The Philadelphia Wings (6-3) went into Buffalo to face their rival, the Buffalo Bandits (6-2) on a frigid Saturday evening.
On this occasion, the student got the best of the master with Zach Higgins, a front runner for goaltender of the season outdueled Matt Vinc in a one-goal game.
Philadelphia was able to shut down the potent Bandits offense. In fairness, Buffalo was without Dhane Smith and Chase Fraser so the defense would be at the forefront.
Both defenses seized center stage an revealed a three-goal first stanza started by, a Transition player,
Liam Patten (1 g) who solved Bandit netminder, Matt Vinc to put Philly up, 1-0 with 2:14 elapsed.
Grizzled veteran, Garrett Billings (1g,3a) answered just 30 ticks later to bring Buffalo back even at 1.
Matt Rambo (2g) told everyone, “hold my beer” and, twenty seconds later, the visitors took a 2-1 lead.
The teams moved to the second quarter and JP Kealey (1g) went one-on-one with Wings netminder, Zach Higgins and got the best of that to knot it up 3:53.
Brett Hickey (2g,1a) and Rambo countered and the Wings had
Thirty minutes to secure a huge road win.
Kevin Crowley (1g,2a) on the man advantage and Blaze Riorden (1g,1a) also on the man up pushed Philly ahead, 6-2.
Only 51 seconds remained when
Cory Small (3g) cut the lead to three.
Onto the final stanza and the question was… “Can the Wings finish it out or would they fall into the bad habit of their inaugural season and sleepwalk through a crucial final quarter?
Crowley set up Hickey and it seemed to be nite nite time for Philadelphia who was riding high off a 7-3 lead with 12:25 to play.
Buffalo roared back off markers from, Small who banged two in just :58 and to make it white knuckle time, Josh Byrne with the Bandit goalie off the floor to make it 7-6.
That’s where it would end and an impressive victory was in the back pocket of the Wings.
Dis and Dat:
Shots on Goal had a 52-51, edge 59’Philadelphia and loose balls also favored the visitors, 76-68.
Steph Charbonneau scooped 15 loose balls and Trevor Baptiste was his usual dominant self with 11 loose balls and an unreal 14 of 17 from the X.