The Philadelphia Wings clawed back from an early deficit to tie the game headed into the fourth quarter, but New England scored the first three goals of the final frame to pull away for an eventual 9-7 win. A 39-save effort from Zach Higgins, including a perfect third quarter, wasn’t enough to outduel the Black Wolves’ Doug Jamieson and his 45 saves on 52 Wings shots.
New England pulled ahead early on consecutive power-play goals by Andrew Kew and Jordan Durston in the opening 2:17 of the game. Cory Vitarelli answered 32 seconds later with a power play goal of his own, but the Black Wolves bagged the next two goals to take a 4-1 lead late in the first quarter.
A late first-frame goal from Liam Byrnes and an early second-quarter goal by Kiel Matisz pulled the Wings within one, after which the teams traded goals over the next six minutes until New England took a 6-4 lead that it held at halftime.
The Wings scored the only goals of the third quarter, with Matt Rambo denting the onion bag for his second of the game 3:08 in, followed by a goal from Vitarelli with 2:14 left that tied the score at 6-6 entering the fourth quarter.
But that quarter belonged to New England. Callum Crawford came into the contest with 12 goals in his last three games, but the Wings kept him off the board until he scored twice in the fourth. In between those two goals, Adam Bomberry provided a tally, and New England had a 9-6 lead with just over six minutes left. The Wings picked up one extra-attacker goal from Brett Hickey with less than two minutes to go, but some late penalties kept them from continuing the comeback.
Rambo and Vitarelli each had a pair of goals, while Kevin Crowley had three assists and Blaze Riorden and Josh Currier had two assists apiece.
The Wings get a chance at redemption tomorrow afternoon when they visit the Georgia Swarm at 4:00. They’ll return to the Wells Fargo Center next Sunday, March 16, to host the New York Riptide at 7:00. Tickets are available at WingsLAX.com.
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