“Muffler” Mike Kostiuk – All Lacrosse All The Time, a Division of the Edge of Philly Sports Network

The Philadelphia Wings kicked off Week 6 NLL action, traveling to Las Vegas to play the Desert Dogs Friday night. The Wings were coming off another one-goal win against Georgia, while the Desert Dogs were searching for their first win as a new franchise. That search will go on a bit longer as the Wings triumphed 14-9 to improve to 2-1 on the season. Wings keep Desert Dogs winless.

Vegas Keeps it Close in First Half

Connor Kirst (1g, 1a; 1:20) opened the scoring, beating Wings goalie Zach Higgins for a 1-0 lead. Philadelphia responded with a pair of power-play goals from Ben McIntosh (5g, 1a; 2:33) and Joe Resetarits (4g, 5a; 3:59). Rob Hellyer (2g, 3a; 5:54) tied the game, but Trevor Baptiste won the ensuing faceoff and scored eleven seconds later. McIntosh added his second at 6:58 to give the Wings a 4-2 lead after the first quarter.

McIntosh added his hat trick goal (and second power play marker) at 1:32 of the second quarter to give the Wings a 5-2 lead. Las Vegas would respond with a three-goal run. Emerson Clark scored his first career NLL goal at 3:59. Erik Turner followed 38 seconds later with a behind-the-back beauty that fired up the home crowd. Zack Greer (1g, 1a) then added a power play marker at 12:51 to make it 5-5 at halftime.

Wings Take Bite Out of Dogs

The second half began with the teams trading goals – Blaze Riorden (2g, 3a; 1:43) for Philadelphia, Hellyer’s second (3:15) for Las Vegas. The Wings then broke the game open with a four-goal run. Resetarits scored his second (4:17), then Riorden followed with his second of the game (5:47). After Kiel Matisz (1g, 3a; 6:50) scored in transition, Resetarits notched his hat trick (7:18) to make it 10-6. Jacob Ruest (1g, 1a; 7:59) and Jack Hannah (1g, 2a; 11:17; power play) cut the Vegas deficit in half, but McIntosh tallied his fourth goal (13:33) to ignite another four-goal run for Philly that put the game out of reach.

A pair of shorthanded fourth-quarter goals from McIntosh (3:46; the fifth of the night) and Resetarits (4:27; fourth of the night) put the nail in the Desert Dogs’ coffin. Matt Rambo (1g, 5a; 12:35) made it 14-8 before Charlie Bertrand (1g, 2a; 13:38) closed the scoring for Vegas. Philly returns home to host the Panther City Lacrosse Club Saturday, 1/14. Las Vegas (0-3) travels to Vancouver the same day for the first of a home-and-home series with the Warriors, who are also winless. Wings keep Desert Dogs winless.

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Other Stats of Note

  • The Desert Dogs won 15 of 27 faceoffs, with Brandon Clelland outdueling Baptiste.
  • Power Play: PHI 3 of 4; LV 2 of 6
  • Sam LeClair (PHI): 2 assists
  • Zach Higgins (PHI): 42 saves
  • Desert Dogs forward Marshal King appeared to suffer a lower-body injury during an offensive shift in the first half. As a result, his status for next week’s game is uncertain.

Hear from Joe Resetarits after the game:

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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.