Wings with Pressure Win, 11-5

If the Philadelphia Wings (7-8) hope to achieve the playoffs, a few ingredients will need to be addressed. Goaltending, check. Leaders stepping up, check. Zach Higgins, after a less than stellar performance against Buffalo, turned away 43 of the 48 New York Riptide (4-9) shots. Leadership, check. The tandem of Kevin Crowley and Kiel Matisz supplied leadership with a combined 13 points. Wings with pressure win.

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So Let’s Get to It

As murky as the playoff picture had been, it got murkier with the action thus far. Despite things looking grim after the Buffalo defeat, the 11-5 victory brightened the day for Philadelphia. The Wings took flight with a quick 3-0 outburst. Kyle Jackson (2g,3a) keeps Philadelphia fans wondering why Jackson was shipped out of Halifax

Jackson hit net at the 5:54 mark and Philadelphia seemed sparked by the goal. Ten seconds later, the Matisz-Crowley show kicked off. Crowley (3g,4a) deposited a set-up from Blaze Riorden and Matisz. Forty-eight seconds elapsed and Matisz (2g,4a) took his turn on a high-speed setup from Sam LeClair and Jackson.

The three markers came in just under a minute. The goal frenzy kept going with Tyler Digby (1g) scoring on the man up at 7:45 to cut the deficit to 3-1. Neither team would score again for 5:15 when Corey Vittarelli (1g,2a) pushed it 4-1. It stayed that way until 13:38 when Crowley buried the work of Matisz and the first NLL point from Jackson Subodh.

Larson Sundown (1g) played ‘Beat the Clock” and ended the wild opening quarter with one second remaining and a 5-2 lead for Philadelphia. How dominant were Crowley and Matisz? Crowley scored twice with an assist. Matisz put up one goal with four helpers.

Second Quarter

Things settled down in the second. Four goals evenly spread would be all the offense. Jeff Teat got his first of three helpers and, along with Connor Kearnan helped to get it 5-3 with Callum Crawford (1g,1a) scoring at 2:35. Crowley from John Ranagan (2a) made it a 6-3 affair. Nine minutes of scoreless play was snapped by LeClair (1g,2a) but, at 14:38 Teat and Kieran McArdle (1a) did the work for Connor Kearnan (1g,1a) to close the half with New York looking at a 7-4 deficit.

To the Third

If you thought the second quarter was a defensive battle…wait until the third. It took 12:31 for a lamp to be lit. Crowley and Jackson continued their hot hands with Riorden (2g,1a) being on the receiving end to push it to an 8-4 Philly lead.

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Final Quarter

The defensive battle continued. Matisz at 1:16 and Andrew Borgatti (1g) putting home a Steven Orleman outlet at 8:43 changed the scoreboard to 9-5. Philadelphia’s defense and Zach Higgins slammed the door on New York from that point on. Crowley added one more helper on Riorden’s second goal and since he started the scoring in the game, Jackson ended the scoring for the important 11-5 Philadelphia victory.

Notes

Philadelphia sees a brighter light at the end of the playoff road. Two spots in the East have been secured by perennial playoff teams, Buffalo and Toronto. The third spot getting crowded with Halifax, Albany and Philadelphia battling.

Shots on Goal revealed a 48-45 New York advantage. Another big contributor was Trevor Baptiste who had an outstanding game with 13 of 18 from the dot while scooping a game-high 16 loose balls.• Loose balls leaned heavily to the Riptide, 87-65. Steven Orleman had 34 saves in the New York cage with Higgins posting his 43. Philadelphia travels West to take on the San Diego Seals on April 8th. Wing with the pressure win. Wings keep their post-season hopes alive.

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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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