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Next Up: Wings vs Riptide

PHILADELPHIA WINGS vs. NEW YORK RIPTIDE Sunday, January 7, 2024 – BUY TICKETS

 

The Philadelphia Wings kick off 2024 and start a four-game homestand today as they host the New York Riptide in their fifth game of the year and second at home. The Wings are 2-2 on the season after a 16-15 overtime win in Halifax a week ago Friday. The Wings played three of their first four games on the road and will play their final three games abroad as well; in between, they will play eight of 11 here at Wells Fargo Center between today and March 30. Their next road action won’t come until a two-game stretch out West in Las Vegas and Calgary in mid-February. Next up for the Wings are the Saskatchewan Rush, who come in on Saturday.

LAST TIME OUT

Friday, December 29 – Wings 16, Halifax 15 (OT): Jack Jasinski’s Wings debut could not have been a bigger one, as the second-year pro scored 2:56 into overtime to give the Wings their first-ever victory over the Halifax Thunderbirds by a 16-15 final. Jasinski’s diving shot across the crease that beat Thunderbirds goaltender Warren Hill completed a comeback from a deficit that was as deep as four goals at one point, and gave Philadelphia a crucial victory to go to 2-2 on the young season. The Wings did not lead the contest until Jasinski’s heroics. Halifax scored the first two goals of the game and the clubs jockeyed back and forth from there to reach a 4-4 tie just over five minutes into the second quarter. But the Thunderbirds went on a 4-0 run to take an 8-4 advantage, and led 10-6 at halftime. However, Philadelphia used a strong third quarter to claw back, cutting the lead to two with two quick goals and ending up with five total in the frame to Halifax’s two, narrowing the gap to 12-11 at the third quarter break. It was then 15-13 with five minutes to play, but the Wings got the last two goals of regulation over the course of 41 seconds from Ben McIntosh and Sam Leclair and knotted up the score at 15-15. That set the stage for Jasinski’s heroics. Offensively, the Wings were led by Mitch Jones, who had a trademark four-goal, four-assist game. Joe Resetarits contributed a goal and six assists, and by doing so became the all-time points leader among American-born players in NLL history. Taite Cattoni contributed a goal and five assists, Sam LeClair had two goals and two assists, and Tanner Buck also bagged a pair of goals. It was all part of crucial contributions that Philadelphia received up and down the lineup, as Isaiah Davis-Allen, Alex Pace and Marcus Minichiello all contributed a goal apiece. Defensively, Zach Higgins had a game for the ages. He made 53 saves, two short of his career high and the Wings franchise record, as the Thunderbirds put 68 shots on goal in the contest.

VS NEW YORK

This is the second and final meeting between the clubs this season. Philadelphia took a 13-10 win on Long Island back on December 2. The Wings are 6-2 against the Riptide in eight all-time meetings including that contest. The clubs split a pair of games last season, with each winning at home. The Wings went 2-1 against the Riptide in three games over the course of the 2021-22 season, and won both meetings in New York’s inaugural 2019-20 season.

LAST MEETING
Saturday, Dec. 2 – Wings 13, New York 10: The new season started brilliantly for the Philadelphia Wings as they sprinted out to a 5- 0 lead over the New York Riptide and held on for a 13-10 victory in the season-opening contest for both teams. Several members of the Wings’ offense picked up right where they left off last season, with new captain Blaze Riorden scoring four goals to lead the way while Mitch Jones added two goals and contributed six assists for an eight-point game, his 11th game of six points or more as a Wing in 13 games with the club. Joe Resetarits assisted on five of the goals, while Holden Cattoni picked up a pair in his first game with the Wings. On the defensive side, Zach Higgins was the team’s player of the game with 48 saves on 58 Riptide opportunities. Mike McCannell had a pair of points in his Wings debut, and Scott Dominey picked up five loose balls in his. Mitch Armstrong, Jack Jasinski and Jackson Ganton all made their NLL debuts on the back end, while Taggart Clark also did so up front. The Wings picked up two power play goals in the first quarter as part of a 3-0 opening period, with Cattoni, Riorden and Ben McIntosh all finding the back of the net; Jones assisted on all three tallies. Sam LeClair scored an early transition goal in the second quarter and Jones made it 5-0 a few minutes later before the Riptide got on the board with two quick tallies. That was part of a 5-1 run for New York over the rest of the second quarter that drew them within 6-5 at halftime. Riorden gave Philadelphia a much-needed boost at the start of the second half with two goals in the first 3 1⁄2 minutes, which completed his hat trick and pushed the lead back out to 8-5. The teams essentially traded goals from that point on – Alex Pace and McCannell each contributed goals during the stretch, along with tallies from Riorden, McIntosh and Jones.

WEEK 1 HIGHLIGHTS

Mitch Jones was one of two players to post eight points on the opening weekend (2G, 6A), joining Clarke Petterson of Halifax atop the league rankings. He was one of three players to post six assists.

Joe Resetarits was also one of the top setup men in the league in Week 1 with five assists, which ranked fourth behind only the three guys to post six.

Blaze Riorden led the team with four goals in the opening contest. It’s the second consecutive year that Riorden has started the season with a game of four goals or more after potting five in the 2022-23 opener at Halifax.

WING TIPS

The 68 shots fired by Halifax on Wings goaltender Zach Higgins 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 third-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 171 over four appearances.

Philadelphia has seen the injury bug bite early in the season, with both Holden Cattoni and Blaze Riorden out for extended periods of time with upper body injuries. Both project to return sometime in mid-to-late January. 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.

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. 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 last weekend, when he scored the overtime winner in Halifax.

The healthy players who we expected to contribute to the offense this season have done so. Mitch Jones enters the weekend tied for third in the NLL in scoring with nine goals and 17 assists for 26 points, one off the league lead of 27 shared by Alex Simmons and Connor Fields. 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 last week 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 six goals and 15 assists for 21 points on the season, which is among a handful of players tied for sixth in the league.

Sam LeClair had a four-point game last week (2G, 2A), his best as a Wing. LeClair has five goals and five assists for 10 points through four games on the year, posting at least a point in every game so far this year. He had 11 goals and six assists for 17 points through all 17 games of last season.

UPCOMING MILESTONES

Holden Cattoni (on IR) needs:
One game played to reach 100 in his career. Seven points to reach 400 in his career.

Joe Resetarits needs four assists to become the first American-born player to reach 400 in his career. Chad Tutton needs seven loose ball recoveries to reach 600 in his career.

LAST WEEK’S MILESTONES

Joe Resetarits passed Casey Powell to become the all-time leading American-born scorer with 675 points.

BUY TICKETS FOR WINGS VS RIPTIDE

Philadelphia Wings Lacrosse