Matt Rambo scored with 1.8 seconds remaining in regulation to give the Philadelphia Wings a come-from-behind, 8-7 win over the defending NLL champion Calgary Roughnecks at the Calgary Saddledome on Saturday night. While it was a seven-point game from Kevin Crowley (3G, 4A) that powered the Wings on the evening, it was Rambo’s bookend goals – he provided the first and the last tallies of the game – that gave the Wings the extra distance they needed to pick up their first win of the campaign.
The Wings jumped out to a 2-0 lead in just about 4 ½ minutes. They started the game on the power play due to a delay in the start time and capitalized on the opportunity when Rambo scored 1:25 into the contest; that was followed up by a goal from Brett Hickey at 4:32. About two minutes later, the Wings were looking to extend their lead on a subsequent power play when Tyson Bell snagged a loose ball and scored on a shorthanded breakaway to make it 2-1. Crowley scored his first at the 8:02 mark to make it 3-1, but Calgary ticked off the next three goals of the contest to take a 4-3 lead. On the ensuing faceoff after the third goal, Trevor Baptiste went directly from the faceoff win to the net and scored his first career NLL goal to make it 4-4 after the first quarter.
After combining for eight goals in the first 15 minutes, the Wings and Roughnecks went on to combine for three goals in the next two quarters. Curtis Dickson scored the only goal of the second quarter, doing so with 1:06 to play before halftime. Crowley re-tied it 8:14 into the third quarter, but Dickson got it back just under three minutes later to give Calgary a 6-5 lead going into the final frame.
The Wings scored twice in the span of 1:11 to retake the lead, with goals coming from Cory Vitarelli on the power play 3:24 into the period and then Crowley’s third at the 4:35 mark. Dan Taylor made it 7-7 just under two minutes later, starting an eight-minute standoff that included the Wings surviving a Calgary power play. After regaining possession with a little over 20 seconds left and calling a timeout to organize the effort, Hickey found Rambo up top and Rambo fired a shot off the turf and in just before the buzzer.
The goal capped off a three-point night for Rambo, while Hickey also had three points on a goal and two assists. Liam Byrnes had a pair of helpers, and Baptiste added an assist for a two-point game while winning 14 of 19 faceoffs on the night. Zach Higgins picked up his first win with the Wings, stopping 48 of 54 Calgary shots; Christian Del Bianco absorbed the loss with 47 saves on 55 Wings shots.
A full boxscore of the game can be found at https://laxreports.sportlogiq.com/nll/GS2218.html.
The Wings are back in action next Saturday night when they visit the New York Riptide at 7:30 before coming back to Philadelphia to open the home portion of the 2020 schedule against the Vancouver Stealth on Friday, January 10 at 7:00. Tickets for that and all home games are available at WingsLAX.com.
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