Saturday, March 26, 2011

Wings fail in Rochester

The Philadelphia Wings came up just short, losing 13-10, in a pivotal match up against the Rochester Knighthawks tonight. The game had critical playoff implications for both teams in search of the fourth and final Eastern Division playoff spot. With the win, the Kinighthawks improve to a record of 6-5, while the Wings fall to a mark of 4-8. Given the separation in the standings, Philadelphia will now be forced to run the table in an effort to surpass fourth-place Rochester and qualify for the postseason.

Both teams matched their levels of intensity to the stakes on the line. Prior to the waning moments of the fourth quarter and Shawn Evans’ game-clinching goal, neither team had an amassed a lead any larger than two scores. The majority of the contest was played as a back and forth roller coaster ride, with the Wings and K-Hawks developing a consistent pattern of trading one goal for another. Though there were only four official lead changes, most of the game was played by the difference of a single tally.

By way of individual standouts, Wings forward Athan Iannucci closed in on two separate statistical milestones. With his two-goal, two-assist, four-point performance, Iannucci has surpassed the total of 250 career points and sits just two assists away from 100 career “helpers.” Offensive line mate Brendan Mundorf, two goals and four assists, would tie K-Hawk attackers Shawn Williams and Shawn Evans with a game-high six points.  Philadelphia assistant captain Ryan Boyle recorded his first hat trick of the season.

In net, Brandon Miller turned away 40 of 53 shots. Having been outshot by a margin of 17, Miller’s performance was crucial to the Wings ability to stay in the game.

Though John Tucker’s club certainly played admirably, they now face a challenging road in their hopes to qualify for the 2011 playoffs. They’ll take their first step toward doing so next Saturday, April 2, at the Wells Fargo Center when they take on the division-leading Toronto Rock.

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