New York Riptide (1-4) displayed a stifling defense when they weren’t shorthanded, cashed In huge games from Jeff Teat (1g, 6a) and Steven Orleman who was a wall in the nets stopping, 56 of the 68…yes, 68 shots he faced.

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To The Action

Both teams battled with plenty of chances for both squads with Connor Kearnan (3g, 1a) starting things off when he converted off a Jeff Teat, Tyson Gibson for Kearnan’s 13th at the 6:19 mark. A minute and eight seconds later, MacKenzie Mitchell (1g) started the powerplay extravaganza with his first of the season from Scott Dominey to push it to a 2-0 Riptide advantage.

The Philadelphia Wings got their legs and countered with a power play goal from Big Cat, Kevin Crowley (12th) (1g, 4a) collecting his 400th career goal. Corey Small and Corey Vitarelli did the work to make it a 2-1 contest. Fifty seconds later, it was the Rambo- Riorden show with Riorden (1g, 1a) notching his 9th that evened things at 2.

The run continued with Crowley setting the plate for Brett Hickey (2g,3a) on another advantage for goal number nine for Hickey. Kieran McArdle picked up his first of five assists when he set up Tyson Gibson (4th) to get it even once again at 11:17. The wild quarter continued with Crowley setting up Vitarelli (3g,2a) on yet another advantage marker. With just:27 on the board, McArdle struck again by setting up Callum Crawford (2g, 2a) to close the curtain of the opening twenty minutes with a 4-4 score.

This is Shaping Up to be a Good One

Two little-known point getters combined to give New York another lead. Ryan Fournier found a breaking Damon Edwards for his first of the year with just 1:21 played. Here comes another penalty, this one on Philadelphia, by now, you should know what happened.

Crawford and Teat rolled up their sleeves for Kearnan to beat Wings goalie, Zach Higgins for another two-goal Riptide lead. It took all of 3:02 for Small to convert a feed from Hickey to get to a one tally differential. The goal jump-started another home team run complimented with Hickey going from playmaker to goal maker. Small and Rambo got helpers on a Kiel Matisz (5th) lamp lighter only thirty-two seconds later.

More history would be made at 9:40 with Corey Small registering his 700th career point on his 11th goal with Hickey and Ben McIntosh (2a) doing the honors. It marked the 4th advantage goal for the Wings in the first half. Test (1g, 6a) pushed to 8-7 game but, was aided by another late goal, this one from Kearnan with just :07 remaining. The half closed with 16 goals, evenly spread between the teams.

Second Half

Things calmed down in the third with only four goals with New York bagging three. Teat set up Larson Sundown (2g) on…you guessed it, the advantage at the :42 mark. Anthony Joaquim (1g) answered with an unassisted tally. Teat was right back at setting up Sundown for Sundown’s fifth with the third final minute goal. This one on a quick stick shot by Crawford with the helper going to…think hard…Teat. The goal came at 14:26 giving the visitors an 11-9 advantage with one quarter to play.

Here We Go

Vitarelli scored at 1:59 for his sixth on the campaign to draw Philly within one. Gibson and Small took turns forty-five seconds apart to keep the one-goal New York edge. With just under three minutes to play McArdle and Teat set up Kearnen for what proved to be the game-winner. Philadelphia had no quit with Vitarelli getting it to 13-12 with 1:03 to play. Unfortunately, the Riptide shut the door to gain their first win since January 18, 2020. The Wings drop a close one that they needed.

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Dis and Dat

With the defeat, Philadelphia (4-3) has now lost two of its last two of three with both losses coming at the Wells Fargo Center. Buffalo leads the division with a 4-0 record with Halifax on their heels, 3-0. Philly falls three games off the pace with their 4-3 mark.

Shots favored Philly, 68-55 with Orleman having 56 stops. Zach Higgins was also very good, stopping 42. A chippy affair with 11 advantage chances with New York hitting for 3 of 5 and Philly 4 of 6. Philly FoGo, Trevor Baptiste was outstanding going 13 of 18 in the first half, finishing with 10 loose balls and 21 of 29 from the “X”. How good has Baptiste been? For the season, he has a .6777 percentage with his 126 wins on 186 face-offs.

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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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