VS. SAN DIEGO
This is the third all-time meeting between San Diego and the Wings, but the first here in Philadelphia and the first overall in nearly two years. The clubs have split the previous contests, with San Diego winning 13-11 on March 16, 2019 and the Wings prevailing 13- 12 on April 8, 2022.
The 68 shots fired by Halifax on Wings goaltender Zach Higgins on Dec. 29 set a franchise record, topping the 66 shots on goal by Buffalo on March 8, 2019. The 53 saves came up two short of Higgins’ franchise record of 55 that he’s done twice before, with the last such occasion coming on 3/6/23 vs. Toronto. It’s the highest single-season save total of any NLL goalie so far this season; Higgins also holds the fourth-highest single-game total from the 48 made against the Riptide on Dec. 2. Higgins leads the NLL in total saves on the season entering the weekend at 215 over five appearances.
Philadelphia has seen the injury bug bite early in the season. Holden Cattoni and Blaze Riorden each missed multiple games in December with upper body injuries, but both returned to the lineup last week. The Wings also have lost the services of Mitch Armstrong for the next six to eight weeks due to an upper body injury sustained at Halifax, and were without Sam LeClair and Marcus Minichiello on January 7 due to injuries.
The Wings acquired defenseman Jordan Stouros from Colorado in exchange for a 2025 third-round pick to help bolster the back end in Armstrong’s absence. Stouros is in his third NLL season after being drafted in the second round by Buffalo in 2020; he appeared in 10 games for the Bandits in 2022 and 13 for Rochester last year. Stouros won four consecutive Mann Cups from 2017-2022 playing for Paul Day’s Peterborough Lakers.
Also with those absences, spots have opened up for some of the team’s young talent to step in. Taggart Clark made his NLL debut in Week 2 and scored a goal in Week 3 against his father, Albany head coach Glenn Clark, before picking up his first NLL hat trick on Jan. 7. Taggart Clark attended Robert Morris University and was the Wings’ first-round selection (23rd overall) in the 2022 NLL Entry Draft.
The Wings also signed forward Tanner Buck on December 8 and he made his Wings debut on Dec. 16 vs. Albany due to the absences on the left side. Buck signed with Albany in the offseason but was released during training camp. A fourth-round pick of Georgia in 2020, Buck appeared in two games with the Swarm in 2022, picking up two goals and an assist, and appeared in one game with no points last season. Buck has extensive indoor experience in Canada and most recently put up 70 points (28G, 42A) in 20 games last summer in MSL Sr. A, a league full of NLL players.
And then there’s Jack Jasinski, an Ohio State product who appeared in two games for Panther City in 2022 but did not play last year and earned a training camp invite at Philadelphia’s open tryout this past summer. He played his way onto the roster and then made his debut Dec. 29 in grand fashion, scoring the overtime winner in Halifax.
The healthy players who expected to contribute to the offense this season have done so. Mitch Jones enters the weekend with 11 goals and 20 assists for 31 points. Jones has led the Wings in points in every game this season and has not had fewer than four points in a game since joining the club in a trade from Vancouver on January 31 of last year.
Joe Resetarits became the NLL’s all-time leading scorer among American-born players Dec. 29 when he passed Casey Powell with his 675th career point. Powell played 11 seasons in the NLL with Rochester, Anaheim, New York/Orlando, Boston and Colorado. Resetarits is also in his 11th season and his second with Philadelphia. He has seven goals and 18 assists for 25 points on the season.