Monday, January 31, 2011

Wings Start Hot, Extend Streak with 12-11 Win

Despite a valiant second-half Colorado comeback, the Philadelphia Wings (3-2) held on the defeat the Mammoth (1-3) by a score of 12-11, earning their first home win of the 2011 season. The victory also marks the first three-game win streak for the franchise since January 2008.

Voted the game’s most valuable player, Wings’ forward Athan Iannucci led all Philadelphia scorers with his second six-point performance in two nights. Nooch’s early hat-trick played no small part in building Philadelphia’s first half, ten goal outburst. The two teams headed to the locker room separated by a score of 10-4 at the end of the second.

The Mammoth scored four unanswered goals in the third quarter to cut the Wings lead to just two. From there, the fourth quarter unraveled as roller coaster ride for both teams, featuring multiple disallowed goals and a late 2-man advantage for the Mammoth. And just when it appeared as though Colorado had climbed all the way back to tie the contest at 12, an official replay revealed a game-saving crease violation, protecting the Wings fragile lead. Exactly one minute and twenty-five seconds later, the final buzzer sounded on 12-11 Wings victory.

As a matter of note, Saturday night proved the second night in a row in which the Wings succeeded in having their opponent’s starting goaltender pulled from the game.  After forfeiting five goals in just nineteen minutes of action, Mammoth coach Bob Hamley replaced starter Chris Levis with back-up goalie and former Wing Rob Blasdell, the latter of whom Philadelphia seemed quite happy to have back in the building. Blasdell would surrender five goals in the next eight minutes, forcing Hamley to return to Levis even before the half.

The Philadelphia goaltending was solid yet again as Brandon Miller turned in yet another solid performance. Miller turned aside 44 of 55 attempts on a night in which the Wings were badly outshot by a margin of 17.  A special congratulation also goes to Miller on becoming the league leader in save percentage following his tremendous performance in Boston Friday night.

The Wings return to the turf Saturday, February 5th for a 2 p.m. game in Rochester, New York against the Knighthawks. The team’s next home game comes the following weekend—Saturday, February 12th—when the Wings will play host to the Eastern Division leading Toronto Rock.

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