The Wings drop heart breaker. The Philadelphia Wings came up short in Hamilton in a showdown with The Halifax Thunderbirds. One of the maladies of the National Lacrosse League is the inability to play a solid sixty minutes. With the outcomes from the weekend, both the East and West Divisions have tightened up. Halifax (5-1) realized the 6-1 Buffalo Bandits were human after being bettered by the challenging 5-3 Toronto Rock.
In a playoff-like aura, The Thunderbirds kept the pressure on the East and Philadelphia, dropping to 5-5 will have issues heading to, if they can withstand a brutal schedule, the playoffs. More on that in a bit.
To The Action
Coming off a one-sided defeat by Toronto, the Wings wanted a quick start. And, just like the doctor ordered, they got it with Ben McIntosh (3g,1a) potting a pretty Corey Small set-up at the 3:08 mark. McIntosh and Small combined to set up Kevin “Big Cat” Crowley (2g,2a) for a short-handed score to get it to a 2-0 game with 8:07 played.
Halifax is not 5-1 because they roll over and quit. Cody Jamieson (3g, 2a) notched a power-play marker just twenty-six seconds after the short-handed Crowley marker. Stephen LeBlanc (2g,2 helpers) Jamieson with his second would end the first with a 3-2 Halifax edge.
The second quarter was a bit tighter with just three goals but, Halifax FOGO, Jake Withers was making his presence known. A scoreless quarter until the 9:27 mark when Corey Small (1g, 5a), reaped the rewards off hard work from Blaze Riorden (3a) and Brett Hickey to even it at 3.
Withers won the ensuing face-off with Ryan Terefenko (1g) besting Wings goaltender, Zach Higgins to break the tie. Brett Hickey (2g, 1a) got on the goal sheet off a pretty setup from Crowley and Matt Rambo (1a) on the advantage to end the half with a 4-4 score.
Onward We Go
The third quarter mirrored the second with a sparse three goals. Crowley gave Philly a lead but, Jamieson and Kyle Jackson (2g) notching his first of two to send it to the final 15 minutes with Halifax defending a 6-5 edge.
On to the climax. Jackson got it to a two-goal lead at 7-5 just 1:56 in. Philly, stinging from the Toronto game, picked themselves up and went on what appeared to be a game-ending run. Small was the playmaker for a Hickey man-up tally. McIntosh at 9:27 and again at 12:24 for his third consecutive hat-trick, flipped the score the Philly way, 8-7.
As I mentioned, the inability to finish is damning most teams. This shortcoming would come into play with a Halifax three-goal rally in the final minute thirty-one. Colton Armstrong (1a) fed Brad Gillies (1g) to get it to 8-8. Stephen LeBlanc buried an Eric Fannell (1a) and Clarke Petterson (1a) setup that provided the game-winner with just twenty-three seconds on the clock. With 00:01 showing, it was Tyson Bell (1g) providing the final goal in the 12-8 Halifax win.
Dis and Dat
In a rarity, Wings face-off man, Trevor Baptiste was completely dominated by Jake Withers who won 16 of 22. Shots were 54-44 for Halifax. Zach Higgins turned aside 44 for Philly with Warren Hill stopping 36. Loose balls had Halifax with 80 and Philly with 64. The Wings Alex Pace led everyone with 12 loosies. Halifax spread things out with Withers, Bell, and Terefenko with 9 each. The Philadelphia Wings drop heart breaker.
Philadelphia has an uphill battle for a playoff spot. Home encounters with, Division leaders, Halifax and Buffalo and going on the road against Buffalo, Rochester, New York, Albany, Georgia, and a cross country trip to challenge San Diego.
Kevin has followed and promoted the game of lacrosse since May 19, 1974.
The same day the Philadelphia Flyers won the Cup, the Philadelphia Wings were introduced to Neibauer and Philadelphia.
Kevin has covered many sports, including baseball, football, basketball, and.. lacrosse. A former licensed football referee and baseball umpire, Kevin brings a unique insight to his game coverage.
A published writer in JustHockey Magazine, Kevin covered the American Hockey League as well as a monthly story on a pugilist where Kevin used the pen name, The Rink Rat. Neibauer turned his attentions to lacrosse for a few years and does his part, whether podcasting or writing to grow the game. Kevin branched out to his roots and currently provides insight for all Philadelphia teams for Edge of Philly as well as his full-time duties with LaxPhilly.